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Scheduled for Fusion L3-L5 in 7 days - Scared Is this Right Decision?

 I am scheduled in less than 10 days for a two segment fusion, after a long and hard year and six months of chronic back pain and permanent nerve damage. A year and a half ago I had a laminectomy and decompression at my L4 and L5. I came out of that surgery feeling wonderful, the surgical pain A walk in the park compared to the nerve pain I felt prior to. It was not my lucky day as during surgery my Dura was knicked and within one week post surgery, I developed a very severe spinal fluid leak. I was re-hospitalized where they tried conservative measures to slow the leak down but ultimately, to avoid infection etc., I had emergent surgery where they opened me back up, identified the area patched and stitched.   Coming out of the second surgery has presented a whole new set of problems for me, the least of which was saddle anesthesia which includes my vaginal area, the back of my legs down to my knees a portion of my left thigh left foot. My lower back pain, the mechanical pain still persists and I have a whole new set of intense nerve pain. Quite frankly if I could live standing up life would be perfect. Sitting and lying down are the worst.  My surgeon says that my case is a gray, not so much black and white. My disc at L4 and L5 has re-herniated and there is moderate to severe stenosis which is causing pain on my L5 root  nerve. I asked if we could do a one level fusion, but because, in his opinion, the segment above it is bulging he believes that it will not be able to handle the stress after fusion of the segment below.   I am apprehensive for two reasons, of course the experience I had a year and a half ago does not help but in my research and browsing stories of people who have chronicled there post fusion surgery, the one overwhelming thing that I have heard is the lack of success. Given the rough road and challenging journey of healing after this surgery, I am scared to death that this will all be for naught. Any thoughts? How Did you know that this surgery was the answer?

Thanks!

Malissa

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Comments

  • hi emma21671/malissa

    welcome to spine-health

    your are bound to be concerned after the background you have told us about.

    i had my third surgery in june 2017 tlif l4-s1. my metal work is fixed into l3, l4 and l5 vertebrae with cages between l4/l5 and l5/s1. i made my decisions based on my symptoms and if i left it, would my condition get worse.  my surgeon told me he couldn't cure me but he could make me better.  we can't turn the clock back, but we can slow down the process sometimes with surgery.

    write some questions down for your surgeon if that helps you to work through your worries.  if you haven't got another appointment before surgery, phone the team and ask for help that way.

    please join in the surgery buddies groups under forum topics for some more experiences and for the chance to chat with other members waiting for surgery or in recovery.

    i have added two links below to help new members with information and these also contain the forum rules.  there is lots of material to research that will give you the power of knowledge.

    welcome to spine health


    aj 


    AJGormit

    ---------------------------------------------------------------

    L5/S1 herniation Apr 2013
    nerve root injections Oct 2013
    L5/S1 discectomy Jan 2014
    L5/S1 nerve roo &, facet joint injections & edpidural Jan 2015
    L5/S1 revised discectomy, L4/L5 discectomy & Wallis Inswing Stabilisation L4/L5 May 1st 2015
    L4-S1 TLIF with decompression June 2017
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