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Military Active Duty after a Spinal Fusion?

I have some questions for people that have had a spinal fusion. I have a bilateral fracture on my pars of my L5 from Afghanistan in 2015. I am currently serving as a green beret at 7th Special Forces Group. I brought this to the attention of one of my doctors after the deployment because of back instability and pain as well as I couldn't feel a few toes. He told me it was normal after a trip like that and indirectly shut the door on me about the issue. 3 years later and 3 deployments later I still have had terrible pain and went to a physical therapist that ordered X rays. Found I had the bilateral fracture of my pars at L5 and that I chipped my L4 vertebrae pretty substantially. I no longer I have any reflexes in my right leg as well. The Spine Surgeon told me that my best bet is a Spinal Fusion due to the fact I have been active and doing PT for 3 years and NSAIDS have done nothing to help. I have tried a back brace and cupping, needling you name it to no avail. I am seeing the Neurosurgeon for a possible ALIF of L5-S1, and maybe addressing my chipped L4 as well. I have seen about 50/50 people staying in or getting out of the Army with this. I am only 33 years old, however Special Forces requires a lot of stress on my back between the weight load, rucking, and parachuting constantly. I want to be able to have a life with my kids after the military and I am leaning on medically retiring after the procedure. Anyone have any insight on this? Many people have said that stayed in that the problems got worse and had wished they got out instead of trying to tough it out. The surgery seems inevitable because I can no longer sleep and I am constantly in pain. I refuse to take an opioids as I know that I will need them after surgery and I want to avoid using them unless absolutely necessary. I appreciate anyone that offers some insight to this situation

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Comments

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 5,442

    Smitty1985
    Welcome to Spine-Health

    Thank you for your services to this country!! With you being in Special Forces, I cannot begin to imagine the pain you are dealing with every day. There are different surgical procedures your neurosurgeon could use so please ask him about those. Below is a list of a few questions you might not have thought of.
    40 questions to ask your surgeon

    Please click on the Welcome link below and Tutorial for more information regaring the forum.
    Welcome to Spine Health


    Take care and please keep us posted.




    Sandra
    Spine-Health Moderator
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Please read my  Medical History
  • Greatly appreciate the response and the questions to ask my surgeon!

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  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 5,442

    Go to the right under Forum Tools and click on FAQ's. There you will find a lot of articles and videos that may also be of help. If not, please let me know what you are looking for, I will be glad to help some more. 

    Sandra
    Spine-Health Moderator
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Please read my  Medical History
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