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Hello to everyone!

Sparky123SSparky123 Posts: 133
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:23 AM in New Member Introductions
Just wanted to say "HI" to everyone out there. I've already posted in the Back Surgery section but thought I should say Hi to everyone else.

"HI" :H

Here is my post in the Surgery section....

Spine Fusion surgery and work

Hi, I am new here (today). Its great that there is a forum like this for people to get info/advice. One thing I have not seen a lot of is people mentioning what kind of job they have with their back problems, so here is what I'm going through. I'm a 38 year old male and I have bulging discs at L4/L5 and L5/L1 with severe pain mostly in my back and sometimes in my left leg . I work at a Public Works in the Chicago area and my job consits of a good deal of heavy lifting. I have been on and off work for about two months now and I have tried just about everything from two epidurals (maybe having a 3rd next Tuesday), chiropractor, and PT but nothing has worked. The only thing I havent tried is Acupuncture, but I really have not looked into it much. I have seen two surgeons, a neurosurgeon and an orthopedic surgeon. The neurosurgeon said he could do two different surgeries, a Microdiscectomy for my leg pain or a Fusion for both. I guess I was leaning toward the fusion surgery until I talked to the orthopedic surgeon which I saw today. The first thing out of the orthosurgeons mouth was "So, what else are you going to do with your life? Your are not going to be able to do what you're doing now after fusion surgery." When I heard that, it hit me like a ton of bricks. The neurosurgeon pretty much said the same thing, which is a big bummer. One thing that bugs me is I have talked to alot of people about this and most of them have said their surgery has worked great, but they don't have a physical job like I do (one did, he is a plumber).

I guess my main concerns is if I get the fusion surgery is will I even be able to go back to a normal work load and will it get rid of most of my pain? What are the percentages of the surgery working and getting rid of my pain?

Does anyone out there have any stories of getting fusion surgery and still not being able to work because of ongoing pain or not having as good of mobility to do your job right.

Thanks in advance for anyones advice and stories!



  • I do heavy work, I am a chef. I lift heavy items all the time, Now that I have had my surgery, I am a bit doubtful if I am going to be able to do what I am doing now, I may have to look for a more on hands work.. I am the director of food service for a small nursing home and I chef 4 days a week and manage 1, put my own orders away and do my own pots and pans.. If I move to a lg nursing home I could be less hands on and do more of the managment....
    I also had c spine surgery 4 years ago. I was fine and was able to go back to work as a cater/retail manager with its fair share of lifting. some how between now and 4 years I ended up with my fusion not being solid. so I had to go in for this last surgury which was far far more involved... Sometimes we go through these things for a reason, but I dont think my doctor wants me to go back to my current job either....
  • we had the same surgury then.. my was 3 level with fusion plates and screws......Hope all is well in Lynn
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  • :) hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. i am not facing your problem but we all have pain in common. ~X( check out the "Good News" forum to read of successful surgeries by members from here. good luck! Jenny :)
  • I know where you are coming from on the work thing.
    I have just undertaken a major career change just prior to my back spitting the dummy.
    I am now working in the mining industry and doing a 18mth training course which involves a fair bit of hands on physical stuff. After that I will mainly be office bound in a training role.
    I just had my op 2 weeks ago, so the future is a bit unknown.
    I think the big thing is get different opinions, ask lots of questions, and don't give up hope.Everybody heals differently and there are lots of success stories.
    You will just have to change the way you attack things in the future!


  • This may be a stupid question but here it goes..Why can't you lift heavy stuff after a fusion surgery? If the fusion worked and is healed, why not? I've heard of other people doing it. If your off of your BLT resrictions, why can't you lift 50, 60, 70 lbs?
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  • I haven't had it but my big concern would be that the discs above and below a fusion would be put under increased pressure, possibly causing herniations at those levels (this did happen to my mother, above and below her fusions).
    BTW, in case you wanted to read more about what other's here do for work, look under "Casual Conversation" in the "Water Cooler". Its kinda fun and interesting!
    Plus, if you look under "Treatment" and then "Surgeries", I'm sure you'll find tons of people posting about fusions.
    Welcome and good luck!!
  • Welcome to S.H. this board can be very helpful. I'm kinda new myself and it has helped me alot.
    Just wanted to say Hi! Patsy
  • I agree with froggyRn, the risk is for adjacent disc problems above and below the fusion area. My surgeon warned me about it, but says I can return to my job as a RN, so hopefully it all works out. Take care, Sue
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