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Surgery on senior citizens

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:24 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi, I am 71 and scheduled on Jan 12 for spinal fusion L-4, L-5........I have spondylothesis, DDD..............
I wonder if there are any other seniors who have had to go thru this. My doctor said, not to put it off as I would have to do it eventually. Has anyone else done this at the older age and what should I be expecting?
Right now, I can't walk far, by noon I'm pretty much down in bed. Don't take a lot of pain meds (yet), vicoden now and then, pain down the left leg and in the hips...........along with general arthritis..........Looking forward to hearing from someone.


  • Welcome to S~H :H

    I don't know anything other than what I've read about your condition as my problems are in the cervicle area,but below is a link that might help you with any lingering questions you may not have discussed yet with your Dr.

    I'm certain some other people with more knowledge than myself will come along and post with you,but I was here and wanted to welcome you.

    From what I've read it seems that seniors would have the surgery as this condition seems to effect mostly women over 65.The women to men ratio is 3:1 ..and 70 is the new 60 haven't you heard :)

    I like your picture by the way( :) )

    Ooops,I almost forgot to post the link...here it is:

  • Thanks Robin...........I just need encouragement.........I know nobody looks forward to this.....so I'm reading everything I can find from people who have had it done.
    About the picture, was taken last Xmas at church, a happier time.............enjoy your day........hugs
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  • Hey there! I will be 65 in Feb. (hello medicaid!) and had fusion surgery in June of this year on L4-L5. I'm also a "spondy" and have DDD. I think we seniors (if in relatively good health) do as well as anyone else except maybe it will take a little longer to fuse. Healing is a little slower for us.

    It is a long recovery road, as I'm sure you have found out if you've been reading on this forum for a while.

    What type of surgery does your doc want to do?
  • I think it's partly age, and partly how well you follow your doctors orders. In GENERAL, a person's body tends to heal better following NATURAL problems, the younger they are.... But when it comes to something foreign, like metal, and BMP, I don't think age means too, too much. I think it's much more important to just follow what your doctor says to a T.
  • The age factors in when you have tissue damage and bones don't heal as quickly. It has something to do with circulation of the blood. However, the more active you are and the cleaner lifestyle (meaning low cholesterol(sp) and no smoking) the better the circulation.
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  • Thanks Joy, I appreciate your answer. Dr is going to fuse the L-4 & L-5, and use hardware.......he showed me the sample, looks cumbersome. But doable.......
    My granddaughter is a surgery tech and she has been helping a lot too, I know she will be in the OR when they start. I get really sick from anesthea so that is another problem. Oh well with God all things are possible. I appreciate any advice you can give as well. Hugs Ellen
  • I'll be glad to help you with anything I can. Of course, I can only share what I've been through personally---not medically trained at all! lol

    Do your research and ask your doc any questions you have. I know I did. I kept a list of questions I had for him and just went through them with the PA as often as I felt I needed to.

    You are so right, "With God, ALL things are possible."
  • Oh, definitely. But I mean, I know a few people aside from myself that are young with back problems, and since they have those problems, their body isn't working like it should for someone their age. Ya know? THANKFULLY my fusion surgery was by FAR a success and I feel AMAZING for being 6 weeks post op.

    I would, being older, probably have had more fear going into surgery. Because even being young, psychologically you bounce back better than you do later on in life because you're still a bit naive and just at a different level intellectually. Even if you physically don't feel any better than the patient who is older. I think being older, I'd want the security of knowing I had all the support possible, and back ups for everything, just in case. I'm young, and take care of myself, and have been independent since my dad died when I was 12 and mom went into a major depression... Cooking, cleaning, homeschooling myself, etc... But I honestly wasn't worried about being alone after my surgery... I knew it was going to hurt and recovery wasn't going to be a piece of cake (even though somehow it has turned out to be Lol.) but I really was totally cool with it. I think it's a young adult perception on the situation. I probably should have been more worried about it, and should have taken more precautions, and honestly... There are some things I've done and do that I probably shouldn't... And I think if I had lived another 50 years by now, my attitude there would be different, and I'd be a lot more conservative in that area. Haha.

    Not to say that I don't follow my doctor's orders... I do... Juuuuust not to a T. Lol. I think I got cocky around week 2 when I felt great. I had some setbacks because of that cockiness and learned my lesson. That cockiness is what I think someone older would not have. Lol.
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