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anybody with 2 level lumbar fusion....



  • Is there anybody out there who has recovered and can tell us if/when this disappeared for them? Was this just a transitional thing as activity increases or something that continues? I think we would all love to hear this information.
  • Its not uncommon for that nerve pain/tingling, even numbness to return after surgery -- its your nerves waking up and regenerating. Numbness is the last thing to go away. Some people have the pain/tingling go away within weeks, some months. I think it depends on the kind of damage done to the nerve.

    Have you tried a nerve medication like Lyrica or Neurontin (Gabapentin)?
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  • Carol I just noticed that you had your fusions a year apart.
    So how do the two compare, did you fuse completely with the first before you had the second and did you have any problems after the first.

    Also did I read right that you had no symptoms after surgery and then they appeared?

    Realy pleased to hear your fusion is coming along nicley (sounds like a cake) :))(

    Blessings Sara O:)
  • no I've never tried a nerve med. The tingling is never unbearable, just annoying. Just troublesome since I had to have a second fusion 15 mths after my first.
    Sara, to answer your questions,after 8 yrs. of docs telling me no surgery due to no major neurological symptoms (even though my back pain was debilitating and taking away my life), I was blessed with a coworker of hubby's sending us to her OS. He immediately said the MRI showed major annular tearing with leakage of the disc fluid onto the space, causing the pain and as PT had told me earlier, the L4 L5 S1 discs were terribly unstable. In hopes of saving L4 we started with only a one level fusion thinking the rest of the spine might take some of the heat now that the base was stabilized. That worked for 7 months then I started with the numbness/tingling in my toes n leg and after that the instability and horrible back burning....we new it was the L4 disc so we had to wait until L5 was completely fused to make sure it wasn't going to provide enough stability and then we did L4....so you can see why I am a little paniced about the tingling thing....I feel much stronger and do not feel the instability and burning in my back so I'm thanking God for that, hoping this is a nerve that goes away like everyone elses.
  • my doctor said i should be able to go back to work (part time) in 6 weeks, then i would see him every 2 weeks for a check up to see how things are going. he also said i wouldn't start pt until 3 weeks after surgery but then go 4 times a week. he did say the minimally invasive surgery would be a lot better on the recovery. from what i hear, not many doctors are trained to do this kind of surgery and the ones that are are all neurosurgeons.

    here is the video of the surgery they are preforming.

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  • Wow, can't imagine doing this twice in 18 months. God Bless You. I would take more time if I could but if I don't go back to work now I will lose my job. As it is I was supposed to return today and they would not accept me back with the doctors restrictions, so I am waiting to see what happens. I work in telecommunications so it is an office job, but I am attatched to a headset and sitting 7.5 hrs a day. The nerve medicines may be a good idea for you. I have tried both of them neurontin I was on for about 2 years before I started having any problems(I call it word search)and the Lyrica I only took a few weeks and had the blurry vision and dizziness, but I am very sensitive to drugs.
  • I had a 4 level lumbar fusion in september of 2002. L2-S1. I have 8 harrington rods and 12 screws. It took the better part of the first year before I began to feel better. I still have hip going numb at night during sleep and my left leg and foot are numb most of the time but the back pain is much better most of the time. I have come to the conclusion that you are never the same after a major surgery and have to accept some limitations. That being said, I am glad I had it done as I am 200% better than before. I would prefer numbness to pain any day. My NS says some numbness is normal after fusion surgery and sometimes it never goes away.
  • on 1/12/2007 had 5 level fusion, L1 to S1, yes 5 levels. Now almost 2 years post op but still having problems with muscles in back. I was in surgery for 12 hours. Don't do it unless it is an emergency.
  • funny I would prefer pain to numbness :))( :))( Maybe just a mental thing but I can usually push through pain better but numbness gets to me and limits me more. You have a great attitude!

    Seekinghelp- gosh I too had that job, literally tied to the phone :-C and having to appear all bubbly and helpful.
    Definitely dont go back until you are ready as you dont want to mess up the fusion. Maybe this is a good time to look for another job?

    Captain Seaweed, please tell us your story. Why 5 levels? My surgery was 12.5 hrs as well so I understand the lenght thing as far as recovery goes. Really knock you for a six. You can write a signature if you go into 'my account' the profile.

    Lastly Carol,
    Gosh I can imagine having this done twice so close together but it does happen. I have re-started the Lyrica and it does seem to help with the tingling and nerve pain, Yes I can understand how you are feeling especially after being good but please dont let it get you down.
    Probably it is just your nerves reacting to doing more. I realised lately that I am doing more then I thought I was because I feel 'looser" and am ablle to. I hadn't been aware of that before.
    Stay strong lovely lady!

    Blessings Sara O:)
  • I was remembering some of the god awful stuff, like eating on the floor on my hands and knees because thas the only position i could be in due to immense pressure in my spine...so I agree, there are some improvements but NO you are never the same, but how can you be with screws and rods etc. :?

    Carol, I had a 2 level 12 months apart , similar to yourslef but only because I failed to stabilise and accererlated probs with L4.

    Now i too am having sciata issues same as pre-op.
    My surgeon told me, leg pain was difficult to treat and the fact I awoke from surgery and it was gone was fantastic.
    7 months on I am getting it back! :&
    My left leg issues are all due to complications of the space moving to my spinal canal which was sorted 7 weeks ago. My left leg remains numb and transitory pain / crampy feeling, almost supersensative, and transitory weakness (this is new and comes thro both legs)

    So I too worry like mad but try desparately to hold onto reason!!

    Like the others have said, it seems the nerves are the unknown part of the whe surgery. Check out www.chirogeek.com for a great explaination and review of the papers around nerve damage etc.

    Keep me posted pls. It's good to find ppl in same boat!
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