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derfdderf Posts: 4
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:25 AM in Depression and Coping
I need fusion on L3toL4 and L4 to L5 also need laminectomy.Someone please tell me how long recovery time should take and will I ever be normal again. Even what to espect. Should i get ready for a wheel chair i'm 50 years old. not in bad health but i smoke PLEASE HELP THANKS FRED


  • I had fusion of L4/L5 and laminectomy from L4/S1 5 months ago. Recovery is different for everyone. I don't have the sciatica down my legs and in my butt anymore, but do have some pain still in my back and behind my knee. For smokers, they usually use bone from your hip for the fusion. I, too, am a smoker and know that I have started fusing. If you can stop prior to surgery, all the better. Some docs refuse to operate on you if you smoke. You have probably read some posts in the Back and Neck Surgery Forum...you will get great info from there. Oh, I forgot to say I'm almost 65. I think the older we are, the longer it takes to heal, but who knows? Best wishes on finding a solution to your pain.
  • I had L4/5 Fusion (anterior/posterior) at the end of July 2008. I am beginning to feel pretty good again - I seem to have turned some kind of corner about a week ago. Sitting for more than an hour and standing for more than a few minutes is still very tiring and my back gets tight and sore but I can manage many household chores without bending, twisting. Those and lifting are still "no-no's.

    I quit smoking a month before surgery. I had xrays last week and am waiting to hear from my surgeon about my progress with fusion. (I have been out of town so had to send xrays via mail to my surgeon.) Hopefully, there is some fusion!

    Good luck with your surgery!
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  • Hang in there. You're not old at 50. I'm 40 and getting ready for 360 fusions at l4-s1 in January. My neuro said that recovery from that surgery would be 3 to 6 months. Nerves could take a year. When's your surgery scheduled?

    I can tell you that my father had a horrific fall when I was 7. He ruptured discs, crushed vertebrae, etc. He's had many many many back surgeries done. He's now 70 and still gets up, walks, goes to work, and does a lot of things. He has pain and stiffness but a lot of this is because he didn't listen to the doctors after the surgeries. I suggest listen to your doctors and your body. Don't push too hard or too fast.

    >:D< >:D< >:D< >:D< >:D<
  • If you need the surgery, then you NEED the surgery. No, it's certainly not a straight path to a wheelchair! My option was to have the L4-L5 surgery/decompression OR not walk. It is a major operation but I'm doing OK at 2 1/2 weeks out. I believe that so much depends on your outlook. I'm still having some residual burning/tingling in my legs but my nerve issues were so extreme that I knew it would take my body time to heal - including sciatica. All in all I'm feeling very optimistic and looking forward to being able to lift my 1 1/2 yr old granddaughter.

    I went in for surgery 11/18 and the procedure started around 1 in the afternoon- lasted for 6 hours because I had an unexpected cyst on my spine that had to be removed. I stayed in bed for the first night then they removed the cath the next morning (I actually didn't want them to take it away because I knew I'd have to get up!!) They had me up the next day and I went home the morning of the 21st.

    Today I went for a walk. I've been up and around pretty much since coming home and can even feed the dogs with the help of my EZ Grabber (much to their relief.) If you read up on the success rate of this surgery, it is very high. Doesn't mean that you'll be 100% pain free and jumping rope in the park in a year from now but it does give you a great opportunity to be better than you are now.

    Good luck with your procedure and keep reading all the posts on this website. They've been very helpful for me and encouraging as well. Yes, this will be a big hurdle for you but as they say - "keep your eyes on the prize" which is a better quality of life. And NO wheelchair. Kathy in Atlanta
  • I had a 2 level TLIF and laminectomy on L4-S1 with hardware six months ago. I did have a prior microdiscectomy last year for herniations on the same levels and it didn't help. For the fusion, I was in the hospital for 5 days and the pain was tremendous. I didn't start therapy til around 12 weeks and I still had a lot of trouble, and I was dismissed early because of no improvement. I had been already going to pain management before the fusion, and they take care of my medication needs. A neurostimulator or morphine pump might be in store for me in the near future, and that is presently all that can be done for me at this point.
    I hope things turn out well for you. Take care
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