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Needing Lumbar Fusion Help!!

MLT01MMLT01 Posts: 171
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:32 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi I'm a 34yrs old I'm happily married and a mother of two. I have a very complicated back history.

In 1999 I had surgery in the L4-L5 region which then I developed major complications in the spine. I developed a staph infection and a massive CSF leak and was hospitalized for 3 month's.During that time I had 4 more spinal surgeries to try to stop the leak.

I did end up on going to Boston where then I was diagnose with meningitis. I had another operation to try to stop the leak which had failed then meningitis again,and again,and again! I eventually had to have a brain shunt which now is removed.There is so much I'm leaving out but all in all I had approximately 20 operations. I was told 9 years ago that I would need a fusion down the road because there is to much movement in my spine from all the Infections and surgery. The time has come I maybe having the fusion next month in the L4-L5 region due to a slipped vertebrae and crushed nerves.

I am very nervous on the operation and I do not know what to expect. I'm always in pain! I have tried PT,pain management and even the Chiropractor. This is my last option but completely nervous



  • I am 9 weeks out from having my surgery. I am still in the healing process but am glad I had the surgery. You have to decide if you can live with your pain right now. My pain is still up and down right now but my surgeon told me that it would take up to 2 years for the nerves to heal. So if you have any questions, PM me and I will be glad to share my experience.

  • Thank you for taking the time to write to me! I have some good days when I say good I'm not on the couch but,always in pain. I'm having a hard time now just doing everyday things.. I'm starting to loose feeling in my feet and toes and circulation problems especially in the cold weather.

    I don't want my kids to always know me as a mom with a bad back!! I just don't know what to except regarding the recovery

    I noticed your scripture verse!!!!! I am a believer and I always look to God for help!!! I'm new at this site trying to still figure it out... Learning how to PM???

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  • I can't imagine going through what you have, and I'm glad that you finally got over that terrible experience. I do relate a tiny bit with the spinal headache because I only had it for 2 weeks; it was resolved with 2 blood patches.

    Anyway, I did have a 2 level fusion of L4-S1 a year ago because I reherniated a disc 1 month after a microdiscectomy. I also had other problems going on listed below. Fusions are major surgery and don't listen to anyone who says you'll be back to normal in 12 weeks. It doesn't go that way- it depends on the person and how fast they heal from this. Some do get better faster than others, but I would say it takes 6 months and up to recovery fully. The nerves can take up to 2 years depending on how long they were compressed.

    I didn't do well after my fusion and I continued to have pain. Months later they found scar tissue on a post op MRI in both levels. I also have permanent nerve damage in leg. I've been struggling with chronic pain in my lower back and legs for a long time now and I've been seeing a pain specialist for this.

    I don't like my kids to see me like this either but they are so understanding and they help me so much. My husband has also been very supportive and I feel fortunate to have my family with me through all that I've been through.

    What you can do is research all you can about fusion surgery, and find out from your doctor exactly which surgical procedure he wants to do. My surgeon told me that I would either get better, stay the same, or get worse. As you know, there is risk with everything and it is important to know what you're getting yourself into. I hope your fusion is successful and that you recovery completely from it. Take care :H
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