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L5/S1 Fusion (TLIF) - here I come!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

signavyssignavy Posts: 63
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:32 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery

I give up - can't fight this with conservative treatment any longer. As many of you know - I have been flip/flopping in and out of pressing on with surgery for sometime now - even though I've been scheduled for 3 Aug for over a month now. Today, while picking up a few groceries for an evening get together with family and friends the numbness and tingling down both legs intensified as did the lower back pain. I could barly carry a gallon of milk. I am feeling a little better after popping 500mgs of aleve and a little later I'll knock out just about all the discomfort with some tramadol and just 1 beer. Lovely right - you all know what I am talking about.

For those that don't know my probs I have a badly herniated L5 disc and grade 2 spondylolesthesis L5 over S1. I have given this battle everything I could (5 days a week I have stretched 2-3 times a day and walked 2-3 miles a day) since November 08. I feel defeated. While the exercise has helped tolerate things better, I know I am really not better. I really wanted to be one of those people that took on back trouble and won. I am now going to focus on getting mentally prepared for surgery and recovery - my new school of thought is that I'll make a comeback after surgery and win then. Can't remember who posted this, but I am visiting pity city, but not staying long.

As always - thanks to everyone that has been through this for sharing their stories - this site and everyone that participates is definitely helping someone, in some way, somewhere. I know surgery is the only real chance for me to get some of my life back.

Has anyone out there had their surgery at the Portsmouth Naval Medical Center in Virgina?

All the best, Mike


  • Good for you, I had the same done in December. Feel great. Thought I hurt after 3 month check up from pulling weeds but didn't. No pain meds. I really wish I had done this five years ago. I was walking a mile after 1 week. In hospital for two days and have really only had one day of pain? Pretty amazing.

    Good luck to you and do what the docs say.

    Dave Brown
  • I have not regretted my surgery at all. I am 10 weeks post op and doing better every day. Just take it slow and you will be OK

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  • Hi mike just wanted to let you know , i am having L5 S1
    surgery June 30 I hope it works , I will say a prayer for you
    It cant be any worse than what I'm going through now
    good luck
  • Good luck Mike, when we need the surgery I guess we know don't we?
  • All the best for August 3rd Mike. You've done really well trying to help yourself and being positive, and I'm sure when the "big" day comes, you'll cope.


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
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  • I really appreciate the support.


    Good Luck to you on your upcoming surgery - keep us posted on recovery.


    Continue healing well and thanks for taking the time to share your stories.

    All the best, Mike
  • We all know when its time. I exsausted every conservative treatment out there, surgery was my only hope. Doc said its not a cure but an attempt to make my quality of life better. I"ll say!!! Good Luck!!


    39 yr. old mother of 5 Children, 20,19,14,14,9
    Lumbar strains: 1995, 1997, 1998

    Major injury: 2002, 2 herniated disc w/tears, DDD, Spinal Stenosis, Major nerve damage in both legs.

    Treatments included: Celebrex, Bextra, Ralaphin, Flexril, Naproxin, Motrin, Ultram, Steroid injections, Nerve Blocks, Physical Therapy, Aqua Therapy, specific exercise regimen, loss of 70 lbs.

    Surgery: May 2009 ALIF of L5-S1 with titanium cage and 4 screws, no bone,Pro-Disc at L4-L5

    Current Meds: Vicadin 5mg/500, daily aspirin, calcium supplement, senicot, bone growth stimulator

  • on making your decision. I think you're doing the right thing, especially in light of the spondy. I've had some problems since surgery, but they are absolutely nothing compared to the problems I had before. My friend reminded my a few days ago of the time, a few months before surgery, when i was in her mom's quilt shop and I just totally locked up. The pain in my back was so intense, I couldn't move. My legs were stuck to the ground and the tears just streamed involuntarily down my face. I DO NOT miss those days. I've had some pain since, but it is manageable, and nothing nearly as intense. I think you will come to be very glad you did it.


    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.

  • I just wanted to let you know that I just had my surgery Wed June 17th. I just got out of the hospital today and wanted to post an update. Then I found your post and stopped to read it.

    I know just being out of surgery it's hard to say how happy I am, right now I am in a lot of pain. But I am sure this will be getting better as the days go by. It's not an easy surgery, but one good thing is your very asleep for it, and you get really good drugs after.

    I hope all goes well for you, please let us know how it goes and we will keep you in our thoughts.

    Good Luck,
  • Best wishes on your upcoming TLIF. I had mine a year ago, and although it fixed a recurrant herniation and retrolisthesis, it hasn't relieved my pain. I'm also having surgery next month to put in a morphine pump.

    Don't worry too much about having this surgery- you seem to be very physically fit and have an active lifestyle and this plays in your favor. Mine was sedentary and I was very deconditioned. The last time I exercised was in high school 17 years ago. L)

    I'm sure it will go well for you and we all will be thinking about you and praying for a successful outcome. Take care >:D<
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