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anyone think it was worth having 360 lumbar fusion

shirleysshirley Posts: 201
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:36 AM in Lower Back Pain
i am on the waiting list to have this done, went hosp yesterday to talk about it,was told i would have bad pain for 6 weeks then up to a year i would feel great, after a year i would feel worse again ? does this sound right ?
i only have 1 disc that is degenerated, he told me its my choice but if i leave things as they are and i get more disc probs he will not operate. i also have a pars defect and they want to repair that at the same time, he said if they dont then because of the extra stress my spondylolisthesis could slip further, its a grade 1 at mo.
basically he told me i will never be pain free if i have the op or not.
very confused just want to hear that it will be worth having it done
thanks for any replies


  • I am no better at all. It is a major surgery. My case was unique as 3 different surgeons had 3 opinions. I chose the fusion thinking I could go through something one time & be done but thats not the case. There is a Laser Spine Institute in Tampa Florida that I hear is very good. Everything they do there is non invasive. I wish I had known about them first as I would have given that a try first. Check the website out & call & talk to one of the patient advocates to see if they could posibly help you. You could possibly try the less invasive route first then do the fusion as a last resort?? I regret doing the fusion. For me it was a very tough surgery with a long down time. Good luck in whatever you decide.

  • i live in the uk. thanks for your input, i want to hear the good, bad and the ugly. hosp told me there is no such thing as minimally invasive fusion surgery over here ?.
    its such a huge decision to go ahead knowing i will still be in pain, i am limited on what i can do but i dont want to be worse off having surgery.
    waiting list is 3-4 months so ive got a while to decide, its all i think about day and night, cant sleep for worry, plus i look after my grandson cant see how i would get him to school etc, live on a very steep hill, doc said i dont care, walk, walk and walk some more.
    not impressed because im off work said no-one should have to stop work thats what pain killers are for, try telling my doc that
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  • so its really too early to say if its worth it. I guess you have to decide for yourself what is in the best intrest of you. I was in surgery for 7 hours and was in the hospital for 4 days. The 4 days following my discharge was horrible but I am getting better and better. Remember of the 80% of the result is your attitude. I went into this knowing that my back will never be as God intented it to be, and that I have to make wise choices and listen to my doctor and PT. I am optimistic and am looking forward to if not running speed walking this time next year.

    In a addition I cannot compliment my aftercare nurses enough. They were truly amazing people and they really was there to care for me and my families needs during my stay.

    I wish you best no matter what decision you make!

  • Those laser surgery places advertise A LOT and there are many dissatisfied patients that you have no way of hearing from. I don't believe they can do anything for spondylolisthesis anyway.

    Shirley, I think your main problem is the pars and the spondy. These are things that are not going to improve with age! I don't think you were given very good information at the hospital. No one or at least, very few patients are ever pain-free after any back surgery, but particularly a fusion. However, as you age and there is not only some degeneration but also just more wear and tear from living, the pars may break off further and the spondy is likely to get worse and move more.

    If your pain is manageable now, you may want to put off surgery for awhile, but I would assume you will need surgery at some point in your future. Sometimes spondy does not progress, but it is difficult to count on that happening.

    The healing period is long and slow. By six weeks your pain should be lessened, but it does take about a year for a fusion to solidify and be strong. You should be able to resume most activities by about six months. Of course everyone heals at a different pace....

    There are so many things in your two posts that I want to respond to, but I am off for acupuncture, so will finish when I return! But I do think you got very bad information...and I'm not sure I like their attitude very much!! @) @)

  • I am 16 months post-op from my second back surgery. I initially had the 'classic discectomy' (May '08) - was two weeks post-op and reherniated the same two disc (L4 and L5) I had horrible sciatic nerve issues and could not stand up for longer than 5 minutes. My second surgery (July 08) was the 360 lumbar fusion. Tough surgery with tough and longer recovery, but am happy to report that I do not have any of the horrible pain. I have no restrictions physically (other than normal common-sense type things) I understand everyones experience is different, but for me, this surgery worked wonders. I will not be top notch with my back, but I am well within the 90-95% range with my capabilities and positive recovery - I also have been deligent and consistent with the back exercises, as I never want to experience that type pain again!
    Best wishes
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