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Update - had L4/L5 fusion 11th August

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,082
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:36 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery

Just an update - after a long wait and one cancelled operation - day before due - I eventually got my fusion surgery.

Spent 2 nights in hospital - then home. Now almost 8 weeks post op (I think) am cutting down on the codeine/ tramadol - as my memory and energy levels are fairly low. Need to be more active now but I walk 1 - 2 miles most days - which as far as I was concerned is a miracle!!

Surgeon reassured me after the op, saying that the joint at L4/L5 was 'extremely mobile' and that it really had to be done.

Walking now is so easy - the way I explain it is that before it was like trying to ride a bike up hill - now walking is like free wheeling down the other side.

I have got a brace that I was given to use before the op - but my surgeon says he doesn't use then post op ??? Although I find it very uncomfortable to wear as it pinchs and rubs the skin.

All in all - I am quite satisfied with my rate of progress and I am not expecting to return to work until November (3 months recovery)

Can only say it was the right decision for me in the end to take the fusion surgery. Thanks for all the support from here too! :)



  • I'm glad to hear you are doing so well. My fusion was 2 weeks after yours and I am waiting for better results.
    Good news is always encouraging. How much fusion do you have at 8 weeks, or your last imaging. I hope you continue to progress without complications. Please keep us posted. Like I said good news is always a blessing.
    Take care, GOd Bless,
  • I read your post w/ great interest as I also had a deccmpression & lammy @ L4/5 a year b4 my fusion @ same level, & also for the same reason, hypermobility, as your doc said (mine said same thing & also told me mine "had to be done" too!)

    Just take it easy now. I'm glad walking is easy--for me also, even now, have no pain while walking & that is the best exercise you can do. I worre my brace for awhile afterwards simply b/c it gave some stability & kept others from getting close to me (no bumping, etc) but also found it uncomfy. NS left it up to me. Once you get the OK to start some core work, the brace is not necessary anyway. (Altho I still do wear a soft one when I'm doing something more physical than usual, but I'm fused now.)

    Let comfort be your guide, listen to your body & again, that just excellent that you are feeling better! :)

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  • wonderful that things went well. glad youre doing some walking. the way you are going you will be fit as a fiddle and this pain stuff will be behind you. :-C
  • Wow - thanks for all the post already! Not sure if I am fused or not - here in the UK we don't get such quick check ups - mine is 3 months after so I go on the 11th November.

    I have been taking some tissue salt remedies that encourage bone growth after a couple of recommendations, so I am hoping for good results.

    My main 'problem' is that my energy is pretty low due to the medications but I am hoping that after November I can go back to NSAID's (Ibroprofen) as that was great for pain relief without dulling the old brain box!

    I will keep up with the walking after reading from others the good effect it has on their postop recovery. I find hills challenging but we have a couple of miles of flat coastal paths just over the hill so we have made use of them.

    Next thing - back on the diet tomorrow - I will be taking over doing most of the cooking now as I need to get rid of the spare tyre around my middle - maybe the brace will fit better agin then! :)

  • That's good news Jo. :))) Terrific that you can walk easily - it must feel like heaven to be able to get out again and be starting to get your life back.

    I too had a laminectomy/discectomy for L4/5 in April last year, which didn't help and will be having a fusion on the 19th of this month.

    You'll feel better once you take over the cooking. I've been having friends over this last week and been eating too much of the wrong foods and I'm starting to get a bit of a spare tyre around my middle. I've got just under 2 weeks to go, so should be able to lose it - well I have to because my op will be anterior.

    A friend of mine takes tissue salts for flexibility and swears by them. I thought I'd pop into the health food shop and see what they've got for bone growth and flexibility. In the meantime, I'm doing lots of stretching every day.

    Would love to hear how you're going with your walking and after your checkup next month.


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
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  • So glad to hear you are doing so well. Thanks for posting this. I am having my fusion surgery on the 27th after 2 previous discectomies as well, and it is so refreshing to hear someone doing so well!

    Hope you keep healing quickly! You will be back to "normal" in no time!!
  • Hi

    I was very happy to hear how well you are doing so soon after your surgery. I had my spinal fusion in '05 and healed really fast, back to work and the gym in nine months. Just be careful and treat yourself gently. My hardest hurdle was to let others help me do things I always did myself. I wish I could walk the way I used to, 3 miles a day and on a good day an 8 min. mile.

    Unfortunatly I had to stop working because I need pain meds., and I drove a school bus. So every day I walk through the pain and increase the distance.

    You are very inspiring to anyone just going through this. Good luck to you in the future.

    Donna =D>
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