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New-Need Info on Fusions



  • o..k. I am replying to my post.
    Can someone tell me how I can put "updated" next to my subject line or is there someway just to post a new question, but still have my information available so people can see my past surgery history???
  • You can edit your profile to include a signature, it is prefered they are kept to a min of 6 lines, I believe. Choose my account at top of page then little orange edit link. That will allow you to add some of your history.

    I recently had one level L4/5 fusion as you can see in my history and have had a bit of recover issues due to an infection. But that has cleared up. I did try to go back to work a little too early and I am off again for a few more weeks. But other than that, the pain I had prior to surgery is nothing compared to this. I am 43 and was to the point that I was not sure life was worth living in that state, So I know I made the right decision even with the side steps on the way.

    Make the best decision for yourself. Ask your Dr anything you can think of. His overall success rate with type of fusion. Average recovery time for HIS patients. If you need to give your own blood in advance, If you smoke, QUIT. AND stay off them. Get your most used items at waist height and be sure to have help, even someone other than your husband that can come over and give him a break.
    I hope your surgery and recovery are speedy and you don't regret it for a minute.

    Traci :)
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  • I had a one level L4/5 ALIF three months ago and it was the best thing I've had done because I can walk without pain and most of the back pain is gone - just have to be careful not to do too much of anything, especially sitting. I was so scared of having a fusion and put it off for too long and was virtually withdrawing from life. I may need further surgery later on because the discs either side of the fusion aren't much good. In the meantime, I'm strengthening my back as gently and as best as I can.

    Do you know how your surgeon is going to do your fusion (back or front)? I felt so well after my surgery but even so, the recovery period was frustrating and initially I got the "four walls syndrome" because of activity restrictions - you'll need to rest and walk and let others help with the housework.

    If you haven't already, do check the sticky Post Op Must Haves - you'll find advice which will be relevant to your surgery.

    Keep as busy as you can preparing and treat yourself to something.


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
  • Looks like you are figuring out the system by today! If you want to ask another specific question, just start a new thread...people will see your signature and if that doesn't provide enough information, they can always ask questions of you!

    Many members have had lumbar fusion, so you are bound to get a variety of opinions.

    I know when I was just starting out in the "Wonderful World of Back Surgeries" I knew almost nothing about the anatomy of the spine, what goes wrong and how to "fix" it. I gained so much by talking to others who'd already been down the same road...much more practical information than one gets from the doctor!

    In case your surgeon has sugar-coated the recovery time, be advised that surgeons tend to err on the side of brevity. Fusion is a BIG surgery and you should count on being laid up for a period of time. Sometimes the path gets a little rocky and you will feel like progress comes in baby steps. Having a positive attitude and patience will carry you far.

    Take this time to do those personal maintenance appointments -- things like haircut & color, nails, trip to the dentist (anything where you have to recline in a chair for a period of time will not be comfortable for awhile after fusion surgery).

    For me, the most important items post surgery were a raised toilet seat, a grabber and a satin bottom sheet. It will be very difficult to reposition yourself right after surgery. While in the hospital, with the cotton sheets and cotton gown & robe, I felt like I was stuck to the bed with velcro. The satin or silk sheet makes it much easier to turn over or slide to the edge of the bed to log-roll out.

    Try to keep physically active prior to surgery as much as you can. You want to be in the best condition you can prior to surgery -- walk to keep your strength up and to keep your muscles toned. Walking will be the most important thing you will do after surgery as well.

    Good luck and now that you know the system, post often!

  • Hi Jen! I have had 2 lumbar fusions-one 2 years ago posterior,and one 3 weeks ago,anterior=posterior----ask questions,even if they seem silly to you--we are here for YOU
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  • I'm about 10 weeks out from my (2nd) 2 level fusion. Doing pretty well, the cold weather isn't helping, but thats no suprise.

    Before my surgery I made sure the freezer was stocked with home-made soups, meals, etc. Took care of my and my kids' Dr. appointments, Dentist, etc.
    Through-out the house keep most often used items at waist length. Use tabletops and counter space if you have to. Accept any help that is offered. For me, I couldn't get by without my long handled grabber, recliner and heating pad.

    This site has many helpful people on it, don't be shy to keep asking questions, before and after your surgery. Hope I was helpful, Lisa.
  • I can't advise you on fusion surgery but I can certainly sympathise with you trying to avoid it. I too, have spent the last 12 months desperately trying to do everything I can to avoid a fusion.

    I'll be thinking of you on the 9th February and will be watching to hear how you get on and hope that your recovery goes smoothly.

    I am waiting for an appointment with a surgeon to get a second opinion.

    As others have said, use this time to prepare your house and yourself for an extended 'time out' while you recover. I know there are several items that most people say they couldn't do without post surgery. Now is the time to read those books and watch those DVDs.

    Take care, and keep asking questions. The answers will help me too. :-)))

  • Hi Gwennie,
    Thank you for all your advice. I had my annual gyn appt. today, had my mammo 2 weeks ago, a colonoscopy next week and my dentist the week after, inbetween I'm getting a pedi and having my acrylic nails taken off.
    I was going to get satin p.j.'s but I like your idea of a bottom sheet that is satin.
    I had wondered about the toliet seat raiser, because that is the one thing I remember from all the other surgeries I had. A grabber sounds like a must.
    It is freezing here, but I will try to walk more.
    Again thank you!
  • Hi,
    3 weeks ago?! So how are YOU feeling?
  • Hi Liza,
    Thank you! You were very helpful! So how are you feeling? Why is this your second 2 level fusion? Is it because the first one didn't work?
    That's a good idea about stocking the freezer! I will have to make a list of food to get.
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