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Lower Back surgery

johnbhjjohnbh Posts: 28
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:42 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I had posted a while back. At that time I thought was pretty simple procedure. Fusion s1 to l5. I have been putting offf the surgery. My wife a school teacher and she likes her time off, to go places.
My back has increasing got worst, but I'm a little up tight abouth the whole surgery thing. I had a TKR Sept 3 2008 and the second one March 3 2009. I did really well, I had been riding my bike about 5o mi. a week post second surgery,I wanted to do some charity rides and I know I could have done it.I knew I had a stress fracture pre 1st knee surgery, I thought it was my hamstrings pulling on my back, I thought no big deal, and the Dr did not seem to concern. Well it has gotten progressively worst since August 2009. I'm shedule for surgery March 15 2010 this Monday.I'm going to have Lumbar Laminectomy Lumbar 4-5,Sacral 1, Posterior Lumbar Interbody fusion Lumbar 5- Sacral 1. L 5 fractured and dislocated. There gross narrowing where the nerves run through. I feel very fortunate I'm not having nerve pain runniing down my leg.
In 1971 I had severe pain in the rt leg all the way to my foot, the pain was intoleable I just wanted to die. I wore a couple of body casts,I could'nt really get any answers what was up. I was going to LA county hospital.
I started to ride a bike and beleve it or not it got better til now. I'm 57 been active all my life pending on my condition would always pick something else up that I could do. I guess I'm just venting to get it, out and really trying to keep a positive attitude.
I have read posts that really breaks my heart,and my prayers are out there for them. They put my situation in perspective of what I'm going through.I have alot of fear about the whole procedure I'm having done. I have not heard alot of positve things about Back surgery, but the people on these threads I'll be thinking of, I will post with the outcome and my rehab hopefully give someone hope as you have done for me and there not alone.
The other bad part about this I worked in the medical field for 32 yrs in dialysis,I know to to much and yet I know nothing. Thanks for let me rample on.
Take care all you.


  • John...sorry to hear you do need the surgery but glad you have a solution and can begin recovery. You have a positive outlook on knowing you may just need to find another activity that better aligns with your situation.

    I'm 41 and had my issue back in August (at age 40) and like you am very active. I had all hopes it was just a muscle strain but knew too well that it was more this time. Anyhow, I'm recovering from my 2nd surgery and realize running is now out of the question. It took the last 6 months for me to watch the running shows (that highlight various marathons, 20k's, 1/2s on tv) and found last night was the first time I didn't change the channel. I was bummed but I was able to watch and accept that if this was all it meant, then I could find something else to keep me active.

    There is a "March Surgeries" thread. I will be thinking of you. Sounds like they are doing a 1-level fusion on L5-S1 (the most common level for lumbar issues. I think L5-S1 and L4-L5 are the most common).

    If you have any questions let folks know.
    I haven't had a fusion but have done lots of research and read all the threads b/c I know I'm at risk of needing one dow the line.

    We are all here for you. You are not alone.

    Vent any time.
  • Good luck John. I wish you a great recovery with a new back!

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  • Welcome to Spine-Health. You'll find a lot of info on this site, and the members of the forum are very knowledgeable, supportive and friendly.

    I just wanted to let you know that you'll find mostly bad stories here, but that doesn't mean that there aren't a lot of successful back surgeries out there. Those members who've had successful surgeries tend to move away from here as they're living their life and no longer need support. So don't judge the success of surgery by what you read here.

    I had a lumbar surgery in early January and I'm feeling pretty good. I'm moving along nicely and can now officially consider my lumbar surgery a success.

    I wish you luck and understand how scary it can be to face surgery, especially spine surgery. Please keep us posted.

    Take care,
  • Here ya go John---this is a good story---2 years ago I had a lumbar fusion on L3-4.I had leg pain,and my foot was numb.The surgery was successful,although last summer I did have S.I.joint injections and finally a rhizotomy to take care of the pain in my right leg/buttock.(the right side was the affected side.)...Last fall I began having problems in my left leg/foot.December 31 I had a spinal fusion on L4-5,with the rods also stabilizing the L3 area.This was an anterior/posterior fusion.The first time I walked after surgery I could tell the pain in my leg was gone-whew what a blessing!I am 9 weeks post-op,and I am healing nicely,and I can still walk!My whole point of this is the fact I have had 2 spinal fusions in 2 years-and I will be 60 on March 15!My back will never be that of a 20 year old,and I have had to tone down how active I am,but I am so glad I had these surgeries,and I hope you are as blessed as I have been.Please PM to me anytime if you have questions or want to talk--Jeannie
  • Thanks for the responses, tomorrow the big day. I had a full body massage yesterday, the girl doing the massage said from my ribcage down she said it felt like a rope. She was telling me theres some compensation going on. I really needed the massage, I felt my whole body was like a rubber band.I feel it today,like I had a good workout.I'm staying positive but it comes and goes. I need to keep in my mind that the outcome will be great.
    My goal is to get back on my bike,it's really good for the mind.
    Thanks Again
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  • I do have a question, how long does it take before the fusion starts to become stable, and how long before it's solid

  • for your surgery tomorrow. I hope that you have had a good weekend and that you feel ready, both mentally and with your house prepared for your recovery.

    Everyone is different with their healing, but I think some fusion is usually seen by 3 months and at 12 months it should be fairly solid. Sometimes though, it can be 18 or 24 months before the bone growth is completed. I hope that someone will confirm that I am correct here. :?
  • I'm wishing you much success on your surgery tomorrow. I'm sure you're having a difficult day knowing what you'll be going through tomorrow, but before you know it, you'll be on the other side and posting here that it's over and your starting recovery.

    Just remember, the recovery period for spine surgery is a long one, so be patient, follow doctor's orders, no BLT, take your meds on schedule and, most importantly, post back and let us know how you're doing and how your stay in the hospital was.

    Good luck and I'm anxious to see your update post-op.
  • Hi John! Sending positive thoughts, well wishes and prayers for comfort and a full recovery your way.

    My L4-5 fusion was 16 days ago. I was nervous, but also, I was ready. Ready to begin my new lease on life to regain my independence and the ability to do many activities that I no longer could do.

    Try to go into the hospital with a positive attitude and mental outlook. If you feel yourself losing that while you are waiting for surgery, tell your surgeon/anethesiologist and they can give you something for nerves!

    Hang in there, try to enjoy tonight. Before you know it, it will be all over and you will wake up on the road to recovery! Take Care! Shari
  • Good Luck tommorrow. I will be thinking of you. Soon you will be on your way to recovery, and be out walking and getting better. Take it easy and remember, to have a positive attitude. My surgeon said it was 50% his work and 50% me following orders and a positive attitude. Take care and post when you are up to it, or have your wife post to let us know how you are doing. Hugs, Robin
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