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L4-S1 Global Fusion recommended



  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    There are many on here who have had a fusion at that level and a few that had a 360 fusion. You could consider a second opinion with another orthopedic spine surgeon and/or neurosurgeon if you would like. Keep in mind often they may recommend surgery but have a preferred method. I was headed to a 360 degree L3-S1 fusion but my OSS's new partner in into a posteriolateral approach (so I have a back incision and the hardware was placed there and then there's a side incision, 4 inch horizontal scar above my right hip, and they used that to access part of the spine to put an implant between L3 and L4 to keep it anatomically correct. However, I was okay with a 360 degree as well. When I was getting ready to be wheeled into the OR I told the surgeon, with witnesses present "do whatever you need to however you need to even if that means doing a full 360 fusion as well)

    I'm a bit older (43) but I do understand the frustration. I'm one of those that I'll do any surgery any time if it will give any relief.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • yea I plan on getting a second opinion. I still need to talk to my Dr about the procedure. I'm trying to setup a appt. He's pretty busy, hard to see him. I guess that's a good thing though, don't want a Dr with no experience. On my last visit I had to see his PA.
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  • Hi philup,
    I've not heard of a global fusion.
    I would definately find out exactly what your surgeon proposes to do during surgery.

    There are differences is what procedures are called, depending on where you are. My surgeon told me he was going to do a circumferential fusion. On looking up what that meant, it looked like it was a 360 fusion. I am in the UK. The procedure that he did, was actually a PLIF. He called it a circumferential fusion, because the cage he placed between the vertebrae, meant that there was contact with the graft right round the vertebrae. He also put graft down beside the screws and rods. That gave me the best chance of fusing. I only had 1 incision from the back and he managed to remove the disc completely from there, and place the cage in front of the cord.

    I was also concerned that surgery might make things worse for me. However, I am very much better now than I was before surgery, and would do it again. I think that if your surgeon is suggesting this surgery, he feels confident that it will help you. I would try to get another opinion though.

    Wishing you the best of luck. Do let us know how you get on. :-)
  • my main worry is will i be made worse ?? and my surgeon wont give me the answer you and i are looking for you ..you must be 100% sure of what you are undertaking and all its possible scenarios before you put you name on the consent form.i am 44 and i can't work either pain killers manage my pain and i still can't decide if a multi level fusion will help or make me worse ..i see the surgeon this friday but if i am not sure ,,i wont be doing anything.just yet .do yourself a favour get as much information about the possible outcomes and consider your expectations post op ...will you be happy ? recovery can take up to 3 years ..yes i did say 3 years my surgeon told me if i went ahead with my fusion it would be 7/9
    on the table and 3 years to recover .keep us informed
  • Jellyhall,
    A global fusion is the same as a 360, just another name for it. I am told that they will be going in from the front and putting in cages and then screws and rods in the back. I'm not sure if he's going to make another incision from the back to put in the rods and screws. I need to ask him that. Glad to hear you had a good outcome.

    I am definitely going to take my time and learn everything about it before I go under.

    Thanks for the replies and I will keep you posted.
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  • I am 16 weeks post op from a L4-5 360 fusion and I am so glad I had it done.

    It really wasn't a choice for me as I was quickly deteriating with significant neurological signs.

    The recovery is not for the faint of heart, but it can be done!

    I have a horizontal abdominal incision slightly to the right of my navel and across to my left hip. I also have a verical incision from mid back down past my gluteal crest and from there, a diagonal incision across my buttock to my left hip.

    In addition to the L4-5 fusion, I also had decompression done at L3-4 and L5-S1.

    I am so much better, although I am not there yet. But, I am starting to get my life back and that feels awesome!

    Feel free to ask any questions you have and we will do our best to give you our experiences!

    Wishing you the best!
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