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New to the site new to back injury Help

farmersdaughterffarmersdaughter Posts: 5
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:48 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hello I am a 25 year old mother of a 4year old. I fell at work on 7/23/09. I had no pain before the accident. Now I cant move with out pain. I was finilly diginoesed with a fractured L5, in April of 2010. I saw 4 different doctors that have all said the same thing. I need fusion between L5 and S1. I am a little concerned I know little to nothing about any of this. I do know that they want to go in threw the front and the back. I am sure a few of you have had something like this done and can tell me what I need to expect. I have a 4 year old and want to have more childern. Has anyone had a child with having a spinal fusion. I do know that I am only gitting a plate and 4 screws that stay in and wont ever come out. Any information will help qreatly.

Farmers Daughter


  • Welcome! I can't talk to having a little kid..my first surgery was when my son was 9 and it stunk but was not that hard to manage because of my husband. With this surgery (I am having a fusion on the 3rd of Nov), I can't imagine trying to do it without support. In my mind I will never be lifting anything over 10 lbs every again for the rest of my life..including grandkids because I do not want to go through anymore surgeries.

    I say wow because I am surprised that you have 4 surgeons telling you to get a fusion without any conservative methods first (maybe you did not mention them). Did you do Chiropractic, pain management, physical therapy? Also the pain is caused by the disc material yes..not the fracture itself? Did anyone talk about discectomy first?

    Let us know what you need.

  • Hi Farmers Daughter,

    Welcome to the Spine-Health support forum!

    It sounds like you fractured a vertebra and that's why the doctors are jumping straight to surgery as a fix. Am assuming they are not expecting the vertebra to heal itself.

    Several people on this forum can share about fusion surgery from both front/back so hopefully some of them will jump in here. Four weeks ago tomorrow, I had posterior (from the back) fusion on two levels--L4-L5-S1 and am doing very well. I am past childbearing age so cannot answer your questions in that regard.

    Keep posting and asking questions and hopefully you'll relax a little about this surgery. It's a big on, yes, but you're young and should heal fast and do well. :)

    2009 Foraminotomy C6-72010 PLIF L4-S1Multi RFA's, cervical inj, lumbar injLaminectomy L3-4 and fusion w/internal fixation T10-L4 July 17Fusion C2-C5 yet to be scheduled
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  • I probly should tell the whole story so that it might help you in anwsering my questions.

    On July 23 2009 I was working I fell in to a hole on a construction site that was about 5 feet deep. I myself am only 5 feet tall. So that was a pretty big fall for me. When I fell I landed on my butt/back. I was in a lot of pain but climed out went and saw the on site nurse. She never looked me over told me I was fine go back to work. I was in alot of pain had numbness in my legs and feet. I worked for three days still complaining everyday of the pain and numbness. finially they sent me to the company dr. who after three visits there sent me to get a MRI. On August 10th 2009 I went to the company Dr to get my MRI resualts. His exact words to me were there is no impeeding nurve damage go back to work. The next day I went to my Ciropractor and he took me off work right then and there. Read the MRI and said you have a fracture in L5 with a tear in L4 I called a lawyer to get work comp started. I have seen 4 different dr they have all said the same thing surgery. I have had ciro care and PT. PT I thought I was going to die with every pt session I would puke form the pain. It has taken untial August of this year to get the Work com Ins to let me have the surgery and stop dr shopping. I have never been givin any pain meds or anythign like that. I did do 3 epiderl shots that did nothing but made me hurt worse. I think that about covers it. I that you all just for reading this. the comfort I have found just in the two days science finding this site is undiscrible.

    Farmers Daughter
  • Hi there,

    I'm so sorry to hear of your accident and you are quite young which is both good and bad.

    I would think worker's comp would work with you if you are uncertain of the recommended procedure. One thing I might suggest is that you ask them "what if I opt out of the surgery 360 surgery, what would be the next 1-2 options you'd present?"

    I say this because it might be another way to get them to explain why the 360 (front and back) which seems quite big. I'm not a doctor but I would not worry how many doctors you seek consult from. It's about finding the one that you trust and the one that you feel that you can openly have a conversation with. Back surgery is very serious and personal.

    If it makes you feel better, before my 2nd back surgery (1st one failed), i saw 7 doctors + got a remote opinion from the Cleveland Clinic. Why? I was not ready to accept a fusion but really didn't want to mess up by not having it if it truly was the right choice.

    My situation is far different than yours. no broken bones, just a massive herniation at L5-S1 with loss of feeling in my left leg. I opted for microdiscetomy which was a good option for me to remove the herniated disc to 'free' the compressed nerve.

    I think it's ok to ask questions and ask them what other options you have if you opt out of surgery and/or even out of such a big surgery.

    I would let the surgeon know that your goal is to have more children because that very well may help them better plan a course of treatment.

    I told the surgeon my goals -> I was ok without more (actually any) children, but wanted to be able to be active even if it meant giving up running. I wanted to be able to hike, fish, swim, and play with my nieces and nephews. I also told them I was fearful of the fusion failing based on what I read and asked what other options I had. I asked about each option and had them describe what we'd do if it failed right after surgery or even a few years after surgery.

    Ask them about recovery. Ask them best and worst case. Ask them their approach to recovery and if they have concerns about the disc or vertabrae above it.

    You are in a good place to get good information about questions to ask and get the confidence to know you can never have enough opinions if you aren't sure about the surgery.

    We all have a different diagnosis so we can't tell you the right answer but we all can help you make sure you have asked enough questions and looked enough to know that what risks you are taking with or without the surgery so that you go in feeling as confident as possible.

    We are here for you.
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