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L5-S1 fusion w/laminectomy

scared2deathsscared2death Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:49 AM in Lower Back Pain
I am freakin out.....I have 2 get an l5-s1 fusion and laminectomy becuz my space is gone and pressing on the nerve....the surgeon said recovery is 6-8 weeks but when i hear everyone elses stories its 6 flippin months....I have 2 work...I have a family 2 take care of....6 months would financially crush me and i would lose my job...please if there is anyone out there who had success w/this type of operation let me know.....i wanted the disc replacement but the f---n insurance wont cover it....so unfare...


  • Did you go for a second or third opinion?

    I personally think that age, weight and other physical factors effect your recovery. Ask your surgeon for the research statistics in your country. It's a better measure than you'll get here. Most people who recovered well are no longer active participants on this site.

    Assuming that there are no complications, I think that the typical return to work time is less than 3 months, depending on your line of work (as your doc said).

    Keep in mind that if you allow yourself time to heal properly and follow your post-op instructions well (restrictions, walk regimine, etc) then you will have a lifetime ahead of you to work.

    If you rush back to work or lift things that you shouldn't you may jeapordize your recovery and potentially ruin your long term earning power.

    I am having a spinal fusion in a couple of weeks and I am freaking out too. You have my sympathies.
  • It is true, that some folks take a long time to recover from a fusion before they can return to work. It also depends on what type of work you do. If your job requires you to be physical, it's gonna take time whereas if you work a sedimentary job, you can return to work a lot quicker as long as you recognize you have limitations and you take precautions.

    I had a 2 level, L4-S1, PLIF 3 1/2 years ago and I returned to work 2 weeks after my surgery. It was hard and I probably could have taken another two weeks to be on the safe side but I had a major case of cabin fever.

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  • Hi scared2death' Sorry you need fusion. I had the artificial disc put in my l4l5 in 2004. I never recovered from it. 2 years later they fused it leaving the adr in there. Litle too late after damage was already done. After talking to many dr's about the artificial disc, they dont all agree that it always works out in the lower back for some reason. Most claim it works beter on neck. Fusion is not always the worst thing. Many walk away from fusion and go back to work if the fusion corrected there issue.Problem is there are so many factors come in to play with spine surgery who gets beter and who dont. I personaly think i would have done fine with just the fusion instead of trying the artificial disc 1st and it failed. Some recover prety fast, some dont recover at all where they can go back to work. Thats why everyone always says dont do surgery unless you have to because its very dangerious to mess with the spine and change the structure of it and sometimes causing issues at another level. Hope this helps, and good luck. Sincerely yours; Alex'
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • I had a spinal fusion of the L5/S1 in 1998 and was off of my teaching job for 4 months, but I taught first grade and was always bending over their desks. I have never for a minute regretted that surgery as it helped me immensely. The disc had disintegrated and collapsed into the sciatic nerve. The surgeon had to scrape pieces off the nerve and I was luck I wasn't paralyzed. I had fibromyalgia before and chronic myofascial pain and now have added lumbar facet joint disease to the mix and just had my first series of injections yesterday. They knocked me out for them and I feel a whole lot better already. I have a metal plate and two big screws holding my spine together, but am still doing pretty good depite all of my pain problems. A lot depends on the skill of your surgeon and I was lucky in that I had one who helped develop and patent several things involved in back surgery and he did a great job.

    sue in ohio
  • My info in my signature

    Back to work in 8 weeks

    Job involves light activity

    I am 60

    Doing great, no regrets
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