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Surgery coming

sgodley12ssgodley12 Posts: 2
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:50 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I've been diagnosed with herniated discs at L4-L5, L3-L4 and L5-S1. 2 level fusion surgery has been scheduled for March. Between L4 and L5 is the worst, second is between L3 and L4. Have had all the shots (3 of one each then three of 6 each). Went thru PT whn i was feeling ok . Have lost use of right leg 1x completely (couldn't walk at all). I'm a somewhat healthy 48 year old female but I only quit smoking January 1. I am terrified of having surgery as nothing has been wrong with me ever.

I like reading this forum although it does scare me. With a two level fusion I assume I will be out of commission for awhile. I am just so used to being independent.

Anyway thanks for being there. I appreciate all the tips.


  • I have had all the shots and nerve ablation, did not help. I am having a PLIF/PLF with instrumentation this Tuesday, 2/15, on L3-4 and L4-5. This will be my first major surgery of any kind. My left leg gives me the most trouble and the front of that thigh is numb. Occasionally I will have my right leg give way. I also have the sensation of ice water trickling down my right leg.
    I am eager for my surgery as I have been waiting 2 yrs for workers comp to approve it. I have only quit smoking a few weeks now, yes I know I should have done it earlier but I wasn't going to quit until I knew I would have surgery.
    Good luck to you on yours!
  • I had a one level at l5-s1 and im doing very good but i can tell you,forget about being independent,cause i was to till now.I have a very good wife and without her i dont know what i would do because even though im doing good pain wise i cant bend or twist or i pay dearly for it,and im only 2 weeks post opp.I can tell you to be prepared for long recovery and for me I trust that GOD will help me through this.But i can tell you the surgrey is worth it and its normal to be scared,i know i was,but everything is on track and going good for me.
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  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    If you are open to it talk to the surgeon and say if L5-S1 looks even moderately bad to include that in the fusion. I worry that fusing L3-L5 if L5-S1 is not in great shape may put more stress/wear and tear on that area.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • First of all, Let me say good luck with your future surgery. I too am the recipient of a multiple lower back fusion. I had L3-L4-L5-S1 fused with Titanium rods and screws and Bone Marrow from my Hip. I too did all of the evasive procedures to help prevent me from having this surgery, nothing worked. The pain before my surgery was none the less devastating and debilitating. This is a description of my experience after the surgery. Please remember that every one does not experience the same thing thing after surgery that I did. Also, Remember that not every surgeon performs the surgery the same way that another may perform it. When I awoke from my 12 hours of nap time (surgery), I was in so much pain I wished that I was dead. I was on a thumb button controlled morphine pump. I think that I wore that darn button out pushing it so many times and it was doing absolutely nothing for my pain. I remember calling the nurse over and over again to get me something else that would ease my pain. I remember her giving me something else that worked substantially better, "THANK GOD". I asked the surgeon the next day why the pain was so bad, keep in mind this was my second lower back surgery and the fist one was not near as painful as this one. He replied, The surgery to remove the bone marrow from your hip is a lot more painful than the lower back surgery. To be quite honest with you I couldn't tell the two apart.

    The next night they wanted me to get out of bed and do some walking. It took three nurses to help me get out of the bed, stand on my own two feet and hold onto a walker. I was in so much pain that I just wanted to lay back down and fall asleep with the pain meds. I took baby steps out of the room and about 15 feet down the hall, that was all I had in me and I had to turn around and go back into the room. Two weeks after my surgery I felt pretty good except for the weird sensation of feeling the rods in my back, this passed with time.

    For a few year after my surgery I felt a little better and was glad that I had the surgery done. Over time my condition kept getting worse by the week and I am currently having more problems with my lower back and I am seeing another surgeon. I have another herniated disc at L2-L3 with stenosis and DDD. I have also been diagnosed with Arachnoiditis and have a Seroma and Hematoma at L5-S1. Lost my job and am now back on mass quantities of pain meds. I hope the best for you and please remember! Take care of yourself, you only have one back, even after your surgery if you feel like superman, please don't over do it! It will eventually come back and bite you in the Rear. If you have to pick up something heavy, get some help. In other words! "WATCH YOUR BACK".
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