Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!


Quick Start Forum Video Tutorial

Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

The main site has all the formal medical articles and videos for you to research on.

Back Fusion

jbigdan1jjbigdan1 Posts: 16
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:52 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Im going to have Lumbar decompression with instrumentation and fusion at L4-5 and L5-S1. Im over weight 5'8 280lbs I have Diabetes I smoke some don't drink. Im 56 years old I have had surgery before on my knee but nothing like this Im sacred to death I don't know to get myself up for this. How many people die with this surgery. HELP.


  • i myself need ALIF fusion surgery this sept and i am scared too ..i have had 2 other back operation and i was not worried but i am this time ..i am 44 will be 45 when i have the operation .i smoke too and i am overweight {not by that much} i am going to stop smoking this saturday ..i know its hard work but maybe you could try to stop .{i dont drink} try deep breathing a week or so before your surgery and try to get your mind focused on recovering modern anesthetics are very good these days i know and understand that you are scared that's natural so dont fight it .i wish you well for your operation remember to take all your home comforts in hospital with you like your favorite pillow and even things like moist wipes and lip balm and all your personal hygiene stuff ...stop worrying !!!!
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • Thank you for your support this is the hardest thing I have ever had to do. I wish there was another way out. I dont see how with Stenosis bone spurs. My DR. Is going to use cadaver bone wich has a lower chance of fusion. He may think less chance of infection with one incision sence I have diabetes. Thank you again.
    Why is it taking so long to do your next surgery and good luck with that.
  • advertisement
  • First off, sorry to hear you're going to need this fusion. It can be a painful recovery and is indeed a major undertaking! I'm speaking from experience, so that tells ya one thing..I didn't die from the surgery! I don't wanna make light of this..it really is a big deal, of course. And any time you have a big surgery and general anesthetic, something COULD happen. But, usually it doesn't. If I were you, I'd try to worry less about dying during surgery (easier said than done, I know) and think more about recovering!

    Want something to worry about? Worry about quitting them smokes! I know, I know..nobody likes a nag about it. I never did when I smoked years and years ago. But smoking is one of the proven hurdles to fusion. Put your energy into quitting those damned things and hey just think how much money you'll save!

    Hey man, I know it's scary. Trust me. Been there, done that..going back for more next month. What helps me is to read all I can on the surgeries and what either helps or hinders my chances of recovering properly. My first fusion didn't work - don't know why, so I'm studying all I can on how to make this next one be my last one!

    You're going to be fine. It's not a pleasant experience, but if I can do it, so can you. Read up on fusion, put out those damned butts (ask your doc about help if ya need it) and Cowboy Up! Good luck man.

  • Thank you so much for your support and encouragement I need all I can get. Im sorry about yours not fusing. Thats another thing I worry about with the diabetes. Again thank you. Jbigdan
  • When you're faced with increasing 24/7 pain, then surgery is probably the best way to get relief. No surgeon can guarantee that you'll be 100% pain free, but my surgeon aims for 80% - 90%. I'm about 90% pain free.

    It's normal to be really scared before surgery, but put your energy into giving up smoking, with the help of your doctor. As others have said, smoking can hinder fusion. With your weight, cut back on portion sizes and cut out all processed foods and foods that are high in fat and sugar. I lost weight before surgery and I came through it fine and was fused before 6 months. I enjoy life again and at 17 months out, I'm able to do most things.


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
  • advertisement
  • jbigdan1 -

    I'm 41 and had a back fusion (L5 - S1) 2 years ago. Although the first 6 months of recovery was hard (i could not walk after surgery needed a walker for 1st week of recovery). I happy to say I'm enjoying a pain free life. Working out 5 days a week including playing basketball!! Sure there are days but nothing like it was before surgery. Stay postive and be informed!
  • I have had 3 fusions in the past 4 years. Two of them were only 6 months apart. I have had everything, 360, with instrumentation, with my own bone graft, with cadaver bone. My doctor should have installed a zipper on my tummy and back!! I am lucky I build bone well. I am not a smoker. Please quit smoking as that will help your fusion so much. I know you have a lot on your plate but there are a lot of us out there that have been thru this before. The recovery is long and hard but definitely worth it. Are you able to walk or get in a swimming pool? Those are the 2 things that have helped me the most. Good luck and let us know how you are doing.


    Spinal stenosis, spondolysis, spondolythesis, L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion with instrumentation and bone graft from hip, L1/S1 fusion with replacement disc put in, PT, accupuncture, prolotherapy, many cortisone injections, 4 rhizotomies. Currently on tramadol which barely touches the pain.
    L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion, L5/S1 fusion w/ disc replacement, left and right SI joints fused.
  • Me again. I am 62 years old.

    L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion, L5/S1 fusion w/ disc replacement, left and right SI joints fused.
Sign In or Register to comment.