Welcome, Friend!

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

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.

L5 S1 fusion surgery

apimo2aapimo2 Posts: 11
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:58 AM in Lower Back Pain
:D Hello...Im a newbee here.Was wondering if anyone else has had surgery for a sever herniated disc on the L5.I am currently scheduled for surgery On Jan 5 2012. Wondering what to expect....other than reading about it..tyvm
Thanks Matthew


  • Oooops...forgot to mention this will be a spinal fusion....have had lower back pain radiating through the left buttocks and down trough leg and ankle past year or so and has been progressively worse. went to a spinal specialist and they said therapy shots would be a short term thing..so I elected surgery...
    Thanks Matthew
  • I hope your surgery helps you.I've had pain in my hips,legs and feet for three years now.Have done therapy, acupuncture, massages,chiropractor and changed what i'm eating and so far it hasn't gotten any better.I wish the best for your outcome.I've never had a low back fusion so i can't tell you how it will be or how the recovery is.I've only had neck surgery. There are a lot of people on here though that have gone through this and i'm sure will chime in.
  • advertisement
  • I had an L5-S1 fusion back in July 2011. I won't sugarcoat anything, the pain afterward was beyond belief! Having said that, I hasten to point out that 5 months later my pain level is now just a bit below my pre-op pain levels. The surgeon will tell you to take your recovery week-by-week, not day-by-day. Take that one to the bank. Recovery is quite slow.

    Here's another thought to keep in mind. I had a one-level fusion and hurt like hell for the longest time. I know another person who underwent a three-level fusion. After the surgical pain disappeared (2-3 weeks post-op) he no longer has any significant back pain. His surgery was sometime around September 2011.

    My point here is that the post-op pain that you will experience is highly personalized and unpredictable. You will have post-op pain of some sort. The only questions are how bad will it be and for how long. You simply won't know until you get to that point. I do not regret having my fusion, or even the pain that followed. I am recovering, slowly but surely, and that is my ultimate goal.

    Disability retirement
  • I waited over 2 years to do it. Too many people told me it was a bad idea, not to mention the countless horror stories on the Internet. I am so glad I did it. I know its likely to soon to rate, but I had leg pain in both legs making it pretty hard to sit or drive. My right leg would go numb if I stood in the same spot for too long. The pain was very limiting on my life. I woke up from the surgery with no leg pain. My legs have felt great ever since. The post op pain in my low back was pretty bad the first few days home, but I found out I wasn't taking enough pain meds. I'm walking everyday and am really focused on recovery and know it will be months until I'm fully back in action, but I hope to get back to work in the next week or two. I wish I got the surgery sooner.
  • I'm new to this site and posting, just looking for some other perspectives and opinions. I had L4/L5 disc replacement and fusion surgery 17 days ago. They went in through the front to access the spine and disc space; they did all the work and then flipped me over and made an incision over the L4/L5 space and basiclly cleared out any remaing pieces of bone and free up all nerves. This issue I am having is my Doctor basically said I should not be in any pain after the 2 week mark and is essentially not going to give me any more pain medication, not anything for back spasms, etc... I'm furious!!! I have a 4 in incision in the front and a 3 in incision in the back, a spine fused and all my internal organs shifted around and all kinds of low back and abdominal pain. What should I do or say to this Doc to listen to me and give me something for my pain. I'm in the military so I don't have a lot of choices and he thinks that Im tough I should be able to handle the pain. Well I can't, its tough to walk around, can hardly dress myself, etc... any help would be greatly apprciated. I feel like I'm at the end of a rope and I'm gonn fall into this abyss of pain and I don't want that to happen. I think its totally avoidable. Thanks again, Harry
  • advertisement
  • Sorry to hear about your experience postop. If I were you I'd ask your primary care doctor about pain meds. You shouldn't have to go through what you're going through. >:D< , Ess
  • Hi Essmoe29,

    Thanks for responding and the advice. I have 1 chance on Monday with this Docs PA who was in on the surgery for a follow up appt and she actually ordered my post op meds (but he was and is controlling it) so I can explain to her the situation and she what she says. If it's a NO then I'll try my primary care Doc. Do you think the docs will do this back and forth thing of "I didn't do your surgery go see the surgeon" or will primary doc be inclined to help. I rarely see mine so now I'm curious. When you look at me and it looks like I got run over by a truck with the bruising and incisions you gotta know I'm in pain so I don't know why he wouldn't.

    Thanks again, you've given me something new to try. Appreciate the help! Harry
  • I'm 3 weeks post op and only had 1 incision through my back. I'm still on pain meds and would really have a very hard time without them. I think you surgeon should at least be giving you something for pain! I have reduced the amount I've needed over the past 3 weeks and am looking forward to being off them, but I still need them. I would think with 2 incisions you would need pain meds for months not weeks. Recovery has been more painful then I expected and I really hope you get something to make it more comfortable.
    Also, thank you for your service!
  • Desertreg
    I just cannot imagine not having postop meds!!! I had my L3-S1 fused in 2004 and I didn't take enough meds right after getting home, so I understand what it feels like. I cannot imagine....don't hesitate to get to your primary care doc. I found a pain management doc that I have been seeing since 2006 and he is a life saver. Can't recommend enough that you should find a Pain doc. They do understand...

    Good Luck and try to let us know how you are doing.



    L4-5-S1 fusion 2004
    C3-4-4 fusion 2006
    Laminectomies, Foraminotomies
    Herniated or bulging from T12 to L3
    Complete disc collapse L3-4
  • My boss was told he needed a spinal fusion but found a garment to help correct his alignment and posture. He was then able to avoid having surgery all together. Take a look at Alignmed.com.

    I just ordered another shirt from there and it has helped tremendously with my lower back pain. THey are actually having a 2 for 1 shirt promotion right now. HOLIDAY241.
This discussion has been closed.
Sign In or Register to comment.