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trying to avoid spinal fusion surgery from L4-S1

angelfirernaangelfirern Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:02 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I am new to this forum so be patient. I have been diagnosed w/ grade I anterolithesis & unroofing of the L4-5 disc along w severe stenosis of L4-5 & L5-S1. I have severe radiculopathy in my right leg that is driving me insane(& it's a short drive!!). I have had a lumbar epidural w/ facet injections of L4-S1 that have helped. How many of these can I have to be able to avoid surgery?? I am also having episodes of bowel incontinence that are distressing & embarrassing. The surgeon says that if I had the surgery now I should have a good outcome but that it depends on how long I can stand the pain, increased symptoms & worsening radiculopathy. I want to avoid surgery as long as possible(& safe). I do have osteoporosis, am 56 yrs old & can still get around pretty good. I don't have a car so I have to do have to do alot of walking between bus stops. Would having surgery cause a problem w/ this?? I am in good health but am scared stiff of becoming a cripple since I live by myself. Are there any other options for me??


  • Welcome to spine forums. Have you talked to a surgeon? My surgeon has held me off from surgery for several months. He gave me a list of things to try and put me on neurontin. I did all of the things he said but I still wanted surgery. So I sm scheduled for a 4 level fusion in 2 weeks.

    Why are you so reluctant to have surgery? Don't get me wrong I know there are lots of reasons.
  • You sound like you have a lot of potentially complications from the spine issues. What does the doctor say about the radiculopathy and the incontenance? If the doctor told me that those could potentially get worse or permanent, I'd ask him where do I sign up for the surgery. Surgery is such a big decision, so consider all the pros and cons short term and long term.

    Take care,

    4 level ACDF C4-C7 5-2-11, laminectomy & discectomy L4-L5 1/26/12, ALIF L4-5, L5-S1 12/10/12.
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  • Hi
    I had a fusion of L4,L5,S1 with hardware 8 weeks ago and have no regrets whatsoever. All cases are different, of course, but My sciatica was gone when I woke up in recovery and though my right leg was so weak that I couldn't climb stairs before my surgery, now I can walk up a flight with only touching -not hanging on- the railing. There was some pain at first, but it was well worth it, and I'm now back to doing the things I love.
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