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looks like another surgery...

I had a 2 level lumbar fusion back in April 2009 at L4-S1 with all the cages, and hardware. I am 34 now, and have been in a lot of pain since June 2012... I actually started feeling better so I went back to work with all kinds of restrictions. I work at a mental hospital in our sexual predator's unit working nights. And my doctor doesn't want me to have any patient contact right now since I have decided to try and go back to work. My HR lady reassigned me to work as a custodian!!! I did it for one day and by the time my 8 hours were over I could barely walk, and the next day was even worse when I woke up. I went back to work and told them I can't do that job and had my doctor fax in a new restriction letter to spell it out a little better for them. Anyways, my surgeon called to tell me that he wants to proceed with adding another level to my lumbar fusion. He wants to add L3-L4 to it... I told his office I would let them know within a week if I am going to have it done or not. I am leaning towards it because of the quality of life that I am living right now is no fun! I am taking a lot of pills and using a pain patch and tens unit to get through the day. In the meantime, the HR lady sent me home and said there was nothing for me to do and she would look for something else, but she still hasn't found anything. I guess that is good, since I am still recovering from the last job she gave me!

Anyways, my question is has anyone on here had a level added to an already healed fusion? What would I be expecting? Is it a lot like healing from the first one?
2 more bulging discs; spinal stenosis; osteoarthritis; reverse lordosis at L3; degenerative disc disease; inflammatory joint disease; nerve root cysts at T1-T3; 2 level PLIF 4/9/09 and 3 level PLIF 9/6/12 with hardware both times


  • I had my first fusion in February 2012(L4-5) and my second in June 2012(L3-4). I thought there would be a huge amount of pain with adding to the original fusion. I even thought I wouldn't be able to walk. I was very afraid. I didn't feel any different than the original fusion. Honestly I think I made myself more sore because I was up a lot faster than the first fusion. I stayed in my chair next to the hospital bed for twelve hours. BIG mistake! I was dying when I finally laid down. No one bothered to tell me I wasn't supposed to that much sitting. As for healing, same restrictions apply no bending, lifting, or twisting. I may be looking toward another fusion here in the future. My L5-S1 is herniated. I hope I helped you out. Feel free to ask me anything. I will answer to the best of my knowledge. I hope everything works out well for you.

    Discectomies 05/08 and 04/11, fusions L4-5 Feb 9,2012 and L3-L4 June 28,2012, Staph infection washout 3/2/2012, Bulged L5-S1. SCS trial on January 17th, 2014, which was a success! Permanent SCS on February 20th.
  • Thanks for sharing your story with me. I do hope that you won't have to have another surgery! I am afraid I will try and over do it too... you know a been there done that thing, that and I am VERY stubborn! I have had 2 knee surgeries too and the day after the second one I made my mom go for a walk with me and walked around the block with my crutches... I HURT SO BAD THE NEXT DAY! I didn't do that again. :) The restrictions you mentioned are pretty much the ones I am on right now for work after they decided I could clean the hospital! Still don't understand that, but what can you do, right? At least they can't say I didn't try. Please keep me updated on yours too. PM me anytime.
    2 more bulging discs; spinal stenosis; osteoarthritis; reverse lordosis at L3; degenerative disc disease; inflammatory joint disease; nerve root cysts at T1-T3; 2 level PLIF 4/9/09 and 3 level PLIF 9/6/12 with hardware both times
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