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Invasive Spine surgery in 2 weeks.

Loreeann32LLoreeann32 Posts: 76
edited 08/11/2012 - 3:08 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Ok, so I posted about a week ago, that I was going to have surgery. I have got the date, which is in 2 weeks. It will be a minimually invasive spinal fusion. I received alot of responses that it will be ok, becuase now I am thinking about this. Everyone here that posted to my post, told me it will be ok. So I got past that part, now I just went to we the pain dr, because I needed pain meds, and she knows that I am doing this. She tells me to really think about it, because you will not be out of pain totally. So then I got to worrying again, and I am torn between if I should do this or not. I am already training a replacemtn at work, so its not like I can change my mind. I just want to be out of pain period. If you are reading this for the first time, I am having a L3-4 spinal fusion, for a torn and bulging disc. The Dr. told me of 2 options, and he said that he cannot guarantee the disectomy, as the pain might come back, so I told him, I just want to be out of pain period, and then he said the fusion then. But my pain dr is telling me that I am so young and that the disc will fuse itself, it has been almost 3 yrs that I have been dealing with this. Really I don't care what happens now, because I just want to be out of pain. I really need more success stories, and if you have any, please post, I need a pick me up... Thanks Lori

L3-L4 minimally invasive spinal fusion L3 - L4 with cage and rods. Aug 24th, 2012
Hardware Removal Feb 24, 2014
DDD, Thyroid Disease
Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
SI Joint dysfunction


  • airborne72airborne72 Posts: 245
    edited 08/11/2012 - 1:12 PM

    I am 61. During my 20 tenure in the Army I experienced prolonged low back pain and was diagnosed with a grade 1 Spondy. I was 28. For the next 13 years I had several bouts of muscle spasms (aggravated by jumping out of airplanes). My first lumbar herniation occurred when I was 42. I was told that I had three options: 1) undergo a micro surgery; 2) undergo a one level fusion; or 3) wait and see if the disk would recede on its on. I choose option #3. It was a painful couple of months, but it finally receded.

    When I was 51 I herniated a cervical disk. That neurosurgeon presented two options: 1) undergo a micro surgery; or 2) wait and see if the disk would recede on its on. I choose option #2. Again, it was a painful couple of months, but it finally receded.

    When I was 57 I got to the point where picking up my legs to simply walk was becoming a challenge, so I sought evaluation. That neurosurgeon said I had two options: 1) undergo a minimally invasive, two level lumbar fusion; or 2) live with it. I was going to submit to the fusion but got side tracked because of prostate cancer.

    We got the PC cut out and I then directed my attention back to my back. I was 59. This time I sought opinion from a different surgeon just to make sure. He provided me the same two options. However, when he cut me open to perform the minimally invasive procedure and saw what I really looked like on the inside he contacted my wife and got permission to cut me longer because he said he could not get all of his tools/equipment in my back because it was so gnarly! Afterwards during recovery he has repeatedly told me that I may have waited too long for the surgery (one explanation for my slow and protracted recovery).

    So, my advice is generic but given from the point of experience. Don't jump into a surgery. Explore all nonintrusive remedies first. Seek the opinion of different doctors. Mother Nature and time can do a lot for fixing what ails us, if we gut it out. BUT, don't forget that if you wait too long then you may be missing the opportunity for a successful surgical repair. In my situation, waiting 30 years was just a little bit too long.

    There's my story and it probably did nothing more than add more doubt and confusion to your situation. But let me add this, I had a two level fusion (L4-S1) and I am NOT pain free. Fusions are intended to provide stability of the spine. Pain reduction/relief is an addtional bonus, but not a guarantee. Seek multiple consults. Good luck.

  • backache99backache99 Posts: 1,314
    edited 08/12/2012 - 2:42 AM
    so many people think a fusions primary function it to reduce pain ..when is not .. its to stabilise the spine,like you said any reduction in pain is a bonus .
    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
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