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L4-S1 fusion

Hello everyone my name is Kyle and I'm 28 years old. I'm a SSgt in the USAF and on December 30 I will have a fusion. I have a micro-d in 2006 and was told my disc completely degenerated. I'm in unbelievable pain 24/7 and really hope this works. Its only a single level fusion luckily due to the fact that I was born without an L5 vertebrae. News to me! Just wanted to reach out to others who have gone through this because I'm pretty nervous. Ill keep you posted!


  • LizLiz Posts: 9,745
    please take the time to read this post and refer to it when you have questions

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    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • KyleGoldbergKKyleGoldberg Posts: 14
    edited 12/20/2013 - 2:49 AM
    Thank you for the welcoming. I appreciate the info and I'm looking forward to hearing some good stories from others about their success post surgery.
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  • I am almost 8 weeks out of an anterior and posterior 2 level fusion. I feel amazing now and am so glad I had the surgery. The first few days were rough, but it gets better. I walk 3+ miles a day now with no pain and am off all meds. Good luck!
    10/28/13 - ALIF, PSF, decompression at L4/L5 and L5/S1
  • Hi Kyle,

    Is the military doing the surgery for you or are you doing this through private insurance? I only ask because when I was still in (1st Sgt MSgt) any type of fusion or implanted rods was a disqualifying medical condition that would lead to a medical discharge. You may just want to verify that your status won't change due to the procedure.

    The first few weeks after surgery are going to be uncomfortable. Hopefully, they will prescribe some PT/rehab afterwards. Remember, no BLT (bending, lifting, twisting) afterwards until the doctor says it's safe to do so. If you can get into aqua therapy, I'd highly recommend it! Feel free to send me a PM if you have any other questions about the process.

    Good luck and thank you for your continued service to our Country!
    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • Awesome man congrats! Glad to hear its going so well for you, and your message def boosts morale a bit. Keep up the good progress and hopefully I'll be in the same boat!
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  • Shirt,

    thanks for the info, and no the military is not doing it. I am going through a local neuro for the procedure. I had a microd in the same area done by a a Major at David Grant Medical Center on Travis AFB in 2006 and it turned out my neurosurgeon now says it was a horrible job.

    As far as a medical board, I already spoke with the SG, medical folks, and they said that a fusion does not result in a board right away. Its all about how you recover and how you feel afterward. Basically if I am still worldwide qualified and deploy to perform my job I can stay. Luckily, I'm young and in good shape so im crossing my fingers that my recovery will go well. I just applied to be a recruiter and im very much looking forward to that. unfortunately that's kinda delayed but im determined to work hard to recover well.

    Also, thanks for your service shirt! (For those that don't know a "shirt" is a nickname for a first sergeant)
  • A recruiter position would be great after having a procedure like this! The only downside to recruiting are the quota's that are required. Maybe sometime higher headquarters will realize quality over quantity. I'm glad the medical folks are working with you on base.

    There is a lot of good information on these forums for people who have back issues. You may want to do a search for items to get before surgery that will help you through recovery. The sooner you get back on your feet and walking, the better you will feel. Strengthening your core muscles after surgery is huge.

    Again, feel free to PM if you need anything specific!

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • Thanks, Shirt. I will let you know as the time goes. Oh yea, I def have a list of things I need to get and have ready for afterward. I work at HQ level and we just our xmas lunch with a "White Elephant" gift exchange, got a Crown Royal gift pack so there's 1 thing checked off that list! joking!
  • MollyAkMMollyAk Posts: 115
    edited 12/20/2013 - 9:39 AM
    Hi, I had a fusion 10-17. I was in the hospital 2 nights. Some pain but pretty loopy from all the meds so not unbearable overall. I feel great, can sit, stand, walk fine now. I'm limpy from nerve damage but that is a whole other thing and nerves are slow to repair. If I had it to do again, I would do it without hesitation. That is my experience though, so remember you could have different results. Best of luck to you!
    L5 S1 MicroD - August 21, 2013
    L5 S1 Fusion - October 17, 2013
    44 year old
  • Molly thank you so much for sharing. Great to see your doing well. If the nerve pain anything like the sciatica leading up to the surgery?
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