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Newbie, tired of hurting feeling alone, pre-op lumbar fusion

graeggrae Posts: 1
edited 07/02/2014 - 6:35 AM in New Member Introductions

Viewing this site I see many of my pains, frustrations, and fears discussed. I just finished my daily, morning, pity-party, and crying session. I have always had a high tolerance for pain. Three-and-a-half months of constant pain in my right leg and lower back, and now left leg has exhausted my pain tolerance. I am so alone. I moved to a new location and have no friends other than paid people in the medical community. Ha, ha. My boyfriend works and comes home and does his normal jobs plus all the work I used to do. He is frustrated and has less time to spend with me. It is hard on both of us. I just feel more and more alone. I am tired of hurting. I am tired of being tired. Sometimes I just don't know how I'm going to handle this or how to handle this. 

I am anticipating L4-5, and L5-S1 fusions. I have not seen a surgeon yet. Have had many medical professionals look at my MRI. Everyone comes to the conclusion that surgery is in the future. I still have two-and-a-half weeks before I see the neurosurgeon's PA.

Note: my Mri is only lumbar, no one has taken into account thoracic pain, ribs that rotate, an si joint that dislocates, and my cervical spines cracks, pops and occasionally sends sharp, stabbing pains down my neck.

MRI report T-11 thru S-1:

Schmorl's node pathology:most levels.

Discogenic endplate bone marrow signals: multi-levels.

Mild anterior wedge compression, loss of vertebral body height, T-12

Loss of disc height T11-12

"bone spur" protruding into spinal cord T11-12

Facet degenerative hypertrophy L2-3, L3-4, L4-5, L5-S1

Ligamentum flavum thickening L2-3, L3-4, L4-5

Bilateral facet joint effusions L2-3, L4-5

Neural foraminal narrowing: L2-3 (mild), L3-4 (mild-mod), L4-5 and L5-S1 (mod-severe)

Disc bulge L3-4, that contours thecal sac L4-5,

Prominent dorsal epidural sinus fat L3-4

Disc protrusion contours thecal sac L5-S1



  • a fusion is done primarily done for spinal stabilisation and NOT pain relief {many people mistakenly think that their fusion has ;;failed because they are still in pain afterwards] this is not the case .a fusion is purely a mechanical fix to liken it to a house its like having a underpinning done to prevent the house from slipping {subsiding} you could end up with more pain from nerves being damaged during surgery a good surgeon will do everything to prevent this but it can happen ..it you have never pain NOW if won't go as its already happened and there is nothing that can repair a damage nerve and a fusion is a massive operation the ALIF {through the abdomen is the harder to recover from } the PLIF is no picnic either !.and if you have had any other spinal surgery in the past your more likely to have a longer recovery than if this is your first operation expect recovery to be around 1/3 years be cautious of people and consultants telling you things like you will be back to work within 4 weeks ..it wont happen ..a fusion can and in most cases is a life changing procedure .I have had a very bad time with my spinal operations so my view on this may be glass half empty .others will give you a more optimistic view but please bear in mind that things are not easy following a fusion .make sure you get the best consultant you can ..you only have one back and you don't want someone messing it up. good luck
    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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