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Surgeon too optimistic? Tliff L4/5 S1

ColoradoRobCColoradoRob Posts: 11
edited 10/25/2014 - 7:05 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi all, just curious if most people have acutely calculated the percentage of spondylolithesis they had?
Over 2 separate mri's spanning 6 years I went from 17mm to 22mm. I honestly did not have a lot of the pain others say they had as I was active playing ice hockey, wake-boarding, skiing , golfing you name it. I am a 54yo male who just had had enough of the numbing feet and a chronic ( but manageable pain) achy sciatic (R). I was told by the Doc that if the slippage continued I would end up losing my bowels etc and that was enough to make me jump into surgery a few weeks later. I had never had any treatments, pills or any type of medical treatments on my back going into surgery ; although I knew what the problem was after the first mri. Not sure how it happened but I played college sports and was in a few car rollovers in the day so who knows............
I'm just curious where other people were at ( slippage wise) as now that I have had many days to sit to reconsider and have done a ton of research, My wife is convinced I did the right thing ( as she nagged me about never being able to go on long walks or hikes ) but after 17 weeks I am NOT so convinced!
My surgeon had said I would be able to play Hockey again at 4 months but that seems ridiculousness at this point. I am back lifting at the gym, swimming 900 meters, riding the recumbent bike, walking incline on the treadmill, stretching, light Yoga and on and on to try to re-train the muscles but sill can not shake the chronic muscle fatigue, numb R quad, on and off numb R foot and the constant feeling that my Fused area feels like a block of cement stuck in my back.......I have extreme difficulty getting up and down out of a chair and walk with the utmost awkward stride due to that chronic feeling of just being hit in the back with a baseball bat .
6 screws, Titanium spacer between L4 and L5 and the curved rod and hardware.
Thanks for any feedback and comments!


  • Sandi is right, four months after fusion surgery sounds too optimistic for an almost complete recovery. I had two fusions, one three-level the second six-level, and I thought I recovered remarkably fast and well, yet it still took me about nine month after the first surgery to go back to my normal activities. I am only about ten weeks out of the second fusion, although I am doing well, I still have to observe the usual restrictions of no BLT, and I am taking it relatively easy. My spondylitis was less than yours, 11 mm the first time, the second time the whole spinal column tipped forward above the old fusion site, and like you, my concern was losing bowel and bladder control unless it is corrected. After 17 weeks, it seems to me your recovery is on target. Just be patient, you will be happy you did. Good luck!
  • Spine In SecuritySSpine In Security Posts: 35
    edited 10/25/2014 - 7:06 PM
    One day at a time...

    I had an L4-L5-S1 TLIF just year, and apparently, my surgeon is one of the more conservative and honest ones, despite his youth. He didn't even want me back at my desk job for three months, and gave a time span of 18 months for full recovery.

    We've both lost a large amount of flexibility, and as my doc says probably fifteen times a day, "fused is fused." You will eventually get accustomed to the permanent stiffness, and as the months pass, you will probably experience the same waxing and waning of aches and pains as I've had.
    August 2013 C7-T1 MED
    July 2013 L4-L5-S1 TLIF
    December 2011 C5-C6 ADR
    April 2009 L5-S1 MED
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