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3 level lumbar fusion

Hey everyone. My names Rocco, I'm 21 and unfortunately I'm here for the same reasons we all are; my back SUCKS! Now that I got my corny intro out of the way, it's time to get to the nitty gritty. I'm in pretty much debilitating pain right now and have been the past couple months (thank god for my dad and his good will to help me out in my time of need). I have DDD and herniated discs from L3-L4 to L5-S1. L4-L5 has a tear in the annulus and is leaking the disc material and putting pressure on my nerves. If that weren't enough I have congenital spinal stenosis which only exasperates the situation. My ortho surgeon told me that I definitely need L3-L4 and L4-L5 fused and that will give me relief. The problem is L5-S1 which is herniated but not causing too much pain. He says he wants to do two level fusion, possibly 3, but I don't see how I can fuse two levels on top of an already herniated disc without problems arising. So I'm looking for some advice/support on what I should do next. I'm going to see my surgeon again in a couple weeks and a new neurosurgeon (new to me that is) only a couple days after. I'm nervous because Ive seen the horror stories but I am so young and can't even get up to go to school. Anyone with a similar situation please give me some insight. I thank you all in advance and stay healthy


  • That sucks to hear bud. Best of luck to you but doesn't sound like you're in a preferable situation -- your L5-S1 is going to take on more weight with those fusions above but at the same time, doctors will rarely even do a 3 level fusion. I'd definitely see as many surgeons as you can before operating.
  • My doctor thought I'd only need a 2 level fusion at first, but the Discogram showed a leak in the third. If I hadn't had it fused at the time, I would probably be undergoing another fusion right now.
    Artificial disc at L5S1 for 10 years. Had 3 Level lumbar fusion and Laminectomy on Sept 27, 2013. It was an OLIF (Oblique Lumbar Interbody Fusion) with cages, BMP, rods & screws. Norco, Plaquenil
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  • Nicklr32NNicklr32 Posts: 28
    edited 01/26/2015 - 2:14 PM
    I am 30 ( a few years older than you but still young :) ). I am post op TLif fusion of l4 and 5. Also suffer from DDD and other multiple herniated discs, debilitating pain that kept me from working as well. My surgery was 11 days ago and so far I'm very glad I did it. The first day was really rough as I had a tear durin surgery, but once I got home things have been better. Pain is 80 percent gone. Although today I had a little accident and am in more pain that previous. Hope your surgery goes well. Follow doctor orders no matter what! Just make sure you research your surgeon and are confident in your decision.
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