Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

advertisement

Quick Start Forum Video Tutorial

    Forum-Tutorial-Screenshot
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

Notice
All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

The main site has all the formal medical articles and videos for you to research on.
advertisement

What would others decide?

I had S1-L4 TLIF in 2008 and L3-L4 TLIF in 2010 all due to DDD. All levels were showing DDD at the same time in 08 but upper level wasn't creating pain so we held off on fusing at the time of first surgery. Now 6 years later the L2-L3 is DDD. I've read not to keep fusing since I have multi levels done but in order to work I need it done. Once again my stomach is terrible from meds and can't take more in order to work. 3 injections since August and now sciatica in one leg is more than I can take. Any support will be appreciated. My Dr. Has been very good to me and he suggest fusing it without any hesitation. He said we've tried all other options from PT to injections like in the past and are down to surgery again. His last words we're call me when your ready to schedule but I hope that last injection does the trick which is gone. People that don't have back issues just look at you like ya right.
TLIF L4-S1 2007                                         TLIF L3-L4 2008                                          TLIF L2-L3 2016
advertisement

Comments

  • hvillshhvills Suzhou, ChinaPosts: 946
    edited 01/18/2016 - 4:00 AM
    I had a double level PLIF L4-L5-S1 in May 2013 and by Sept of 2014 I had a badly herniated L3-L4 disc that was crushing my spinal nerve column and my doctor told me he needed to fuse the L3-L4 level. From everything I had read fusing the third consecutive level was a very controversial subject and in the end my doctor agreed to only do a discectomy and decompression at the L3-L4 level WITHOUT fusion. I'm now 12 months out from that discectomy and doing ok... but my doctor cautioned me against ANY heavy lifting of any kind or I would end up back under his knife for a fusion. Long term... I guess we shall see.


    Harry - 64 year old male...
    PLIF L4-L5-S1 due to disc degeneration... May 23, 2013
    PLIF L5-S1 due to failed fusion and broken screw... Jan 19, 2015
    Microdiscectomy, decompression L3-L4 due to herniated disc... Jan 19, 2015
  • hvillshhvills Suzhou, ChinaPosts: 946
    There's also a new procedure called "Flexible Fusion" that you might want to research. I don't fully understand it myself but there are some people here on this forum who have had it done or have talked about. Apparently it's helpful for those who may have problems with the domino effect of herniating adjacent discs after fusion.
    Harry - 64 year old male...
    PLIF L4-L5-S1 due to disc degeneration... May 23, 2013
    PLIF L5-S1 due to failed fusion and broken screw... Jan 19, 2015
    Microdiscectomy, decompression L3-L4 due to herniated disc... Jan 19, 2015
  • advertisement
  • KbraggKbragg Posts: 92
    edited 01/21/2016 - 4:13 AM
    I have scheduled my next fusion and hope it's the last at 53. This will make 5 levels and my Dr. informed me he didn't think I would loose very much flexibility from where I am now with 4 levels fused. Feb 12 we will see. I know friends that had a one level and got disability some how and me still grinding away causing more damage up the spine trying to pay bills. That part I will never understand.
    TLIF L4-S1 2007                                         TLIF L3-L4 2008                                          TLIF L2-L3 2016
  • gfishggfish Pittsburgh PAPosts: 233
    I am 51 with a 7 level thoracic fusion. At this point in the game I dont ever want to go back and be opened up. I am not on disability, nor do I want it. Yes i am in pain. But i fear that it could be worse.
    Greg fisher
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    I'm curious with your last post, what you can't understand?

    That some people may be totally unable to work?
    And in not working, their spine can less likely suffer more damage, and that the rest given to the spine is possibly preventing even paralysis?

    Or that you are intentionally causeing damage to your spine by continuing to work and grind away?

    Everyone is so different in their abilities with their spinal conditions...again, the invisible illness.
    Ex...of two people recovered from same kind of surgery ...and one gets back to work and activities .....and another can not.

    I may be misunderstanding the tone of posts...but to be on Disability is not to be a lesser than kind of person.
    We all must do what we can to survive and have hope for a future...and for now, in the present today.
    Some limitations are so severe that for love or money, some just can not do, what others may think, the simplest of tasks.

    Just like the pill seekers going to pain management doctors....
    Some do work the system and prefer to live off of Disability income.
    But many I know had a very sad day when the decision for Disabily assistance was made.

    Being fiercely independent, liking their work, liking to work, ...applying for Disability is felt as a loss.
    ...to grieve for what and who one was....
    Sue
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • advertisement
  • What I can't understand is the system that so many have abused! I know close friends that have had back surgery and then never went back to work and are drawing disability. They both get around a lot better than myself and are out doing things I wish I was able to enjoy daily. I have never applied for disability and have always been a hard worker in my line of work which requires lifting. Once you are fused you are always susceptible to damaging the next adjoining levels. I'm just hoping I can make it another 11 years after this next fusion without more damage.
    TLIF L4-S1 2007                                         TLIF L3-L4 2008                                          TLIF L2-L3 2016
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    ...my post agreed with you re some people know how to work the system.

    But to judge someone by what you see..is what so many of us have trouble dealing with daily..and often from loved ones.

    If you were to see me at a restaurant, you would not know that is my hour or two that I am out within a week or two weeks.
    The rest of the time I am house bound.
    I do not have enough "spoons" to even function normally in my own home.

    I still smile and laugh, but I have pain 24/7. And I am not the only one who lives this way with chronic pain.

    It may help understanding if you were to read post called, "Letter to Normals"
    And the post I found most helpful explaining my situation is post called, "The Spoon Theory"

    I have spinal issues, never a candidate for surgery, chronic pain with my body dictating more physical limitations....it seems like every month.

    Just because you chose to continue in your heavy lifting hard working job, knowing you are susceptible to more spinal damage doesn't mean your life choice is more worthwhile than what others have had to choose...
    ...as in physically unable to function in our careers to continue to earn a living and provide for ourselves.

    It's not a competition on who has worse pain, who suffers more, who can do more activities than another, who is more independent....our spinal issues led us to pain......and pain is pain.

    Sue
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • I'm sure my employer feels I'm trying to work the system as well . That has been the hardest thing for me when I tell them I need time off again for my 6th back surgery. Im sure I look and act like nothing is wrong but on the inside I feel like giving up at times like I'm sure others feel. After working for 35 years doing one thing that's all I know. My surgeon has told me several times to change careers but that easy to say. That's like me telling him the same thing after all his school and training. I know what's right but wouldn't know where to begin. Like you said, it's hard knowing others judge you but they really just don't know what you're really going through. When not at work I'm on ice and parallel most of the time.
    TLIF L4-S1 2007                                         TLIF L3-L4 2008                                          TLIF L2-L3 2016
advertisement
Sign In or Register to comment.