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Warped Reality

Heading in for L5 S1 fusion on 1/26. Reading this forum has helped on some levels and panicked me on others. So many scary stories but I guess many that are doing well aren't sitting around writing about it on chat rooms? I need some perspective. My pain isn't constant nor all up and down my legs. My pain is shooting and limited to when I am moving in Physical ways or sitting on hard surfaces. Laying down I feel nearly 100%. Still, no way to live. I feel like I could be opening Pandora's box next week. Help! I need some common sense perspective.


  • Before my surgery (April, 2013) , I woke up every morning without pain and to a fresh start. As the day went on though, my pain increased and I was not living life to the fullest. I was very worried about surgery and worried that I wasn't bad enough. My husband really encouraged me to go through it and all 4 of the surgeons I saw agreed that I needed an L4/L5 fusion. I've had a fantastic outcome and am out living my life again and I rarely check in here. Having surgery was a good decision for me and I'm so relieved to be on the other side of it. Best of luck to you!
    Lumbar laminectomy L-4/L-5, 2006
    XLIF with posterior pedicle screws L-4/L-5, 4-23-2013
  • Thank you so much. That was exactly what I needed to hear.
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  • I hope your surgery went well. I started looking at this forum well before my surgery and the posts scared me, too. What I've learned since my surgery is patience. I had a lumbar laminectomy on levels 3 - 5 September 2, 2015. No fusion was necessary. My pain was better for a few days after surgery, then it got worse. Much worse. For three months, my pain was worse than before surgery. My surgeon is a rock star in our area and she was confident healing would come. She said it would take a while. It did. Just as she predicted, healing hasn't been a curve. It's been steps. I'll go weeks with no change, then wake up to a major improvement -- like the day I woke up and my severe lower leg pain went away when sitting. That was at the three-month point. Up until then, it never quit, then one day -- poof, it was gone unless I was standing. I used a walker for about two and a half months, then one day was suddenly able to go to a cane. That lasted for a couple of weeks, then I didn't need either. But, the pain was still severe when walking and I only had one position when lying down that didn't hurt. At the four and a half month point, on a Sunday, I had another l huge step forward. I suddenly could walk with little to no pain and had little to no pain when lying down. I'm on my last week of titrating off my pain medication. Actually, in the last three weeks, the withdrawal symptoms from the narcotics has been the worst part. When I went back and read the horror stories here, most were written not long after surgery. Then, the posters disappear. I suspect most of them healed eventually. Take it one day at a time and maintain hope and if the surgeon did his/her job, it should be fine.
  • Tomorrow is the big day. Thanks for sharing your story.
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    Welcome to Spine-Health
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    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

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