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operation l5s1 completed

Had my surgery 5/31/2016. Now three weeks and I have to say the recovery has gone well so far. I should say that the major issues are now gone. I walk with no nerve pain going down the leg, numbing my foot. The other big thing that made life miserable was the fatigue from the spinal cord rubbing on bone. That's gone !. So I would say so far I made a good choice and had a very good surgeon.The only problem after surgery was having to stay in the hospital five extra days because my intestines would not work(too much medication). Finally, however that situation is now resolved.

My body has always been a fast healer so most of the pain is gone. Sitting still limits me to short periods before pain sets in. My only question about the future of my fusion is how well the instrumentation will hold up under normal circumstances?  I'm overweight for my height I know that does put extra stress on the screws.  The advice everyone will give me is losing weight. Yes I have been losing weight before and after the operation.

I get around without a walker, actually, I stopped needing the walker the second week. All in all, good , has been my experience. I hope I can report that in six months  as well.



  • It certainly sounds like your recovery is going fairly well so far!!  Congratulations on the weight loss--yes, the stress that will relieve on your spine will undoubtedly benefit your overall recovery, so keep doing what you're doing in the weight loss department!!  Just be mindful of the no "BLT" (bending, lifting, twisting) rules.  Moving the wrong way could have more disastrous results than a few extra pounds...

    I'm 6 months out from my L4-S1 fusion surgery, and all my hardware looked great on my last MRI.  Everything is where it should be, and I'm showing some pretty decent bone growth in there!!  The only things I did (naturally, I asked the surgeon first) was added a calcium supplement, a fiber supplement, and used an infrared heat lamp at the surgical site for wound healing.  Oh, and of course, the walking!!  I joked with my husband that if you looked hard enough, you could probably find the path I wore into the hardwood floors!! 

    Keep up the good work with your recovery!  Thank you for sharing your progress so far, as I think reading posts like this gives other members hope with their own recovery processes!!
    Kimmy72, Spine-health Moderator
    Firm believer in PMA!
  • hvillshhvills Suzhou, ChinaPosts: 971


    The surgeon should have sized the screws and rods to match your body build.  I'm assuming he did that... in which case you shouldn't have any issue.  If for some reason your bone fusion doesn't take in first 12 months then the screws and rods will be "loaded" for a longer period... in which case the risk of breakage gets a lot higher.  However you are a long ways from that problem at this point.

    Harry - 65 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
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  • Its a month now since surgery. Things are progressing well. I was surprised when my doctor showed me on the xray the caged vertebrae are not in  completely in line with  the rest of the spine. before the operation it was 14 plus centimeters out of line, After the operation its 6 plus centimeters out of line or is it millimeters can't remember. I presume that was all he was able to put my spine back in line.

    It works, the spinal cord does not rub on bone any more. My next visit I will ask them some questions about anything significant that I should know. Like, why could they not get the bones a hundred percent aligned

  • I'm so glad to hear you're continuing to do well!!  Bone rubbing on your spinal cord...ugh!!  I know you're experiencing physical relief, but the mental relief from knowing that's not going on anymore is probably up there, too, huh? 

    Keep us updated!!  I'll be curious to see what you doctor has to say about the alignment, too!
    Kimmy72, Spine-health Moderator
    Firm believer in PMA!
  • 6-14-2016 second DR. visit after surgery. Continue to progress.

    I asked about why they were unable to put the vertebrae back completely(6centimeters off). It seems that is all it was all the body allowed. Also was told that this happens in several cases. Also that it will not add extract stress, and when the bone fuses it will be strong.

    So as it stands I'm happy with the results of surgery. I have been given back my quality of life. At 63 that's makes life better now to get my knees replaced would be my next goal when I reach 65.  

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  • smartens162smartens162 Manitoba, CanadaPosts: 451
    the continued weight loss goal will be even more beneficial to those knees!  Great job!
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