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Looking for spinal fusion success stories

Hello.

I have severe spinal stenosis affecting both legs and require multilevel spinal fusion l4, l5 s1with screws and posts, a graft, with decompression surgery.

I am a 62 year old male. I am still able to walk.

I have read through your spinal stenosis forums and have found only a few cases where members say that their back and life are better off than before having the spinal fusion.

I would appreciate some positve encouragement regarding spinal fusion.

Thank you

Steve






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1345

Comments

  • hello, melstebar!

    would a success story in the making be ok?:)

    i had l4-s1 fusion surgery in january.  although i do have some stenosis, my problems stemmed from a herniated disc, and spondylolisthesis.  the reason for the latter was not discovered until i was on the operating table, though--i had two broken bones (called a bilateral pars defect) that had escaped detection despite having had several mris and xrays over the years!  i went in for a single-level fusion, but am now "bionic" from l4-s1!!  as of now, i am 80% fused, and my surgeon said i do not need to be seen until my 1 year fusion anniversary. 

    i had complications from scar tissue, but since that has been removed, i am beyond happy to be experiencing the 80-90% pain relief my surgeon said i could expect after the fusion!  i just recently received the go-ahead to start physical therapy.  i was told not to be nervous about a temporary increase in pain after starting pt, and that did happen.  i only had to take breakthrough pain medication once after i began physical therapy, which is a good thing!  i have up days and down days, but recovery from lumbar fusion (especially with l5/s1 involvement) is a slow process.  as i stated, i am a success story in the making, but do not have the unrealistic expectation that i will ever be 100% pain free.

    i'd like to welcome you to the forums!  please click on the following link for some helpful information to get you started!

    welcome to spine-health
    Kimmy72, Spine-health Moderator
    Firm believer in PMA!
  • Thanks for your success story in the making!
    It is very encouraging.

    I will try and keep a positive mental attitude.  
    It is tough to maintain, but hopefully my surgical  procedure will allow 
    me to keep walking and reduce some of the pain and other symptoms. 



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  • No problem, Steve!

    The fact that you are still walking will be so beneficial to your recovery, too!!!  I'm glad to be of help!  Has your surgery been scheduled yet?

    Something else that may be of help to you, too, is a post in here called "37 Post-Op Must Haves".  There is a search feature in the upper right hand corner of this page, so if you enter the name of the post in there, it should pop up.  I found it to be an invaluable tool in helping me prepare for my surgery. 

    Take care!
    Kimmy72, Spine-health Moderator
    Firm believer in PMA!
  • bugslybbugsly MinnesotaPosts: 36
    Hello Steve,

         I am also a success story in the making.  Fusion from L3 to S1 almost 6 months ago.  My pain before surgery is gone with only minor pain from nerves getting back on track.  The only advice I can give is do as they say and don't over do it.  Recently I met a lady who had a 7 level fusion and she made the comment that she is doing things she thought she would never do again .  Good luck and keep your spirits up!   :)
  • Bruce EitmanBruce Eitman Akron, OH, USAPosts: 1,510
    Hey Steve

    I am getting there. To read my story, follow the link below in my signature.  The short of it is that I am a cervical patient including stenosis.  I needed two surgeries, because we should have done 3 levels the first time, but it is all good.

    I am at 9 months post op and doing very well.  I still have some nerves that are working on healing, but much of my pain is gone - in fact I describe it now as discomfort, not pain.

    Bruce

    Read my story at Bruce - My Story
    ACDF C4-C5-C6-C7, and getting better every day
    It has been a process of healing, learning, exercising, and resting - and figuring out when to do which.

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  • Hi.

    I am going back to the neurosurgeon on Tuesday with a more positive attitude.

    I will keep you updated.






  • Hi.
    I signed the surgery paperwork with my neurosurgeon.
    I am looking at about a 4 month wait.
    Any strategies to get me through the wating period?
    Walking more than a very short distance is too painful.
    I am still working, but it is not easy.
    Thanks
     




  • Birdie123BBirdie123 Rancho santa Margarita, caPosts: 4
    I tried to post a response previously but must have done something wrong. Anyway, I had the same surgery as you, am 66 years old and it is 2 years post op and I am doing great! Walk all the time, swim, weekly core strengthening class and am pain free. So - yes - you can have success stories. I've worked really hard to keep my back strong. Lots of walking !! Good luck and stay positive.
  • Birdie123BBirdie123 Rancho santa Margarita, caPosts: 4
    Yes there is much happiness after a spinal fusion. I had mine 2 years ago and am 66 years old. But I will tell you - you have to be proactive and work at it. I walked and did all the exercises they had me doing after surgery. Now, I walk at least 10K steps almost every day and do a core strengthening class weekly. At times, I had to push myself as it did hurt sometimes but it's all worth it as now I am completely pain free. The only time I have a  little pain is if I do too much  like moving furniture around, lifting boxes, so be sure and wear you brace if doing anything like that. I would have it done again in a heart beat. So don't give up - exercise and walk a lot! 

  • melstebar said:

    Hi.
    I signed the surgery paperwork with my neurosurgeon.
    I am looking at about a 4 month wait.
    Any strategies to get me through the wating period?
    Walking more than a very short distance is too painful.
    I am still working, but it is not easy.
    Thanks
     





    Keep your legs moving as much as you can...because after the surgery they will tighten up.  I didn't do this and my legs felt like the were wound up tight as a drum...it scared me...I thought they would snap when I lifted them...I am so glad I did the surgery...I am walking all over just getting through the tightness and leg spasms....back is great  6 months out  S1 L5
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