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Upcoming decompressive lumbar laminectomy l1-s1 fusion

Anyone had l1 - s1 fusion. What is recovery like with multi level fusion.  I understand it will eliminate leg pain but not help back pain. I'm struggling with the decision to have surgery.
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Comments

  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    Hello dalewarren !
    Welcome to Spine-Health
    Please click on link for helpful information!
    Sue
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • hvillshhvills Suzhou, ChinaPosts: 971
    edited 09/09/2016 - 9:24 AM

    Dale

    The multi-level fusion you are describing is a BIG surgery.... and recovery is longggg tough road especially for someone your age.  However in time... it can help you get your life back to normal.   I've had two lumbar fusion surgeries where the first was a 2 level fusion... and the second a single level fusion due to the L5-S1 level failing to fuse from the first surgery.  Full recovery in both cases was 12 months plus... and a tough road.  The surgery you are mentioning is a 5 level lumbar fusion and the risk of one or more levels not fusing increases a lot with so many levels.  Fusing that many levels will also significantly limit your flexibility in the future.  Why has your doctor suggested fusing your complete lumbar section? 

    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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  • MagistraMarlaMMagistraMarla San Antonio, TexasPosts: 217
    Hello Dale,
    I'm going to be having a fusion surgery of L3-S1 on October 25, so mine won't be quite as extensive as yours.
    Like Harry, mine will be a revision surgery.  I had a fusion of L3/L4 and L4/L5 in April, 2015, but L3/L4 didn't fuse.
    My new surgeon also wants to fuse L5/S1, which I think is where he mentioned a Bertolotti's syndrome being.
    I found that the first surgery did get rid of the sciatica down my leg, and relieved much of the spasming I had going on in my legs, but several symptoms came back.
    I'm hoping that addressing L5/S1 will take care of more of those symptoms.
    For me, recovering from the anesthesia was the worst part.  The entire first month after surgery, I was definitely not myself.  I did better once I was able to get to the pool.  Water aerobics and gentle swimming has been what has kept me going.  When the community pool closed, I got myself a membership at a gym with a pool.
    A good physical therapist is also a must.
    When will your surgery be?  If it is October, be sure to post on the Surgery Buddies thread.  So far, I'm the only one on the October thread. That is an extensive surgery, so you will need to give yourself lots of time to heal and be sure to work with your PT to rehab correctly.  Read lots here and at other sites. 


  • Anyone had l1 - s1 fusion. What is recovery like with multi level fusion.  I understand it will eliminate leg pain but not help back pain. I'm struggling with the decision to have surgery.

    Hey Dale,
    I had a S1 to L2  back 22 years ago and it was a no brainier at the time because of the pain and not being able to walk.  I just had the vertebra go out above it 22 years later and I am post op 3 weeks. It was scary but it gave me 22 good years and now a tune up. They have come a long way with Spinal surgery I had  surgeon who was a head of his time back then and now... I am impressed so far. 

    Just remember all they are is going to give you a second chance... you do with it what you may. Not every surgery goes well, I had my share of complications.

    It is the surgeon who will either stick by you or treat you like a number... this is the hard part of finding doctors.

    Good luck and I would have to say that if those levels are causing back pain then it will help and even if it improves your body posture and body mechanics.

    One last thing... recovery kicks like a mule for the first 15 minutes coming out of sedation... once you get your head back under your control things get better really quick... but it is not fun by any sort of expectation. You will have your holy shit what did I do moment... it doesn't last long... 

    Going to be a long year, deal with it early and find a hobby if you can that allows you space for yourself; family are great if you have them but grumpy, bored and cabin fever... it will get better and what I did was really focus on my eating habits since everything was so out of sync... this way I got through my brace time and was 20 pounds lighter last time.

    Peace

  • dalewarren123ddalewarren123 Michigan, USAPosts: 104
    Thanks everyone for your comments.  I'll try to answer questions.  I have had back pain with pain going down my leg for several years.  That MRI showed the entire lumbar had buldging disks, bone spurs, large area of arthritis, compressed nerve roots and newly developed scoliosis.  I can't walk very far without nerve leg pain.  A trip to the mailbox and back and my leg and backside feel on fire.  I have read a lot and watched a lot of utube videos however have not found anyone with the entire lumbar being fused. Going for a second visit with Dr. With a lot of new questions.  Surgery is October 24.
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  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    Hello Recipocity !
    Welcome to Spine-Health
    Please click on link for helpful information!
    Sue
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • MagistraMarlaMMagistraMarla San Antonio, TexasPosts: 217
    Hey Dale,
    We will be only one day apart.  I've also had leg pain going down my leg for several years. 
    Since my fusion failed, the leg pain has been coming back, big time!
    Here's hoping that we both are better after the end of October.
    Keep us informed on how you are doing.  We'll have to compare notes.
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