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Old 07-29-2007, 10:17 AM   #5
tessaoz tessaoz is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 21
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Smile Re: Having had ACDF how difficult is Lumbar fusion operation?

Hi, I am in Australia and have just had (4 weeks ago) a s5/l4 or lower lumber fusion operation.
I have a fabulous neurosurgeon who operated on me when my bladder stopped working and the sciatic pain was so bad it felt like someone was stabbing me.

I had previously had 3 x discectomy and laminectomy at the same site but they all failed.

The recovery is harder as it is a much more major surgery. I have had a bone graft from my left hip as well. This is where the most pain has been ironically. Not from my spine. A big shock to me. The first 3 days after surgery were pretty painful, but I had a pethidine drip in and it helped a bit. Not total pain relief. But I soldiered through with lots of encouragement from my dr about how good it will be eventually.

Instantly my sciatic pain was gone, I could feel all parts of my lower body that had gone numb, my reflexes came back and my bladder started working normally as soon as the catheter was taken out. Wow, what a relief.

Now, 4 weeks later - I feel fabulous. I am only taking paracetemol/codeine over the counter for the pain and an anti-inflammatory. I am also taking valium for the muscle spasms which do linger as everything that has been cut - re-connects.

I can walk great, sit, stand and lie comfortably. Only thing, car trips are still very painful and I am not ready for these yet. Driving the car is also a no no yet, but maybe only another 2 weeks and I should be right.

My neurosurgeon is one of the best in the world - Dr Mark Davies - Sydney, Australia. He has mastered the technique of minimal surgery by using keyhole techniques. These allow for quicker healing and less pain.

Best thing I have ever done. Don't have any regrets. Find yourself a top neurosurgeon and have the surgery - you will not regret it. I have seen on here horror stories, but I can only go on personal experience to give you my advice. Good luck and let us know how you go.