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Old 10-18-2012, 12:55 PM   #16
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Re: Fusion or Not

I get what you are saying and it makes total sense in your situation. I may or may not.work again and I have fall back desk skills. Did Your Dr say you could lift again after a one level? I had the double and won't lift more than 10 lbs ever. he said. Good luck. I hope a single level is easier for.you than a double was for me.
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Old 10-18-2012, 02:01 PM   #17
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Re: Fusion or Not

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Originally Posted by workinmom572 View Post
I get what you are saying and it makes total sense in your situation. I may or may not.work again and I have fall back desk skills. Did Your Dr say you could lift again after a one level? I had the double and won't lift more than 10 lbs ever. he said. Good luck. I hope a single level is easier for.you than a double was for me.
Yes, He said with one level I would have no weight lifting limits. Both of the other Doc that wanted to do two level said 50lb. limit for life and I would most likely need to change jobs.

 
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Old 10-18-2012, 05:51 PM   #18
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Re: Fusion or Not

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If you are getting two more opinions, that's great. That's an abundance of caution. Assuming the two new surgeons have all of your records and information you can see if they give you the same recommendation as doctor #1. It seems to me you are doing the right thing by getting a couple of other opinions.
Have you thought about the artificial disc replacment? I had it done and it was great for a time. I work were I work in a prison and was on a riot team. Due to the abuse of my body fighting offenders etc.... The disc faild. I had to have several surgerys. If I had a diferent job it probably would have worked. You might want to look into it.

 
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Old 10-19-2012, 08:29 AM   #19
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Re: Fusion or Not

I frankly would be suspicious of that one doctor's estimation of what you can do after fusion. In your original post you indicate that both segments are affected and they are not really sure which is causing the majority of your pain.

There is always the possibility that you will have one disc taken care of and the other will be sufficiently painful that it will negate the results of the one level surgery.

Also I don't see how fusing just one level will remove the weight restrictions. That runs contrary to everything I was told by the various surgeons I consulted with. If anything, fusing the one level will just cause additional stress on the adjoining levels.

I too was reluctant to have more than than bare minimum done when I was first confronted with the need for surgery. I thought they could always go back in and do more, but they couldn't "undo" the multiple fusion....At the time, I didn't realize the various negatives of "going in" more than once. Had I known then what I know now, I would have had the multi-level fusion to begin with and saved myself the additional years of expense, testing, and pain...let alone my insurance carrier almost succeeding in refusing to pay for additional surgery.

Some of the dangers of multiple surgeries in the same area are the formation of additional scar tissue, risk of infection, both in the OR and afterward. Once the body has an implant, the risk of infection increases, and the very real but rarely mentioned risk of the development of arachnoiditis...a rather unknown condition that we would all want to avoid at all costs.

This is a big decision for anyone faced with it. There are no guarantees and none of us has a crystal ball to know how the surgery will turn out and how our lives will be without it. I wish you well as you grapple with all the issues.

 
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Old 10-19-2012, 08:40 AM   #20
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Re: Fusion or Not

All I can say is everyone I know that has had surgery on their back, never came out the same. I know you are not the same, but I mean, they ended up taking more medicines, needing to see more doctors, and to be brutally honest, it ended up killing my mom. She had fusion in neck and lower back after 25 years of nursing. She died unemployable, disabled, and on 6 different pain killers just to get through the day. I now have back issues...but once I got off the pain killers, it was just amazing how much better I actually began to feel. I know its a tough decision...hope of getting your life back, or the risk of the unknown...but just remember through all this...no matter what the dr tells you, you know your own body...and the moment you open it up, and begin changing the most important piece of structure, the spine, and you fuse it into pieces, who are they to tell you that everything will be alright....and if you feel any hesitation AT ALL...then do not go through with it...hell in 10 years there is no telling what they could do...10 years ago, imitation discs didnt exist, which is why the had to fuse to begin with....hope that helps.

 
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Old 10-19-2012, 10:06 AM   #21
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Re: Fusion or Not

I completely agree. I also fully understand wanting one level since you were told you could lift 50 lb post surgery. But, I too have friends and Now me, no one, whether single or double fusion can lift that. Keep doing your research on this site to find out the brutal truth also. Best of luck whatever you decide.to do and I hope you get a positive outcome from surgery if.you have it.
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Old 10-19-2012, 04:45 PM   #22
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Re: Fusion or Not

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Originally Posted by NomoreDisc View Post
Without going into alot of detail. I met with a surgeon today and was given two options. Two level fusion S1-L5 & L4-L5 or leave it alone and it might fuse itself in 10 years or so? I have done everything over the years except surgery. My resent MRI,CT and Discogram confirm that both of these levels are where my pain is.
I have two more appointments set up with other surgeons to see if they agree with the first.
Any advise would be greatly appreciated.
Yes get as many as you can cause I didn't and I had a 3-level spinal fusion almost 3 months ago and I am in more pain now! I am new to here and just posted a question on here. Im only 30 and I tried everything there was before we decided on surgery. I can't work now. I don't want to scare you. It does work for most, but if its a 3 or more level fusion its not guaranteed.

 
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