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NomoreDisc 10-02-2012 05:20 PM

Fusion or Not
 
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.

backem 10-02-2012 05:32 PM

Re: Fusion or Not
 
[QUOTE=NomoreDisc;5066077]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.[/QUOTE]

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.

NomoreDisc 10-02-2012 07:09 PM

Re: Fusion or Not
 
I forgot to say that all three surgeons are Spine Surgeons. And yes I'm taking all of my current MRI's, X-ray's, CT, Discogram and all reports that go with.
Also did not say my age 53yrs. And my job, a Maintenance Mechanic.

workinmom572 10-02-2012 08:39 PM

Re: Fusion or Not
 
All.depends on how much pain you are in. I was ready to end it all, had double.fusion this last July, and completely happy I did it! Good luck, multiple.opinions is super smart. Have you tried PT, injections, other things already? Surgery is always the last resort.

NomoreDisc 10-02-2012 09:39 PM

Re: Fusion or Not
 
[QUOTE=workinmom572;5066174]All.depends on how much pain you are in. I was ready to end it all, had double.fusion this last July, and completely happy I did it! Good luck, multiple.opinions is super smart. Have you tried PT, injections, other things already? Surgery is always the last resort.[/QUOTE]

Yes I have done PT, injections, RF (where they burn off the end of the nerves)Message,Etc.

As far as meds go. Over the counter meds don't help me. And if I take any of the stronger ones, I can't do my job safely and should not drive.

workinmom572 10-02-2012 09:49 PM

Re: Fusion or Not
 
Sounds like you are on the right track then. Just know.that if you have a double fusion you may not be able to.return to Your old career. Ask each surgeon that ? Specifically. Also, for me, I am not allowed to.return to.work.for.6-12 months, so ask.that also. Best of luck and keep us.posted on what they say.

Moldova 10-03-2012 04:00 PM

Re: Fusion or Not
 
Hi!
I presume your job is pretty strenuous, is in it? Easy to suggest change the job, especially at age 53, but trust me, if you have fusion, I hardly believe you will be able to do strenuous job anymore.

I am glad you go and see other doctors. See if they can offer you something but the surgery. I am not a pessimist by nature, but have to say that during my own ordeal after spinal fusion I met too many people with permanent disabilities after this type surgery, to just tell you : go on and do it. This would be unfair on my part.
If I would know than, what I know now - I would live without it. But again, this is my opinion. Even though the word fusion means same thing, every surgery is different. Some surgeries may take only 4 hours, mine was 10 1/2. Of course recovery and success rate is different too.
All depends how much pain you live in now. Before my surgery, my pain was 6, I worked with it, was unhappy, but lived my life somehow.
My Dr promised I will have better life quality and will be back to work in 8 weeks. 4 month after surgery when I was asking why don't I get better and not back to work, he said I have to be patient, it takes up to 2 years to fully heal.
Now, after couple more fusions, where pain of 7+ for 24/7, tons of pain medication, I wonder what would happen if I wouldn't do that?
But I never knew...

One thing is for sure: if you have a choice not to go for spinal surgery - take it.
But if you must - wishing you all the best!!! And hope everything will be great for you.

Moldova

NomoreDisc 10-03-2012 05:27 PM

Re: Fusion or Not
 
The doctor did talk about doing core strenghen exercise. With my L4-L5 being bone on bone, would this stop the pain that I have from the nerves being pinched? I can see that the area would be stronger.
Has anyone out there have any luck doing this?

workinmom572 10-03-2012 05:30 PM

Re: Fusion or Not
 
I was bone on bone. PT made it worse. Post op I am Doing core exercises now. Got to get the bone off the bone to unpinch.

NomoreDisc 10-04-2012 07:56 PM

Re: Fusion or Not
 
I had a second opinion today, number three next Monday 10/8/12. Today's Doctor said that I only need the one level fusion instead of two. (L4-L5) He said because I'm bone on bone already that I wouldn't lose any more range of motion. L5-S1 might need to be fused sometime down the road but if it was done now, it would start causing issues with L3-L4.

workinmom572 10-04-2012 07:59 PM

Re: Fusion or Not
 
Ok that makes sense if the second level is not completely degenerated yet. Doesn't getting additional opinions feel good? Meaning it gives you more control to decide what you need to do. It did for me.

NomoreDisc 10-04-2012 08:05 PM

Re: Fusion or Not
 
I feel 100% better after talking with him. I did alot of web surfing about fusion and spine doctors. That's how I found this doctor in my area. He had real good reviews and the hospital the he works out of was rated one of the top 100 in the states.

Jasper06 10-18-2012 11:47 AM

Re: Fusion or Not
 
I'm 10 weeks post-op from a L4-S1 fusion. Worked very hard on core and other strengthening to be in shape for the surgery. Was walking 5 miles a week post-op. At 10 weeks I've been cleared to do anything I want except running, jumping, and lifting over 40 pounds. Personally, I wouldn't want to go through the actual surgery again, so am glad I had both levels done at the same time. As you seem to be doing, find a good doc who is up to date on current procedures. Best of luck.

workinmom572 10-18-2012 12:10 PM

Re: Fusion or Not
 
I personally agree with Jasper: I would NOT want to have this done twice either if I was given a choice Is have both levels done if It's for sure in your future as It's very rough initially to.recover so.only once would be my personal ideal as well.

NomoreDisc 10-18-2012 12:52 PM

Re: Fusion or Not
 
If I had both levels done now? It would put a lifetime lifting and I would most likely have to change jobs. If I can make it 6 or 7 more years with the one level fusion? I can then retire and maybe work part time.


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