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Old 11-27-2003, 07:56 AM   #1
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Location: chicago illinios
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glikes HB User
Question Do lumbar fusions really help???? A back fusion for my 30yr old wife the mother of 3

A back fusion for my 30yr old wife the mother of 3 young children???

We despratley would like to here from anyone who is post-op lumbar fusion

We really need any advice you can give us
positive or negative

Would you do it agian if you could go back?

My wife's doctor told her that she needs an L5-S1 fussion. She has seen a chiropracter, PT, had 3 stereriod injections, and a microdiscectomy(1/03). The later actually gave her relief for about 4 weeks. Now the pain is back to where it was before the surgery. Her MRI shows excessive scarring from the microdiscectomy. He suggests that her pain is from instability. She is reluctant to have another surgery because all of her pain stems car accident in 12/99. This has resulted in two shoulder surgeries(torn rorator cuff) and 1 back sugery, none of which have yeilded longterm positive results. She still has pain in her shoulder due to the formation of scar tissue in her joint caused by sugery(her orthopedic doctor had never seen so much). We have discussed our concerns with her neurosurgeon about the excessive formation of scar tissue pushing on the nerve if he preforms the fusion. He said that scar tissue doesn't cause pain. We are afraid that if she has the fusion she might be alot worse off.

 
Old 11-27-2003, 04:00 PM   #2
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Location: hackettstown,nj,usa
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randee HB User
Re: Do lumbar fusions really help???? A back fusion for my 30yr old wife the mother of 3

[QUOTE=glikes]A back fusion for my 30yr old wife the mother of 3 young children???

We despratley would like to here from anyone who is post-op lumbar fusion

We really need any advice you can give us
positive or negative

Would you do it agian if you could go back?

My wife's doctor told her that she needs an L5-S1 fussion. She has seen a chiropracter, PT, had 3 stereriod injections, and a microdiscectomy(1/03). The later actually gave her relief for about 4 weeks. Now the pain is back to where it was before the surgery. Her MRI shows excessive scarring from the microdiscectomy. He suggests that her pain is from instability. She is reluctant to have another surgery because all of her pain stems car accident in 12/99. This has resulted in two shoulder surgeries(torn rorator cuff) and 1 back sugery, none of which have yeilded longterm positive results. She still has pain in her shoulder due to the formation of scar tissue in her joint caused by sugery(her orthopedic doctor had never seen so much). We have discussed our concerns with her neurosurgeon about the excessive formation of scar tissue pushing on the nerve if he preforms the fusion. He said that scar tissue doesn't cause pain. We are afraid that if she has the fusion she might be alot worse off.[/QUOTE]

Hi my name is Randee and I have posted several times to different threads. I am 13 days post op from L5-S1 fusion, my graph came from iliac crest-which is bone from the pelvic area secured with pedicle screws and rods. I am not a doctor but one thing I know from my own experience scar tissue can cause major pain, especially if it causes pressure on any nerves. Prior to my laminectomy I had had 8 surgeries on my arms, caused by scare tissue from repetitive motion(I worked with computers and had built up tons of scar tissue trapping the radial, medial and ulnar nerves on both arms) I had the surgeries where the nerve was released or rerouted and scar tissue removed. These surgeries happened over a 15 year period, similar to carpal tunnel with more complications. My back problem was a result of a condition called spondyliosis which escalates to spondyolithesis. Many people have this condition which may never reveal itself until you have a back injury and your x-rayed and the condition is revealed. Some people are relieved with physical therapy, steroid injections or just resting it out. In my case the condition was diagnosed and unfortunately all the conventional treatments like P/T, injections, antiinflamatories, accupuncture etc. didn't help. Surgery was suggested and after lots of research and opinions from several ortho surgeons and neurosurgeons all agreed that was the last resort. I was truly scared by all the horror stories, when you have back surgery in one area it aggravates another, etc., etc.
I am happy to report the surgery was a great success and after less than 2 weeks the only pain I have is that from the surgical incisions and bone graph. My advice is to find a great ortho or neuro surgeon and ask all the questions you can think of and to see as many docters as you feel are necessary. When you reach your comfort level with the doctor you choose if surgery is indicated GO FOR IT, it has given me my life back and I'm still healing. I feel I've done what was right for me.
Good Luck, and feel free to ask me any questions that you have that I might be able to help you with. Also, there are so many websites that help.
Good Luck, Randee.
Hope this helps you.

 
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Old 11-28-2003, 09:10 AM   #3
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Tulsa, OK, USA
Posts: 77
SusanPLIF HB User
Re: Do lumbar fusions really help???? A back fusion for my 30yr old wife the mother of 3

My heart goes out to ya...

Please see my lengthy post/story on the post titled "Pain management vs surgery".. It's back about 5 pages on the boards...and I'm post #5.

Good luck!

P.S. I WOULD do my fusion again if I had to go back and make the decision. I'm 17 weeks post op today and doing GREAT!

 
Old 12-10-2003, 06:05 AM   #4
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: ohio
Posts: 330
ltedeschi HB User
Re: Do lumbar fusions really help???? A back fusion for my 30yr old wife the mother of 3

Hello,

Let me start by saying every situation is different. There are so many success and failure stories with a fusion it is overwhelming.

The thing you must decide is if the pain is so bad you are willing to try anything go for it. I had a fusion and my results are good and bad. i put off the surgery too long and possibly contributed to the nerve problem.
There are some people who this is their first surgery and they are overwhelmed by it all and their stories are bleak. The surgery itself isn't bad at all.
I was walking the next day and have ever since. Do not expect a miracle recovery it takes time and you must realize what a major operation this is and it will take time to heal.

My mindset has always been thank god there is a way to fix the problem. So many people have problems and pain and there is nothing Dr can do.
Please look at all the positives and disregard the negative. I listened to it all and built up an unnecessary fear.

Good luck
Lisa

 
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