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Old 05-10-2004, 03:53 PM   #1
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ReneeRAF HB User
Thumbs up Lumbar Fusion L4-s1 A Year Later

Hi everyone. I just wanted to pop in and say that I am one year post lumbar fusion at L4-S1, and I feel great!!!! Many people have unsuccessful stories and post on these boards and I used to post here prior to and during my recovery process. I wanted everybody to know that I have been pain free and medication free for almost 10 months now. I am now going to the gym again. I rode my quad this winter and I am hoping to be able to water ski this summer. I had a lot of pain during the first 1-2 months after the surgery and never thought I would get better and stop taking pain medication, but I am living proof that some can be pain free. I am 34 years old, and was originally hurt in a car accident in Mexico when I was 31, where I was hit head on by a drunk driver. The person who hit me wasn't so lucky and died in the accident. I sustained two herniated discs, and had a disectomy 2 years ago. After the first surgery my disc herniated out the other side and caused continual pain in my back, down my legs and numbness and tingling. Last May, 2003, I had lumbar fusion, posteriorly 360 and today am pain free.

I wish everybody good luck and hope they too can be pain free one day.
Renee

 
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Old 05-10-2004, 08:14 PM   #2
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jamienangie HB User
Re: Lumbar Fusion L4-s1 A Year Later

Hello my name is Angie and I am 28. I have a third recurrent disc herniation
and after two surgeries my doctor feels that I should have a concomitant
fusion. It is going to happen June 16th. I am scared because nothing has worked so far I am in pain 24/7 and on 8 different meds. I am also worried
about scar tissue and what roll that will play with my surgery.. I am so
delighted to hear about your outcome. I just found this sight and I am very
excited about getting to speak with people that are dealing with the same
issues I am dealing with. If you feel you could offer me any advice with my
sitituation please send me a line. And again I am very happy to hear about
your experience. Have a great day and I hope to hear from you.

 
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Old 05-11-2004, 08:39 AM   #3
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ReneeRAF HB User
Re: Lumbar Fusion L4-s1 A Year Later

Angie

Are all of your disc herniations at the same level? What levels have you had surgery and what type of surgery? I haven't felt any pain from scar tissue as of yet, but my MD said that it might cause a little pain, but nothing like I had been feeling previously. I had discectomy first and then it herniated out the other side when I was rehabilitating myself. I then had a posterior Lunbar Fusion 360. After my fusion, let me tell you I thought I made the biggest mistake, the pain was worse and I thought I would never get better. These boards actually helped me a lot, because everything I was feeling, other people were feeling also. It made me feel like I was normal. The first couple of weeks were so awful, but it got better. I too was in pain 24/7 all of the time and had three young children to take care of and a full time job. I didn't have time to have pain . I was so concerned before my surgery that I was going to be medication dependant for the rest of my life and concerned about taking many types of medication. I actually cut down on my medication after 5 weeks and then I took only over the counter medication.

My best advice for you is to be prepared. Make sure you have somebody to come and help you when you get out of the hospital. Make sure that you have easy prepared foods so you don't have to worry about making food for yourself. The best thing that I bought was one of those grabbers on TV, that helps you pick things up, because you know that you will drop everything the minute you can't get it.

And be patient after your surgery, I constantly felt that I was not getting any better and then all of the sudden I noticed the slight improvement.

If there is anything I can help you with or tell you, please let me know. It is always nice to hear a good recovery story. I think the person who helped me before my surgery was a woman who wanted to surf after her surgery! She was very helpful in knowing that soon I would get better and be able to do activities, instead of sitting everything out!

Good luck.
Renee

 
Old 05-11-2004, 11:11 AM   #4
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Location: Ridgewood, NJ, USA
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katenyc5 HB User
Re: Lumbar Fusion L4-s1 A Year Later

Renee,

Thanks for your post, and you give me hope. I herniated L5/S1 in 2000 and had a microdiscectomy. While recovering, I re-herniated out the same side but waited it out and it got better. In the last 6 months, I'm having bad pain out the left side, although 2 MRI's show no re-herniation but DDD of L5/S1. My doc is talking about either a fusion or a disc replacement. I'm scared to do either, but the pain is getting worse and I feel like I can't bear it anymore. I'm taking care of a 21 month old and I really wanted to get pregnant again but can't see how I would even bear it.

I'm seeing my back doctor the 20th of this month and will be making some decisions soon. Not looking forward to that discogram "at all" -- wish there was another way to test the actual disc. I don't understand -- if they can see that the disc is fragmenting on the MRI, why do I have to go through a discogram?

Glad you're well -- I want my life back, too. Haven't been able to work out in at least 6 months.

Kate
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Old 05-11-2004, 11:21 AM   #5
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ReneeRAF HB User
Re: Lumbar Fusion L4-s1 A Year Later

Kate: My doctor wanted me to wait for a disc replacement also - it was a choice I needed to make; however, it was uncertain if they would do it at two levels and because my back reherniated at two levels after the first surgery, my back gradually got worse with DDD also and in two years it progressed worse and that fact that it might be 3-4 years before two levels were approved in the US (not on a trial basis), I chose fusion. I think if I only had one level and would have been a candidate for disc replacement at that time I would have chose that way.

I already had three children and my kids would only be young once!!!! I didn't want to live in pain for another minute, let alone a couple years. I believe I made the right decision for me. The only limitation I have is not able to bend and touch my toes, but I can live with that!!!

It was my understanding that you could have children even with fusion or disc replacement!! Is that what you were told?

I hope everything turns out well for you and good luck in your decision making.

Renee

 
Old 05-11-2004, 03:21 PM   #6
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Spring Lake, Mi. USA
Posts: 234
acme HB User
Re: Lumbar Fusion L4-s1 A Year Later

Renee,
Yahoo! Glad to hear your are doing fine! Had my L-4/L-5 Fusion Oct. 2001 & am still doing GREAT! No Pain.......Meds......Leg Numbness! Ain't life Grand?
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Old 05-11-2004, 03:58 PM   #7
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LouCP HB User
Re: Lumbar Fusion L4-s1 A Year Later

Its great to hear of a good success story. I also had L5 S1 fusion, and was recovering well until I was in a car accident, but I should be fine again soon after taking out the hardware. I'm 20 years old so that should make recovery time a little faster..or at least I can hope. Take Care

 
Old 05-11-2004, 06:53 PM   #8
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katenyc5 HB User
Re: Lumbar Fusion L4-s1 A Year Later

Thanks, Renee.

I guess I will figure this out eventually, what to do. I'll see my doctor on the 20th of this month and will discuss it more. I'm really glad you are feeling well -- it is very good to hear stories like this. How old are your kids? It's good you had them all first and then had to deal with this -- not in between pregnancies.

Kate
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Kate

 
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