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Old 09-24-2007, 10:28 AM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Oyster Bay, NY, USA
Posts: 182
elmoJ_1974 HB User
Question How did you finally make the decision to have a FUSION??

Hi everyone! I just want to get some feedback as to how many of you have made the decision to have FUSION surgery. I have been told that I need an
L5-S1 fusion. I had a micro-d in May '06 and have been in alot of pain since. My leg pain is gone but I was told that with all the herniations, I barely have any disc left. I want to get a second opinion anyway but what actually infuenced your decision? I can't exercise, I can't sit or stand for too long, I can't sleep, I can't walk when I get out of bed in the morning or before I go to bed, I can't lift my son without severe pain, ESI's didn't work (I think they made me worse), and I can't take narcotics because I'm home with my 2y old all day. I'm in mod/severe pain 24/7 in the last 2 yrs and chronically for the past 10 yrs. I'm 33 yrs old and I feel 80yrs old. Any advise and feedback would be great! Thanks everyone!!

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Old 09-24-2007, 11:08 AM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Tulsa, Ok, USA
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deltadog32 HB User
Re: How did you finally make the decision to have a FUSION??

I was in a car wreck in Dec '06 and ruptured the L5S1 disc and I don't have much disc left either. The reason I went ahead and decided I was going to have the fusion surgery besides prayer and more prayer is the people on this board who have been there and back. I have my surgery on Oct 5th and I'm nervous because it's a major surgery but I'm at peace because I believe I am making the right decision.

Keep us all posted. These folks on here are very helpful and will help lead you in the right direction.

Old 09-24-2007, 11:46 AM   #3
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Oyster Bay, NY, USA
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elmoJ_1974 HB User
Re: How did you finally make the decision to have a FUSION??

Deltadog, thanks so much for your reply. Yes, I have found great people and information on here. I guess when I get the 2nd opinion, I will make my decision. Thanks again and good luck with you surgery!

Old 09-24-2007, 11:51 AM   #4
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Plano, Tx
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sundee HB User
Re: How did you finally make the decision to have a FUSION??


I went through the exact same thing, trying to make a decision as to whether to go through with the fusion or not (they fused L5/S1 w/hardware). Basically, like you described, I had no life anyway because the pain was so bad, so I figured it couldn't get any worse. I am 39 and felt 80. I was very stressed, going back and forth on my decision. Finally, I just decided to do it and not look back, and was much better mentally. It is a very tough surgery. I am three months out and start physical therapy on Wednesday. It is a long recovery process, but the back pain was better almost instantly. I still have bad days, some that are just as bad as what it was before, but all considering, I am still glad I did it, because now I am on the road to recovery. Had I not done it, I think it just would have prolonged the pain even longer. If you do decide to have it, just don't look back and don't second guess yourself. Don't set your recovery expectations too high, and you will be fine.

You will make the right decision.


Old 09-24-2007, 01:07 PM   #5
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Location: western us
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ms_west HB User
Re: How did you finally make the decision to have a FUSION??

I think you have to look at the amount of pain you are in and the quality of life you are living. Is this the way you want to live your life? By putting off the surgery, are your risking yourself further harm permanently?

Only you alone can make this decision. Good luck and know that we will be here for you.

Old 09-24-2007, 01:27 PM   #6
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BlueAtlas HB UserBlueAtlas HB UserBlueAtlas HB UserBlueAtlas HB UserBlueAtlas HB UserBlueAtlas HB UserBlueAtlas HB User
Re: How did you finally make the decision to have a FUSION??

It was an easy decision. I was in pain all the time and was getting steadily worse. I was sitting on the sidelines for the simplest of life's activities. Without intervention, I was only going to get worse. Since I'm "middle aged", that means I have about half my life left. I didn't want to spend it in that kind of pain! When my surgeon laid out his plan and told me, "let me know when you're ready," I just looked at him and said, "I'm ready."

I still have pain every day, and my doctor has told me that I should expect to be on pain killers for the rest of my life, but I'm so much better off now. I wish I had pursued it sooner.

But everyone's different. What's right for one isn't necessarily right for another. I think you'll know when it's time.


Old 09-24-2007, 09:48 PM   #7
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Berryville, Virginia
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Justoneofus HB User
Re: How did you finally make the decision to have a FUSION??

when I made my decision it was easy to make, but leading up to it was very hard and like most, I tried everything under, over and behind the sun to avoid surgery.

you will know when the time is right for you. you weigh the pain you live in, the quality of your life then and before the pain, and the decision becomes very clear at the right moment. you must make it openly and freely and then you will truly know.. it's time and will be a peace with your choice.

good luck
"believe in the beauty of your dreams"- E. Roosevelt

L5/S1 bulging @ 18, now 46; still there (but no pain)
Fusion at L4/L5 Apr -2006
Solidly Fused Nov-2006
A Success, but still improving!

Old 09-25-2007, 05:50 AM   #8
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Oyster Bay, NY, USA
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elmoJ_1974 HB User
Re: How did you finally make the decision to have a FUSION??

Thanks everyone! You are right! I will know. I think I'm getting there but I fear that I will be worse after the surgery. I think that's why I keep putting it off. I haven't gotten a second opinion yet and I think I need to hurry with that!!! I think once I get the 2nd opinion I will be able to make a decision. I'm getting worse and today is such a bad day. Sleeping is non-existant now! My husband wants to get me the tempurpedic bed. So maybe that will help. I'm also afraid to get the surgery because I'm afraid I will be married to my surgeon forever. My whole lumbar spine is buldging and then I can be in for multilevel surgeries after this one. As you all know, fusions harm neighboring discs. It's hard to make a decision on the unknown. No one will be able to tell me I will be better off!!

Last edited by elmoJ_1974; 09-25-2007 at 05:51 AM.

Old 09-25-2007, 02:51 PM   #9
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: san diego
Posts: 413
chatterboxsd HB User
Re: How did you finally make the decision to have a FUSION??

Hey, Elmo,

I got the Tempurpedic and it IS very nice. It doesn't cure back problems, but it makes me MUCH more comfortable than any other bed I've been in. It's a hefty chunk of change, but it's guaranteed for 20 years, so that's good.

I went for the fusion, like everyone else, because I just knew it was time. I had tried everything under the sun I could think of to avoid surgery. I didn't want to live like I was anymore. My surgery was February 2007. Unfortunately, I've turned out to be one of those who is worse than before. I've just turned 34 and I was a marathon runner until a year ago. I'm 5 times worse than before surgery. It's been worse than awful emotionally and physically. BUT, I'm working on it. It's been lonely, frustrating, and without this board I'd have gone over a bridge long ago. I guess you just don't get a crystal ball in life and you have to take some risks. Do I regret it? Honestly, I do because I don't have much of a life right now. But, I also know I made the best decision I could at the time. I don't want to scare you, but I want to share with you what can happen. I don't guess it happens all too often, but...

Be confident in your doctor and the exact procedure he is doing. Do not settle because he's nearest your home or some other not-so-important "convenient" reason. You will be living with his "work" for the rest of your life! I wish you the best of luck making your decisions and I hope to hear how things go for you. Take all the time you need.


Last edited by chatterboxsd; 09-25-2007 at 09:11 PM.

Old 09-25-2007, 09:04 PM   #10
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Victorville, Ca, USA
Posts: 587
Chris54 HB User
Re: How did you finally make the decision to have a FUSION??

I went back and forth between a fusion or a discectomy/lami. Finally my attorney made my decision for me. He said most clients return after discectomy/lami and need a fusion anyway. I had spondy and probably would have needed the fusion sooner or later. I still need further surgeries to have hardware removed and some nerve issues addressed. Usually the pain tells you that you need something done. Good luck on what you decide to do.

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