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Old 11-16-2008, 11:03 AM   #1
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georgie2828 HB User
Is there anyone who has had a positive result from fusion surgery

My surgeon has recommended fusion of the L4-L5. I had the disc/laminectomy and removal of a synovial cyst this past March. Already another cyst has formed pressing on the nerve. I had such a bad experience following the surgery that I am having a difficult time committing to another surgery, this time more invasive. ...and the horror stories I've read are not encouraging. I just want the pain in my legs and back to go away. I don't want to add to my discomfort. Currently I am receiving injections at a pain management clinic. Sometime they help for a few weeks, other times they don't do anything except disappoint. I am a 69 yr. old woman, who is overweight. I am unable to walk far or exercise. Any words of encouragement or wisdom from those who have been there and back would be greatly appreciated.

 
Old 11-17-2008, 09:25 AM   #2
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Devon07 HB User
Re: Is there anyone who has had a positive result from fusion surgery

On here you will mostly find others with failed fusions as they are seeking more help....I personally know of six people who have had great success with fusions and I hope I will be one of them after mine on Dec 1st there are a few with good fusions who im sure will chime in soon.....The best thing I can tell you is find a doctor who is good and that you like.....fellowship trained and all that....you can only live a quality life once you can excersize and start eating healthier....getting your back fixed is a great start....Ive been walking 2 miles every day since doc said surgery.....Ive lost 10 lbs and starting to feel better......if you can walk for health then you really need to fix the back.....I feel for you and wish I could be supportive to you some how....attitude is a big part as well.....69 is young this day and age but only if you take care of yourself!............keep us posted and the pros in here will love to help guide you....Take care


Devon

 
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Old 11-17-2008, 12:56 PM   #3
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deljo HB User
Re: Is there anyone who has had a positive result from fusion surgery

Your post sound just like I wrote it, except for the surgery in March. I am 71, overweight, can't exercise and also need a hip replacement in addition to the fusion. I am getting caudal blocks and epidurals for the pain. After each injection the leg hurts worse than ever. My hip replacement will be after the first of the year. I'll be watching your post with great interest.

 
Old 11-17-2008, 02:30 PM   #4
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TomL HB User
Re: Is there anyone who has had a positive result from fusion surgery

I am a 62 year-old male. L-5 S1 fusion in May 2002, L4-L5 fusion Feb 2003. I had back pain for 30 years. I still have some issues and pains, but nothing compared to what I went through the last 30 years.
I go to the gym almost every day for about 2 hours. I usually do an hour or more of cardio, treadmill or bike. I usually walk 5 miles in the afternoons. I am not overweight and I am in excellent condition. I hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back up in 2005.
It takes a great will and commitment to live well when one has back issues. I have made that commitment and am glad I did. I realize that I am fortunate to be as active as I am, but would encourage everyone to learn as much as they can about living with back issues and do what they can to improve.
I don't want to be mean, but everyone pound you are overweight when you have back trouble is going to cause you pain and potential problems. Getting to appropriate weight has to be the first goal.
Good luck, I wish you well.

 
Old 11-17-2008, 06:02 PM   #5
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Debbie1972 HB User
Re: Is there anyone who has had a positive result from fusion surgery

[QUOTE=georgie2828;3795266]My surgeon has recommended fusion of the L4-L5. I had the disc/laminectomy and removal of a synovial cyst this past March. Already another cyst has formed pressing on the nerve. I had such a bad experience following the surgery that I am having a difficult time committing to another surgery, this time more invasive. ...and the horror stories I've read are not encouraging. I just want the pain in my legs and back to go away. I don't want to add to my discomfort. Currently I am receiving injections at a pain management clinic. Sometime they help for a few weeks, other times they don't do anything except disappoint. I am a 69 yr. old woman, who is overweight. I am unable to walk far or exercise. Any words of encouragement or wisdom from those who have been there and back would be greatly appreciated.[/QUOTE]
Hey there,
I do have a positive, but very new story of my L4/L5 fusion with rods, screws and cage with bone graft.
My surgery was October 22nd (2008). I am almost 4 weeks postop and am very encouraged that the surgery was a sucess. The nerve pain in right buttock and leg is gone! Now of course the back pain is another story! But I know it's goin to get better as the weeks go by. I had a spine surgeon and a nuro surgeon in the OR with me. They did a great job! But no lie...the pain was the worst that I have ever gone through! I am 36 years old, with 2 boys 14 & 8. In the hospital, I was having terrible regrets for having the surgery, but now that I'm just now weaning of the walker,,,,life is looking better! I hope this is encouraging to someone else who may be having a fusion! Take care!

 
Old 11-18-2008, 07:44 PM   #6
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zeroman HB User
Re: Is there anyone who has had a positive result from fusion surgery

I had my double fusion at L3-4-5 two years ago. I am sooo glad I had it. while its not 100% of the pre injury level Im about 90% back to where I was as far as being pain free. I would do it again in a heartbeat.

that being said, everyone is different.

also as was mentioned the people who hang around here tend to be the ones with on going problems or failed back surgeries. ones like myself with sucessful outcomes tend to drift away and live the good life again.

I do try to stop in every so often and give a positive word.

BTW my doc gave me these odds: 60% better (note better, not perfect), 30% no change or a different pain, 10% worse. any respecatble doc should give about the same odds, give or take. I went with the odds and made it.

do research, ask questions. its YOUR back.
__________________
back surgery in JUN 06 - two level ALIF (L3-4-5) with cages and BMP - SUCCESSFUL!

 
Old 11-18-2008, 11:19 PM   #7
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DelawareGirl HB User
Re: Is there anyone who has had a positive result from fusion surgery

I had a 3 level lumbar fusion in March 2008. I would do it again in a heartbeat. I am so much better than I was before the surgery. I am still healing and seeing signs of progress.

 
Old 11-19-2008, 03:30 AM   #8
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Susiebird HB User
Re: Is there anyone who has had a positive result from fusion surgery

Couldn't agree with TomL more - the secret to success after fusion is to get active and STAY active. Surgery is only the first step in the journey. It's taken some trial and error, but I can honestly say I feel the best I've ever felt in my life after living with back pain for over 30 years. I still have my aches,pains, and twinges (mainly feet) but it normally never lasts more than an hour. Yes, I have to wear sort of expensive sneakers (asics 2120 series) but they are worth every penny! If I visit someone I have my special folding chair I take along "just in case" their seating arrangements don't cater to my back. If I miss my walk (5 miles/day) for more than a day or two, my back tightens up terrible but it is relieved by yes, another walk, NO PILLS. I did a sprint triathlon in October run,kayak,bike and felt super while training every other day and core exercises in between. It takes some doing, but it does happen - and I do it without a lot of drugs (I am trying to wean myself off elavil now, taken for foot pain- down to 1/2 of a 25 mg tablet at bedtime - I've taken it off and on since surgery 3 years ago, and it's helped more than anything else). I also take an occasional tylenol RRG maybe 6/month.

So yes, at least for now, my fusion was a success - I had a grade 2 spondy that could only get worse and since I'm an active person, fusion was the only choice for me. Now my back is a perfect "10", painstakingly aligned by my neurosurgeon in an 8 hour surgery, and since he did his job, now I will do my part!

 
Old 11-19-2008, 09:48 AM   #9
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georgie2828 HB User
Re: Is there anyone who has had a positive result from fusion surgery

Thanks for all the info you sent. At least there may be hope if I choose to go with the fusion. I am leaning toward continued injections and possibly having the spinal stimulator. How can you tell if your pain is all from the spinal problems or if arthritis in the hips is a contributing factor? I have already been told hip replacement is in my future. I had an interesting result from the injections. My arthritic knees don't bother me nearly as bad as before. After the very difficult recovery from the disc/laminectomy I am scared to death of the fusion. Such a difficult decision. Only those who have walked the path truly know what we go through.

 
Old 11-19-2008, 11:15 AM   #10
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georgie2828 HB User
Re: Is there anyone who has had a positive result from fusion surgery

That would be great. How old was your sister when she had the surgery?

 
Old 11-19-2008, 07:22 PM   #11
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laf761 HB User
Re: Is there anyone who has had a positive result from fusion surgery

Susiebird.......I'm with you...Love what you said...The Dr. did his part and the rest is up to the patient...Back patients must make a commitment....to work harder than most people to achieve even simple results....but it is indeed worth it...I went to the gym 3 nights in a row this week...Did I really want to come home, sit on the couch and order Chinese...yes...But once I get there I'm so glad I did...I take my newspaper and do the stationery bike for 25 minutes.....then do my stretches, arm stuff etc....Try to walk at least 1/2 an hr a day.....and not sit too long at the office..

Feeling better every day.....Good luck to you all...

Happy Holidays....Last year before my surgery I was so uncomfortable I couldn't even think about the holidays...

God Bless..

LAF....Laurinda

 
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