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Old 09-08-2010, 05:53 PM   #1
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L3-4 fusion L5-S1 decompression, scared to death, surgery in two months

I am 50 and am having back surgery on Oct. 28th. (L3-4 fusion, L5-S1 decompression) I am very nervous. Please has anyone had this and if so please tell me what to expect for recovery and pain and long term results. I love to bike ride, walk and work out. Will I still be able to do so? I also just had a complete knee replacement two months ago and it is still very sore. I had my first knee replacement 5 years ago and it is wonderful. I feel very nervous about the back surgery. Please respond to my worry...
Thanks,
Jacquee

 
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Old 09-08-2010, 10:09 PM   #2
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Re: L3-4 fusion L5-S1 decompression, scared to death, surgery in two months

You will be sore sweetie for several months, I'm told. I'm 2.5 weeks post-op for L5-S1with anchoring to ilium and sacrum. My pain is significant but I am taking it an hour at a time. To promote fusion and successful 'anchoring', your movements will be restricted. However, they encourage walking as it facilitates recovery and healing. My guess is that you won't even want to THINK of bike riding. Someone else posted a very good analogy. Like with delivering a baby, the pain may be significant but you will remember being in pain but not re-live the pain from memory. It will be tolerable. After lower back surgery, you rely more on upper body and legs for movement. You might wish to ask your surgeon what impact will your recovery have on your still mending knee as you will not be bending from the waist in the near future, but rather from the knees. I have both a walker and a cane and didn't think I'd need them BUT I DO!!!!!! Don't know what I'd do without them. Do you tolerate bending at the knees right now? Does your knee soreness increase after bending? [U]Do you know why the surgeon doesn't want to wait until your knee is healed?[/U] My ankylosing spondylitis (AS) attacks connective tissue in places - one place is my left knee (not a sore as yours, I'm sure). Because my AS meds act as an immune suppressant I can't take them so soon after surgery. I am trying to imagine how I would cope if my knee hurt any more than it does. You might even ask for an order to have a consult with a PT (physical therapist) before the surgery to make certain that your knee will not complicate things and that you are adequately prepared.
Best wishes,

Anterior discectomy & fusion at C4-5, C5-6, C6-7
Anterior discectomy & fusion at C3-4
Posterior discectomy/revision due to pseudoarthrosis (failure to fuse) and re-do of
instrumentation at all cervical levels
Ankylosing Spondylitis
Cardiac Pacemaker
Bronchiectasis
VERY recent L5-S1 ALIF with cage & anchoring to hip bone and sacrum

 
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Old 09-09-2010, 02:36 PM   #3
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Re: L3-4 fusion L5-S1 decompression, scared to death, surgery in two months

Have they said if they will fuse L3 all the way to S1 as an option when they open you up? Will they be going in via the back or via the abdomen or perhaps both?
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Rt thumb fusion '13. R&L thumb arthroplasty '12 ; RT TKR & Bilat CTS' 11. Fusions: L5-S1('87), L4-S1('93), C5-C7('06), L3-S1('10), C4-C5('13). C5-C7 foraminotomy '08

 
Old 09-10-2010, 01:06 PM   #4
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Re: L3-4 fusion L5-S1 decompression, scared to death, surgery in two months

[QUOTE=Jacquee;4323598]I am 50 and am having back surgery on Oct. 28th. (L3-4 fusion, L5-S1 decompression) I am very nervous. Please has anyone had this and if so please tell me what to expect for recovery and pain and long term results. I love to bike ride, walk and work out. Will I still be able to do so? I also just had a complete knee replacement two months ago and it is still very sore. I had my first knee replacement 5 years ago and it is wonderful. I feel very nervous about the back surgery. Please respond to my worry...
Thanks,
Jacquee[/QUOTE]


>>>> Hi Jacqee and welcome to the forum. Having had several back surgeries, I can tell you that recovery takes TIME. Once you are healed well, I see no reason you can't ride your bike and work out, tho you may have to change your routine to accomodate your back. Once you have had spinal surgery, it is important to always keep in mind that your back will never quite be the same. As far as walking goes, well, that is something you will be urged to do asap. Little walks at first, with someone accompanying you...then longer and longer. Walking will strenghten those back muscles and will help keep scar tissue formation at a minimum.

Mostly though, I just wanted to say hello to you and to let you know you aren't alone. This is a great group of people Jacquee and they will try to answer your questions and support you as you go through this trying time.

Carol

 
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