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Old 07-09-2002, 10:32 AM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: new york ny usa
Posts: 65
tophatter HB User
Bak cages or standard lumbar fusion ?advise please

Hi, I'm at the point now where I need to make a decision on what type of Back fusion L4 thru S1 to get.I've been told by 3 neuro's that I will need fusion if not now definatley in the future,Have tried ALL other treatments and they have not helped,only temporary as most of you out there probably have experienced..I went to 1 neuro who does the fusion through the back (microsurgery) and he says that it can take up to 2 years to completely heal.I went to another neuro who uses the cages,rods and screws and he told me that I would get releive a lot faster than the other fusion but there is a possibility that there could be a problem with the hardware .Neither one sounds like a win win fix however my pain level has increased and I need to do something soon.
I wanted to hold out for the artificial discs but that could take 3 years in the U.S. to be approved..
Any suggestions and experiences with either surgery would be greatly appriciated..Thanks

Old 07-09-2002, 10:57 AM   #2
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: England
Posts: 71
purplefluffything HB User
Re: Bak cages or standard lumbar fusion ?advise please

Hi Tophatter,
I expect you wiil get a lot of different opinions on this subjet, I would have thought the less invasive surgery would be best if you have a choice, But then again i do not know much about that procedure except you say its microsurgery which is less invasive on your body not as big a trauma for you.

I had the same area fused as you with cages rods and screws,And unfortunatly i'm having a rough time at this present time (i'm ten months post op) But a lot of people should recover alot quicker than me, I have another prob disc that needs sorting, There are some very positive stories on this board about fusions you should take a look then get intouch with those people. they would only be to willing to help, They were in your shoes once.

Sorry cannot be more help <IMG SRC=""> <IMG SRC="">

ALL THE BEST Purple xxx

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Old 07-09-2002, 02:21 PM   #3
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: England
Posts: 37
Hayley HB User
Re: Bak cages or standard lumbar fusion ?advise please

Hi Tophatter - not too sure how much help I'll be but, like Purple, I've had the same levels fused, only I'm a little luckier than Purple in that mine appears to be ok at the moment.

I'm not familiar with the 'Microsurgey' procedure but can give you a run down of my experience.

I am now 10 weeks post-op having had Posterior (i.e. from the back) L4-S1 fusion with instrumentation - a Hartshill Rectangle and Sublaminar Wiring. At the moment I'm confident in saying that it absolutely was the right thing to do. I feel more 'upright' than I have in years, and with my PT about to start I know things can only get better. My original pain has all but gone and I'm sure that what I am feeling today is healing pain that will come to an end. I too have been told that the bones will take up to 24 months to fully fuse.

I agree with Purple that the least invasive option is a good choice and you have obviously investigated all of the other more conservative methods of treatment.

I hope I have given you some help in making your difficult decision.

Keep well

Old 07-09-2002, 02:57 PM   #4
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: new york ny usa
Posts: 65
tophatter HB User
Re: Bak cages or standard lumbar fusion ?advise please

Thanks Purple and Hayley for your replies.I've been having a hard time dealing with this as you all probably had to.It would be nice if we all had a crystal ball but we don't.If the artificial discs were approved in the US I wouldn't have as much a problem deciding but oh well..Stay well and I wish you both health and pain free days...TRhanks,Tophatter

Old 07-09-2002, 03:44 PM   #5
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: England
Posts: 37
Hayley HB User
Re: Bak cages or standard lumbar fusion ?advise please

Good luck Tophatter!


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