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Old 12-10-2012, 02:44 PM   #1
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3 level lumbar fusion.... first post

Hi everyone! This is my first post here on health Boards. I had a 3 level fusion L3-S1 approx 5 months ago. After progressing, I have hit a wall. Tons of pain in my back and legs...thigh, knee and shin are so bad! I went to ER because I could not get a handle on the pain. I still take quite a bit of meds. Had an MRI, the level above the fusion is blown. Broad based herniation! Im going nuts here thinking I need surgery, or worse, thinking that another surgery wont fix this and I am left in debilitating pain for the rest of my life. I have had 3 ESI's already since surgery and am on a steriod taper right now. Does anyone have any experience with blowing out an adjacent level and did you have surgery, did it heal on its own etc? I have 2 little kids and living life out of a hospital bed at home is getting old. So down, I feel like giving up!

 
Old 12-10-2012, 03:53 PM   #2
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Re: 3 level lumbar fusion....first post

Man! I cannot even imagine the pain you are feeling right now! Well I take that back I kind of can.. Anyways, why the heck would you give up?!?! You just posted that you have two young kids at home! I have 5 little ones, one of which (my 2 year old) was recently diagnosed with a really bad kidney illness. While I was still in my brace and still had an opened wound I was spending the night at a hospital on a hard chair barley sleeping because of the pain in my back. BUT I DID IT!

I did it because I live for my kids, just like you probably do! I don't want to sound mean but man we have to stay strong for them, we have to be like if I need a surgery I will get it because I want to be there for my kids!

Stay strong! Don't get discouraged, I know how it feels to have some pain, I got the ALIF for the L5-S1 7 weeks ago and daily it seems like I am getting worse but I just push it brother because eventually we will be better! stay positive!

Good luck!

Last edited by Guerrilla; 12-10-2012 at 04:08 PM.

 
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Old 12-10-2012, 04:12 PM   #3
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Re: 3 level lumbar fusion....first post

Thanks for the reply. First off the giving up is just a way of explaining how frustrated I am. I would, of course, never do anything crazy and leave my kids alone. I am sorry about your little one. I hope things work out and that he is okay. I know how hard recovery is and I am not looking for a an easy way through this. I just hope there is a way to fix this and that I have a shot at somewhat of a normal life. My kids deserve a mom that can play with them, that is not in horrible pain every minute of every day. Its hard and it wears on you. I have been in pain for almost 9 years and sometimes I just want to see the end of it in sight. I, like most of us with spine issues, wants to get better. I dont think that is too much to ask for. I am looking for anyone that has gone through the same thing. Doesnt have to be exact, but that has dealt with an adjacent level blowing out and what their experience was. Did they have surgery? Did the herniation heal on its own? Did it get worse before better, etc? Thanks again for the reply.

 
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Old 12-10-2012, 04:14 PM   #4
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Re: 3 level lumbar fusion....first post

[QUOTE=Levi2222;5102222]Thanks for the reply. First off the giving up is just a way of explaining how frustrated I am. I would, of course, never do anything crazy and leave my kids alone. I am sorry about your little one. I hope things work out and that he is okay. I know how hard recovery is and I am not looking for a an easy way through this. I just hope there is a way to fix this and that I have a shot at somewhat of a normal life. My kids deserve a mom that can play with them, that is not in horrible pain every minute of every day. Its hard and it wears on you. I have been in pain for almost 9 years and sometimes I just want to see the end of it in sight. I, like most of us with spine issues, wants to get better. I dont think that is too much to ask for. I am looking for anyone that has gone through the same thing. Doesnt have to be exact, but that has dealt with an adjacent level blowing out and what their experience was. Did they have surgery? Did the herniation heal on its own? Did it get worse before better, etc? Thanks again for the reply.[/QUOTE]

Stay strong and I hope you find what your looking for!!

 
Old 12-11-2012, 09:29 AM   #5
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Re: 3 level lumbar fusion....first post

Hi Levi 2222, I didnt have pain for nine years before surgery or blow the adjacent disc but i would like to briefly tell you what i think are our similarities. At age 26, i was injured & had 2 discs explode into pieces & had #1 lum lam @ L4-S1 levels. Six days postop, my spinal fluid was pouring out hence #2 lumbar surgery to repair the grafts that didnt take in surg#1. I married, had children, worked over next 5 years. Then i reinjured a disc & with a 4 & 2 year old I had surgery #3. Again, i leaked spinal fluid & like the other time had surgery #4 to repair leak, & spent from january - may in bed, flat, to make sure the fascial graft held. Over the years the pain became increasingly worse, while I was raising my children until this very day. Ive been in pain mgmt since 1998 for intractable pain. My children made straight A's, traveled all over the world, an artist, a drummer, excelled in every sport but played competition soccer which led with their academics to choosing which scholarship they would take & did, graduated univ. & are in great careers! Their mom was in pain everyday, every step of the way with them. You know what they remember & say? That they had a blast growing up, had every opportunity to succeed & we are the best parents ever. I think that is what you can do, that is what you will do & that is what your kids will do and say! I hear it in your post! To me, Love overcomes pain! Especially a mom's love, in my opinion. I think one day this is what you will say about your children to someone in pain, feeling just how you do today! Levi, I did it this way; "Mom?" "What honey?" then listen, or go or do whatever it is. Just one "Mom?" at a time. Thank you, gmak

Last edited by gmak; 12-11-2012 at 09:31 AM. Reason: typos

 
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:18 AM   #6
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Re: 3 level lumbar fusion....first post

Oh you made me cry. Thank you for taking the time to respond. Your words are an inspiration to me. I am going to be okay. Just a bump in the road. I see my surgeon tomorrow so will be able to get out of my head about all of this. Sometimes that is the worse part of all this. Trying to figure out what is next for me and my family. You are right my family will make it, my husband will understand the lack of attention....AGAIN! And my kids will remember the good stuff! The cuddles in bed, to this day, no matter how high my pain is, one of my kids falls asleep or climbs in my little hospital bed...EVERY night. I dont sleep much, but boy to I cherish these little bodies still needing me. When you loose your identity through an injury....I have lost mine. I was the bread winner, the one in control of everything.....now its over, which isnt a bad thing...just different. I am trying to find my way back to me and who I will be with my limitations. Its hard but not impossible. I went back to school. I have to suspend for a bit until I get this latest bump leveled out....I cant think straight or do my school work.....back on the neurontin and it makes me a little dumb..haha. Anyway, I am rambling. I am okay and thank you again sooooo very much for your reply. Made a huge difference!

 
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:37 AM   #7
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Re: 3 level lumbar fusion....first post

[QUOTE=Levi2222;5102617]Oh you made me cry. Thank you for taking the time to respond. Your words are an inspiration to me. I am going to be okay. Just a bump in the road. I see my surgeon tomorrow so will be able to get out of my head about all of this. Sometimes that is the worse part of all this. Trying to figure out what is next for me and my family. You are right my family will make it, my husband will understand the lack of attention....AGAIN! And my kids will remember the good stuff! The cuddles in bed, to this day, no matter how high my pain is, one of my kids falls asleep or climbs in my little hospital bed...EVERY night. I dont sleep much, but boy to I cherish these little bodies still needing me. When you loose your identity through an injury....I have lost mine. I was the bread winner, the one in control of everything.....now its over, which isnt a bad thing...just different. I am trying to find my way back to me and who I will be with my limitations. Its hard but not impossible. I went back to school. I have to suspend for a bit until I get this latest bump leveled out....I cant think straight or do my school work.....back on the neurontin and it makes me a little dumb..haha. Anyway, I am rambling. I am okay and thank you again sooooo very much for your reply. Made a huge difference![/QUOTE]



Hi levi 222, You did say that you were seeing your surgeon this week, and i was wondering if he came to a conclusion and in general if you are feeling better. I truly hope so, God bless you, levi. You have been in my thoughts and prayers. I hope you got good news. Thank you, gmak
Hi levi 222,

 
Old 12-13-2012, 11:02 AM   #8
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Re: 3 level lumbar fusion....first post

Hi Gmak! Yes, I saw the surgeon yesterday. Better than I expected. Long story short....he said he can fix this...but wants to wait as long as possible, to give the initial surgery time to heal. He said he will of course do it whenever I say go! Meaning, if the pain gets totally unbearable, he will do...but getting to a year is of course our goal. I am at 5 months. He also said there is a quite a lot of scarring at L5-S1...I really didnt remember to ask about what we do with that...we were talking about how easy the surgery will be to what I have already been through. So, he gave me some lidoderm patches, I see my PM next week, and will talk about how to manage this increase in pain. I am praying that this will heal on its own and I can get back to healing from the initial 3 level! Best thing is he didnt tell me there was nothing he could do...I feel better knowing he can help when the time is right. He of course said that everything looks great with the sugery. No lose hardwre etc. Still waiting on a CT to see if any fusion has started. He said he couldnt see it in the MRI...that is a little scary. How are you doing? Thanks for asking about me! El

 
Old 12-13-2012, 11:56 AM   #9
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Re: 3 level lumbar fusion....first post

[QUOTE=Levi2222;5103756]Hi Gmak! Yes, I saw the surgeon yesterday. Better than I expected. Long story short....he said he can fix this...but wants to wait as long as possible, to give the initial surgery time to heal. He said he will of course do it whenever I say go! Meaning, if the pain gets totally unbearable, he will do...but getting to a year is of course our goal. I am at 5 months. He also said there is a quite a lot of scarring at L5-S1...I really didnt remember to ask about what we do with that...we were talking about how easy the surgery will be to what I have already been through. So, he gave me some lidoderm patches, I see my PM next week, and will talk about how to manage this increase in pain. I am praying that this will heal on its own and I can get back to healing from the initial 3 level! Best thing is he didnt tell me there was nothing he could do...I feel better knowing he can help when the time is right. He of course said that everything looks great with the sugery. No lose hardwre etc. Still waiting on a CT to see if any fusion has started. He said he couldnt see it in the MRI...that is a little scary. How are you doing? Thanks for asking about me! El[/QUOTE]

Hi levi, I agree with you he can do something if needed, thats great news! Ive never had a fusion, so I dont know when that takes place. But, you have a chance to get better and to me thats the main thing. Ive been doing like always. Fighting pain, but succeeding enough not to be in bed but not enough to do all that a mom must pull off for Christmas! But, again I put that anxiety on myself! Believe me, my kids couldnt tell you what specific toy, gift, tree or decoration made Christmas wonderful. It was the togetherness of family, the love that they recall. So, glad for you to get hope, just be patient with your body, they are truly wonderfully made, i think! Please let us know how you are doing, your PM visit etc, praying the pain lessens. Thank you levi

 
Old 12-14-2012, 08:38 AM   #10
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Re: 3 level lumbar fusion....first post

I so much agree with Gmak. And good luck to you all.

 
Old 12-14-2012, 11:39 AM   #11
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Re: 3 level lumbar fusion.... first post

You just need a X-ray to see any bone cell growth.

Glad the surgeon feels he can help you when the time is right.

 
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