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L5-S1 fusion after previous L3-L5


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Old 09-15-2017, 04:41 PM   #1
WendyTokyo
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L5-S1 fusion after previous L3-L5

Hello.
I was wondering if anyone else has had a 2nd fusion on an adjacent level(s)? I'm pretty sure some of you have :-)
I'm 52 and have had a type of inflammatory arthritis (Reactive Arthritis) for 25 years now. I also have secondary osteoarthritis.
Three years ago I had a very successful double lumbar fusion at L3-L5. However now I have a lot of pain in my lower back again, and the solution (having tried everything else) is a fusion below the first one, i.e. S1.
As I have a chronic and destructive form of arthritis, I know I will need more surgeries as I age. I have previously had 2 hip replacements, great toe fusion and several surgeries on other toes. Probably my cervical spine will be the next problem area. I joke that the surgeons should just fuse my entire spine now, rather than having multiple surgeries :-)
Have you had good results from adjacent fusions? My life is severely limited by pain at present.
Thanks for any comments,
Wendy

Last edited by WendyTokyo; 09-15-2017 at 04:42 PM. Reason: Typos

 
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Old 09-16-2017, 08:35 AM   #2
teteri66
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Re: L5-S1 fusion after previous L3-L5

Indeed! As a matter of fact, I am going in an Friday due to severe stenosis at L2-3, but this time I am not having fusion. My surgeon said if it had occurred five years ago, he would have needed to remove my current hardware at L3-S1 in order to address this issue. But now with the changes in technology, I am having a less invasive procedure and will only be in one night...and will not have additional hardware.

Previously I had a PLIF at L4-5 which was medically successful but my symptoms were never relieved. So several years later, they added on L3-4 and L5-S1 although the screws at L4-5 had to be removed because they were not compatible with the newer hardware...so I was fused from L3-S1.

If you were pleased with the results of the first fusion, I see no reason why you shouldn't be pleased with this surgery. I assume you are using the same surgeon?

 
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Old 09-16-2017, 03:24 PM   #3
WendyTokyo
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Re: L5-S1 fusion after previous L3-L5

Thanks for your reply Teteri66. It's reassuring to hear others' experiences. And all the best for your upcoming surgery :-)
Wendy

 
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Old 09-17-2017, 09:15 AM   #4
teteri66
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Re: L5-S1 fusion after previous L3-L5

Once the surgical healing has occurred, you shouldn't notice any difference in movement or "flexibility." L5-S1 is not a segment that carries much movement anyway. However, one issue that people with a fused L5-S1 often experience is the increase with problems with the sacroiliac joints. I had some mild pain for almost a year after my fusion until the muscles and soft tissue became adjusted and used to the new demands. I worked with a therapist who supervised exercises, had weekly acupuncture and things eventually settled down. I am very careful to avoid those things that might cause a sciatic nerve flare.

Perhaps you will not be troubled by this. Perhaps you don't have sciatic type issues to begin with!

When is your surgery?

 
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Old 09-17-2017, 02:37 PM   #5
WendyTokyo
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Re: L5-S1 fusion after previous L3-L5

My surgery date hasn't been set but will likely be January. (I work as a tour guide in Japan and January/February are our quietest months.)
I don't have sciatica but I do have sore SI joints as there is inflammation there. That's unfortunately common with my type of arthritis. Thanks for the information as I wondered if my back would lose more flexibility :-)

 
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