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    Old 03-02-2004, 05:21 PM   #1
    Cindy Stoller
    Join Date: Feb 2004
    Location: ne Ohio
    Posts: 34
    Cindy Stoller HB User
    Need input from those who have had lumbar fusion.......

    I have a friend who has just about run out of options:
    23 yr old male, tall and lanky build, July 2002 herniated L5-S1 lifting. After failed conservative treatment (PT, medications, epidural steroid injections [ESI]), he underwent microdiskectomy December 2002. He experienced relief of leg symptoms, but continued with severe low back pain. Again underwent ESIs and facet injections. Discogram August 2003 identified grade 1 annular tear at L4-5 and grade 5 annular tear L5-S1, but no re-herniation. He was evaluated for IDET procedure (against my better judgement) and - suprise -he is not a candidate due to the tears and the fact that his leg symptoms have reappeared. Neuro does not want to do fusion; pain mgmt wont do IDET and states he has nothing else to offer him. Neuro wont give him any pain med except oral Toradol (yikes!), which didnt work and gave him gastritis. Presently he is just taking Advil and Aleve, which gives him only minimal relief (and long-term will tear up his stomach some more!)
    I'd like to hear your suggestions, your experiences, because I'd really like to find something to help this guy besides fusion. He's only 23!!!! I know very little about artificial disc replacement, but am willing to learn.
    Thank you so much for your help!

    Last edited by Cindy Stoller; 03-03-2004 at 06:34 PM.

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    Old 03-03-2004, 01:23 PM   #2
    sandyw7388's Avatar
    Join Date: Mar 2004
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    Re: Need input from those who have had lumbar fusion.......

    I have had a lumbar fusion at the L5-S1 and L4-5 as well. The L5-S1 I had done back in 1996 and had fairly good success with the results. My pain level was reduced significantly, but did occasionally experience bouts of increased pain primarily when I stood or walked for long periods of time. I had herniated the disc twice. After the 1st time, my surgeon performed a discectomy but I re-herniated it again 4 months later. The pain was excrutiating and at times I literally could not walk. Overall I would say I was satisfied with the results from the fusion. Now my second fusion is another story, but you probably don't need to know about that one since it is a different disc. However, I should tell you that the pain and problems I am experiencing from the second fusion was due to the amount of time we had to wait between the time of the injury and the fusion. It was almost a year and alot of nerve damage done over that period of time is irreversible. Based on my experiences with problems I have had with the 2nd fusion, I would NOT recommend a spinal stimulator implant. I have had one since Aug. 2003 and have not had much pain relief at all. As a matter of fact, we are removing it within the next month. The only other treatments I have had thus far is medications and haven't had much luck in that area as far as finding one that does me much good. We are currently discussing performing some facet injections on me to see if that helps. That may be something to consider for your client as well. I don't know much about them, but you can get on and it will give you info about them. As far as artificial disc replacement, I don't know much about that because by the time they started doing those, I had already had my first fusion and could not be considered as a candidate. I do know that the Texas Back Institute does those. I would be most willing to share what I have experienced.

    Last edited by moderator2; 03-03-2004 at 03:23 PM. Reason: Please carefully read, know and follow the Policies and Guidelines. Click on FAQ at the top left of this page. Thank you!

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