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    Old 07-05-2004, 03:57 PM   #1
    tophatter's Avatar
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    Need 2 Level Fusion (tlif) Severe Back Pain

    Hello, I wanted to know a couple of things from anyone who had fusion surgery. I was told by several surgeons that I need L4/5 L5/S1 fusion. I have been suffering with bad back pain and some leg pain.This is due to several tears in disc & herniations.The more the day goes on the worse the pain in back then my leg starts in but not unbearable with the leg.Standing & sitting is painful many times
    I tried to get ADR but my insurance rejected the request,(not yet approved)
    1) Has anyone had fusion for mainly back pain & some leg pain?
    2) If so did it help?
    3) Has anyone had the TLIF approach?.I understand that this method is a little less invasive on the nerves & has a quicker recovery.
    4) How soon after the surgery did you start getting relief from the back pain?
    5) Would I have more pain afterwards.
    I've been putting off this operation for some time & trried everything else possible with no longterm help.Any input would be appriciated.

    Thanks, Tophatter

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    Old 07-05-2004, 07:54 PM   #2
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    Re: Need 2 Level Fusion (tlif) Severe Back Pain

    [COLOR=Indigo][FONT=Garamond][I]If you have exhausted all conservative measures, such as physical therapy, nerve blocks, etc. then surgery may be the only thing left. It is said you should not have it only for the purpose of ridding yourself of pain as it doesn't always do so. However, since you are having leg pain as well, it is possible that you have a nerve being pinched. What does your MRI report say? Has you dr. explained exactly why you are having pain, or does he know? It is always good to get a second opinion before going for surgery, too.

    I know I had my first fusion because of pain, and while it didn't cure it, it sure was much better and I got by with tylenol3 now and then for a long time.

    Good luck.
    2 lami's, 3 fusions
    bone spur removal
    cerv. fusion, 1 level
    morphine pump

    Old 07-06-2004, 11:52 AM   #3
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    Re: Need 2 Level Fusion (tlif) Severe Back Pain

    Hey! I had one level fusion for back pain only. No leg pain at all. My pain definitely got worse as the day went on, and was aggravated by activity such as standing and walking.

    I am 3 months out, and started feeling better as soon as the wounds healed from the surgery. I had posterior fusion. Now, I feel very, very good. The first few weeks are really hard, and the first few days are harrowing, but it was so worth it for me. I also put it off for a long time, and tried many other things to try to avoid surgery. But, I definitely feel better, now, and have so much more energy now that I am not in constant pain.

    Every person and condition is so different, though. I am very grateful to have gotten the result I seem to have, already.

    Hope this has helped!


    Old 07-06-2004, 04:24 PM   #4
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    Re: Need 2 Level Fusion (tlif) Severe Back Pain

    Hi there:
    I have just had level L4/5 L5/Si two level fusion done on June 7, 2004. I have to say this is the best move I have ever made. I feel like a new lease on life has been given.
    I have suffered with two ruptured disks and a fractured vertebra from Spondylolisthesis gade two, for the last 18 months. I endured physiotherapy, two epideral injections, and a tense machine. I was taken Vioox two times a day, up to 8 Tylenol 3'2, and 3600 mg of Nerontin per day. After putting up with severe lower back pain, numbness and foot drop in one foot and constant leg pain, my surgeon decided that surgery would probably be the only way. I checked out alot of info, talked to alot of people and weighed my options. I was at the point that doing housework, driving and worst of all walking were being eliminated out of my life. I am only 39 and was very active until my injury. I felt this was the only way to try to improve my quality of life. I haven't worked since two weeks after I hurt my back.
    Many people warned me how I would feel if I went through with it. I never really thought of how good or bad it was but how it would hopefully turn out.
    I have my surgery, not really knowing how bad I would feel immediately afterwards. I spent four days in severe pain, from the hip where they took bone from, pain from gas and unable to go to the washroom. But... the pain in my feet and legs was gone immediately after I awoke. This was a miracle to me. I do still get a bit of pain in the foot that had foot drop but nothing like before. On Day 5, my outlook improved 100 %. I was walking around, urinating normally and was a very happy camper.
    By Day 10, I was on no pain meds, no antiinflammatioryies, and no Neurontin. I could walk a mile and a half and still felt good. I am able to sit in a reclined position for an extended period of time, walk as much as I want and even doing little things around my house.
    I do wear a TLSO brace at all times other than sleeping. This keeps me stable. I do feel uncomfortable when I first take it off. You almost feel like your back won't hold you up. But it feels good to take it off and great to get comfortable in bed. I waas told I would have to wear the brace until fusion was a success. This could take anywhere from 6 months to 1 and 1/2 years. But it is worth it.
    Restrictions: No lifting, bending, twisting, or driving cars. I can't have a bath until after the brace is off, but I can swim in a pool or lake as long as I wear the brace.
    If I can't tell you enough, for me this was the best decision I could have made. The recovery is tough at first but each day gets better and better. If you do go through with it, check all your options, be prepared and get extra help for when you are at home. Recovery is important and doing it alone would be too tough.
    I hope I have given you a bit of insight into it. Ask lots of questions, and best of luck.

    Old 07-07-2004, 11:19 AM   #5
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    Re: Need 2 Level Fusion (tlif) Severe Back Pain

    hi,yes if it were me i would get this surgery done soon ,unfortunally yes u will have alot of pain at first,but then itll get better ,if ya dont then most likely itll get worse sooner or later then youll really be unhappy with things,i wish u the best of luck

    Old 07-07-2004, 03:34 PM   #6
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    Re: Need 2 Level Fusion (tlif) Severe Back Pain

    Are the meds making you bouncy, Siberiandog? LOL

    Old 07-08-2004, 06:29 PM   #7
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    Re: Need 2 Level Fusion (tlif) Severe Back Pain

    Hi, Thanks for the replies.Shelly ,you said you had to wear the brace for a year or so, do you have hardware or what type of approach did the doc do?I'm glad to hear your life is back and hopefully this will be my story.

    All the Best, Tophatter

    Old 07-08-2004, 06:54 PM   #8
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    Re: Need 2 Level Fusion (tlif) Severe Back Pain

    [FONT=Comic Sans MS]Hi there Tophatter

    I am having similar surgery in the near future. Just had an appointment with my surgeon yesterday - finally!! The disc between L4 & L5 is pretty much gone and my surgeon has suggested rods and pins from L4 to L5 with cages and also rods and pins from L5 to S1 (no cages). I must have asked the poor guy 500 questions!!

    The brace is basically to keep you from bending and twisting while fusion is attempting to take place. Different Dr's have different styles.

    If you have run the gamit of alternatives for relief from your pain (this is where I am) you are going about finding your answers the right way. Ask lots of questions and do lots of research on your condition and what can be done about it. As questions pop into your head start another thread - the folks on this board are GREAT! They have all had something informative to input.

    I started reading a month ago and was terrified. I know now I'm making the right decision. Whether or not the surgery works - its still the right decision for me.

    So keep reading - and keep asking!!

    The best of luck in your endeavour

    [/FONT] [COLOR=DarkSlateBlue][/COLOR]

    Old 07-12-2004, 07:49 AM   #9
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    Re: Need 2 Level Fusion (tlif) Severe Back Pain

    Hi Tophatter:

    I hope this finds you well. I have to wear the brace for at least 6 months but up to 1 1/2 years. This depends on the fusion.
    The doctor did a two level fusion, laminectomy, discetomy and by the intertransverse approach. I had two discs removed, screws placed in due to spondylosislisthesis and bone graph taken from the right hiop. I have an L shaped incision along the spine and to the hip. This healed with the use of steristrips rather than stitches or staples. I was off my meds very quickly and walking around by day 4. The reason for the brace is to give aded stability. thank goodness for this. I tend to overdo it a little, so this stops me from moving the wrong way and lets me know quickly when I have. I wear it at all times except shower and bed. I find it wonderful to take it off at night and let it rest.
    The trick in bed, is always roll at one time with your whole body. This is called the log roll. My bed is very high and we added a hand rail to get up and roll with. I have nobs on the side and this holds my brace for easy access during the night.
    I was on Nuerontin 3600 mg, T'3s, Vioox, and then went to Morphine. I am now only on 300 mg of Nuerontin, for the restless nerves in my feet. I find at night they still get a little stirred up. The surgeon said this will be normal for awhile. I have taken Vioox a couple times, but have stopped this. Virtually I have been pain free, my legs are great and feet are improving. Keep walking and sit as little as possible afterwards. I do hope I have helped. Ask lots of questions and keep your chin up.

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