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Life After Fusion???

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Old 08-05-2004, 09:11 PM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 110
Janice1033 HB User
Life After Fusion???

Hi there:

I was just wondering if anyone here can tell me what you were able to do after you're fusion surgeries? I am not sure if I am even a candidate for fusion(severe DDD in L4 and L5 with a bulding disc and osteophtes ) but was just wondering what if anything you could NOT do after the fact.

I love to ride on our motorcycle and my job has me walking about 8 to 11 kms every day. I am going in for my first ESI on the 23rd and am hoping for good results so that I can go back to work when school goes back in on the 7th of Sept. I went to get more meds. for my stomach today and the dr I saw said I was in for the long haul as far as back pain goes(duh!!!!). Anyways just thought I would ask? Hope no body minds my silly questions this seems to be only place I can get some straight answeres.

Thanks take care:


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Old 08-05-2004, 09:27 PM   #2
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 2
LaurenJMD HB User
sort of....

I have had 2 fusions at L4-5 and L5-S1 (2nd one a year after the first one failed). Because I have 3 levels now fused (and still have terrible pain pretty much all the time - partially now due to the next 2 discs up being bad), I often have trouble with reaching for um... er... bathroom hygiene. 'nuff said. That would be one of the worst things, I guess. "Intimacy" with my husband is very-nearly extinct. Also have difficulty picking up stuff from floor, putting on shoes that need tying, clipping toenails, shaving legs, etc. I can no longer go horseback riding (I used to LOVE it!) (and by the way, why aren't there any CRYING smilies available here?? That's what I *wanted* to put after "no horseback riding"). Also can't ride our ATVs anymore - well, unless you count putzing along on a road or very smooth surface "riding" - I call it BORING! Can't water-ski (not because of the fusions though - just because of the d*** PAIN!) I'm permanently banned (by my NS) from anything "high-impact" and from lifting over 20 pounds, because of the stress on the remaining lumbar discs, which are already half-shot.

BUT, all that is just me. Some people go on (after a fusion) to live pretty normal lives.

Good luck with your injection.

Old 08-06-2004, 12:41 AM   #3
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: usa
Posts: 2,943
mel1977 HB User
Re: Life After Fusion???

I dont know if I am a candidate for a fusion, I have a lot of stuff running through my mind right now regarding what will happen or what is going on, but this is a good post. It is highly possible fusion could be in my future, either now or later on and I have always wondered about "life after a fusion". I work in a physical rehab hospital and deal with back injured people day and day out and see their recovery process, but don't get to see what goes on when they go home. You'd think that I would have taken better care of my body since I am a nursing assistant AND work in a rehab hospital, but I guess it is different when you think you can do anything and not suffer in the long run-boy was I wrong.
Anyway, nice to "meet" you and I look forward to reading your post

Old 08-06-2004, 04:56 AM   #4
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 60
Josephine66 HB User
Re: Life After Fusion???

I have had fusion in my lower back and am about to have it done in my neck on Monday. You shold try other treatments first as there are no guarantees with fusion. My lower back is much better than it was before the surgery. Because the bones are now stable I no longer get drop foot and I only have a flare up of pain a couple of times a year. But I still have to be very careful about how I move! I am lucky to have three teen sons who can help me with lifting etc. I don't know what I will do when they move out! I was kind of disappointed after the first fusion that I wasn't pain free but every time I see my x-rays I am amazed I can walk at all! I hope for better results with my fusion on Monday. I caught the spondy much earlier and the pressure on my spinal cord has only been going on for a short time. It's a hard decision to make and part of me is terrified that the fusion will make it worse.

As far as what I can do after fusion surgery. I can walk without pain most days. I can do my daily chores if I am careful about not bending. I cannot do many impact activities like horse back riding or biking. I cannot lift any thing heavy. It frustrates me sometimes to have restrictions on my activities but I am greatful to still be walking! Before the surgery I was headed in a wheelchair direction. Good luck with whatever you decide!

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