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  • Will a L5 S1 Fusion realy help ??

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    Old 01-02-2005, 02:09 PM   #1
    stidw
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    Will a L5 S1 Fusion realy help ??

    Just wondering if a L5 S1 fusion is realy worth it. If all other methods have failed , shots , pills , PT , blocks , ect. Will a fusion really help a 35 yrs old male. I need to golf again, i need to feel like a person.

    how long after a l5 s1 , before you can walk , shower , sit in a chair , and do stairs.

    please help

     
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    Old 01-02-2005, 02:45 PM   #2
    mel1977
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    Re: Will a L5 S1 Fusion realy help ??

    that is totally up to you and remember, surgery is not a fix all. You could have it and end up with no pain, the same pain or worse pain. I had mine for the same reasons as you-I wanted to be a person again and live my life. I am 27 and have a long way to go and was willing to risk it. Worse case, I would end up no worse than I already was. I was up walking to the bathroom the third day. I had them leave my foley in an extra 24 hours b/c I wanted to get to the bathroom. I did use a bedpan (urinal for you) the first night, but was up to the bathroom the next day. I was up out of bed using the walker the first day, but not able to walk far. Sitting up SUCKED LIKE YOU WOULD NOT BELIEVE. My back would spasm getting to upright, and my abdomen burned and seized lying down (anterior posterior incisions). I used my IV pole to walk though in the room. Day three was when I was getting up out of bed alone. Day six, I was able to walk around w/o help, not even using the IV pole.
    I can sit for maybe five minutes, and I am two weeks or so post op. I can sit in a car ONLY if I recline the seat back. I walk pretty good, but my muscles fatigue and spasm easily. I use a walker when I go out or a wc if one is available.
    Day six when I was to go home, I had my PT help me with stairs, and I did pretty well. I would need someone there or atleast the rail. My dr said I could shower the day I went home, but no bathing (couldn't even if I wanted to though).
    when I woke up the first full day, I kept asking myself WHY I did this to my body. The pain from surgery was so intense. I cried four to five times during my stay from pain. BUT, the original pain I had prior was gone. I am glad so far I had this surgery. Though, I will admit, recovery was MUCH harder than I had expected. I had two levels done btw, l4-S1.
    I have a lot of goals including finishing college and being able to travel. Those are other reasons I had this surgery. It is your choice. You need to be aware of all the risks and know that there is no guarantee it will work, though it seems most people who have the fusion, are glad they did, no matter how long it takes to heal.
    this is a decision only you can make. I can tell you my story, but we don't have the same body so just b/c I was walking alone in my room day three, does not mean you will. So, hope some of this helped. I wish you luck-

     
    Old 01-02-2005, 02:54 PM   #3
    Rhonni
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    Re: Will a L5 S1 Fusion realy help ??

    I feel like I'm a success story for the L5-S1 fusion. I feel great. I'm 4 months post op.

    I started feeling human again between 4 and 8 weeks. Gradual progression.

    I started walking immediately upon getting home, but not with any significant distance until about week 3.

    Sitting took patience and again.. about week 3-4 when I could sit but at week 5 I sat for a 3 hour airplane ride. It got better after that.
    I showered in the hospital (about day 5 since I had to keep completely flat for 5 days due to dural tears). I did stairs as soon as I got home (day 7) because my bedroom and shower are on the 2nd floor.

    You'll be amazed at how much better you'll feel. Keep a good attitude and positive thoughts. You'll get through this and we'll be here when you have questions.

    Good Luck.

     
    Old 01-02-2005, 03:13 PM   #4
    Losy
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    Re: Will a L5 S1 Fusion realy help ??

    When all else has failed you probably have little in the way of options. There are many many people who experience succesful fusions. You probably wont read about them becasue they have no need for a forum such as this. There are some like tex who will share there success but otheres will simply move on with life saying good bye to the pain of their past life.

    The success of a fusion is in your hands. If you do all that is asked of you, maintain a healthy and sensible approach to rehab and long term maintenance then you have every chance of success. I wish you all the best

    Losy

     
    Old 01-02-2005, 03:33 PM   #5
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    Re: Will a L5 S1 Fusion realy help ??

    Is fusion your only option? Fusion is a "last resort" surgery; I don't know what your specific problems are, but if you feel you need to have surgery since everything else has failed you should check out other options as well. I know my first surgery (wow that's a scary phrase, I can't believe I am now ready to have my second one) was a discectomy, and that was done because it was a one level problem, and the nerve just needed to be decompressed. At that time, there was an annular tear, but it wasn't huge and the disc height was reasonably well maintained. I am having my fusion because now it is a two level problem, the previous problem disc has very little disc height left, and the bottom disc is collapsed. So for me, fusion is my only hope of getting my life back.

    I am not trying to sway you either way (fusion or no fusion), I just want to make sure you have considered your choices and made the right one for you. You only have one spine!

    Good luck, and keep us posted on how you're doing. If you have any questions, please ask!

    Jessie

     
    Old 01-02-2005, 03:52 PM   #6
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    Re: Will a L5 S1 Fusion realy help ??

    I think I would concern myself with being pain free, with a better quality of life, then worrying about golfing and possibly aggravating your situation worse. Thats coming from an ex-golfer/ back pain sufferer. Just my opinion.

     
    Old 01-02-2005, 04:43 PM   #7
    Rhonni
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    Re: Will a L5 S1 Fusion realy help ??

    I know lots of people who eventually went back to playing golf. (Actually improved the swing of a couple of them - HA).

    I plan on playing golf again some day... something other than putt putt.

     
    Old 01-02-2005, 08:46 PM   #8
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    Re: Will a L5 S1 Fusion realy help ??

    I had my first surgery in Oct. of 03, it was a fusion on L4/L5-L5/S1, it did stop all the pain I had the surgery for, shooting pain starting in right hip and shooting down right leg into foot. I just had my second surgery on Dec. 14 04, because two of the 8 screws were loose and causing some back pain that was not going away. They were able to remove all the hardware !!! the one level of the fusion did not take all the way but it was solid enough to not need and hardware, they did use Infuse to try and improve the half failed fusion. I would recommend the surgery as long as you have exhausted all other treatments, some times they do help. I had no choice my one vertbre was moved more than an inch out of alignment. There are never any gaurantees but it's worth the risk. God Bless, and good luck.

     
    Old 01-03-2005, 04:20 AM   #9
    stidw
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    Re: Will a L5 S1 Fusion realy help ??

    thanks to everyone who shared ther stories and this board has helped me to make the decision to have the fusion done. My dr and i have tried all other options , and i know that surgery may or may not help but i have tried everything and all has failed.
    I have had Pills , Shots , Nerv Blocks , patches , heat , ice , massage , ect. I have had a lam , and a disocemtony , all on L5S1 . So after truck loads of money and numerous fights and arguments with my wife, I am so hopeful that a Fusion will help.
    My dr said they will fuse l5s1 with cages and infuse, no bone from me or a doaner , she said she will only require me to wear a soft back brace , and it should only be a 6 -9 " inciciso in the back. I have to do this , i feel it is my only hope. I have bought a laptop with wi-fi service so i can keep incontact with this board.

     
    Old 01-03-2005, 05:42 AM   #10
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    Re: Will a L5 S1 Fusion realy help ??

    Good luck with your surgery! When I replied in my last post to you, I didn't know you had already had a discectomy, which is why I rambled on about that! Do you have your surgery scheduled yet? Is your wife supporting you on this? Having someone to support you can help you immensely in your recovery. Keep us posted!

    Jessie

     
    Old 01-03-2005, 06:29 AM   #11
    mamakitkat
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    Re: Will a L5 S1 Fusion realy help ??

    Good luck with the surgery !!! I have to agree with Jessie, having support is a big part of the recovery. Once again good luck.

    Carol

     
    Old 01-03-2005, 10:45 AM   #12
    mel1977
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    Re: Will a L5 S1 Fusion realy help ??

    yes, good luck and I am glad we were able to help you out. Wishing you the best!

     
    Old 01-03-2005, 02:45 PM   #13
    Rich5067
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    Re: Will a L5 S1 Fusion realy help ??

    StidW....I am also a 35 year old male and recently had a fusion at L5/S1. My fusion was anterior and posterior so my experiences might be a little different. I am 7 weeks post op thursday I am feeling better every day since surgery but it is very slow in the begining
    Read alot of mel77 posts and you can get a feeling of what to expectm my recovery has somewhat mirrored hers and she explains everything very well . Like you, I miss my golf something terrible. I have not played for almost a year and a half since this all started. I have went through all of the stuff you are talking about.
    So far I havent got a lot of relief from my fusion but I had nerve damage before the surgery so my prognosis is up in the air right now

    You need a doctor you trust, a family who will support you and read...read and read and ask alot of questions whether thats here or your doctor! I will be glad to answer all the questions you have!

    I wish you good luck and god speed with the path you take.

    Rich
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    MicroDiscectomy L5/S1 12/03
    Anterior/Posterior Fusion L5/S1 11/04
    ANS 06/06

     
    Old 01-04-2005, 09:31 AM   #14
    embry121
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    Re: Will a L5 S1 Fusion realy help ??

    Hello.

    I am new to this site and have never posted a message before, but here goes. I am now a year post surgery #4, and what I would suggest to anyone who is considering surgery is that I would absolutely exhaust every other avenue before going under the knife. Once you have a fusion, your life is never the same. I do have some good days, but they are few and far between. I still have not given up on a full recovery, but it is getting more doubtful all of the time. If you decide to go ahead with the fusion, please do all of the things that your doctor tells you to do. I hope that this helps in some small way.

     
    Old 01-04-2005, 02:41 PM   #15
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    Re: Will a L5 S1 Fusion realy help ??

    Sorry you haven't had a positive experience embry.. but I must say I don't agree with your statement that once you have a fusion you're never the same. It's true in the aspect that your bones are no longer what they once were... that's the reality side of it... but I can tell you.. my good days by FAR outweigh my bad ones. I haven't felt this great in YEARS...and I feel like a new woman with a new life.

    Anyone reading these posts.. please know that everyone will have their own outcomes. It's only common sense to exhaust all other possibilities. I do agree with not jumping under the knife just for the sake of doing so...but please do not be afraid of surgery. I believe it helps more people than it harms; otherwise, they wouldn't continue doing it and people would never sing its praises.

     
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