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Is fusion really the answer

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Old 03-21-2005, 05:57 AM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 4
Capuccino_Kid HB User
Unhappy Is fusion really the answer

Hi all

I am new to this board and have found all your threads really interesting. I live in Scotland and am scheduled to have L4/L5 fusion in April and am still unsure if this is the right thing for me.

I had a laminectomy when I was 15 (21 years ago), then a discectomy 8 years ago. The last year has been quite bad with very little (if any) relief from pain in my back and leg (though leg pain is not as bad as back at moment).

My surgeon has told me that I have two severely degenerated discs and thinks that a fusion would give me an 80% chance of being better than I've been since I was 15!

Does anyone have any views on whether they think the fusion is the way to go? I know no-one else can make the decision for me, but I'd love to get roller-blading again (yes, we do get rid of the snow long enough in Scotland to roller-blade!), and would like to know what my chances are?

Many thanks

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Old 03-21-2005, 06:51 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: US
Posts: 941
sandollar HB User
Re: Is fusion really the answer

My Disk Disease (DDD & DJD) at the S1 & L5 only got worse as time went by. Finally looking like a flat tire and kept slipping out of place with the tiniest move I made. For me, I didn't really have a choice if I wanted to live a normal life.
But before my surgery I was scared of the Fusion though and kept questioning it over and over, even up until the day before the surgery. But I am now 6 weeks post-op and it was the best decision I could of made for myself. Good luck on whatever you decide.

Old 03-21-2005, 06:55 AM   #3
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Re: Is fusion really the answer


Old 03-21-2005, 11:00 AM   #4
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: usa
Posts: 2,943
mel1977 HB User
Re: Is fusion really the answer

I have posted a few times regarding mine-for me, it was the best decision. I am 27 and had two discs degenerating. After my discogram it was obvious they were causing most of my pain. Since my two level LIF, front and back approach, I have felt so much better. This is your choice, but I understand wanting to know what others think. For me, yes, fusion was the answer!

Old 03-21-2005, 02:28 PM   #5
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 30
bufitfn HB User
Re: Is fusion really the answer

Hi, I'm in same boat.
I had discectomy/laninectomy in 2001 L5/S1 and the exact same thing again 7 months later in 2002
Now my doctor is telling me L5/S1 is so degenerated and L4/L5 has a buldge and anular tear that he wants to do a 2 level TLIF. I'm not afraid to say I'm scared to death of this and I am going to try to put it off as long as I can, and live in pain!
My discogram and CT mylogram is schedualed in April.
I'll let you know how it goes.
Is fusion the answer?? Depends on the Person I guess!!!

Old 03-22-2005, 06:56 AM   #6
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 4
Capuccino_Kid HB User
Re: Is fusion really the answer

hi dave thanks for your reply it is such a big decision to make and i think we all know that ultimately the final decision is your own i hope everything is ok for you in april will be thinking of you sending you lots of positive vibes take care kirsteen

Old 03-22-2005, 07:22 AM   #7
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 4
Capuccino_Kid HB User
Re: Is fusion really the answer

hey stardust thanks for your reply made me feel lot better knowing that i'm not alone in my indecisiveness glad to hear that your doing so well will keep you posted take care kirsteen

Old 03-22-2005, 09:01 AM   #8
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,291
Quietcook HB UserQuietcook HB User
Re: Is fusion really the answer

Capuccino Kid,

I've had 8 spine surgeries with the latest being 10 levels fused in Dec. Well, here it is three and a half months later, and yesterday I was out working in my flowers. Some days are totally pain free with use of patches and non-narcotic Ultram, but even on the worse days, I can honestly say that it is better than before surgery.

Yes, as we age and depending on our life styles, other medical conditions, etc there can still be problems later, but if you've tried non-surgery options which are available for your particular problem, you have great confidence in your doctor and you have suffered until you have to have relief, you will know when this option is your answer. I've never had regret for any of my four fusion surgeries, and certainly not this one. Things have been better each time, especially with recovery since BMP came along.

Wishing you much success and better days with your fusion. Let us know how you are doing.

Old 03-23-2005, 08:06 AM   #9
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 36
SadieNY HB User
Re: Is fusion really the answer

Quiet hit the nail on the head I waited 6 years for my op after it became and ER to get me into the op room. I felt so good after had life back no it was not wake up and get back into Jumping and such.
Remember that it will never be as good as if we did not have the back problems however for me to go from a lvl 10 nd higher pain lvl every day to a 3 or 4 and lower every day was what I thought to be a HUGE successssssss.

My Doc was up front and honest let me know that I would be back again one day and need work done he was right. I wonder did I do something to make this happen maybe maybe not either way I say if it is not totaly needed don't have BS even when we are told there is no other way to help or fix it I wonder if it is the right choice but for some there is no choice such as myself.
I could ramble on and on I feel so bad for people in pain such as myself and wish there was something to take it all away.
These boards have helped me alot over the years I come on every day and read knowing I am not alone .

I hope you have success and the sun shines for you after the BS and fusion keep us posted Hugs

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