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    Old 07-15-2007, 04:29 PM   #1
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    L4 l5 fusion succses rates

    How many of you would say your single level or multi level fusions went good, and how long has it been, was it worth it, i think i will be havin it done soon?

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    Old 07-15-2007, 05:24 PM   #2
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    Re: L4 l5 fusion succses rates

    My daughter had a two level fusion, L4 - S1, when she was 16. She is now 25 months post op and is feeling great. She played tennis last fall and went water skiing a few weeks ago. She has been pain free and feeling great. She did have youth on her side and has been very lucky. Best wishes to you if you do have a fusion. cas

    Old 07-15-2007, 06:01 PM   #3
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    Re: L4 l5 fusion succses rates

    I think most of the success is what you make it. If you couldn't walk and now you can that is success. Whereas if you can't walk now and you could before, you become the satistic on the low end. According to the surgeons the odds quoted are usually with what is being done. It was 90% to 10% for me. Now with the second surgery the odds are 50/50. I was in the 10% group. Failed spinal surgery, chronic pain, urinary retention, bowel retention, and retrograde, bone spurs and entrapments that weren't seen on the old MRI without constrast. But with me at 10%, 90% walked away with little or no problems. It's a gamble. You have to have faith. I had a lot wrong with me going in. Some of the problems are just coming to light now. I am 22months post op. Positive note, the fusion took according to my surgeon and the hardware can be taken out. It is a long recovery. So you just have to think positive that you will be in the 85%to 90% group and move on with your life after surgery. Good Luck.

    Old 07-15-2007, 07:11 PM   #4
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    Re: L4 l5 fusion succses rates

    I had a s1/s2 fusion in 1982 and lived happily and pain free until 2004 when I reinjured my back at a new level. Unfortunately, my HMO did not refer me to a surgeon until 2006, I had a second fusion at L5/S1, and it is looking like I have suffered permament nerve damage thru no fault of my surgeon. Hindsight is 20/20 but if I had received care in 2004 when the accident happened I might not be at the place I am now suffering with chronic pain. Do I consider surgery a failure? Absolutely not, I now have more flexibility and less back pain then prior to surgery. However, I have continued sciatica pain.

    I would also like to caution you that you will find that people who have had successful surgeries with near 90 to 100% pain relief are not the ones usually hanging around on the support boards they are off living life to their fullest and the last thing on their mind is these forums.

    I wish you and your surgeon much success with your upcoming surgery.

    Last edited by ms_west; 07-15-2007 at 07:12 PM.

    Old 07-15-2007, 08:07 PM   #5
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    Re: L4 l5 fusion succses rates


    I agree with all of the posts; I had S1-L4-L5 on 12 Feb. 07.

    Some of the " gang " call me super man as I have done excellent up to this point. I am feeling some pain in my left side of the body and leg as it was prior to the surgery. It is nothing like it was prior to the surgery - I do not want to feel that pain ever again...

    I walk twice a day, and I think as " Diet Doctor Pepper " tells me / do not over do it...

    I had a nerve caught in between two disc that were bone on bone and the other was just bone on bone. I was as the surgeon called it aobut 70 / 30% perent chance of improvment. I think it was more like a 100% better no matter what happens to me in the future. I am having some pain; most is that I am over doing it and paying the price so to speak...

    I feel that it is about the attitude that you have to have - I say be strong and listen to the body as you recover.

    My first two weeks were not the greatest times in my life... When we all turn the corner we are better as if over night for the most part...

    Go to my threads of Roy47 for a mostly play by play of my experiences up to this point...

    Sir, I wish you the best ...

    Old 07-15-2007, 09:01 PM   #6
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    Re: L4 l5 fusion succses rates

    HI there. The others have given great words of wisdom to you. I am 15 months posterior fusion at l4/l5. I was only given 50/50 odds it help or not. Well, I am EXTREMELY LUCKY. My outcome has been good. It was a slow road to recovery for me, in which that is not something I expected. I am normally the type to dust myself off and get right back up and go. Not with this surgery. It is MAJOR surgery and it takes a MAJOR toll on your body and system. And it takes some MAJOR time to heal from this.

    It was over 3 years into my back injury before the right surgeon discovered what disc was truly causing my pain and it was basically an empty shell. Having much time gone by, I too believe that it has hampered my outcome some. Had the disc been discovered earlier, I do believe I would be pain free today. I am still not complaining. I am sooooo much better than I was and I am getting my life back now, with some minor changes of course. But I can walk again, I can work in my garden again, I can get on my knees and brush my dogs again. And I can CLEAN MY HOUSE AGAIN!!!!!!! I have to do this stuff much slower now and in pace myself, instead of doing it all in one shot like I used to. But that's okay by me. (Before the surgery, I was in horrific pain 24/7 and could barely walk and this was my life for over 3 years). So, the surgery was a TOTAL success for me!

    Was it worth it?? ABSOLUTELY!!!!
    "believe in the beauty of your dreams"- E. Roosevelt

    L5/S1 bulging @ 18, now 46; still there (but no pain)
    Fusion at L4/L5 Apr -2006
    Solidly Fused Nov-2006
    A Success, but still improving!

    Old 07-16-2007, 11:14 AM   #7
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    Re: L4 l5 fusion succses rates

    Count me as a success! I had my first fusion 30 years ago, had my second one last September. I have 14 vertebrae fused, T4-Sacrum. I'm still getting used to my new limitations, but I'm thrilled that I have so much less pain. I have different pain now, which is caused by having all of my lumbar and sacrum fused. It puts pressure across the small of my back to sit for very long or to lay flat for long without a pillow under my knees. Some pain meds in the morning and at night take the edge off. The pain meds before surgery did nothing, couldn't even touch my pain. I made a good swap! I'm ready to get this body through another 40 or 50 years! Without this surgery, I wouldn't be able to say that! I would probably be in a wheelchair within 10 years!

    I don't regret it for a second!

    If you decide to go ahead, be sure to read the "post surgery tips" thread at the top of the page. It will give you a good idea of what to expect post-op and has a ton of great tips to make your recovery easier. Make no mistake -- this is a huge surgery with a long recovery, but if you need it, it's well worth it!


    Old 07-16-2007, 01:36 PM   #8
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    Re: L4 l5 fusion succses rates

    [QUOTE=L78;3100581]How many of you would say your single level or multi level fusions went good, and how long has it been, was it worth it, i think i will be havin it done soon?[/QUOTE]
    Good question, I am also curious, because I may need it done also in september.

    Old 07-16-2007, 10:20 PM   #9
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    Re: L4 l5 fusion succses rates

    Well, unfortunately I don't feel like mine was a success like the others. Although, I am only 10 months out. So the jury is still out whether the pain will ever go away. I had a two level fusion. It was L3/4, S1 with a laminectomy and discectomy. For a while after the surgery I was feeling great. About 3 months out the pain came back. Since then the pain is worse. Now it is down the leg. I wake up in horrible pain. They say all muscle related. The leg is probably nerve. I'm taking a bunch of medicine. I never expected to be pain free but never expected to still be in so much pain. I had to have the surgery. I had a slipped vertabra which without surgery could have been a disaster and who knows what the results would have been. So I am not sorry I had the surgery. If you need surgery, good luck with it. Just ask alot of questions about the surgery. The more you know the better.

    Old 07-17-2007, 11:52 PM   #10
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    Re: L4 l5 fusion succses rates

    I am nearing three years out (dec 2004) and I consider myself a success, but with my good stuff comes other stuff. would I do it again, heck yeah. Muscle pain is way better than nerve pain. When a nerve gets damaged, it is permanent, a muscle can repair. That was how I looked at it. Am I having problems? YEAH, but bc of the surgery, I don't think so. You have to do what the docs say. I quit smoking, I am not overweight, I stayed active. I am turning 30 this year. I had an Anterior/posterior fusion from L4-S1. I am worried about the above discs, but now there may be other options for those if they go bad other than fusion. My neck sucks too. Check out my pity party if you want to read more.
    BUT, don't let what I write there discourage you! this is a personal decision. You need to seriously evaluate your entire life! I didn't want nerve damage, I wanted to travel, maybe have kids. I had to take care of it and fusion was my option. I used to think I didn't do well, but then I'd ask my hubby and he says I am so much better. I took pain pills, narcotics for over two years, I have been off them for a year almost. I am not followed by my surg. I had to move after surg. and that may be an issue.
    Anyway, I am in the success story files. I'd do it again. we are all different though, it is your choice. best wishes to you

    Old 07-18-2007, 04:38 AM   #11
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    Re: L4 l5 fusion succses rates

    Yeah I guess in some way's I'm better than I was before my fusion.
    Still have issue's going on but that's a chance you take..I had no option not to have it done. I blame my nerve damage on my x-neurosurgeon for not fixing the broken pedical screw. If it wasn't for that I'd just have back pain.

    Emily---My goodness your a walking hardware store !

    Old 08-20-2007, 04:58 PM   #12
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    Re: L4 l5 fusion succses rates

    Hi all

    new at your forum and need advice on a new fusion . ( third )

    I was operated in '86' at 28 years old .... l4-l5 ... no fusion

    Got re-operated in '93' ( fusion l3-s1 ) .... .

    Had a working accident in '2000' ... a screw broke ( i had four screws but no bars to keep them together ) .... so i had a de-fusion and re-fusion after in '2003' -- took them that long to find the problem ( now i have 6 screws with two bars ) + half of a screw that is still in my hip .

    Then everything looked OK ......... since last july '06' i am not able to walk or stand or even lay on a bed more than 1 hour .

    Mon Dr told me that the ( realy not sure if this is the right word ) bone graft was not OK .... that it was to thin and cracked so i had to get another operation or decide to stay that way

    My question is -- does anybody know a person or a friend that had that much operation on his or her back and got OK after all this . Need help on this if anybody can tell me more !

    I'm turning 50 this Wednesday and afraid of whats going to happend .

    Thank you all .......... and for sure i do know what you guys have been trough .... and wishing you all the best !


    Old 08-23-2007, 03:14 PM   #13
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    Re: L4 l5 fusion succses rates


    I would also like to caution you that you will find that people who have had successful surgeries with near 90 to 100% pain relief are not the ones usually hanging around on the support boards they are off living life to their fullest and the last thing on their mind is these forums.


    LOL! I'd never thought of that! But it's so true! Thanks, Pepper!


    Old 08-24-2007, 11:30 AM   #14
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    Re: L4 l5 fusion succses rates

    I was a healthy guy like most of you here, golfed, played Basketball 3-4 times a week. I was in great shape at 6'2" about 208 and muscular 31 years old at the time . Then I was hurt at work in November of 2002. I was told I had bad disc's at 3 levels, and degenerative disc disease ( hope I spelled that right ). Anyway I had a pedicle screw fusion at L4 L5 and S1 in July of 2003. After Surgery I was still having alot of trouble and was told by the Dr that the bone marrow they used for the graft had been rejected by my body and was not getting hard ( they didnt harvest marrow from my hip like they do in some cases, I found out later, but used from a decseased donor ). I had to wear a bone growth stimulator for about a month and a half but the graft never really took. Needless to say I broke a screw in early 2004. I was in alot of pain and had a second surgery 18 months after the first to fix the broken screw. Since I had put stress already on the vertebrae above the fusion they also fused L2 and L3 so I am now fused at 5 levels. They also added two cross braces of titanium to help with the support. The second surgery they used a synthetic marrow and apparently the new fusion looks great. The bad thing is that when I woke from the second surgery the Dr greated me by telling me that I have a herniated disc at L1-T12 because of the stress on the upper vertebrae due to the fusion. I still have problems. I am now 36 years old and my weight has gone from 208 at time of injury to 260. I now have high cholesterol and moderatly high blood pressure due to lack of aerobic exercise. It's not that I eat any different its just because I can't do what I used to. They want to run more test's because the original fusion " doesn't look so good " but with no insurance the Hospital won't run the test's. So I'm waiting for my Social Security case to come up so Maybe I can get Medicaid and then see about having probably my 3rd surgery in 6 years to try and get back to somewhat of a normal life. The thing is I know that there are people out there who have it worse than I do. Some people never woke up from their surgeries. But to all of you out there still having problems and still having pain remember, pain is good you still have feeling we're not paralyzed and at least I'm still here to see my 3 kids grow up no matter how painful it is day to day.

    Old 08-24-2007, 01:50 PM   #15
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    Re: L4 l5 fusion succses rates

    Alot of people who are considered a sucess aren't on here now, as they are off living their lives again and not stuck at home at the computer. I vowed to be one of those people who came back. I am still recovering at five months post op. But, I believe I am a sucess, although still fully medicated. My leg and foot still has pain but a minimum in comparison and I can walk again. I am very early out. But at this point if I had to do it again, ofcourse would leave out the drama of all I've been through I would do it.

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