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Myelogram and back fusion questions, PLease :O)

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Old 03-01-2009, 01:39 AM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 4
moogie1019 HB User
Myelogram and back fusion questions, PLease :O)

Hi, I'm new to this forum, so please forgive me if my questions have been answered before
I've been off work since Dec 16th with horrible pain in my back and legs which my Neurologist says stems from my Lumbar spine?? I've had a CT of my Lumbar spine and Ne says there is extensive damage to the area of the L4 and L5 and he wants me to have a Myleogram (excuse the spelling) MArch 6th and an consult with a NeuroSurgeon about possible fusion.

My questions are: what is a Myleogram, can I walk out and drive afterwards, or should I bring a driver, WHat is fusion and what kind of time frame am I looking at if I go the fusion route? I'm scared of not knowing what is to come, and I am the main breadwinner in my family, so money is tight to non existent right now. DO you think my Short Term Disability will kick in?? It hasn't yet. Are there other options for both the surgery and the money situation if I have the surgery. I am worried about recovery time. I am very overweight and know that is going to be a factor in my recovery time, Do any of you face the same kind of overweight/fusion challenge?? If so, WHat was done??

Sorry my post is so long, I'm just very worried about this myelogram and about what comes next.
Thanks for your replies, Jean

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Old 03-01-2009, 07:49 AM   #2
Senior Veteran
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: MN,USA
Posts: 2,520
megss HB User
Re: Myelogram and back fusion questions, PLease :O)

Hi and welcome!

I can answer SOME of your questions.

I was placed on disability Dec 10th, so just as short time before you. It took a good 3-4 weeks before my payments kicked in. Have you still not received anything??? You should have by now and I would contact your employers Human Resources Department. Pretty soon you are going to go into Long Term Disability, I am about to, so you need to check into that.

I am having a fusion early April. Recovery time for that is long and hard. You can probably expect not to work for about 3 months post op, and it can take a full year for the fusion to set, so you have to be careful about your movements and what you lift for a long time. Depending on the activity level of your job, you might be able to return to work a little sooner. Your surgeon will give you the appropriate restrictions. A fusion is a MAJOR operation. I am young and healthy so I am hoping my recovery will be okay. I don't know how being over weight will affect your recovery.

I don't know anything about a Mylogram, as I have never had one, so someone else will have to answer that questions!

Good luck and post any more questions you might have!

Old 03-06-2009, 08:11 AM   #3
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 7
badbacklumbar HB User
Re: Myelogram and back fusion questions, PLease :O)

Hey there,

I had both a myelogram and a fusion done in 1999 and am anticipating a multilevel fusion in the near future. Here's my story:

The myelogram is a test in which they give you a mild sedetive (to calm you down), the will then go into the spinal canal above the level for which you are having the pain (they administer a local anesthetic). They will then remove a small amount of spinal fluid and replace it with a contrast. Xrays are then taken and what they are looking for is where the contrast fluid stops and the photos are quite clear. The fluid will follow your spinal canal and stop where the nerve is pinched. The procedure itself is quite painless HOWEVER... you can not stand up immediately following because the contrast is lighter than your spinal fluid and could possibly give you a severe headache. As with any outpatient procedure, you will have to arrange transportation. Again, the procedure is not bad.

I had L5-S1 fused, they went in from the back and I was in the hospital for 5 days. It all depends on your health and attitude but recovery could take 3-6 months. Follow every direction your Dr gives you and absolutely do not do anything you are directed not to!!! FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS. Personaly, It took me 6 months before I had a "good" day but then it seemed everyday after that, I noticed improvment. You will be fine, just follow your Dr's instructions to the "T". I can't stress that enough.

I have said this in my other posts... "never underestimate the power of prayer"

Good Luck. If I can go into more detail for you, let me know.

Last edited by badbacklumbar; 03-06-2009 at 08:12 AM.

Old 03-07-2009, 01:24 AM   #4
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 4
moogie1019 HB User
Re: Myelogram and back fusion questions, PLease :O)

Thanks so much for answering my questions and for sharing your stories. Hearing that I wasn't alone helped a lot. I had my myelogram yesterday at 1:15 pm and I am under restriction for 24-48 hrs for movement and I can't lie down flat, so I'm spending the nights in an old un-reclining recliner I had people praying for me at the before, during and after the test, and everything is fine as long as I don't move or jerk suddenly for the time aforementioned. The procedure went just as you said except that they had me on a movable table and stood it up to take pictures. I could have sworn I was on wild amusement ride between the table and the sedative. The staff were wonderful and if it comes out that I have to have the fusion, I want it at the hospital I was at

I too believe firmly in the power of prayer.
Thanks again, Hugs and Prayers, Jean

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