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  • What does L5/S1 Fusion mean and DDD ?

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    Old 03-05-2001, 01:17 AM   #1
    Joseph77
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    What does L5/S1 Fusion mean and DDD ?

    I always read on the posts about "FUSION"what's that !? I know what L5 means; Lumbar #5 but what is S1 and T1?? For example someone had L5/S1 fusion or C3/t1 fusion. Also what's DDD ?

    Thanks y'all!

     
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    Old 03-05-2001, 03:44 AM   #2
    KLC
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    Re: What does L5/S1 Fusion mean and DDD ?

    I went through this - how much do you really want to know?

    Fusion is the surgical joining of vertebrae. There are slight variations in procedure.
    I hope I've got this right but there is a good online pamphlet at: <A HREF="http://www.neurosurgery.org/pubpages/patres/cervspnbroch.html" TARGET=_blank>www.neurosurgery.org/pubpages/patres/cervspnbroch.html</A>

    Have a look but only if you want to know some finer points. Not scary or anything but for some people ignorance is bliss.

     
    Old 03-05-2001, 07:41 PM   #3
    PatG
     
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    Re: What does L5/S1 Fusion mean and DDD ?

    Hello Joe & What do you know??: Just had to say that; my dad always said that.

    Degenerating disks are that as a person ages, the disks slowly tend to dry out and flatten out. You can compare them in a normal young person as a wet, pliable sponge; in a person with degenerating disks, the disks become more like a dried out, hard sponge. As the disks flatten and dry out, the vertebre in the spine begin to move closer together.

    Regarding the letters and numbers of the spine, such as L4-5, etc., the spine is basically divided into three parts: From the base of the skull down to the lower part of the neck is considered the cervical spine, those range from C1 to C8; then you have the middle area called the thoracic spine which range from T1 to T12; then comes the lumbar area which is the low back which range from L1 to L5 and below those come S1 to S5 and then there is Co1 at the bottom of the spine at the tail bone. Between each of these vertebre lie a disk. Fusion occurs when a disk, which is also similar to a jelly doughnut, herniates. When a disk herniates, basically, it gets smashed down (as they tend to do with degenerating disks) and the jelly oozes out. This jelly center material can actually increase the inflammation in that area. Also, a herniated disk can press on spinal nerves, just as a disk bulge can. With fusion, the doctor removes the disk and puts matchstick sized pieces of bone into the area where the disk has herniated and has been removed by the doctor. These bone pieces are either from the person's hip bone or the pieces come from a cadavar. If a person has an L5, S1 fusion, then the disk between vertebre number L (lumbar)5 and S (sacral)1 has herniated and it would be taken out by a surgeon and the bone pieces inserted in that area of the spine. DDD is for degenerating disk disease (clue on this is when people age, we ALL tend to get degenerating disks, some people more so than others).

    Regarding depression, Joe, I am a 52 yr. old woman with spinal arthritis and degenerating disks. I have fought depressed on and off my whole life; some people can be chemically imbalanced and need medications to simply balance these chemical imbalances in the brain. It can be a condition many people cannot do anything about, as it is this chemical imbalance in the brain. It doesn't necessarily mean a person must go through some tragic events in his or her life to get depressed. However, for others their whole life can be so tough that life has just simply been too much for them, and then a person slowly begins to lose hope and finally, in the end, when the kids are raised and gone, their spouse has died, and they are old and not too well, what is there left? I know my father went through that.

    Right now, yes, I am depressed. My husband and I are both disabled and our finances are not keeping up with the cost of living and medical care. Now, it is getting to where we cannot even cover our bills. Throw in our hurting bodies and no money to have things repaired for us; either we must fix it ourselves or do without. Disability money just does NOT meet this high cost of living and health care. Over 1/4 of our income is going towards some form of health care. We are slowly going under, so to speak, and it isn't like we can go out and go to work in our physical conditions. AND DO YOU REALLY THINK THE PEOPLE IN THE WHITEHOUSE CARE ABOUT PEOPLE LIKE US???? All we are to them is a drain on our governmental system (social security, medicare and V.A. partial disability, no 100% from V.A. on my husband). Our government would just as soon see the aged and the disabled drown rather than take care of us because the way I see it, that is what is slowly happening to every eldery and every disabled person out there (unless of course, they were born rich). Throw in continual, inrelenting pain which affects back problem people all the time, and we then have the DEA making sure our doctors don't prescribe too much pain killers.

    I hope I've been of some help in answering your posts. Take care, PatG

     
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