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    Old 01-26-2006, 09:47 AM   #1
    Hansen36
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    Question Possible lumbar spinal fusion in my future

    My name is 01-26-2006, 12:47 PM
    Hansen36
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    Possible lumbar spinal fusion in my future
    My name is Jenna Hansen and I am 19 years old. I was in a car accident in 2004. I was sitting at a red light when a corvette rear ended my jeep cherokee. As a result of this accident, I have degerenative disc disease of L2-4 and L4-5 also with partial fusion of L5 and the sacrum. I have gone through 3 lumbar epidurals with no refief and am now scheduled for a discogram in preparation for a lumbar spinal fusion. I would just like some feedback on those who have had the lumbar spinal fusion and whether or not it has helped them in the long run. I am only 19 years old and do not want to be in any more pain that I am currently so depending on responses, i may or may not go through with the surgery. Please help me. and I am 19 years old. I was in a car accident in 2004. I was sitting at a red light when a corvette rear ended my jeep cherokee. As a result of this accident, I have degerenative disc disease of L2-4 and L4-5 also with partial fusion of L5 and the sacrum. I have gone through 3 lumbar epidurals with no refief and am now scheduled for a discogram in preparation for a lumbar spinal fusion. I would just like some feedback on those who have had the lumbar spinal fusion and whether or not it has helped them in the long run. I am only 19 years old and do not want to be in any more pain that I am currently so depending on responses, i may or may not go through with the surgery. Please help me.

    Last edited by moderator2; 03-06-2006 at 06:22 AM. Reason: please do not post your real name - use the boards anonymously

     
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    Old 01-26-2006, 12:01 PM   #2
    whackedback
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    Re: Possible lumbar spinal fusion in my future

    Hansen-

    Make sure that you have seen a NeuroSURGEON (not a neurologist) about your lumbar condition. An OSS should also be consulted. Before I would ever be fused again, I would go and see 2 or 3 NS's to see if I should.

    I've had 2 lumbar laminectomies, and before the 2nd one, a NS told me that I would have to be fused. I got a second opinion at a teaching hospital, being examined by another NS and OSS. They determined that my back was stable enough to not require fusion. The 2nd laminectomy was 14 months ago, and things are going well in my lumbar.

    Good luck to you. Make sure you get a second opinion. Trust me, it's worth the wait if it can keep you from having a more extensive surgery.

    wb

     
    Old 01-29-2006, 05:52 AM   #3
    caszyman
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    Re: Possible lumbar spinal fusion in my future

    Hansen,
    My daughter also had to have a lumbar fusion at the age of 16 for a condition that she was born with. Numerous non-surgical treatments were tried. We consulted with a total of three pediatric orthopaedic surgeons before agreeing to surgery after two years of non-surgical options. She is 7 1/2 mo post op and is currently in no pain. She had L4 - S1 fused with a laminectomy and discectomy. We go to the dr in two weeks to find out if she is /has fused. It's a really rough decision to make, but my daughter doesn't regret doing it because for her the pain relief has been remarkable. I know that doesn't happen with everyone. Cover all of your bases, consult with numerous specialists and make sure you have tried all non-surgical treatments. Best of luck. cas

     
    Old 02-01-2006, 02:41 AM   #4
    simby
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    Re: Possible lumbar spinal fusion in my future

    hi jenna,
    i had a micro-d in 2004 and then developed spondy after that. I am now 6 months post fusion at l4/5. While i am still one meds (trileptal, vicodin and flexaryl), i am much better off than pre-surgery. I was able to function hardly at all.

    If you have had 3 epidurals with no relief, don't get any more. Only about half of the people that get these get any relief. And, as they are steroids, the shots themselves can cause some severe problems. Not worth the chance if they aren't helping.

    One thing i have learned is that docs don't usually like to operate on young people. There is the possibilty of the domino effect, where the discs above and below the fusion go bad and more fusions are needed.
    I am 53, so that wasn't that much of an issue.

    If you DO opt for fusion, please learn how to bend AT THE WAIST instead of the back.
    And, practice sqatting, kneeling, and doing plee-ays (sp). This helped me a lot by keeping my legs as strong as possible. Once you have fusion, you will not bend in the same place, thus, you will be putting the load on the discs above and below the site.
    Please let me know if i can help in anyway.

    hmmm, seems we can't pm here anymore? is that true?

    hugs,
    sims

     
    Old 02-10-2006, 11:17 AM   #5
    Hansen36
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    Re: Possible lumbar spinal fusion in my future

    Hey. Thanks so much for replying to my post. Your information was great. I was just wondering what a laminectomy is? I probably should know, but no one really clues me in on this stuff until they schedule an appointment and then barely tell me what it is for. I am really nervous about the discogram, i heard that it is a really painful procedure that remain awake for the entire time. I recently went to a doctors appointment for my insurance company that was trying to prove that I did not have a back problem so that they don't have to pay for my appointments anymore. That doctor recommended that I just live with the pain being that I am so young. I just feel really discouraged because I feel like my life is ruined. I am running out of hope that I will ever wake up without any pain again.

     
    Old 02-17-2006, 04:01 AM   #6
    caszyman
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    Re: Possible lumbar spinal fusion in my future

    Jenna,
    To answer your question about a laminectomy, from what my daughter's dr explained to me what that a part of the spine called the lamina is removed. In her case it was removed to make more room for the nerves since she had a slipped disc and spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal canal. If you do a search on line you will find more information and diagrams of the spinal anatomy which shows the lamina.

    My daughter is 8 mo post op two level fusion. She saw her dr last week and he has removed just about all restrictions - no restrictions on lifting anymore, she can dance, bowl, bike, snowmobile on the flat lake .... Tubing he said to go for just a pleasure ride and not get whipped around. Snow skiing next winter and we'll talk about water skiing in a couple of years. He's not committing to that one yet.

    I can't give you long term success, but that she is a luck one and it has worked for her problem - no more back or leg pain.

    Good luck with your decions and appts. cas

     
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