I’m scared.

Hi, I’m scheduled to have surgery in just over a week or so and I am struggling with a lot of the information that I have been reading as far as unsuccessful and surgeries that I haven’t met expectations. 

Although there is been a lot of discussion between people who have had various degrees of success, a lot of the information I am reading here is that people are still suffering pain Months after surgery. 

Surgery that I’m having is L4 L5 fusion and the pain that I’m experiencing is bearable on certain days if I don’t overwork myself. I find that  and the pain level is normally 6/7 out of 10. 

So I guess the point I’m trying to make is if I’m really really careful and aware of everything that I’m doing, I can live to a degree with the pain that I have not been as active as I once was, I still cycle, swim and walk and little bit of exercise that I do to maintain condition that I have been doing for the last 12 plus months. 

My Question is...given the experience that people here have had would they go through with the surgery again? would they deal with the pain getting worse again? Was the life you we’re living something that you would return to given the condition you are experiencing now?

I’m pretty scared of what is about to occur and I just want to make sure that I’m making the right decision.  I don’t know I’m going to be better or worse off. 

Thanks for listening. 



  • Welcome Dino69 we’re glad you’re here!

    I have a 3 level lumbar fusion L3-l5 done in 2 surgeries and I would do it again in a heartbeat, what I would not do again is be in such a hurry to get back to work after the first surgery, I owned my business and was in a hurry to get back, I did so after 3 1/2 weeks even though my doctor said it was too soon, that was the reason for the second surgery, so listen to your body and your doctor. There are actually a lot of success stories, but what tends to happen here is this, a new member comes here before surgery and post a few times, has surgery and post during recovery and then gets better and moves on with their life and we don't see them again.

    While you’re waiting for a reply to your first post, please take a few moments to review the Code of Conduct and FAQ section, located under Forum Tools. There you will find important information about posting in the forum and helpful tips for new members.

    Have you seen the Spinal Fusion Health Center on Spine-health? Spinal fusion surgery comes in many forms, and you’ll find a number of doctor-authored resources here, including Types of Spinal FusionPostoperative Care for Spinal Fusion Surgery, and tips to help Maximize the Ability to Heal After Spine Fusion Surgery. It’s a great resource for anyone considering spinal fusion. I hope you find it helpful.

    Again, welcome to the Veritas Health Forum.


    Veritas Health Forum Moderator

  • OswaldOtteOOswaldOtte Posts: 25
    edited 05/27/2020 - 7:52 AM

    It depends on what pain you are experiencing now, what you have tried so far as non surgical treatment and what you expect from surgery.

    I feel my surgeon rushed me into surgery too soon. I only had my symptoms for a couple of weeks before getting surgery. So I do regret it because, while all neurological symptoms are gone post surgery, I now suffer from pain and discomfort in and around my fusion. On the other hand, had I suffered my symptoms for many months, I would probably be super happy with my current outcome. Because the pain I experienced before surgery was unbearable. It was 10/10 pain that was getting worse every day.

    So maybe, if I had waited longer, the outcome would have been the same, except I would have suffered longer. Or maybe it would have been better, not requiring surgery. Or maybe it would have been worse, from waiting too long. I will never know...

    I would suggest a second opinion from a good surgeon. Reading your posts, I get the impression that you have time for a second opinion.

    As challenger said, you will find a lot of posts online from people posting questions and negative experiences. But once they get better, the don't post any updates, so you only seem to find horror stores. That's why I posted my story in

    My story won't relate to yours 100%, because I had a cervical fusion. But I do know the fear you are experiencing. I too was looking for answers online.

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  • bcomstockbbcomstock Posts: 7
    edited 05/29/2020 - 11:43 AM

    I’m 3 weeks post ALIF Spine Fusion L5-S1 and I feel fantastic.

     I’ve been suffering with chronic back pain for 9 months from a very degenerated disc. I had surgery 2 years ago on the same disc Discectomy that herniated really bad. Classic nerve pain and numbness down my leg. Felt great for a year then the slow onset back pain slowly crept in over the following year. I’m a super active 47 year old weekend warrior type Super avid cyclist, backpacker, Hiker, and skier and my back pain shut me down entirely. Disc never re- herniated but it totally thinned to almost nothing. My symptoms were just a constant dull aching stiff everywhere from my neck to my buttocks. This totally shut me down and I wasn't able to do anything.  I could barely get of bed and go to work. I did try every conservative method to try and remedy the back pain but nothing helped.  I think everybody goes through their own process of accepting surgery is the only remedy.  I'm so glad I did it! and wish I would have done it sooner instead of prolonging the constant suffering and anxiety.

    Make sure you have a really good Orthopedic Spine Surgeon and follow the recovery protocols to a tee.  I'm three weeks out and Im walking 3-4 miles a day and swimming. I'm completely off all meds including tylenol.  Still cant bend, lift, or twist for another 6 weeks.  Hoping to be off all restrictions in 6-8 weeks riding bikes and enjoying life again.

    Hang in there and you'll be fine.

    Good luck with your surgery.


  • I am 9 months post L5-S1 ALIF. My pain worse than pre-surgery. My life was very limited prior to surgery, but I was pain-free when lying down. Now it hurts to even to sleep. Most important question is “how confident are your doctors about diagnosis”? If all surgeons are consistent, risk is probably less. I waited 10 years for my surgery and now I regret doing it. It is a very difficult and challenging question. Good luck!

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