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New to forums not to back pain

tractxttractx Posts: 29
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:47 AM in New Member Introductions
I think I should start with a little history. In 2007 I had a ruptured disc at L4-5 and a bulging disc with nerve inpengment at L5-S1. I went through the whole gammit of treatments. Started with chiropractic care, then PT, then steriod injections, and finally a micro discectomy and partial laminectomy at both levels. After a couple months I got a whole lot better. Then about 8 or 9 monts ago I started having problems again. Initially I told myself that it was just something I was going have to live with that the Dr had told me I'd never be 100%. Well about 2 months ago it started going down hill and the pain got a lot worse only it was mostly my back this time.
Went to my family Dr. she ordered an MRI and refered to a neurosurgeon. He said my best option(actually in his opinion my only option) was fusion at L4-5 and L5-S1 due to the degeneration and what had been done before. I was refered to another surgeon that did this proceedure who told me the same thing.
Now I am scheduled for pre-op on Sep 29th and surgery on Oct 6th. I am very nervous but, at the same time excited about maybe finally being on the way to recovery.


  • I am also very concerned about the fact of one surgery, now two, will it be three, or maybe more. Surgeon seems pretty confident that this will cure my problem. But, I've heard that when you have this surgery it will increase the pressure on the disc above it so I'm crossing my fingers and praying that I don't wind up here again.
  • new to some of the termonoligy to not sure what all the things stand for like; PLIF, ALIF, and such.
    Dr. also wrote in my notes something about 360 deg( about my type of surgery) I don't know what that means either. Can anyone help with this?
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  • Sorry to hear of your lumbar issues and pain and needing surgery. PLIF is posterior(back) and ALIF(front) anterior. 360 is fusion done from the front and flip you over to do the back surgery so a complete both sides.

    Check out post-op must haves do a search in blue box above and see what you may need for surgery. Hopefully others who've had surgery will join in and better yet post under back surgery. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Thanks for the information and words of encouragement.
  • Welcome to Spine-Health. You'll find a lot of information on this site with regards to the surgery you're going to have, such as articles and videos. Just use the search function at the top of the page and voila, you'll get some great info. Also, the members here on the forum are very helpful, knowledgeable and supportive.

    I've had a TLIF (Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion) at L4/5. A PLIF is a Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion and an ALIF is an Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion.

    It's true that fusion can cause pressure on other levels above (and below) the fusion site, but it usually takes quite a while, many years, before there are additional problems. It depends on how healthy those parts of your spine are and how you treat your back after fusion. If you're like most of us, you'll have PT 6-8 weeks after fusion surgery and they'll teach you core exercises and good posture to keep your spine healthy.

    I know how nerve racking it can be to be facing surgery and wish you the very best. Keep in mind that recovery is a pretty long road, but if you follow doc's orders and keep up with your meds the first month or so, you'll keep improving as time goes by. You'll also want to measure your recovery in weeks, not days after a fusion.

    Take care and don't hesitate to PM me if I can help you in any way.

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  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you advice and answer what questions we can.. you are so right to get yourself prepared for what you will need after surgery.. good luck on a complete and successful recovery! this may be your chance at becomming pain free!! drop by anytime and stick close by during your recovery.. SH can make the days seem alot shorter!! good luck! Jenny :)
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