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Fusion tomorrow - Topic Shutdown

The user and all related content has been deleted.
Left side MicroD l5-s1 2/7/13. Re herniated immediately
Revision bilateral MicroD and posterior lumbar decompression 9/9/13. Failed. L5-S1 fusion on 3/6/14.


  • I think it's safe to say that all of us were scared out of our minds the day before surgery. In my case, my biggest fear was...'is this the right thing to do? Will I be worse off afterwards?'. You've been here long enough to know that it doesn't always work out for everyone and they end up worse off. In my case, it was the right thing to do, and now 2 months after surgery, I'm beginning to make real progress. The healing time isn't the same for everyone, so I'm taking a little longer than some younger people, but I feel much better than I did before.

    As for your wife....sorry, I can't help you there. lol

    Good luck to you! I'll say a prayer and send positive vibes your way.
    Synovial cyst removal in 2008. L4-L5 facet joint.
    Lumbar fusion at L4-L5 in December 2013. TLIF posterior entry
  • jbnms99jjbnms99 Posts: 182
    edited 03/06/2014 - 3:02 AM
    I have a fusion of c6-7 scheduled for March 19th, I am getting freaked out about it. I keep asking myself if this is the right decision, should I live with this pain and maybe eventually my body won't feel it anymore? I have done all the consevative treatments allowed, I have had the epidurals, the facet blocks, I've done physical therapy and the stretches at home...all my doctors agree that I must have this surgery. I was told before all my injections that I would probably not improve until surgery but I wanted to atleast try. I have a good amount of muscle loss, I can't do anything with my left arm ( I can't even hold it up long enough to get a drink). I think my surgeon was surprised at my muscle loss. This herniation is pressing on my spinal cord and I even feel tingling in my feet and it seems to be worse every day.

    I know this is the right thing to do I am just freaked out. I am 36 and I have never had any surgery like this, I had sinus surgery but that was pretty much just a roto-rooter job. I haven't ever been cut on.
    Everybody keeps telling me how much better I will feel after this is all over and that the pain will be gone when I wake up from surgery. I can only hope and pray and pray and pray.

    I can't wait for this to all be over and I will feel so much better then I can start a recovery plan. I have a big summer planned.

    Good luck Capsdad please let us know how you feel afterwards! Praying for you today.
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  • jellyhalljjellyhall Posts: 4,342
    edited 03/06/2014 - 6:21 AM
    Ruby Tuesday is so correct when she says that we were all scared before our surgery.
    I was so scared that for two years I wouldn't even go and see the surgeon. I said I would do anything they told me would help but I just couldn't face spinal fusion surgery.

    Eventually the pain got so bad that my life was being very limited and it was affecting my family too. When I could only stand for about 5 minutes and walk for about 10 minutes before needing to sit or lie down, I finally agreed to go and 'just talk' to a spinal surgeon. He looked at my MRI scan and said he didn't know how I was managing to walk about. He said I couldn't continue to avoid surgery or I would end up in a wheelchair and eventually incontinent. That was the 'kick' I needed to agree to have surgery, which I had about 3 weeks later. It gave me wonderful relief and now, 4 years later, although I do still have back pain, I am still much better than before my lumbar fusion of L4/5 and the bilateral sciatica is gone.

    jbnms, I wish you well too on 19th March. About 5 months after my lumbar fusion it was discovered that I had two levels of my neck pushing back and compressing my cord so it had no spinal fluid around it. I had those two levels fused. To encourage you, I found my neck fusion was easier to recover from than my lumbar fusion. I was left for over 2 years before getting a second opinion who felt we should get on with surgery as things were very compressed. I do still have most of my symptoms and wonder if this is permanent cord and nerve damage due to waiting for so long. At least my cord now has fluid around it again.

    I know that the surgery does sound alarming, but the surgeons are very experienced and have a good plan to relieve your pain and problems.

    Praying for you both and looking forward to hearing how you get on.

  • Trust me that is totally normal. I have had 2 spinal fusions and I am only 15. You will do fine, if you still have time try to spend some time with your wife but also make sure you get some alone time I mentally prepare. Just remember though everything will be fine!
  • I'm sorry that you've found yourself needing surgery. I really hope it goes well. Good luck!
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  • The user and all related content has been deleted.
    Left side MicroD l5-s1 2/7/13. Re herniated immediately
    Revision bilateral MicroD and posterior lumbar decompression 9/9/13. Failed. L5-S1 fusion on 3/6/14.

  • Everyone's experience is different, but it is normal to have awful pain in the first few days.
    Do let them know that your pain level is so high. (I think they will have guessed that today!!)

    I would say that the first week is the worst. Hang on in there, it will get easier.

  • The user and all related content has been deleted.
    Left side MicroD l5-s1 2/7/13. Re herniated immediately
    Revision bilateral MicroD and posterior lumbar decompression 9/9/13. Failed. L5-S1 fusion on 3/6/14.
  • EMS GuyEEMS Guy Posts: 1,600
    edited 03/08/2014 - 9:17 AM
    Something is not right with your surgery or medication if your in this much pain. By now, they should have taken follow-up x-rays to confirm hardware placement. Difficulty urinating and crapping is quite common after fusion surgery. Typically, medication is to blame for that. With an ALIF, they typically will not discharge a person without them having a bowel movement first. It's a way to see if everything went back in correctly. Hopefully, they will figure out what's going on.
    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • I have a couple of fusions so I think I may chime in here. Something is not right. They have most people up and walking the night of their fusion. I agree with EMS Guy. As for to the bathroom, if it has been a long time since you went they won't send you home until you go. Even if they have to give you something to make you go. A fusion isn't normally this unpleasant, I mean they hurt but not to the point where someone is going to breakdown.
    Discectomies 05/08 and 04/11, fusions L4-5 Feb 9,2012 and L3-L4 June 28,2012, Staph infection washout 3/2/2012, Bulged L5-S1. SCS trial on January 17th, 2014, which was a success! Permanent SCS on February 20th.
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