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Spinal Fusion Help!!!

I have two ruptured and herniated discs at L4-L5 and L5 s1. I have a fractured facet joint plate and I have mild
spondylolisthesis. I have had three therapeutic injections which failed. I had a discogram and confirmed that the two discs are bad. My doctor is now offering me two surgical options. He offers a minimally invasive disc "repair." E recovery is short although there is a good chance of reherniation for the first six weeks. The other option would be a lumbar fusion. I am at a loss. I am very active and only 29 years old. I have three small children and a job as a nurse. Either option will slow me down. My pain has slowed me down so much already over the last year. My corner about the repair is that is either wont work or that it won't work forever and I will need the fusion anyways. Is this not a valid concern? My older brother is starting with the same problems which leads me to believe it is a genetic and degenerative process. I don't want to do something just because it is minimal and end up living in fear as I do now that every move I make could hurt me worse. But is this fear enough? A I jumping into something major too quickly? My doctor says it is up to me and I don't know what to do. He said e standard is the fusion and can't promise me better results with either? Wo has had either done and what kind of results am I looking at? Who round my age can offer me any kind of advice?


  • Lmr106LLmr106 Posts: 117
    edited 03/15/2014 - 6:52 PM
    I turn 28 in a few weeks and I have had pain as I was 26. I had a full fusion on both sides of my spine of my total spine. Now I did have this done about 14 years ago, but the limits from the spinal fusion are very restrictive. Wanting to take the other route first with the minimally invasive repair would be something that I would consider, having gone through spinal fusion myself. Again my surgery was 14 years ago but the fusion seems related at least me to the pain that I have now that Pain is so bad they had a pain pump installed to permanently administer medicine through my spinal cord.
    About the age I understand it's very hard because we can't do things that we used to. I often feel cheated and left out of my life. I had a plan and obviously that plan was not this, and I am learning how to adapt. Or at least I'm trying to learn. Not that this should happen to anyone but being age that I am, I am very angry that I have been cheated out of what most people get, a full life. To be brutally honest I was not expecting that have these problems until I was older . I admit I am often jealous of my friends, even though without the support I could not have made it through any of this. The easily make plans and do whatever activity that they want without in restrictions. I wish I could tell you have a coping strategy for this but I don't have one yet. When I get one I will let you know, or somebody else has any ideas that would be great. Good luck
    2000- spinal fusion, complete spine due to scoliosis
    2012- pain began, started treatment for chronic pain
    2013- install of pain pump, procedures to address complications
    2014-blood patch, spinal fluid leak
  • I would make sure you get at least one more opinion. That is a major decision to make.
    alif l4-s1
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  • I'd also recommend at least 1 more opinion, but I know if I were offered an alternative to a fusion, I would have given it a shot. However, I am only 24 and very happy with the results of my 2 level fusion so far.
    10/28/13 - ALIF, PSF, decompression at L4/L5 and L5/S1
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