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i was suppose to have a l4/l5 fusion last year, however I backed out due to being warned about possible blindness I have  1yr old and a 4 1/2 yr old. Need opinions on this pain meds aren't working as well any longer. And now my knees on the left side hurts as well now 


  • Bruce EitmanBruce Eitman Akron, OH, USAPosts: 1,496


    Hopefully you have been welcomed to the forums, but welcome to the forums. 

    I was shocked to discover that you are correct about the blindness risk. Did you ask about how big a risk it really is?  Did the suggest anything that they do to minimize the risk?

    My problem was in my neck, and I found traction to be very helpful.  For the neck, that means a fairly small device.  I don't know what the options are for lumbar, but certainly inversion tables are one - but I wouldn't do it without consulting with a doctor first - they will advise you and it may be covered by insurance if the doctor writes a prescription .


    Read my story at Bruce - My Story
    ACDF C4-C5-C6-C7, and getting better every day
    It has been a process of healing, learning, exercising, and resting - and figuring out when to do which.

  • hvillshhvills Suzhou, ChinaPosts: 995


    If you've been taking pains meds since last year I'm not surprised they are now working less effectively.  Over time your body gets used to them... and the pain relief effectiveness becomes less and less.  Also the pain meds are not solving whatever is wrong with your back... they are only hiding the issue.  I've never heard of any kind of blindness risk with fusion surgery... but I guess it's possible.    However the risk of permanent nerve damage and possible loss of motor fuction in one or both of your legs increases every day that you do not take some kind of specific action to solve your back issues. I would suggest you revisit your orthopedic surgeon and discuss your options.   More pain meds are not the answer...

    Harry - 65 year old male...
    PLIF L4-L5-S1 due to disc degeneration... May 23, 2013
    PLIF L5-S1 due to failed fusion and broken screw... Jan 19, 2015
    Microdiscectomy, decompression L3-L4 due to herniated disc... Jan 19, 2015
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  • Nicholas_IINNicholas_II CroatiaPosts: 65
    edited 07/27/2016 - 4:37 PM
    I copmpletely agree with Harry! I was also very reluctant with the multilevel fusion surgery even when I got it as an option to releive my pain, until no medication was working and pain was unbearable. When I felt pain at 7-9, not being able to move from the bed, I decided to go for a surgery momentarily, regardless any risk. The surgery posesed two risks: to get paralyzed or die. I accepted both, had given a living will in case of coma and got it. Now, I do not regret. I think you should ask for the second opinition. I have never heard that this kind of fusion would cause blindness! :worried:" alt=":worried:" height="20" /> 
    Kristijan (33)

    St. post vertebrosynthesis transpedicularis Th11-Th12-L1-L2 sec Expidium, Stabilization (10.5.2016.)
    Scoliosis THL Gravis (as of age od 13)
    Protrusio disci L3/L4
    Radiculopathia C6C7 bill, C8Th1 dec, L3L4 i L5S1 bill
    Hemangioma Th8
    Sy CC et CB
    Sy thoracale
    Sy LS chr

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