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L5-S1 fusion next week for spondylolithesis with spinal stenosis

NotMeNNotMe Denmark, EuropePosts: 73
hi everybody 
I am new here. I am having a L5-S1 fusion next week for spondylolithesis with spinal stenosis.
I am 49 years, female, living in Europe. I have never before had back problems and have now to learn to get used to being a back pain patient AND having a huge surgery with a long, long recovery period after. In under a year I got bad sciatica pain and spinal stenosis symptoms like tingling and numbness of my feet, legs and buttocks if I sit, stand or walk more than just a minimum.  Urgh 
Are anybody else going through the same right now? I would love being in contact with others going through the same problems and/or operation. 


  • Hello NotMe.  I too have the same as you.  I'm going to have a decompression and fusion at l4-l5 on October 17.  I have always been active and healthy, but had the typical back ache stuff.  But, earlier this spring it really started in with pain in my right buttock and leg.  Extreme tenderness and tingling. My right leg started weakening about a year ago, so this has been going on longer than I thought.  My lower back has always hurt, but take a couple of aleve and it would help.  Learned why the pain and weakness, so while I know this will progress I'm going to bite the bullet and get the procedure done and over with, so I can get back to "normal".  I have you in my thoughts and look forward to reading your success story.  Take a look at the surgery buddies forum.  It's great for support!!
  • MagistraMarlaMMagistraMarla San Antonio, TexasPosts: 217
    Hi Notme and Baywatchtoo,
    Welcome to both of you!
    Go over to the October Buddies thread and join us.  Deenic is in England and I think that Dale is in the US, as I am.
    I'm the experienced one in our group, since I had spinal surgery in April, 2015, and I'm now scheduled for a revision surgery Oct. 25, 2016. 
    Both of you sound as though you've caught it fairly early.  I think that's a good thing.  I've had worsening leg pain and leg cramps since 2008 and no doctor could pinpoint the cause.  Finally, in 2014, I had a full spine MRI and found out that my lumbar spine was the culprit.  I may have continuing nerve damage because of the delay.
    Baywatch - I grew up in Wood River, Illinois.  Married an Air Force officer, so I've lived in a number of places since then.
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  • Thank you. Marla. I've posted on the October forum. I live just north of effingham, Illinois. Heading to St. Louis for my surgery. I wanted a good fellowship trained neurosurgeon.
  • MagistraMarlaMMagistraMarla San Antonio, TexasPosts: 217
    My husband and I met at St. Louis University in 1974.  Both SLU and Washington University have some huge hospitals there.  He was originally pre-med, but later switched to engineering and joined the AF.
    We have some good memories of that city.
  • NotMeNNotMe Denmark, EuropePosts: 73

    Hi Baywatchtoo and MagistraMarla

    Thanks for your replies. I sure feel comforted by having someone to share stories and thoughts - and worries - with. I am SO worried about going through the first weeks postoperative. I've always been the one keeping the house and family running, so being totally helpless is really scary.

    I'll sure post on october forum too. :-)

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  • RAMRRAM FloridaPosts: 72
    Had my PLIF L4 L5 11 days ago. I'm doing pretty well so far. A few bad days and some nerve pain down my leg but all that is to be expected. It's very hard to let everyone do for you but you have to, In the long run you will recover better. 
  • NotMeNNotMe Denmark, EuropePosts: 73
    Hi Ram 
    Good to hear.  I hope to be on the same track soon. Yes, I know I have to let go and let others help me. I'm trying to get used to it. 
    How muvh are you able to do by now? -are you outside everyday walking or is it too soon? I can't imagine how my days will be afterwards. 

  • meggiedarlinmmeggiedarlin Land o' LakesPosts: 23
    edited 10/05/2016 - 12:59 PM
    Not Me: I have the exact same thing at the same spot.  I am TRYING to get scheduled for a 360 (back and front approach) lumbar fusion.  My blood sugar numbers were .5 (yes, that's a point 5) too high and I got mixed communication from the neurosurgeon.  I thought my paperwork had been submitted to insurance until I was told the blood sugar needs to be down.  I factored in that I had a series of steroid pills which really affected the numbers, but I guess I'm not a doctor and so I wait it out another month until I have my labs done again.

    Anyway, I am so anxious to have the surgery.  My life has turned into no life as I have pain in my right leg upon standing or walking.

    Once I actually have a date (looking at probably December now!!!) I'm be in the Surgery Buddy thread.
  • MagistraMarlaMMagistraMarla San Antonio, TexasPosts: 217
    Hi Meggie,
    We call our youngest daughter Meggie, but her name is Meghan.
    I'm sorry that a tiny anomaly on your lab work makes you go through many more weeks of pain.
    I'll be having some important lab work done next week.  The patient coordinator at my surgeon's office told me to hydrate thoroughly and to eat a light protein-rich meal before the tests to insure that there wouldn't be any false readings on my blood sugar.  I made my appointment for 9 am and I intend to eat eggs and toast before I go, along with plenty of water (after my coffee, of course!).  Now I know why she was so insistent about that.
    I'll be having a 360 revision surgery (L3-S1) on October 25.  My prior surgery was a PLIF, L3-L5.  That anterior aspect scares me a bit.  I'll be posting at October surgery buddies, so check there and I'll let you know what my experience is like.  Good luck with those next labs!
  • MagistraMarlaMMagistraMarla San Antonio, TexasPosts: 217
    Thanks, Kimmy.  I usually eat cereal and fresh fruit for breakfast, but I was thinking that the fruit would raise blood sugar levels and that carbs would not.  I love to cook, but I don't know all of the nutritional information.
    So, hard-boiled eggs and strawberries it is!  My blood sugar is usually fine, but after reading the post above, I don't want to take any chances.
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