16 years Post-Op Questions

Hello everyone,
I am new to the forum so I apologize if this topic has been discussed prior to this post. Long story short, this past January 2017, I was 16 years removed from my 3-level, anterior/posterior L5, L4 and L3 fusion when I was 27 years old. I have 6 screws and a 7" titanium rod on the "inside" of spine (My intestines were moved out for them to get to that area). My surgery was 10 hours long and it was about 8 months before I was able to freely walk around my yard. I was horribly addicted to the pain meds for 3 years but was successfully able to get clean and sober and have been for nearly 14 years. Now, I did everything my surgeons told me to do post-op. I walked as much as I could humanly stand, I had quit smoking about 6 months prior to the surgery. Once I was able, I went back to the gym, started lifting weights again (slowly), started cycling which I still do to this day and have hiked 4 of the highest peaks in the Northeast over the past 2 years. In a nutshell, my surgery was a success and I attribute my recovery to my younger age, discipline in the gym and pushing through daily aches and pains to get my body and core strong. Of course I have bad days and I am not always as positive but for the most part, I am lucky and I know it.

I am looking here to determine what, if anything, can be done to help my flexibility and I am also starting to get some fears regarding the other levels beginning to break down and going in for more surgery is downright terrifying for me. I wish I could post a few pics so that you could see what I am dealing with scar wise. I don't really have anyone to bounce things off of in this respect as my surgeons are long gone and my PCP can't even comprehend what this surgery entailed. I would love to hear from folks that had similar surgery, found other ways of reducing scar tensions and anything involved in where I am in my recovery. Thanks in advance.  


  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 4,299
    edited 07/23/2019 - 1:08 PM
    hello scooter 2300 !
    while you are waiting for responses from members with shared experiences, search may be helpful to you, upper right on page.
    any of your concerns may lead you to current or older discussions. you may be led to medical side.
    the main site has all the formal medical articles and videos for you to research on, also. very informative!

    Welcome to Veritas Health Forumplease click on link for helpful information!
    also, when you click onto "new discussion" you will find link with "system tutorial" to navigate spine-health site!
  • There is no one on this website that has similar surgery and can comment?

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  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 248
    edited 12/07/2017 - 10:28 AM

    Sorry Scooter2300, I missed your post, and my lower spine fusion wasn't until a month after your post. My surgery was only from T11 all the way through my sacrum and attached to my pelvis. Adjacent joint degeneration is very real, it's easy to understand why, and I've lived it.

    My first two fusions were done at another facility 10 years ago, that neurosurgeon was gone shortly after. Due to adjacent joint degeneration and a severe fast moving OA my problems got worse and that medical facility wasn't prepared to take on my degenerating spine. That is when I decided with the motivation of others I needed to be my own advocate and research new options to get the answers I needed. It was the best thing I ever did. Now I feel I have the best medical team behind me at one of the best medical facilities in the world.

    I am also very dedicated to my fitness program, maintaining a strong core and a weight that is recommended for my stature. For me my gym time is as important as eating, breathing, and sleeping. It's a key point to my survival.

    Try to get some more opinion's from highly rated medical professionals, do a lot of research of your symptoms and don't stop until you get answers that satisfy you. We have to be our own advocates, nobody else will do it for us.

    Best of luck to you Scooter, keep in touch here.

  • Hi Ranger - Thanks for the post. I appreciate it. Interestingly enough, I have never really had any issues with the fusion itself and it was a nasty one. My biggest issue has been where the Illial Crest bone graphs were taken. It gets tight often and I "pull" muscles there all the time and then it takes a week or so before I am back to normal. I have heard of nerve blocking procedures but have not been able to find a lot of information on them. I am with you though, going to the gym and keeping my core strong is literally something that I need to do daily. I have discomfort but I have learned to live with it. I can still do a wide range of physical stuff but am always aware of my limitations. I would love to hear from people that have had the same bone graphs as I have and hear how they are doing or what they have done to limit issues. Thanks again!

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