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Recommended L4-S1 fusion

Started by philupd on 06/21/2010 8:22pm

6 months ago I had a L5-S1 dicetomy and it has reherniated. My surgeon now has recommended L4-S1 fusion. Now I have to deciding if I am going to go through with the surgery.
Honestly I can pretty much deal with the pain, that is if I all I do is stay home and not do anything. But the problem is I am 30 years old, too young to retire. What am I suppose to do for money. At the moment I'm receiving State disability but that's not going to last to much longer. If I go through with the surgery, I would probably be out for about a year with no income.

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13 Responses

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I read your post and for a minute thought it was mine. But my discectomy lasted for 7 years, lucky I guess. I'm 37 now and have a re-herniation.

I've collapsed twice and had been in the ER via 911 and was hospitalized for 4-5 - I wasn't able to stand.

I am now on the epidural steroid / nerve block shots. I recommend you try that. It had helped a lot of people.

Let us know if you have questions.

All the best.

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I'm having a laminectomy L4-L5 and L3-L4 Fusion. The surgery is going to be done July 22. I'm 48 old and yes too young to retire. My money would totally run out approximately in 5 years. My quality of life right now is really bad. Realistically on money my wife could work so we could survive. So money isn't really the issue. This is why I'm going through with the surgery. There is approximately a 35% chance of getting better and that's on the high side. I don't really work now but I do leave the house daily and act like I'm working. By the time I get to work my pain level is 10 plus. So that's at 7:30 a.m. every day at work or at home. I'm barely a man with my wife. My ups and downs on the pain medication is unreal. They finally put me on OxyContin 60s twice a day and oxycodone15s six times a day plus mobec 2xs. The ups and downs are not is bad now. But I'm far from being the same person my wife married. She loves me and takes care of me anyways. On myself the only reason why going through with the surgery is for my family. I'm very nervous about it. But it's definitely for me. there will be a lot of pain ahead of me. I am trying to be a father and a husband again though with surgery . 10 plus pain daily on medication I'm on 'is crazy. I hope my thoughts/reasons help you a little. Thank you and good luck to you. Sam

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Thanks for you guys response.
Luv, I have tried injections 3 different times before the discetomy. I haven't seen any relief from it. I also tried PT, chiro, and acup.
Hey Sam, sorry to hear about your situation. My pain level is not as high as yours but it can get pretty high if I am active. I think with being able to managing my pain most of the time, makes it harder for me to make a decision with surgery. But if I don't do the surgery, I can't work. If I do the surgery, I'm worried that it would get worse.

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Once you get to 10 plus pain level you'll know it's time for surgery. My problems are all natural no accidents. I would say it started when I was about 33. I been narcotic pain pills for approximately 13 years. I've talked to a lot of people that had have had back surgery face-to-face. They claim if you're in a lot of pain it's not that much worse after surgery. The percentages do suck on getting better. Staying in the house all the time at 30 is no life. But definitely if I stay at my house and lay in bed I do better. Thanks Sam

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14 years ago I had a slip 'n fall accident at work, 3 days later I couldn't move my right leg to get out of bed to go to work. Had an MRI done and surgery was suggested. Went to a Neurologist who's second opinion agreed with the first and to get rid of the siatiac pain, I agreed to have the surgery. A week after it was done a bulge formed in my back, the stiches under the staples broke and the surgeon said he had to go back in and repair the leak. While messing around 'in there' he found that L5 was compressed under the pulled L4 level and he pulled that (as well as fix the stiches). Everything WAS fine - and then all hell broke loose. I was in so much pain I was going from one Pain Management Doctor to another getting these things called 'procedures'. I'd get home from them and look at my back and it looked like a tennis shoe without the laces. Holes down both sides of my spine. Now - 14 years later I have numerous herniations, scoliosis, stenosis, a Degenerative Spine disease, spurs - a total mess. 3 vertabra fused in my Cervix section. I have found an Orthopedic/Spine surgeon who said he will take me on (the first one to say so since I began looking for one some 10 years ago) who want's to insert 2 rods between L4 and S1, what you've described - and I'm scared to death about it. But I can't stand living on Oxycontin, Oxycodone, Soma, and 4 - 5 other pills including benzo's. Without the Oxy, my pain level is a 10 +. I can't stand living like this, under the control of these Pain Mgt. doctor's. You look at them the wrong way and you're discharged! Should I go further with this or continue on with the Oxycontin? I really don't know what to do now. Thanks -

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Art & Phil
The only one that can make the decision to go ahead with the surgery is you! I injured my back in Sept of 2008. The first doctor I went to told me I would need open surgery and fusion of L-2 to S-1. That scared the hell out of me! Since then I found another doctor and he told me that eventually I would need surgery, but that I would be the one telling him when I wanted the surgery. He was right after 18 months of drugs, injections and nerve burnings I just couldn't take it anymore. I went back to him and will undergo L5-S1 TILF fusion and L2-L3, L3-L4 and L4-L5 decompression surgey on July 16th. I can;t work (SSDI and pensions) and can't walk more than 100 fett or stand more than a few minutes without intense pain. I am scared shi*less about the surgery, but can't go on living like this. Good luck!

Matt

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Hey Matt,
So you say you are doing a tlif at the L5-S1 level? I read a tlif can not been done at that level.

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I am just reading the orders that my doctor wrote. I trust him.

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I had an L5-S1 Tlif done on 12/16/09. Now six months later, I'm pain free and not on any type of medication. Only thing is I get "odd" feelings in my back - tightness or like having someone give me a wedgie - pulling upward of the muscle. I exercise every day using Wii Fit Plus and it has helped tremendously. I also had a microdiscectomy at L3 for a herniation at the same time that had been causing numbness and tingling and jabbing pain on my left inner thigh and have no pain or tingling from that. My suggestion is get yourself a great neurosurgeon - my doctor is at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine & is part of the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis. Most of the people I met there were there to have botched surgeries fixed. The doctors there are all great and have patients lined up to see them, so they don't push you into surgery - they give you the facts and let you decide when and if you're ready. If you're the only person in the doctor's waiting room & he's pushing surgery on you - see someone else before you proceed.

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I'm sorry, I have mistaken the tlif with xlif. XLIF is the procedure that goes in from the side and can not be perform on the L5-S1 level.

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If there is ANYWAY that you can avoid surgery - please look into it. Whether it be Acupuncture, massage, but NOT 'Spinal Procedures' where they fill your back up with chemicals. More harm than good from my experience! You say you can pretty much deal with the pain - if you stay home and do nothing. Surgery is your LAST resort here Philupd and it's FINAL. There is no going back in and taking out the screws, plate, etc. with your Black and Decker. I had my neck (C3, 4 & 5) levels fused and I now get pain on the other side of my neck - including horrible headaches. Please get as many opinions as possible before making up your mind per: Medication's and the above first. I HAVE to have mine fused (after living in this pain for the past 12 years) and I'm scared to death of it (the last surgeon removed the wrong disc). If you're at a pain level of 10 + and it's driving you insane, do what you have to do but have a good, long, descriptive talk with your surgeon before going thru with this, okay? He goes in for one reason ONLY! Good Luck!

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My doc wants me to have L3-S1 fused, I told him when I can't walk due to pain I'll consider it.
but I'm having some nerves killed Monday, so I can walk better. Hopefully my limp wont be so bad, feels like I'm setting on a golf ball in left hip.
I just turned 51 and have been on disability for 3 yrs now. I've had some spinal fusion done on my neck 5 yrs ago, and now they want to undo it and fuse up one more vertebrae. The disc at C4 has begone to calcify.And this creates pain down right arm, finger tips are numb as well.

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To Philipd Hi Phil, going to get the l4-5/ Possible l5 -s1 fixed very soon, coming mri next week, Call the Social Security Office, They may be able to hook you up with either Suplimental Security Income, and or Social Security Disability for a year or so until things get better for you! Good luck, Frankjg

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