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spinal fusion L3-4 L4-5 S-1

Started by williewack57 on 03/06/2011 12:20pm

I HAVE HAD 3 BACK SURGERIES THE LAST ONE IN AUG 2008 FOR 3 LEVEL FUSION.I HAVE BEEN SEEING A PAIN MNGT DOCTOR FOR EXTREME PAIN IN MY LOW BACK ON LEFT SIDE.I HAVE A SMALL KNOT THERE THAT WHEN YOU PRESS HURTS A LOT.IT IS A STABBING PAIN THAT RADIATES IN MY LEFT HIP AND BUTTOCKS.I HAVE TRIED ALL TYPES OF PAIN MEDICINE AND NERVE MEDICINE.HAVE HAD NUMEROUS SHOTS AND THEN A RIZOMTOMY THAT REDUCED THE PAIN FOR ABOUT 6 WEEKS THEN STARTING COMING BACK AND HAD ANOTHER LOWER BACK SHOT AND IT HAS MADE ME WORSE.MY SURGEON HAD ME TAKE AN MRI AND IT SHOWED NOTHING THAT CONCERNED HIM.IS THIS THE WAY MY BACK IS SUPPOSED TO FEEL AFTER A FUSION?i am in as much pain as i was before my surgery.every thing seems to be in the sacroiliac joint.what can i do?i feel as if there could be scar tissue attached to nerves causing this pain.please give me some hopeful advice.bill in st louis. iam 5'ft8" and weigh about 260.my doctor says losing weight can help reduce my pain and strain on my back.i know that but how do you excerise when you are in a lot of pain.

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4 Responses


bill -
my surgery was same as you , in 2001 fusion L-4-5 / S-1 / hardware-rods / cage . nothing *before was said of low back pain to be there , *after . the pain was mainly why i agreed to have it done in the 1st. place , from degenrative disc disease . numerous physical therapy visits , limited back / leg stretches , *pain Rx meds to help control level , prolotherapy , acupuncture , three steroid injections , tim's electric pulse unit , *walking in pool 2-3 times a week . **only "two" have ever given some brief relief in the ten years iv'e lived with this . finally , a pain management doctor tried to interest me in having a pain-pump inserted in back / but what i read up on about it / only limited success . wanted me to try methadone ? pass on that too . always am told about exercise and losing weight . but with limits of walking - standing - or sitting very long ... odds are limited . no solid sleep pattern . but you should keep working at it . my height , weight are about same as yours . sound familiar ? finally , after two years of living with pain , it was decided to remove the hardware . outcome ... no less pain .
it is just there , "from scar tissue" / most probable reason . with each successive operation , most patients say pain level is as much as before , or more . any of us who deal with this , wish you the best at finding a better level of comfort .



I wish the word would get out about lumbar fusions on the lower back. THEY DON'T WORK. The answer for degenerative disc disease is total disc replacement. I had my L5/S1 disc replaced 3 weeks ago, and I walked 1 1/5 miles yesterday, pain free. I anticipate being 100% pain free within a few weeks, and returning to work and a normal life. Research the following products. Pro Disc, manufactured by Synthes, and Freedom Disc, manufactured by Axiomed. Best wishes. Mike



You do not have to exercise to lose weight. According to workout mags; Muscle and Fitness, Men's Health, etc.; about 70% of weight management is diet. 30% is attributed to exercise. You will kill a workout if your diet is bad. Go see a nutritionist and get a sound diet. At 5'8", you should be around 160-170. I'm 5'9" and weight around 195. I'm still losing due to a solid diet. I can't workout due to a R shoulder injury and herniated L5/S1.



Swim swim swim! The only 2 hours out of the day I am pain free!!
two year ago I had fusion of L4 L5 S1, with double diskectomy and triple laminectomy with fixation of 6 screws and 2 rods. Been in constant pain except when i am laying down or in the pool !
I use one of those 4ft styrafoam type noodles or a swim belt. I put the noodle under my arms and around my back. I have worked up to a running type motion in the deep end, when i can start to touch the bottom, i turn around. Still in the deep end with the belt or noodle i lift both knees up towards my chest, this works the abs and stretches the back muscles. Then i do a few laps of slow deliberate back stroke, stretching my arm ands turn my whole body , NOT at the waist ! after i am fully warmed up i start my free style stroke using the Total Immersion technique.There is a web site explaining total Imerssion and how it helps to streghthen your core. I now swim between a half and full mile just about everyday and am in the pool for close to 2 hours. Since the surgery and swimming i have lost close to 50 lbs. If it wasnt for swimming just about daily I dont think i'd be able to get out of bed. Anyone know of a job i can do from the pool? lol
I also do the stretches/exercises everyday i learned from all the times I was in Physical Therapy.
Oh, and I've also changed what and how I eat. My oldest daughter moved in with me to help me out after surgery. She just happened to be going through one of those health nut stages. I have stuck with many of those good habits.
good luck