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L5 S1 fusion

Started by cottinger on 10/19/2014 4:39pm

35 yr old 911 dispatcher that fell at work Oct 2012. Have had 2 lumbar discectomies and still in an incredible amount of pain. The first surgery found that part of the disc tissue had broken off and started to grow within the left side nerve causing slight paralysis. That surgeon removed the tissue 'tentacles' after removing the herniated portion of the disc. The second surgery was after the disc re-herniated apprx 4 times the size of the original, and again, the nerve had to be scraped from tissue deposits. I have been off work for 2 yrs, after working there since I was 19. There was relief after both surgeries that averaged about a month and a half, then went downhill quickly. I've been fighting with doctors and the insurance company, trying to get my life back. I have no children but want one desperately and am afraid it won't be a possibility. I was told by my last surgeon that a fusion is the last resort. I recently met with a Nuerosurgeon that is a bit hesitant at committing to a fusion, so at his request, met with a colleague of his that specializes in deformed spines. This doctor was very blunt, which I appreciated more than he'll know. He gave me a 50/50 chance at success if we move forward. 50% that it will work, and 50% that it will actually make things worse. Those are not the numbers I wanted, obviously, but I'm so beyond tired of living like this that I'm willing to try. What I've found online is terrifying. There seems to be so many horrible outcomes and I've seldom found success stories. As I said, I'm tired....exhausted. I sleep about 2 hrs at a time, if that, due to the pain. I've been on Norco for almost the full 2 yrs. I want to get married and walk down the isle without a cane. I recently started joining forums like this, mostly to connect with people that understand. Any suggestions and/or feedback would be greatly appreciated!!!

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2 Responses


HI! I saw your post while looking at another on this site. I am 2 years out from an L5s1 fusion surgery. I am a success story and wanted you to know that it is possible! There are a lot of horror stories out there, but I decided not to be one. I have been back to work since 4 months after, and I go to the gym 5-6 times a week, doing Zumba and step aerobics. I still have some pain but it is easily controlled. I wish the best for you.


Thank you Deb!! It's more than a little overwhelming to process a lot of the outcomes I'm finding, so it's a comfort to hear the good ones!!