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Had my 3rd back surgery- Anterior Lumbar Fusion

Started by darcy0472 on 09/28/2011 3:07pm

Hello, my name is Darcy. I'm 39 years old, and I had my 3rd back surgery almost 1 month ago. My first 2 back surgeries were Diskectomies- my 3rd and most recent was Anterior Lumbar Fusion. Has anyone had Anterior Lumbar Fusion and/or multiple back surgeries, like me? If so, how was the outcome, etc.? Thank you for any information you may have for me.


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I had my third back surgery about 6 weeks ago. The first surgery was about 10 years ago to fuse T10-L3, then 7 years later I had another surgery fuse L2-L3 over again because it did not heal and was starting to curve again. And just 6 weeks ago had to have C4-L4 fused, close to a full spine fusion. This is because my scoliosis was getting worse and the hardware was moving in my back. The surgeon that did the third surgery was new and told me that part of my problem all these years was that I smoked. This did not allow full healing of the bones from both surgeries. This has been the toughest surgery yet and I feel that I am still at the bottom of the hill. My advice for you is to do your homework and get multiple opinions before you do any further surgeries.You have to trust our doctor and do as they are instructing you but don't be afraid to ask questions or question what they have to say. And most of all you have to be patient with yourself, healing from something like this takes time. Let me know if I can help in any other way and good luck.



Darcy, I am 48 years old. On 2/26/08 I slipped and fell outside my home on ice covered by light snow and landed right on a raised edge of marble/granite slab walkway around 8.30 am after dropping my then 15 year old son to school, coming home with prescriptions, bread, milk, flu meds for my now ex-wife. I had 2 discectomies and laparotomy. The first discectomy I later found had ruptured within 16 days (ER MRI that the doctors ignored) that allowed more disc matter back into the canal. I ended up having to find pain management and neurosurgeon out of my medical community. In 2/11 I had an ALIF at L5/S1. I was hospitalized for 5 days due to my abdomen becoming infected and swollen from the compression of the intestines to the side. I've had many problems with SVT and diabetc blood sugar levels. My back pain was in the sacrum with dual radiculopathy. I was unable to handle steroid shots as they raised my blood sugar to the 400 level and set off SVT in my heart. So I've been getting anesthetic only trigger shots and caudles. In 5 and 6 of 2010 I had 5 discograms where on an outpatient hospital setting I was put out while a needle was guided under fluroscopy into one disc per week and then pairs of disc L3/L4 L4/L5 L5/S1 , L3/L4-L4/L5 L4/L5-L5/S1 . This is painful as they brought me too twilight while sticking my disc to which I recall screaming some not so kind words a couple of times. The point is they are trying to recreate my pain from that one disc. After that the pain surgeon would shoot the disc full of anesthetic. When L4/L5 was shot I woke up with no pain in my right side for the first time in over 2 years. I wore off 6 hours later. When L5/S1 was shot I woke up with no sacral pain for the first time in 2 years. The reason I had been in such sacral pain was that L5/S1 was leaking its nucleus on the ganglions of nerve roots in the cauda equina below the conus of the spinal cord. It is toxic to them and kind of the bodies way of saying hey somethings wrong here. At this point, with the help of a great neurosurgeon and pain management m.d./surgeon I am well on my way to recovery. I'm trying to get beyond pain in my left hip which is causing left heel pain, sciatica-esque. However, I fell on a broom handle right on that hip a few months before the ALIF so their are now bursa sacs that are swollen in the area that sciatica travels. I have a deep scar in my abdomen which never dissolved from the incision. My lower back remains week but I'm thinking over time this is the best thing that could have happened to me.


Hi there Darcy. I'm 54 and I have had 3 disketomies, 1 laminectomy, CT Myelgram, lumbar infection, L4, L5 fusion, my dura was torn causing chemical meningitis. A huge blood clot around my spine, countless MRIs 3 epidural steroid injections into my spine, my facet joints injected.

This has been going on since last year when on the 2nd march, 2010 i could not walk anymore and lost my bowel and bladder. Around October, 2010 I felt that there would be no more surgery then in November the pain was coming back. Had a MRI, CT and X Rays next day looked at them and out two aside and I made a joke about it saying you have left the best till last, he looked up and said sorry mate BUT I have to tell you you now have Arcknoiditus of which there is no cure except pain management he did say he could cut my spinal column open and take the nerve roots out and wash them but didn't want that.

Then in April this year he started talking about a spinal cord stimulator but unfortunately W/C denied the operation after going to their doctors. SO now I have a fair bit of pain. I said to someone that I am in enough pain to get my chainsaw out and cut my feet off.

My meds are totaling 300 mg of Morphine and it hardly touches the edges, plus I drive everything but with pain. I wouldn't tell a person under 50 to have these opps as it puts an enormous amount of problems from pain to relationships.

Now my life is okay I don't go out much I have little jobs around the house that I do but no lifting to stretch is incredibly tiresome and most days I have to sleep atleast 2 hours a day, life's thrown a crappy curve ball .

Hope you have an understanding and caring husband as I have with my wife because you may be lucky but once you get to speak to people, Mhhhh, sorry to be such a downer but its nearly two years for us and in about a month and a half we are off for a 14 day cruise.