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Is there decompression w/out fusion??

Started by Drewsubdudes on 04/07/2010 6:16pm

My MRI suggests broad disc herniation L4-L5.w/spinal canal stenosis. Decompression is recommended but I am in no financial condition to just take 4-5 months off. It' will be tough to recover in a homeless shelter.I have insurance for the surgery but not recovery so fusion does not seem to be a option. my orig. disc surgery was tough enough but..... So, are there alternatives post decompression???

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2 Responses


In my experience, the answer is yes. Decompression without fusion is done most of the time. No need to take 4-5 months off unless you are doing heavy lifting or some sort of work that puts undue pressure on your back.

Walking, muscle strengthening, core building exercises instead of fusion is all most people need after a single level decompression.

On a website like this you find the worse of the worse scenarios. There is a huge world out there that has had simple decompression and back to work within a few weeks.

IBut don't have surgery unless you are mentally up for it and have gotten 2-3 opinions from SPINE SPECIALISTS..not just Orthopedic or Neurosurgeons who do hip or brain surgery. If you can, you want a doctor that is dedicated and had done extra fellowships in spine surgery. Can never have too much expertise when dealing with surgery of back decisions.. If having surgery is going to put undue pressure on you or your mindset, the recovery maybe be more difficult.


I agree with you. Who told you that you need to take 4-5 months off from work. There is a recory period, yes with a good physical therapist you will recover without a problem. Have you gotten second opinions. If you are in good health there should be no reason to take that long to heal I had fusion surgery and had a good physical therapist who had me up and walking. I had the same syptoms like yourself and am leading fairly normal life though I do have some neuropathy which they were not able to correct.
Good luck to you