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L4 L5 Fusion?

Started by sab494 1 week 5 days ago

Hi Everyone,

First time here I came across this by doing normal google searches like I normally do. I am 27 and have ddd. Like my mom and grandma, who both had 3 back surgeries each. My mom should have a neck surgery, all of her discs are blown, but because of the growth of her neck spine, if they were to open her up she would pop all the way down her spine so surgeons have told her no. Besides that. I had a neck fusion about 3 years ago and it was the best thing I ever have done. When I blow a disc, its probably the worst pain I've ever experienced. For my neck, I couldn't turn it for 1 month until a round of 3 injections and oral steroids. After two years, the shots stopped working which led me to having a fusion and now I am 100% better with just normal neck pains you would have.

I blew my L4 L5 one day at work and it took again another round of 3 shots and oral steroids before I could stand up straight again. I have been doing back injections but this past one didn't help....in fact it kind of made it worst. I am in a lot more pain now. I went to my surgeon and he set up another injection because sometimes this can happen it can make it "angry" but also set me up for a mri seeing it's been two years since my last one and it could be worst....honestly...I know deep down it is. Sitting on a short plane ride is super painful now and even laying down in bed hurts.

Here's my question. I am a chef. That is my passion. I was out for a month with my neck but was told this fusion is a lot longer and I may not be able to return to being a chef. Anyone have any stories or have gone through this with an intense job and was able to return. I hear I am young so I have a better chance but I do worry I will have to walk away from my passion. I recently lost 70 pounds over the course of a year and I hate to say I feel my pain got actually worst when I lost all the weight. I know the internet is usually full of negative stories because if you are good you don't want to go online and share but I would love to hear all the stories.

I must say thought my surgeon is incredible! My mom and grandma had three cause the first one wasn't enough they blew the one above but it was already herniated so he saw that coming so the second was for the trap but the third was because they healed so well that the metal was bothering them so they got to take out some of the plates.

Thanks in advance.

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sab494 - Why is everybody still having fusion surgery? I have a pinched nerve root at the L5 joint and also spondylolisthesis L4 over L5. I have tried all the non-surgical procedures and nothing has worked for me. I was offered a fusion surgery about a year ago. At first I thought I would go through with it. Then I did some research and found that there are a lot of fusion surgery failures. Plus the recovery time is very long. I declined that procedure. I did more research and found there is a device called Coflex that is an alternative to fusion. I kept searching until I found a neurosurgeon who does this procedure. I am going with this and am scheduled to have the surgery on July 16.

Ask your doctors/surgeons if you are a candidate for Coflex. It is much less invasive and it allows you to keep more mobility in your back. The recovery time is much shorter. It is my understanding that with a fusion surgery, in the part of your spine that is fused, you will no longer be able to bend that part of your back.

I am also having a laminectomy to relieve the pressure on the nerve root that is pinched. The surgeon will do this first -- this is a type of decompression that relieves the pinch on that nerve root -- then he will insert the Coflex device to maintain stability in my spine. It is my understanding that this laminectomy will be a "micro" procedure. They have told me my incision will be about 2 to 3 inches.

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