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Posted in: Scoliosis.

Long fusions

Started by Nancyapplg8 on 03/18/2017 4:01pm

Hello, I'm new to this group and was hoping to get some input from others. I' have a double major scoliosis, first diagnosed as a teen. I was never braced, and besides back pain here and there, things were manageable. Over the last few years, the pain has gotten substantially worse. Midline lumbar area feels as though my spine has been snapped backwards when walking or standing. Then the SIJ started becoming very painful. I consulted an ortho and he was able to compare old films in the system with new ones, and there was a significant change. To fix it, the suggestion was T4-sacrum fusion. I also had a complete pars fracture of L5, spondi, and the disc there was destroyed.

Since that time, I went to pain management and saw a Neurosurgeon to see if he had any suggestions. So I had L5/S1 PLIF. Unfortunately that procedure didn't help alleviate the pain at all, and it was recommended I go back to the ortho. I have been unable to work as an ER nurse for the last 2 yrs, and I'm now really considering the long fusion. I'm 46, and I really need to hear that there are success stories out there. I have realistic expectations and fully understand there are no guarantees.

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Hello, Nancyapplg8--thank you for taking the time to post. We know there are many in this Community who have undergone spinal fusion, and we hope they share their experiences with you!

When faced with a major medical procedure, we recommend learning as much as you can about it. We have extensive content on spinal fusion, and this article is a great place to start ( What Is Spinal Instrumentation and Spinal Fusion? ).

If you decide to meet with your orthopaedic surgeon again, using that time to ask questions about the surgery will help you feel comfortable moving forward--or not moving forward--with it. Here's a great resource with some examples of good questions to ask during your doctor visit ( Spine Surgery: Questions to Ask Your Doctor ).

Keep us posted on what you decide. We wish you the very best of luck!

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Hi Nancyapplg8, I have a double curve scoliosis discovered at 13. In 1978, I had Harrington rod surgery to stabilize things. In 1996, because of more pain, I had a single fusion, then single fusions every year for 5 years. Then in 2003, the doctor fused remaining vertibra, so I am totally fused to middle of my neck. Then in 2010, I fell out of bathtub and broke my C2, a hangman's fracture, so now I am really totally fused! All this to say even tho I have chronic pain between my shoulder blades and my entire neck, I am glad I had the surgerys done, because I would be in even worse shape if I had done nothing. My lungs and heart would be involved because of the top curve twisting too. The only advise I can give is to find a doctor with a lots of experience, cause their patients have better outcomes. And expect there to still be pain. Be as active as possible after you heal. I am pretty sedentary and so part of my pain is of my own doing. I am 68 years old, and go regularly to a pain clinic. I am on hydrocodone, gabapentin for nerve pain, and muscle relaxers plus anti-depressants. It's all good! And God is with me every minute!

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