Back Surgery

Thread starter #1
On the last visit with the doctor I was told that if the epidural injections did not work. He told me that the last option was to have a procedure called Lumbar Fusion. I have looked on the Internet with this procedure. I know everyone's condition is different, has anyone had this procedure and what was the outcome. Thanks.
 
I have a close friend who was a firefighter at Camp Lejeune. Following the surgery the Fire Dept. wouldn't allow him to return to duty. He was forced to accept medical retirement. Make certain you ask questions about how it might effect your future career.
 
A lot depends on your age and what you do for a living. I had L5-S1 fused. The results of the surgery are pretty good. Any nerve damage is probably permanent, such as some numbness in your legs. I was 62 when I had mine done,I'll be 66 soon. My biggest problem is arthritis in my spine, go in for facet injections.
 

darkstan

Senior Member
Back fusions

Fusion equals F-----. Sorry but reality sucks sometimes. Had a double fusion almost 3 years ago at L4-5 and L5-S1. Constant pain, numbness and not being able to sleep for more than 30 minutes at a time has gotten really old. Loss of mobility and arthritis is a major complaint. Have been on or tried every pain med made with combinations of other concoctions pain management Dr. has thought up. Once done, no going back. You adapt, adjust and manage best you can. Life will never be the same and being on Disability ain't fun. 58 years old and feel like 98. Bottom line is we pay for mistakes we made when younger. :)
 

Milkman

Retired Moderator
Sorry to hear of your problems.

Do a search over in the ON Topic forum. Lots of discussion about back surgery, etc. over the years.
 
I had two disk surgeries for ruptured disk that were just removing the bulge. Very short term relief. I had my fusion of 3 disk in 1995 and it still is doing good. It will never be perfect but I can live with it.
 

CraKaLaCKiN

Senior Member
I have degenerative disk disease at L4-L5. The injections no longer work for me. EVERY person that I've ever spoken to that has had back surgery has told me to NEVER have back surgery. They have said the relief is only temporary and it's a lot worse within 6-12 months.
 
My 3 times, I begged for it. I was to the point of not being able to function with mine each time. Temporary relief was worth it too me since I was totally disabled with mine. The last time (fusion)has been a big relief for a long time now.
 
back surgery

Back surgery used to be very intrusive with a poor success rate. Insurance companies didn't write policies if you had problems. Not that way anymore. The decision is yours. If you have a surgeon who knows what he's doing your results will be far better than living with severe back pain. You can't go into it expecting 100% recovery because some nerve damage has usually occurred and will get worse if repairs are not made.
 
Epidural Injections

On the last visit with the doctor I was told that if the epidural injections did not work. He told me that the last option was to have a procedure called Lumbar Fusion. I have looked on the Internet with this procedure. I know everyone's condition is different, has anyone had this procedure and what was the outcome. Thanks.
I have had 3 of the injections and am scheduled to have 1more tomorrow in my case they have definitely helped me I did not want the Injections and sure did not want to have surgery I think you should give them a try good luck.
 
This month is 3 years for L5-S1 metal caged with synthetic disk and fusion. One of the best decisions I have ever made. When you can't live anymore it is the only alternative. I haven't had any permanent damage other than muscle problems. I would do it again without hesitation.

I work with 4 other guys who have had similar surgeries and there have been no regrets other than putting it off till they were older.
 

JKnieper

Senior Member
Everyone is different but I know several folks that have had excellent success with lower back fusions. I think the outcome of the surgery is tremendously contingent on the skill and experience of the surgeon.
 
like others have said, if you have numbness now in extremities and fusion is inevitable I'd get it done as soon as you can. I waited 3 months after initial rupture in neck and after finally getting the fusion nerves still haven't regenerated 4 years later, and hand and arm still numb. now I'm dealing with disks above and below fusion causing all sorts of nerve pain issues now.

just about to turn 50 now and have to scale back all my DIY projects.
 
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like others have said, if you have numbness now in extremities and fusion is inevitable I'd get it done as soon as you can. I waited 3 months after initial rupture in neck and after finally getting the fusion nerves still haven't regenerated 4 years later, and hand and arm still numb. now I'm dealing with disks above and below fusion causing all sorts of nerve pain issues now.

just about to turn 50 now and have to scale back all my DIY projects.
Good point. The longer you wait the more damage to the nerves. I have my first surgery at the age of 18 and that was after going 6 months hurt before they figured out the problem. I still have numbness in my right foot and toes from the damage done by waiting.
 

gaspur1

Senior Member
Anyone with back pain , go see Kimberly Walpert, MD in Athens ,Ga. If she can help you she will operate and if she thinks she won't be able to help you feel better , she will not operate. She is an outstanding doctor.
 

HandgunHTR

Steelringin' Mod
This is an X-Ray of my back



This is the procedure I had done.



It is an anterior fusion, so no metal cage. Also, they can go right between the muscles in your stomach, so they don't have to cut through muscle to get to it (unless you are talking about discs higher up the spine).

I had mine done in 2009. Prior to doing it I was a pain addled grouch on a good day and a drug addled idiot on a bad day.

Now, I am limited on what I can pick up, but I am fully mobile and only have pain when I do something stupid.

Short answer is that it is the best thing I ever did.
 

mutt

Senior Member
On the last visit with the doctor I was told that if the epidural injections did not work. He told me that the last option was to have a procedure called Lumbar Fusion. I have looked on the Internet with this procedure. I know everyone's condition is different, has anyone had this procedure and what was the outcome. Thanks.
I would talk to more doctors before a surgery. There is a laser spine center around Atlanta that I've heard good things about.

I had a spinal injury but because of a genetic bone disease I wasn't a candidate for fusion. If I was I would look into the laser surgery because they are doing things that were said to be inoperable 10 years ago.

I ended up with a pump implant surgery. It sucks, but it keeps you out of the wheel chair most of the time.

I prayed for a successful treatment for you.

Bill
 

JohnK

Senior Member
I would talk to more doctors before a surgery. There is a laser spine center around Atlanta that I've heard good things about.

I had a spinal injury but because of a genetic bone disease I wasn't a candidate for fusion. If I was I would look into the laser surgery because they are doing things that were said to be inoperable 10 years ago.

I ended up with a pump implant surgery. It sucks, but it keeps you out of the wheel chair most of the time.

I prayed for a successful treatment for you.

Bill

I had back pain for several years and could only walk 50 yards or so before my hip started hurting...bad. I had the spinal shots many times but it always came back. I eventually went to a doctor who used a laser and burnt the nerve in two. It took several visits before he picked one as there is lots wrong with my back but not all of it was causing pain. He said it would grow back and we would do it again in three years but it's been 7 and I'm still good.
 
i had a 4 level fusion on my lower back due to no feeling in my legs and pain in my back done the injections just a cover up for the pain had 22 of them went to a specialist and had the surgery done back in 2003 have trouble with very litttle pain every once in a while but over all was well worth it
 
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