HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Health » Chronic Health Conditions Discussion and Support (Group) » Has anyone here had a spi...
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 04:20 PM

Has anyone here had a spinal fusion

I had a fusion 3 years ago, L5-S1. My doctor tells me I have had a good outcome, but I still have weakness after standing for a fairly short period of time. Is this normal?

16 replies, 1330 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 16 replies Author Time Post
Reply Has anyone here had a spinal fusion (Original post)
redstatebluegirl Jan 2013 OP
Warpy Jan 2013 #1
Herself Feb 2014 #10
Warpy Feb 2014 #11
Herself Feb 2014 #12
demwing Feb 2014 #13
Herself Feb 2014 #14
redstatebluegirl Jan 2013 #2
libodem Jan 2013 #3
redstatebluegirl Jan 2013 #4
libodem Jan 2013 #5
redstatebluegirl Jan 2013 #6
JayhawkSD Jan 2013 #7
redstatebluegirl Jan 2013 #8
Buffalo Bull Mar 2013 #9
hoodjoseph Mar 2014 #15
redstatebluegirl Mar 2014 #16

Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 04:26 PM

1. Good outcomes generally relate to pain reduction

plus maintenance of function. If you're continent and can both stand and walk (at least in the house) and are pain free, the operation is a success.

Fusion and other spinal surgeries are usually seen as a last ditch measure when pain control and rehab haven't done the trick. While they've gotten much better at them over the years, outcomes like yours are still common.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Warpy (Reply #1)

Fri Feb 7, 2014, 04:00 AM

10. Posterior/Anterior fusion w/bak cages

I was the first person that this was performed on for fda study done in NY.
It was experimental at the time.

At first, the first year I was bottom 25% recovered. Then I moved up to top 75%. After several years I was the only one living without pain in the study that followed the surgery.

My secret? I followed the rules the doctor laid out to the letter. I did the PT as directed, actually pushing myself to the very limit, even tho it was painful after being bed ridden so long. The Mackenzie Protocol was ordered by the surgeon.

Women tend to do better than men, because we don't cheat as much. Example, Not sitting down for 90 days after surgery, not even to use the bathroom. Staying straight at all times. Wearing the brace given.

I had previously been told I would never walk by many doctors. This one gave me home, I made the most of my opportunity. Building the ab muscles, rebuilding leg muscles etc.




Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Herself (Reply #10)

Fri Feb 7, 2014, 05:33 PM

11. I'm glad you had such a great outcome

and yes, following the rules is paramount in recovering from just about everything.

As for women doing better than men, it's because we're used to being told what to do. Many men seem to resent it and cheat at every opportunity just to prove nobody can order them around.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Warpy (Reply #11)

Fri Feb 7, 2014, 06:48 PM

12. being "told" what to do never worked on me, rational and logical explanations did

... add in the testosterone factor.. boys are programmed to be "macho"..

I did my best to raise my sons differently, and have to say i've had more success than most.
Living with my tragic accident and their witnessing the consequences etc validates me as they get older.

Many guys in the family have had much less injuries to their backs, but suffer much more than my sons witnessed me go thru. All of them have pain, but I live with out it.

Seeing is believing

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Herself (Reply #10)

Wed Feb 26, 2014, 08:18 PM

13. "Women tend to do better than men, because we don't cheat as much."

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to demwing (Reply #13)

Wed Feb 26, 2014, 09:49 PM

14. I didn't cheat at all. Letter of the law

But, I had a great surgeon in a teaching hospital in NY

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 04:29 PM

2. Good to know

I am much better than when I went in for surgery, could not walk, constant pain lots of pain meds. Now I manage what I have with over the counter meds most of the time. I stood at a wedding last week and I noticed it more than ever. Thanks for the feedback.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 04:34 PM

3. I do same level

I had a poor outcome. When I stood up at the bedside after surgery something popped loose. They called it a dural tear. I had the most ungodly headache, stiff neck, and I couldn't extend my left leg. I've never been okay since. They still forced me back to work before they allowed me to get disability. I had to try and fail first.

My left leg is weaker, and I have less feeling in my left foot. And still have chronic low back pain.

On the other hand my neck fusion has rarely given me trouble. But when it does, my back takes a back seat.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to libodem (Reply #3)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 04:37 PM

4. I feel fortunate

mine has not been anything like that. I could feel my foot and the lower part of my leg right after I woke up from surgery. Had not felt that on the left side for over a year. The stabbing pain in my back and leg is gone. It is the weakness I worry about but I think I should be counting my blessings .

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to redstatebluegirl (Reply #4)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 05:00 PM

5. My big toe is numb

But at least it doesn't hurt. I favor my left side but it has affected my right hip. I try to walk as evenly as possible. I should use a cane for distance.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to libodem (Reply #5)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 05:12 PM

6. I do use a cane from time to time

I honestly don't care if it makes me look old, if you need it use it...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 12:46 AM

7. Had fusion of C5-C6-C7

It took albout 5 years before rehab was entirely complete. After 3 years was still having nerve pain and weakness in left arm, less nut still some. Nerves heal very, very slowly, but they do heal. After about 5 years I was pretty much free of symptoms.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to JayhawkSD (Reply #7)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 01:40 PM

8. I have an appointment with

my neurosurgeon next week. My pain specialist thinks I may have some movement above the fusion causing nerve problems beyond the first surgery. I am terrified but will do what I have to do. I feel really old right about now .

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Sat Mar 2, 2013, 02:26 PM

9. me too


Had a Fusion in my neck 7 years ago the persistent pain was treated but from time to time the nerve pain returns less intense.This is considered by my surgeon to be a good outcome. Since then i have ruptured one disc and herniated the disc above and below, and have become classified as disabled.. Luckily the symptoms are just under my pain threshold, so i have the luxury of putting it off.

I hope that you have a result that doesn't limit you very much. However I have never met a person with a fusion that is asymptomatic.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to redstatebluegirl (Original post)

Tue Mar 11, 2014, 07:04 PM

15. 3 Spinal Fusions

Sorry I am late to this party. Since 2001, I have had to have 3 spinal fusions from L2 through S1. I have degenerative disk disease, as well as RA and other chronic disease. I found that after my first fusion L2-L3 I was very good for about 8 years. Then that first fusion began putting more pressure on the disks below and the wear and tear left me bone to bone. So in 2010 I had a major double fusion L3-L4 and L5-S1. I am mostly pain free which is the object of even thinking of doing this kind of surgery, but I cannot stand or walk for very long periods of time. My legs have never been strong after these fusions, but they were also not strong before the fusions when my back was so weak with pain and pressure.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to hoodjoseph (Reply #15)

Wed Mar 12, 2014, 02:47 PM

16. I am doing a bit better since this post

But am still terrified of another fusion. I quit working which has helped some. Thanks for sharing your experience...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread