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L5 S1 fusion surgery



  • Tomorrow will be two weeks post-op from posterior fusion at L4/L5. I started working part-time from home on Monday so that payroll would get done. It's truly too soon to be working but it has to be done. I was feeling great prior to starting work. I had cut back to pain meds 2 x daily instead of 4x, but now I'm back to at least 3x. Oh well. Slow but sure progress.

  • Andyg, when are they going to do surgery?

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  • Allie, that’s going to be me as well. There are things for work that i will have to do.

  • Left hospital today after they removed and cleaned out a post op infection/abscess on Monday. I saw the surgeon today again re: the leg and nerve pain. He’s given me nerve pain relief medication, suggested I take that for a few weeks, as he hopes that the nerve pain will calm down as the fusion and metal cage settles. I think he’s hopeful that I won’t need more surgery on the bone spur. However, if I do, then it’ll mean removal of the facet joint to be able to access the spur. Fingers crossed I don’t need any more surgery now!

  • I am 35. I was fused at the same level less than a year ago, except for I have an extra lumbar vertebra (L6-S1). The first surgeon I saw a few years ago said he’d be doing a small incision and putting in a replacement disc. I ended up going with a surgeon who decided that fusion was my best option because of the fractures (pars defects) I had, along with the severe stenosis. My disc at that level had completely desiccated. I have a 12cm incision that starts at my butt crack and goes up my back. I have 4 cages between the vertebrae and screws and rods holding me together. It was very painful while in the hospital for 5 days BUT I was in outpatient therapy 3 weeks after surgery AND I am a single mom and came home to a house with nobody to take care of me. My recommendations would be to get a reacher/grabber for your bedroom, living room and bathroom. Also get a shower chair. You won’t be able to bend anymore. Even now I still struggle with tying my shoes. I actually joined this group because I’ve been having an influx of pain ever since the weather changed. But as for the surgery I’m so glad I did it. I still have pain, but it’s not the same “can’t breathe pain” I used to have.

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  • Star0210 I’m on nerve medication for 2 weeks, pregabalin. the doc hopes the nerve pain will subside as the metal cage settles. I’m seeing him again in early Jan; I guess then he’ll make a decision on the need for more surgery.

  • I saw surgeon again yesterday as the nerve pain has been terrible. Left quad, lower leg and foot have been feeling like they are on fire, and pregabalin not helping at all. I had a CT guided L5 nerve root injection today. God, I hope that reduces some of the pain as I don’t know how I much longer I can handle this. I’m in so much more pain than I was pre surgery. What have I done?!

  • Oh no andy...I’m so sorry. I sure hope the injection helps. It if it doesn’t, they need to go back in and fix you.

  • I'm now three weeks post op from my L4/L5 fusion. I spent too many hours at my desk working this week so I was hurting a bit more. Still down to only 2 pain meds a day and pretty close to dropping even lower. If I sit in my recliner or lay in bed, I feel great. Ice and heat are my best friend. I need to start walking more but it's darn cold outside right now. Will probably hit the mall on Monday to do some window shopping/walking followed by birthday lunch. I've only been away from home twice in the three weeks since surgery, and cabin fever is setting in. My pre-surgery pain is absent and I hope that continues.

  • I had the CT guided L5 nerve root injection last Thursday. It hit the right spot; I’d like to say it was 100% effective but I’m still getting quite a lot of discomfort. The good news is that it’s worked well enough to enable me to sleep properly, and sit down long enough to work for a few hours a day. It bothers me that I’m still getting some leg and foot pain though, as I still fear I’ll need another operation to remove the bone spurs (the surgeon said he’d need to remove the facet joint to do that. Has anyone had any experience of that surgery - I think he called it a ‘foraminotomy?)

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