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Spinal Fusion
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tww810 posted:
I am about to get a spinal fusion. I have a spondylolisthesis at L5. I have gone for a meylogram and will see the surgon by the end of the month and would like to hear more feedback from anyone that has experienced this surgery. Are there any problems / setbacks / after effects that occur post surgery that we dont expect. How is bending and twisting post surgery.
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earlyretirement responded:
I would think long and hard about that decision! If you would read a few more of these posts a lot of them are in reference to spinal fusions. I also have a spondylolisthesis of L4 onto L5 but didn't have any surgery because of it.
 
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tww810 replied to earlyretirement's response:
I have gone to my neurosurgeon this week and since my spondylolisthesis has moved forward it has to be stableized.

I have tried radio frequency burns, epidural injections chiropractic spinal decompression ( cox technique ), physical therapy, and exercise. I have had this condition all of my life and it was discovered when I was 20. Today I am 46 years old and I am unable to perform any physical activity. If I do any activity the pain experienced is acute. Currently I am taking pain meds to help alleviate some pain, but they barely take the edge off. I am choosing surgery as a last resort. Along with the fusions i will have titanium rods for addiotional support. Thanks for your concerns earlyretirement.I will make a comment post surgury.
 
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earlyretirement replied to tww810's response:
I wish you the best of luck and outcomes possible. It's just hard to imagine that a person could feel better with hardware in them but realize that surgery is sometimes necessary. It is only by my personal choice that I have decided to go with chronic pain management and not have surgery for my multilpe spinal issues that I have also had for the past 20 years...Again the best of luck and I will look for your further comments
 
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Geradine4733 responded:
Do you have degenerative disc disease? If you have, I would not have the spinal fusion. I had a laminectomy, fusion and metal rods and screws in 2002. The disc above herniated from the pressure of the metal rods and screws so the fusion never fused and my pain is much worse than before the surgery.

My DDD has progressed so a revision is not a good idea. If your problem is from an injury, and you do not have arthritis or DDD, your chances of a success are better.

I will not have another surgery but my metal is starting to feel its age so I may have to have a surgery to removed the metal, and then my back will be even worse.

Surgery should be your last option. Please get another opinion or as many as you are allowed.
 
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tww810 replied to Geradine4733's response:
have tried and exhausted my alternative treatments... now i am receiving a permanent solution. I have a spondylolisthesis, a split vertebrae, L5/ S1. In have known about this condition I have 26 years ago, when I underwent a series of epidural injections. I have held it together for that long. Up until a year ago I was fine but had begun to experience severe pain in the center of my back (LUMBAR). Then I tried radio frequency burn with an epidural .... no relief,... then i tried a series of epidural injections AGAIN ...but i am still in pain...So I went to my family doctor and was prescribed pain medication...I take hydrocodone 5-500 six tabs a day in conjunction with six benedryl, cause the pain meds cause me to itch all over my body. Then I tried some chiropractic manipulation( 4 weeks @ 3 times a week) in conjunction with cox technique ( spinal decompression ) ....MY PAIN LEVEL INCREASES.... so I finally go to a neurosurgeon and decide that this is my last resort option. I believe that this will be successful and i cant wait to be pain free.... even if I experience 50 - 70 percent it will be better than what I have now. My father has had a sucessful fusion, that was performed back in 1974 and he is a normally functioning person. So thanks for your input but i have exhausted my options and am ready for a successful fusion so I can resume my life like I WANT IT TO BE!!!!
 
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Geradine4733 replied to tww810's response:
God bless you. I hope you are right. Do not be disappointed if this is not a "permanent solution". I hate to be negative but do your homework. Most spine surgeons say that a successful surgery may not relieve the pain.

My doctor said mine was successful because my scolosis is better but my pain is so very much worse. This is not a success in my book.

Maybe your father had an injury that the surgery corrected. An injury is different. Ask your spine surgeon if you have arthritis. I found out from a rhumatologist.

If you have arthritis, the odds are that this will be the first of many surgeries. I hope I am wrong. Best wishes that you hopes and dreams come true.
 
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tww810 replied to Geradine4733's response:
geraldine,

I have seen and have had at least 6 opinions... please research "spondylolisthesis"... then you can understand what I am talking about.

thanks for your concern but I have known about and have occasionally researched my condition over the past 20 years and am using my last option.
 
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Geradine4733 replied to tww810's response:
My surgery was from spondylolisthesis. I know what it is. I had to have a laminectomy, fusion, and metal rods and screws in four levels L2-S1 to try to straighten my spine out and stabilize it because it was such a mess. The surgery made everything worse. L1 herniated, and the fusion did not fuse.

I now have more severe chronic pain than I ever had before. I thought it was my only option when I had the surgery but wish I did not have the surgery.

Please get another opinion. My Arthritis Today said that the John Hopkins White Paper said that there were too many spine surgeries being performed. People think that the surgery is the answer and do not realize that they will not have the pain reduction they hope to have with the surgery.

If you have spondylolisthesis, you probably have arthritis unless you had some kind of accident that caused an injury. I would go to a Rhumatologist and ask him if it is OA. OA causes more spine problems and then there are more surgeries.

Best wishes what ever you decide to do.
 
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Chetfan replied to Geradine4733's response:
Hi only 1 suggestion , Change your meds from 5-500 to
5-325 or 7-325. That is a lot of Tylenol to be taking over
time. A lot of Tylenol is really bad on the organs ..

``.. Terry
 
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tww810 replied to Chetfan's response:
Thanks for your input, Ill see my doc this week
 
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earlyretirement responded:
So How are you doing now?
 
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tww810 replied to earlyretirement's response:
I am well...My surgery was a 7 hr bout but I have to admit that I am pain free and i have tapered off of all pain meds.. I am walking about 2.5 miles every morning and am earnestly rehabilitating. I realized this even before I committed to the fusion surgery.

I am FL right now but when I get back to KC I am going to try and work with the hospital and get a fusion support group started cause every case is different and I believe that if you are lazy and do not follow your neurologists instructions you could have adverse effects from the surgery. But I am grateful that the physicians and caregivers that performed the surgery and my post operative care did an exceptional job.If you or any others read this post THE UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS HOSPITAL AND MEDICAL CENTER HAVE A GREAT NEUROLOGICAL TEAM AND SPINE CENTER. I was diagnosed with a spondylolisthesis twenty five years ago and honestly believe that today's technology and treatment are the best options available. I exercised and worked in construction with my condition for twenty five years ....... so far I am proof that my fusion is successful !!!!!!
 
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earlyretirement replied to tww810's response:
Well that's absolutely great news and also nice to hear an occasional postive post to the so many negative ones that we are all to familiar with. I hope your recovery continues to go well! And you are absolutely right with doing the appropriate instructions afterwards, because it sometimes can be monotonous and over time people tend to fall back into a much easier routine that doesn't involve the excercising and walking they need to be doing. Good to hear back from you with such positive results!
 
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Geradine4733 replied to tww810's response:
I am happy that you are doing well. If you do not have degenerative disc disease, you probably will not have any more problems. If there is just an injury that was the cause, the success rate is good. Best wishes


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