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lumbar laminectomy,discectomy
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clavo1974 posted:
Hi I'm new to this so please help. I was recently told that I need to have a fusion done at L5-S1. Just wondering if anyone has had this done and what was your outcome. The procedure I am going to have done is : lumbar laminectomy, discectomy ,with a fusion. Any information will be greatly useful. I've been doing research on my Dr. and on the procedure but just need first hand experiences. Thanks for the help and info.
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pdl2k2002 responded:
I don't know if I'm the right person to reply to this. I had my L5-S1 fused in June of 2008. I am still is severe pain. That was my third surgery on that disc. The 1st surgery worked great. It was just a discecomty. My second was a partial fusion with no plates or screws, and a partial discecomty. My last surgery was the same one your having. All three times I didn't have a choice. I NEEDED the surgery. I couldn't work, walk , or sit. So in that case the surgery helped. If you don't have to have the surgery, I would really think twice, then think about it 2 more times. I am sorry if what I said doesn't help.

Lenny
 
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Dot40324 responded:
Hi and welcome. Sorry you are having back problems too. I have had 4 lumbar surgeries with the last 2 being fusions.

In 2004 I had my L5-S1 fused. Then eventually the L4 slipped out over the fused area and last March I had the old hardware removed, added the L4 to the fusion and they installed larger hardware, cages, etc.

Of course everyone heals and fuses at different rates plus each Dr is different as to his post-op orders. It takes rather a long time to fully fuse and it is a must to follow the surgeons directions.

I still have my back pain but the pain in my legs are so much better than before the surgery. Surgery hardly ever gets rid of the pain in the spine but it does relieve some of the nerve pain.

I wasn't allowed to bend at all for 6 months after my last fusion. Like I said though, everyone is different as well as the Dr's.

I don't know if I helped any but if you have questions, I will be glad to try and answer them. I wish you the best. This chronic pain is not an easy thing to deal with......Dot
 
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TRS1960 responded:
Keep in mind that the success rate of a secondary spine surgeory is really low. So all of us that are stating that we have 4 surgeries with 8 fusions and enough hardware to build a small car are not great referrences for you. I beleive the success rate for pain reduction of a second spine surgery is around 10%.

Here's my opinoin (which is of no greater value than any other opinion). If you have a relatively healthy back and need fusing at the bottom of your spine. (L5 to S1) where your lumbar (lower back) attaches to your hip. If the rest of your spine is healthy you may be an optimal speciman for such a procedure. Keep in mind that half of your success is based on your frame of mind. If you're convinced the surgery won't work I can pretty much guarantee it won't. If you are optimistic and your follow your doctor's orders you've got a great chance at getting better.

I would love to be in your shoes, but there are people much worse off than I am. We all have the cards we are dealt and need to find our best options to for a happy life.

Keep in mind that back surgery is final so do all you can to make sure it's necessary.

If I had to get a single laminectomy and had my choice of where it was I would choose T2 to T3, but L5 to S1 is not too bad. I have a friend with a similar conditin and I never knew until he told me.
 
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TiggerTiger responded:
Nice to meet you and glad you found this board.. You won't find better people ANYWHERE..

I had 3 ruptured disk at the L2-3, L4-5 and L5-S1 in Oct 2001 and worked another 8 months before I couldn't handle it anymore.. In April 2004 I had spinal lumbar surgery.. They did a 2 level lami and disectomy and didn't use any hardware to secure the spinal bones and now I have ruptures of the remaining disk in the L4-5 and L5-S1..

I also had cervical spine surgery in Jan 2008 and a 3 level fusion.. I can tell you that some of the pain will never go away.. Do as they tell you and use your gut feelings BEFORE you do anything.. I just had a discogram of the lumbar on this past Friday.. Don't let them do that if you can help it.. It was the painful thing I've ever experienced and I've had allot done to this poor body.. lolo

Are they going into the front or the back.. Hopefully the front because that is the way they did my sisters and she was back to work within 8 weeks.. I sure hope they fuse the areas to stabilize them because I'm bone on bone now and this surgery will be a fixer upper of the 1st surgery.. Here is a good website to check out that shows exactly the surgeries that we have had and the one you will have.. It helps so much to get a visual of how they will do it..

www.understandspinesurgery.com

Again welcome and please come back and let us know how you are..

Gentle Hugs

Tigger
 
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clavo1974 responded:
TRS1960

Thanks for your opinion, I i really appreciate your advise. You make a lot of sense. This will be my first surgery but the pain is so severe that i really dont have much of an option. I'm only 35 and have been dealing with this for 9yrs and just can't do what i want to do anymore. I am a very positive thinker and think this will be a success. Thank you again
 
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clavo1974 responded:
Lenny thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Take care and God bless.
 
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clavo1974 responded:
I guess we all have one thing in common here and that is back pain. Thanks for the info
 
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clavo1974 responded:
tigger, thats for the info and for taking the timeto answer my question.
 
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BitzsMom responded:
Hello, I like you, am new to this board, but I go way back when it comes to your problem. I'm going to have to give you like a double answer to your question. #1 I have known 3 people who have had just one disc area done (that is all you mention). All 3 were great outcomes. They came home from hospital day after surgery with only "surgical" pain, none of what they had suffered before. #2 personal experience--I had all of that done from L1 all the way to S5. They did anterior and posterior. My outcome....not so good. I have what they call "failed back syndrome". and now have 2 fractures above where they did all that surgery. Not all are like that, though, so I don't want to scare you. Know what surgery they want to do first and if it is more than one level, I would see a good Pain Management doc first to get all your options before you have surgery. I will be glad to answer your questions, but I definitely don't want to scare you, so I won't offer info on what I don't know about your individual case. Would love to help, prayers & thoughts are with you, keep smiling
 
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clavo1974 responded:
BitzsMom,

Thanks for you insight , I am going to have surgery on the 19th of Feb. Its going to be a fusion of the L5 and S1 with rods, screws and the works. This is my only problem so far,its been 9yrs of pain and misery. I tolerate pain pretty well, but its getting worse and I am not able to enjoy my life fully. I have a 5yr old daughter and I can not do all the things I want to do with her. I know there is always a chance of this not working , but I'm going in with a positive attitude. The surgeon stated" I would be out of work for about 3-4 weeks and able to return to work on light duty." He also stated" the surgery would be about 3-4 hours long. I'm sorry to hear that your having such a bad ordeal with your back, I'll be praying for you and hang in there. I know its not easy. Everybody at this site has been so thoughtful and informative.

Thanks,
 
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namrebos responded:
Hi, Thank you! I am getting ready to go for the Laminectomy / Discectomy surgery. I have the L4,L5 and S1 out with a fracture in the L5. I have to say, i am full of fear that i am beginning a life time of back surgeries and i am only 36. I have been in the LSO brace for a few weeks now and with out that i am not able to walk or function. How was it? the surgery that is? I am looking for some help and support for prior the the surgery and what to expect afterwards. Any thoughts, experiences or advice would be great. Thank you!
 
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bj1208 responded:
Hi clavo1974 - welcome to the board - sorry you are having so many problems but you found the right place to be

had Anterior Lumbar Fusion L5-S2 on 2/25/08 - have plate, screws and cage in - the surgery took care of the disc problem (degenerative disc disease) but did NOTHING for the pains - i'm in worse pains than before the surgery.

read some of ur responses to the others and it looks like u have been dealing with this for 9 years - my concern is that the surgery will fix the disc but i would tend to say that it will not help ur pains - i don't mean to be blunt on this but you have been in pain for a long time - i see that u have agreed to have it on the 19th of feb - i hoe and pray that everything goes good and for a speedy recovery. please keep us updated on how things go - take care - Joy
 
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christydk responded:
Clavo1974.

I just had the same surgery done that you are getting ready to have. I was having to use a walker before surgery, and now I am back to work part-time only. My surgery was August 18. It was my 2nd surgery in that area. I still have bulging discs above it and several in my neck. My surgeon wants to take the rods out in March if the fusion is going well. I have had wonderful relief as far as that part of my spine goes.

Best of luck and if you have any questions, please let me know. Christy
 
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Geradine4733 responded:
God bless you, Clavo. I hope your surgery is a success. In 2002 I had a laminectomy and fusion with metal rods and screws L2 - S1. L1 herniated so the fusion did not fuse. I have had severe chronic pain since then.

The doctors want to replace the metal and go up another level - S1. A five level fusion does not have a good chance to succeed when the four level fusion did not work.

Right now I am wearing a full body brace 23/7, and that does not seem to help either. Only doing physical therapy exercises and pain meds seem to do it for me. I am sorry I had the first surgery, and I am debating another surgery.

The surgeons are giving me such positive information about the incredible success of another surgery. They told me that last time, and it was not true. I am in such pain that I want to believe them.


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