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    Amazing results 4 weeks post Tlif Spinal Fusion L4&L5
    ditrying2 posted:
    I am a 49 yr old woman and have been active my entire life with ongoing back pain for as long as I can remember. I was a daily walker and did aerobics 3x a week until last fall, after moving heavy exercise equipment, something was terribly wrong in my back and my legs went out. Flex/exten Xray and ct showed unstable spondi at L4 & L5. I opted to wait and try more core strength exercise and PT for 8 months. Unfortunately I had no releif and continued issues with ,y instability surgery was inevitable. My surgery was a TLIF at L4& L5 with titanium Rods and screws. It has been four weeks and I feel amazing, I have some incision and healing pain but the gnawing pain in my back, the daily multiple back spasms, and the sheer body ache and pain that I endured for years.....GONE! Don't get me wrong the first two weeks were rough but at two weeks I was able to stop my pain meds. I was walking from day 1 and continue to do so daily (today at speed of 4 miles/ hr). My Neurosurgeon said that I was grade 2 almost a three and was impressed with the level of instability I had without greater complication, he attributed it to my fitness level. He is a miracle worker and I Am truly blessed!
    stanha responded:
    Hi, I had the exact op 3 weeks ago ,with a bone fusion,and have had the same success.I also tried to avoid it for 6 months,though my initial scans were not correctly interpreted by the first 2 surgeons.One difference though is I am 64 !
    Unfortunately 3 years ago I had a laminectomy and believe I should have had this op at the same time.The surgeon advised against it based on my age ! My error was not doing more research and seeking second and third opinions.
    you may enjoy this TED video
    bj1208 replied to stanha's response:
    Stanha and Ditrying2 - I wanted to welcome you both to our support group -

    And I also wanted to say WOW!!!! you both have great success stories in relations to your fusion surgeries.

    Just remember - do as the surgeons have asked in recovery process and don't overdo it.

    If you would, it would be great if you would continue to post and let us know how you are doing -

    Once again, welcome to the support group and a great success story -

    take care - Joy
    ditrying2 replied to bj1208's response:
    Hi. Just an update now 7 weeks post TLIF @ L4 L5. I am feeling so strong still walking an hour each day wearing my brace while driving or doing light house work(dusting, no vacuuming) and cooking. I am not bending at the waist or twisting and still not lifting over 5 lbs. I am PAIN FREE 100%! I occasionally get tightness in my back if I overdo it (I am Italian so I love with food) by cooking and standing in one place too long. I am religious about proper back mechanics when getting out of bed or a chair or getting in and out of the car. The only issue i have, and i think this will resolve over time, is sitting...I cannot sit in one position for more than 15-20 min i get tightness in my back muscles but with 5 kids I rarely sit much, EVER! I cannot wait to see my surgeon in august for follow-up films and his assessment of my progress. Plus I want to give him a big hug and a kiss for changing my life! I had no idea how much daily pain I was in until now...that its gone. My advice is to get up and move! Walk, walk walk if you can before and after your surgery and never stop...even if it is a very slow pace. Best of luck to anyone undergoing similar decisions/procedures.
    Rafael Levin, MD, MSc responded:
    As a spine surgeon, it gives me great joy and satisfaction to read your story and that of others who have had sucess with spine surgery. As we all know, spine surgery can be very challenging not only from a technical standpoint, but from a patient management standpoint. Cases in which patients report less than desired pain relief despite a technically successful surgery are equally frustrating for the surgeon as for the patient. Therefore, cases such as yours serve to reasure and encourage us to offer spine surgery to patients who seek a last resort option after failing all other treatments. Thank you!!
    Fernfr replied to Rafael Levin, MD, MSc's response:
    Dr Rafael;
    Could you tell me the best way to calm a sciatica nerve down and what test should be done to see if there is a pinched nerve. I had back surgery done 13 yrs ago and I always felt one of the cages was pinching a nerve. 5 month ago I got rear ended by a car and since then I cannot get my back to calm down. The doctor said it is the sciatica nerve is inflammed. He will do a depo medrol injection on the 18 of this month. Ever time I go to PT they make the problem worse. Thanks, Fern
    stanha replied to ditrying2's response:
    Hi,I am now 9 weeks into recovery since my op. And my experience is much the same as yours. I walk an hour every day on the beach,can stand for long periods andd drive ok for short distances. I rest about 2 hours a day now.Also have difficulty sitting for more than 15 minutes and have same stiffness in lower back. Have no leg pain and building up muscle and strength well. I go Xrays in 3 weeks to check fusion etc. So far so good,or rather excellent !
    Eidtjohn replied to stanha's response:
    am considering fusion. i have persistent radicular pain in my right leg. and long standing low back pain. I am wanting to cut my losses and get on with surgery but everyone says to wait a while. what is the benefit?
    rehftami replied to Eidtjohn's response:
    I have degenerative disk disease in my L3,4,5 & S1. I had a multi level laminectomy spinal fusion 2 years ago. I have never really felt much relief and now 2 years later I have been having even more chronic pain than normal and my recent MRi shows that the titanium "cage" has shifted and that is what is causing my pain. I have been told that my surgeon did my surgery 2 quickly and I should have waited a little longer as well and that seems to be a realistic thought at this point. So...I am now facing a possible re-construction surgery; which, at this point I have no idea what that entails and it sucks. Because as of 7 months ago I am now going through the process of a possible MS diagnosis and my daily life is really, really rough. Sorry, don't mean to "Debbie Downer", LOL.
    stanha replied to rehftami's response:
    I am now 15 weeks post op and feeling like never had a problem. Life is pretty normal again though am careful re lifting,twisting etc. I had Xrays after 12 weeks and all was looking perfect. Next ones after 24 weeks. My next goal is to start running again as have always been a long distance road and trail runner but will wait until after next Xrays.
    bj1208 replied to stanha's response:
    stanha - that is great! just remember to do what the surgeon says - all the do's and don'ts -

    also as an FYI - most fusions can take up to a year and maybe longer to fully heal and fuse - so be sure to go over the part about running with the surgeon - this may be a NO-NO for a while so don't be disappointed if so -

    take care and hope and pray everything works out - Joy
    kailisnana responded:
    I had my TLif back fusion Monday June 25th. I came home day after surgery. I am so sore i hate to move. please someone tell me if thats normal .Did you have to have pt after your surgery? and where was most of your pain? sorry for so many questions.Help LOL!!!!
    bj1208 replied to kailisnana's response:
    hi and welcome to the support group -

    this is pretty normal to feel sore especially being only a couple days since your surgery. I had Anterior Lumbar Fusion L5-S1 and the first couple weeks are always the worst as your body is trying to heal and get used to what has happened.

    yes pt is usually done but the surgeon will make sure you have healed enough where the pt will do good and not harm the surgery. I started my pt around the 7th to 8th month post op.

    just remember your body has gone thru a lot with the surgery especially since the incision site is on your back. you will be more sore and as I said earlier the first couple weeks are usually the worst then the pains/soreness will ease up as your body starts to heal.

    rest, rest and more rest is the best medicine for healing so if you are up doing stuff stop and rest, rest, and more rest. drink plenty of fluids and be sure to eat even if its small meals through out the day.

    hope this helps - keep us posted how u are doing - take care - Joy
    McKinstry23 responded:
    Hello all. I just got my l4 and l5 tlif surgery two days ago and am very pleased with how good some of you are feeling after it. I am only 31 years old, and tried the injections, physical therapy, and core strengthening but the surgery was inevitable. Like I said, I had the surgery done 2 days ago, and came home from hospital yesterday. So far sleeping has been tough, but I am working on it. I was wondering until how long did your back feel real sore just sitting up and laying down? Also any tips that you might have to help me feel a little more comfortable would be appreciated! Like I said im glad to hear the success stories, it gives me hope! Good luck to all!
    An_248337 responded:
    see your post from a year ago....i was wondering how you`re feeling now 1 yr later. i am suppose to have the same surgery in a month, and am scared to death! i just need to really know even after some time its still a good choice! thank you so much.

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