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Fail Fusion
dyscat64 posted:
Hello, I too had a spinal fusion at the L4-5 in april 2009 and my pain returned a year to a year and a half later. I am on course to have a second spine fusion and not really wanting to do it but I have no choice.I am in so much pain now days that i just pray and try to keep going. I am looking at ending my career as a microbiologist after 20 plus years. I am not sure how i am going to cope with not being able to work anymore. Also not sure if my pain will ever go away enough to enjoy the rest of my life being that I am only 48 years old. I believe i have a good surgery doctor and he can only do what he can do. What I don't understand is why the back goes out and causes so much pain. Does anyone know? Does anyone know how to cope with the pain? Or how to cope with a part of your life ending and going into the unknown?
chronic1008 responded:
I have had 8 back surgeries total. 2 fusions. I have L2-3 to L5S1 fused. I have spinal stimulator for leg pain and I lost my hearing in right ear during 1st fusion in 2006. I now have extreme Tinnitus in deaf ear. But I am doing fantastic. I have adjusted my daily activity to include getting my small children on the bus. Then I go for a walk with my new Rottweiler service puppy. I do some reading, light house work and get ready for my kids to return home. I now coach wrestling (I was a collegiate wrestler- best thing ever) for my kids and do only the things that do not cause too much pain. This means I had to give up Construction Management which I did for last 20 years. I collect SSD and I am writing a motivational book to help people like you. I gained 80 lbs at my worst and now lost 60 of those. Life will get better if that is what you want. Surround yourself with positive people. It has taken me long time to come to terms with my limitations but I am here, alive and now instead of skydiving to get a thrill, my kids smiling after a wrestling match means so much more to me. You must let go of the life you knew to embrace the one that awaits you. If you need surgery, get the surgery. Every day do something that will make you feel even a touch better. Over time, hopefully you will feel well enough that you wont even remember the really bad days today.
ctbeth responded:
Hi Dyscat64,

Are you having the L4-5 re-sected, or having an additional level(s) fused?

You'll have to ask your MD about your particular pathophisiology, but in brief, much back pain is caused by mechanical compression on the spinal nerve root.

There are many ways to cope with the pain. "Chronic1008" has much to say that I like. I have had two fusions in different areas of the spine, plus a few other injury-related surgeries related to multi-trauma and I have a SCS which helps~ some days it helps a lot and other days it helps a little.

First, wait and see how you do after your recovery from the second fusion. You may feel better than you do now.

After that? Pain management, chemical and non-chemical treatment modalities, family, friends, faith, and time.

It does not happen immediately.

Acceptance will, eventually, be the key to those who manage to have a fulfilling life and those who do not.

We do not have to like the changes that have happened to our lives, but we do, eventually, have to accept them and embrace our "new" lives.

Many, me included, have had to leave behind our former professions and find new and different employment opportunities.

I have taken a life-long hobby and transitioned it to a new career opportunity. That did not happen overnight, though.

Be patient with yourself; these things take time.

Be kind to yourself and get through your surgery.

I hope you'll write again.

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