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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

I am 5 wks post op of spinal fusion L4, L5 and S1 and bone graft. They took the graft from my right pelvis and mashed it around the fusion site and now waiting for bone to harden. I got 3 screws. I got 3 opinions before operation and decided on an ortho doc that was "talented" with his hands. I am a physician's wife so figured he would want a success with me. I'm 56 and 5"4" and 240 lbs. Being obese and having the surgery puts a whole new spin on it. I had spinal injections for years by several docs, some worked for a while, but most nothing. I did back strengthing exercises, physical therapy, you name it, I did it. How did my back get in this shape?? Probably just degeneration but also I did medical care for my elderly mother for years and lifting her and loading her wheelchair in and out of the car trunk probably didn't help. I jerked lots of things with my back from potting soil to carrying 4 kids. I kept thinking that if I lost weight my back would suddenly be healed, well that didn't happen. I gained most of the weight during my mother's illness, only child and cared for her in my home, I just "ate" my way through the saddness. She passed on last spring. I saw the ortho doc at Thanksgiving and he said that nothing more to do until I made up my mind about surgery. I barely got through Christmas and in January knew I was at the end of my rope. I had "Spondylolisthesis" or slippage of the vertebra back to front and pinching the nerves. Severe pain ran down my right leg, especially hip pain, I could hardly walk as the pain was so bad. How am I now??? No more leg pain thank goodness, they say I am doing terrific. I have had a numbness/tingling left foot after surgery and now that is almost all gone except for a couple of toes. My back is sore now but I wouldn't call it pain. Incision looks perfect. I wear everyday except when asleep a large metal and leather back brace and have electrodes on the area near the vertebra where the bone graft was put, it is supposed to help grow new bone quicker and had rave reviews. I can't drive yet, no lifting, bending, etc. I use a cane when go to the store. Mostly it is a mental game now, tired of being laid up, want to get on with life, etc. Doc said no treadmill until after 3 months but walk around in the house and outside some. Let me know if I can help anyone.
Hi all, im 44yr old male, professional firefighter, i had pain in my right leg and an MRI found herniated disc,so i had an L4/5 microdischechtomy in 2005, then had pain in my left leg, again MRI found herniated disc, had microdischechtomy on L5/S1 in 2006.Both were due to work injuries while on my job(pulled a lady from a car accident in 05, and was lifting large diameter hose roll in 06) then was fine, i lost weight started biking 20-30 miles 3-4 days a week an lifting weights. did well at work etc.. then in november of 2009 i started having pain in my rt leg an hip,an then 3 days later my leg went numb from hip to ankle. they did MRI an found i ruptured the disc so bad that it went out into the canal an then up like an "L" shape,so he did a laminectomy on L4/5, cleaned out scar tissue etc. i did PT an such till end of may, then i went back to work, i was back 3 wks an started havin pain in my left buttock an hamstring area. they put my on light duty an an MRI found herniated L5/S1. surgeon says hes fusing me now. being that ive injured both disc 2x each he said i have degenerative dics an i need to have my lower back stabilized. ive gone thru 3 sugeries all pretty well, i have a fairly high pain tolerance, only takin pain meds like 2-3 days after each sugery. but for some reason this upcoming fusion, scares me to death. Im scheduled to got to surgery july 29th. i havent been able to ask the surgeon all the questions swimming thru my head. so.. id like to know from all whove had it,(i think hes doin an L4/L5/S1 fusion) how long is the surgery itself? what do they actually do? how longs the hospital stay? how much pain were you in? what were you not allowed to do when home? how long before you can move without much pain,or go to bathroom? how long before you can drive? or go back to work? most much does it restrict your mobility? this i need to know,being as this could end my career. :(

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