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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

Hi Gamhayes and all,

I am 5 weeks post-op from a posterior lumbar fusion (L5-S1). I have degenerative disk disease and according to discogram there was almost no disk between L5-S1, holes in L4, annular tears in L3. I'd had pain off and on for about 10-15 years. Per my neurosurgeon, fusion was required as back was unstable and no disk was left at L5-S1.

My neurosurgeon recommended fusion of L5-S1. He said that this would stabilize the upper ones also and hopefully they wouldn't have to be done too. My fusion was done from the back (7" incision) with two Ray cages inserted (Did you guys know these little devils cost about $4,000 apiece?)

I was in the hospital for 2 days after surgery. I wanted out in the worst way (hate em) and Dr. said go! I went! Remember tho, everyone has a different tolerance for pain. Mine is extremely high. I quit the pain meds after two weeks and really started healing.

I feel better than I did before surgery. I have to wear a brace 24x7 (except in shower, I love them and really appreciate them now!!) and will have to wear for a total of 3 months. I've had no physical therapy, and probably will be released for work at 3 months. I can walk, lift dumb-bells up to 20lbs. each, sit longer in one position much longer than I could before (tho back does hurt after sitting for about an hour). Basically I can do anything except lift over 20-30 lbs, bend at waist yet or twist, and could probably have sex too if that was my inclination. Not yet tho!! As long as it doesn't hurt - then I'm not hurting my back. I wear my brace religiously tho. Follow the doctor's orders too, no fudging on that!

I too was worried. However, I couldn't continue the way I was. There are risks to just about everything in life and when I can't stand or walk for longer than 15-20 minutes I will gladly take some. I am one of the success stories.

I am also 47. If you are 23 you should heal a lot quicker than someone of my "vintage!!"

Good luck and pray for pain free days!


[This message has been edited by theresagreene (edited 05-03-2003).]

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