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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

[QUOTE=shirley11;4921536]I am 73 years old and diagnosed with spinal stenosis. Three orthopedist-neuros have suggested I have spinal fusion with instrumentation (cage, rods, screws, etc.) I am so afraid as my twin sister had the surgery and still has pain after 3 years. Please...Is there someone out there that can advise me as to the pros and cons of this surgery? What will happen if I don't have the surgery. Will I not be able to walk? Will I become paralyzed? Thank you for any suggestions. Shirley11[/QUOTE]

Dear Shirley,
Just had a procedure completed by at the VA Hospital in NYC on East 23rd street. As a 60 % disabled Veteran there were no costs for the hospital stay and sugery procedure. Procedure competed was a L-5 & S1 Lamenectomy & Spinal Fusion (2 rods & 4 screws) due to a herniated disk and PARS defect. It's only been 6 weeks since surgery and I've had no complications or problems. 2 NYU Residents completed the surgery during a 7 hr period and I was up and walking the next day with a walker. I was discharged on 9-Jan-2012 and have been recovering from home since. I've been amazed how well things have progressed and I"m now walking on a treadmill each day about 1.5 miles at a 2.5 mph pace with very little pain afterwards. This was an extreme surgery to have done for the first time but has made a very positive impact on my quality of life due to the absence of muscle cramps at night in both legs from the radiculopathy and sciatica. I'm only 47 and I look forward to getting back to work in two months. Based on my condition and the severity of the pain in my legs prior to surgery, I would definitely recommend this surgery to anyone but make sure you check the history of the number of cases and success rates of the hospital and physician conducting the surgery. Having several opinions is highly recommended. My final decision to move forward was the constant thobing in both legs during prolonged standing or walking and the lack of sleep at night. 3 months of PT and lumbar back injections prior to surgery did not help the condition which was another deciding factor of finally having surgery. Wishing you health and happiness. r/ Joe B.

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