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I had a 2 level spinal fusion on 8/25/06, L4/5-S1. I have been in a tlso brace with leg extension since. All x-rays & ctscans look good but I have actual increase in pain in hips, thigh and legs, which was why I had the surgery to begin with. In 1999 I had laminectomy at L4-5 with no improvement. I'm hoping that my recovery may come through rehab., which will start after brace is off. Anyone else have similar experiences? Am I getting discouraged too soon.

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hello, i am 13 and 2 days ago i found out that i am about to have a major operation on my spine to stop it from curving even more than it already is. i am having a spinal fusion on L3/4/5 and i will have a cast that goes around my back and up to my shoulders and down my leg. i will have an insicion (how do you spell it?) at the front and on the back. the operation is in stanmore andi will be in hospital for three weeks. i will be in a cast for three months and during that time im not allowed to go to school. then when the cast is taken off i need to wear a brace for a few weeks so i dont collapse. but i dont have a clue how its going to look, where the scars will be or if i'll be able to sit up or lay down, if i'll have a wheelchair, if i'll be bed ridden? help me, i feel confused and annoyed that no one has bothered to listen to my questions.
from a very frightened little girl x
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I am answering to a confused annoyed girl looking at having spinal fusion surgery. In answer to your questions where the scar will be, that will depend on whether they are doing the surgery from your back or front. Most likely the back and the scar won't likely be very large like mine is. I just had fusion surgery for a very large lumbar curve (scoliosis) and am still recovering. although I can walk with a cane it hurts pretty bad. My surgery was 3 weeks ago, and I understand it takes up to 3 months before the bones fuse enough to stop most of the pain. I was able to come home in a brace (full abdominal and chest) that I call a clam shell. Keeping a positive attitude is the best thing you can do for yourself besides having a relationship with God through Jesus His son. That's keeping me sane and full of peace despite what my body tells me!
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Just found this site doing research for my own upcoming surgery.
I don't know if you had your surgery yet, but I hope you had all your questions well answered. All of those thing should have been discussed at your appointments. In the future, especially for therapy, take notes or get hand outs of your exercises... It will help you remember. When you think of a question, write it down in ONE place, like a little notebook that you always keep with you, so you dont' forget to ask your doctors or your therapists the next time you see them.
Even medical professionals do this, since the time you actually get to spend in the doctor's office is soooo short.
Good luck & I hope you are recovering well.
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hey,

dont feel too bad i had the exact same surgery for l4/l5/s1 and they went in through the front and the back. i had a bone graft from my hip and i have 4 titanium screws and 2 small rods. i also had an orthapedic spinal brace the day i got out of hospital(5 days total) for my 56 degree scoliosis. now 42 degrees.
i know youre frightened. i was 15 when i had mine done. and yes it hurts and its hard to sit and stand for a little while but it gets better...itll take a few weeks but youll be fine. the front doesnt hurt at all really more the back does as you cant put any weight on it.
Sometimes you might find bending hurts afterwards and standing for too long will ache a little but people tend to understand. also find a comfortable mattress!! and try laying at a 45 degree angle as the fusion is in the bend of your spine and it will no longer bend to support you, i found the 45 degree angle with a pillow behind you is best...you'll need someone to help roll you over unfortunately, but i was back at school part time in about 2/3 weeks.
Trust the doctors, they know what theyre doing and though you will probably feel bad after, and im not going to lie it does hurt...but before you know it its not so bad anymore...try to avoid twisting i find and in a car avoid speedbumps in the weeks following lol when i got out of hospital on my crutches it was to about 6 speedhumps...not good. try using pillows both under and behind you in cars and things...dont use a backpack at all and avoid excess weight to carry around...

Good Luck, i know you'll do fine.

Erin, from Australia, now 18
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o.O Oh my god! I thought i was the only one! I had a spinal fusion in Feb. this year and now my pain seems to be worse. It's also now in my left hip and leg. I've also had some swelling. I've been in a back brace and pain meds and nothing seems to help! I have been so sick of being sick and tired. WoW! I have two small scars on each side of my spine but they don't look bad. I am so upset that my doc. seems to be confused cus' everything seems to look good but it's not and i know its not all in my head. Now i know it's not! Sorry about the pain but now at least i know i'm not crazy!!:-)
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Hello to all of you. I had my spinal fusion when i was 12 years old and I am now 23. I found the first 3 years after my surgery to be rather trying. I had to give up many of the things that I enjoyed doing and others that I tried to pick up were rather hard due to the fact that I was now almost completely unable to twish my body. Now 11 years on, I have learned to cope with it all and while I know my limitations, I still do things that make my doctor a little nervous. My rods are now a part of me and I forget that they are there most of the time. Dont expect miricles, the point of the sugrery is to stop the spine from getting worse and not to make your appearance better. I have a rather large scar down my back which i now show off with pride and I still have a large hump on my right back ribs from where my spine pushed them out. I know it is all very hard and frustrating for you now, but eventually you will learn to live with it all and except for those bad days when your back still hurts (for that i recommend putting some moist heat on the area), you will forget that you ever had it done. I also agree with comfortable mattress thing... it was key to my recovery. If you cant get help getting up and you are on your side, place your elbow on the bed and, using your other hand, push yourself up putting the weight on the arm whose elbow is on the bed... its still something i do today when my back hurts and I cant get up any other way. good luck to all of you!!
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I had a spinal fusion at on the 18th of march 2008, my back was very curved in wards.
My pain befor surgery was not in my legs it was all in my back and only when i did to much.
It all started about a year ago & going back and forth to the doctors and hospials for Xrays and MRI/CT scans they were able to tell me i had a grade 2 spondylolisthesis of my L5 on S1.After having surgery 4 weeks ago which i was told would take 3hours long but took 6hours and in intensive care for 2days. i then went back to the ward and was made aware my back had pushed to a grade 3.
Whilst in hospital and being very positive and fighting my pain barrier i was discharge a week later now 3 weeks on iv found my pain is worse than its ever been. My pain is in left and right side of my scar and when i push gently it feels so bruised also my ankle goes all stiff 1st thing when i wake up, when i lift my bottom up whilst laying in bed to get comfy or to just roll on my side at night i feel a pushing sensation in my back like somethings pushing forward.
Im not a take it easy sort of person and very restless,family members say im quite stubern. I have tried to stay bedresting but have found myself twisting and carrying things slightly heavier than i should be doing and also sitting for long periods of time. I also gave up smoking prior to my op but only last week started again up to 5 a day( stupid i no). Im so scared im harming my bone from healling properly. I spoke to my doctor who wasent very reasuring to me whats so ever - i dont no if me trying to be physical and also those few ciggerettes are causing all this discomfort and damaging my bone in anyway. Any advice and also has anyone had any of these same concerns. Would be so appreciated for any advice.
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my daughter is 13 and had xray's done to see how her scoliosis is coming along she has a 39 degree curve. the doctors want to have her go through the surgery and do the fusion. is a 39 degree bad enough for the surgery? she doesnt seem to be in any pain right now hasnt been. i am thinking the surgery will be worse for her that she'll be better off just not having the surgery. any comments or ideas???
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I was diagnosed with level 1 spondylolisthesis in 2002, when I was in seventh grade, and they tried conventional methods, e.g. physical therapy and a soft brace when I was active, until this past summer, when I went in to get x-rays again. My back had been bothering me more, I was experiencing some nerve pain in my back and legs, and there were some things I couldn't do. The x-rays showed a 75% slippage of the L5 vertebrae over the sacrum, and they said my condition was degenerative, and I could in time experience more nerve pain and possibly neurological damage. I had surgery done in December 2008, it took twice as long as it was supposed to, and I spent about 5 days in the hospital. Now, about 2 and a half months later, I'm doing alright, but I've had pain start up again in my back. I started physical therapy, which helped tremendously, especially because I experienced excruciating nerve pain in my feet for a few weeks, and loss of circulation in my feet for a little while, but that went away when my back started to gain strength back and the nerves could heal. However, I am also a restless person, and while I'm up at my college, I need to carry books around campus, so I've resorted to using my backpack, which is probably a bad idea, even though there isn't much in it. I also got rear-ended when driving, though I wasn't hit too hard. I feel like I was getting better, but now I'm hurting again and I'm worried that I'm damaging myself again. Especially because I feel like I caused my issues because I used to do backbends to the ground all the time just to prove I could.
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Hi,i just found this site while trying to find out info on spinal fusion.. I have been living with chronic pain for 11 years(unbelievable i know). Docs told me at first it was in my head & finally,after years of tests & killing myself slowly with medication,my new doc is going to see if i should have a spinal fusion. It is a last resort(as he said) as he could see my frustration trying to get through each day(which,if it wasnt for my children,i wouldve left this world long ago)..After reading some of your comments,i am wondering if it is better to do this? I am at the end,i can no longer live everyday in pain,24/7 in pain & i told my doc that i was willing to do anything & now i am concerned,i couldnt do it if i came out worse??? Is it worth it??
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YES!! Have it done! Even though I have new pains... I am glad to have the arm pain and tingling and numbness gone for the most part.
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I highly recommend getting the fusion. Even if you experience post-surgery pain, the operation will stop the degeneration from progressing. Press onward after surgery - the more fit you become, the more weight you lose, the better you will feel. I had 10 vertebrae fused in 2005 with four surgeries and it's been very difficult - severe pain and great difficulty functioning. But, if I knew all of this prior to surgery, I would still have it done. No matter what, I can walk, drive a car and do many tasks. I'm grateful for that. VERY IMPORTANT - prior to surgery - CHECK INFECTION RATES for the hospital you'll be using. If the hospital has a high infection rate, then you must stress that each and every person and thing that you'll come in contact with be sterile. I had to have two extra surgeries to clean the infection out of my back and I came out of the hospital with MRSA, c-dif, and e-coli. I've since been an advocate for stringent infection control and recommend it to others. Have someone stay with you if possible while in the hospital and have them be your 'infection sergeant' - making each person who comes in contact with you wear gloves and wipe down all items that you'll be using or touching with sterilizing wipes. This will definitely make a difference in your recovery. After surgery - be patient and press on! God Bless you all.
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Hi, I had a spinal fusion on July 2, 2009 on c6 to t1. It was a horrible experience. I was in ICU for 7 days because I quit breathing in recovery. My spinal fluid drained out because of a nick in the colum. I had to lay flat on my back for 5 days. The surgeon wanted to go back in and fix it because my brain was pressing on a nerve and my right eye didn't work. But I refused to let him. I have hardware in my fusion. I am in constant pain that is becoming harder and harder to take. As soon as I get up and try to do anything my neck and shoulders start hurting. And as the day progresses it gets worse. I am losing hope! I'm going on three months post op. There is no relief in sight.
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Hello all, my mum had a spine fusion 10 days ago & she is in more pain now then before the op! She had pain in the stomach hip &thigh. Strong painkillers weren't helping as they made her feel nauseous & drowsy all the time, we took her to the hospital yesterday & they did a ct scan & found that she's got an infection inside, so there gonna put a drain in to rake out all the fluid 8 keep it in for a few days, they also changed her meds & she is looking & sounding 95% better then she was! So please make sure that you haven't got an infection, which doesn't necessaryly show up in blood test, it showed up on the scan for my mum. I really hope everyone who's had it done has a speedy recovery.
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