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FUSION EXPERIENCE(L5-S1) WANTED PLEASE (bjiferge/rescue 304?)
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FUSION EXPERIENCE(L5-S1) WANTED PLEASE (bjiferge/rescue 304?)

Hello,

On January 25, 2007 I had a laminectomy (without fusion).  Without going into all the details and all the procedures I have had since that surgery I still have horrible leg pains (left worse than right) and my Ortho surgeon has scheduled me for a fusion on July 12th.  I am still not so certain that I will do it. I am taking 6 Norcos per day, which was recently increased from 4 a day, and I am barely able to control my pain wih the 6.  

I am scared to death to risk a fusion.  I have researched SO MUCH and read that sometimes the outcomes are worse han what one when in with.  I know Pofdog is facing a fusion also.

So I am asking for input from anyone who has had a fusion.  I am so ired of trying to get my life back.  

I would also like to know if anyone has switched their antidepressant to Cymbalta (the one that is supposed to help with pain).  I stopped taking Lexapro about one and a half years ago.  I really wanted to see where I was mentally and emotionally.  I really did feel the same once I got off the Lexapro but 3 months after stopping it I got hit with the sciatica and leg pains that sent me to the ER.  I have been battling ever since.

I sure would appreciate anyones expereince (positive or negative).

I am a 52 year old professional female, about 5'8 and 180 lbs.

Thanks so much!

dakmba  
Tags: fusion, Pain
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11 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,

I had lumbar fusion surgery L1-L2 in May 2006. Needless to say the surgery failed and I am worse off and unable to work. Before the surgery I had been in pain for about 4 years due to past car accidents and past employments. It continually got worse and I tried PT, medications, cortizone shots, and finally a series of epidural shots. Nothing worked and I chose fusion surgery so that I could get back to work. It has never fused and I also have bulging discs that go into my nerves. I have sharp stabbing pain and shooting pain that goes down my right leg. I have had 2 other opinions and they say there is nothing else that can be down but manage the pain. I am on cymbalta and klonipin (klonopin) for my depression/anxiety. For pain I take butalbital compound, neurontin, soma, and oxycontin. If not for the medications I would not even be able to get out of bed. I hate to seem like gloom and doom but I wanted you to hear from someone that has failed fusion. I'm sure that it has helped some but there are many that it has not. Good luck and God Bless!!!!
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176803_tn?1198543198
     I am exactly in the same position as you.   I had pains down BOTH legs after surgery, and then at least one more confirmed heriated disk.
     If the Norcos are not working well, TELL YOUR DOC.  They might give you percocets. They are much better than the Norco's.  If you stay honest with the doc and let them know how much pain, that your not taking the meds on the streets and your not getting them from the streets, hopefully the trust will be there. Or as I did also, tell them you have NO quality of life and am miserable, and that you are TRYING to stay out of the stress unit, but you can't handle the pain anymore.
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Avatar_n_tn
I had my fusion April 05. (L3-L4-L5-S1.) According to x-rays fusion took but pain was waaaaaaaaaaaay worse than before. Had to quit work Dec 05. Unable to sit, stand, bend, squat, up, down etc. I am in pain 24/7. I do take Cymbalta for depression, Lyrica for nerve ending pain, Vicodin for breakthru pain and Opana for pain. Would put pain level at a 6-7 with meds. This is 24/7. I wish u luck & wellness.
Soft hugs and Prayers,
Big Orange Fayray
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Avatar_n_tn
I could just cry!  I know you all know from personal experience how much pain, anxiety and depression I am trying to handle now.  I have read so many failed back surgery stories that I think I would be nuts to let them get me on that OR table again.  I wonder if just living with the pain and maybe going to a pain management clinic would be better since I would still have some quality of life left.  I usually am not one to balk at making decisions but this pain and failed surgery has changed who I am as a person.  No wonder people jump off bridges!

Thanks for your responses.

dakmba
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Avatar_n_tn
Gidday, I'm thinking about getting fusion done also. I'm a 23YO male and have had problems for about 3.5 years now. I have just visited the orthopeadic surgeon who said he would be happy to operate if I felt it was worth it. He wasnt' as keen last time as I was too young and had only recently had the problems.

Anyway I'm just trying to check out sites etc... to do a bit of research. Would apprectiate it if you could show me where you've visited.

Cheers
Luke
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Avatar_n_tn
my daughter is 18, she's already had a microdiscectomy at age 15.  the same area (l5-s1) is herniated again, but she managed to run her senior track season and make it to state compitition.  we've been told that she can have another micro surgery first and still run in college.  AND, a disc replacement is an option for her as a last resort - she won't be able to compete if she does this.  i don't know what area of the country you are in, but disc replacements are being done here (Akron, OH)  a fusion sounds horrible, i'd keep looking for options.

best wishes to you all, i know this is difficult.

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Avatar_n_tn
Im so sorry you have to go thru this. I had a fusion on my L5/S1 on 9/18/06 and I am still in tons of pain. Pain in the back and legs. Im up in the air on whether its for you or not. Ive seen people come out good and bad. Its hard to say which will happen. The only good thing that came of my surgery was im not hunched over as much anymore. My neurosurgeon is now talking possibly a second surgery if the pain does not go away. Im scared. And on top of that im only 30 and have 2 year old son I adore so much. Things are rough but all I can say is try to stay positive. If i was you try a PM specialist first and other things before surgery. I understand the pain you go through everyday. Im in constant pain still and all my meds only relieve the pain very little if at all.Best of luck to you.
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Avatar_n_tn
  RESEARCH,RESEARCH,RESEARCH  and believe what you are reading.  Very small percent get help.  My husband is 53, and is bent at about a 90 degree angle at a snails pace, uses walker, cane, wheelchair.  He was always in construction, all physical hard labor.He has no other health issues.  After 3 major back surgeries, 2 were fusions, each time he was worse than EVER.  He has been diagnosed with Arachnoditus and all the back probs, narrowing,scar tissue etc.  Been through every pain management clinic in Tucson.Getting ready to try a second neurostimulator as first one helped 5 mo. then scarred over the leads (read about spine pain online under Burton Report-you'll think twice about these pain management places, they are popping up like fast food joints)) He is the kind of guy who wouldnt even take an aspirin, but now his pain med specialist(one of the best, been on Oprah, etc, wrote books, worldwide speaker on pain, lost her daughter to cancer and went through it with pain docs. and she tries to get him to take more than he is on, which he wont.  Duragesic patch 175 every 2 days.  Oxycodone 180mg a day.  Neurontin ??  Remeron(so he can sleep) Paxil (so this wont get him down!) Zantac(all the meds mess up his stomach and now he has Barretts esophagus ) Clonazepam(because this has all thrown him into anxiety attacks, which he used to think was all in peoples minds) Ritalin (so he wont sleep all day) Testosterone (have yours checked if male, drugs destroy that, and caused joint pain etc.)  Theyve tried newer ones like Opana and fentanyl lozenges(couldnt feel the difference and they put him on the highest dose to start with. Fusions ruined our lives, we have been to 45 docs and counting.  Every day I research online for help.  He cries a lot, which I never saw in the first 30 yrs of marriage.  If it werent for his faith in Jehovah God, his love for me, and the 2 new grandkids, he wouldnt be here. It's tough.  And may I say he is still the best man in the world.
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Avatar_n_tn
My husband had an S1-L5 fusion in 2002.  His pain never improved with the surgery, and we have just found that the fusion did not take.  He has been through hell the last 5 years, no longer able to work, living on a very small income.  He has suffered terribly with depression.  Do plenty of research, follow the doctors orders.  One thing that leads to poor healing as in the bone "taking" in a fusion is smoking.  He could not quit, and it could have contributed to the failed fusion.  
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Avatar_n_tn
Your first mistake is using an ortho to do the surgery.. use neurosurgeon and u will have limited problems
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Avatar_n_tn
had 360 fusion on dec. 18 2008 and so far its been the worst exper. of my life - i was taking 6 norco per day - now i take 4 norco and a regiment of 30 mg morphine sulfate per day - the morphine is not as needed it is taken every 12 hours no matter what - dont get relief from morphine like you would expeect. I hope in a couple of months i would reccomend this, but as of now, im not sure -  good luck
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