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Spinal fusion thoughts an questions
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Spinal fusion thoughts an questions

Hi! well my issue is a Spondylolisthesis L4/L5 grade 1 with a broken facet joint pinching my Sciatic nerve.

it first started when i was 13 I broke my ankle as a young child and it didn't heal right but it just gradually got worse and took a long time for the uk NHS hospitals to find the problem ok so in 2005 I had two surgery's which made ankle worse then soon after I had enough and went private hospital and they diagnosed it pretty quick but then they said it will cost £7/£8000 for ankle fusion to repair it. After the Ankle op's i started getting a disc slash hip and sciatica pain which was caused by poor posture and Spondylolisthesis that I didn't know I had. I then went to same NHS hospital to diagnose it again,negligence as this hospital, it was all maybe's and test's and no answers so I got frustrated and had a go at the hospital and asked them to refer me to a hospital and specialist that can find the problem cause i did not want to go through the same thing as the ankle issue, so any way they referred me to another hospital and specialist for my spine and soon diagnosed the problem as Spondylolisthesis and recommended spinal nerve root decompression and ended up having the op last yr 2009 which was successful to them but still had same pains but I went to see a physio after 100's of practitioners that I visited and he helped me and made the pain intermittent which was hope for me cause the pain was constant 24 seven anyway I've now had that surgery I think with surgery & physio it helped to make it intermittent so I go back to the surgeon and tell him it's not gone, And he didn't recommend it for my age which is 30 but he said the only other surgery is spinal fusion and after a long conversation I said to him I need to think about it and I have been on a waiting list for it since Oct 2009 and finally have a date for it which is in September 2010 just a note before getting this date I also got all the private hospitals diagnoses and took it to this new NHS hospital to proceed on fixing my Ankle and also found a surgeon in this hospital that use to work in the same private hospital that I got my Ankle diagnosed at and was then put on waiting list since Oct 2009 and I've now had my Ankle fusion done in May 2010 and still recovering which is mental torture cause it's 3mths in cast and then physio to start walking again, well my dilemma is should i do the spinal fusion so soon after this major operation,plus should i hold out till I'm more older cause the surgeon reckons a 10 yr life span on an 30yr old athletic male so am confused and don't know what to do plus I have an opportunity for a good job providing I get my old self back which was a very active male fitness orientated person with a wife and two kids to provide for! if there is any young males with same kind of life style who's had spinal fusion can you get in touch and let me know how you are after having spinal fusion and what your still capable of or any other male or female that's had spinal fusion that can help me with questions I need answering please I would really appreciate it.

thx

Bionic30man
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Avatar_m_tn
Could you be a little more specific about the pain that you're currently having. What % of it is leg pain as opposed to back pain? Have you had an recent MRI, what did it show?

Why was a decompression recommended when it does nothing to address your Spondylolisthesis?  Was the surgery successful in decompressing the nerve root?
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Avatar_f_tn
It was all on right leg pain which is sciatic pain plus I get like a heavy feeling round right hip in the rear area which will be your pelvic area on the lower back it's like some one has beat me with a base ball bat or another e.g it's like some one tieing a 24kg weight to my hip plus my lower back clunks with movement and my lower back aches as well but my leg and hip is the unbearable pain that needs addressing.

Plus posture is bad because of the years I been walking with limp because of my ankle injury which eventually put my back out because of posture problem and the fact I had spondylolisthesis and I had know idea I had it cause it's never caused me a problem before 5yr ago. But now have lost an inch on my left leg because of posture issue.

Also the spinal decompression did help but it made the problem intermittent instead of constant thank god! so has help but the person that really
helped the most with my problem was a physiotherapist after searching and spending on thousands of pounds on different practitioners that didn't help but this guy was great he used a different method to most phisios he used these acupuncture type needles but they are longer than accupuncture needles and he targets joint areas where there's is a build up of scar tissue and he pops them and the body eliminates it but it's awesome! Plus I used deep and sports massage which help leg plus I used this devis like a foam roller which really helped my leg but now after all that it's still there the problem but only if I stand, walk too long or lift anything with a bit of weight any kind plus a long session of sex where as before this treatment and decompression surgery it was constant didn't matter what I did I had unbearable pain and sex was the last thing on my mind as the pain was a great put off so kalvin this rough explanation also was popping strong drugs that did not help. But as I'm trying to get rid of the last bit that still gives me issues and am thinking maybe spinal fusion will help as the surgeon has said that my L4/5 is unstabable and moves back and fourth and the facet joint was completely broken and was holding only on tissue so with the movement it pinch's my sciatic nerve which causes my pain so my theory was that the spinal fusion will stabalize my spine so I can get rid of the last bit of problems that still triggers it but am very skeptical about spinal surgery as what I've
realized is it can go one way or the other and it's even going to be the best thing I've ever done or the worst thing. The surgeon does not want me to do it because my age and the fact that a young person can put so much strain on the metal work that can cause complication and end up having surgery to correct it again he thinks I should hold out as long as possible before doing the surgery. But my problem is that I've been asked to join a team for a friend of mine who's manage to get on s once in a life time job that doesn't come often but is very active job and recwires me to be inform like I used to be before the 5yr ago and was offered to me and will change my life and my kids life which means I don't have to worry about money know and want beable to be able to do the job. But the surgeon is suggesting I put up with it and adjust my life to it but that means I won't beable to do the job that was offered so the question I do the fusion or not but am I making a mistake or not is the question?
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Avatar_m_tn
I understand your dilemma, its a difficult decision and like you said the results could be great or awful.

I had a L4-5 fusion when I was a year or two older than you and the results have been great, I haven't had any low back problems since, however 90% of my pain was sciatic, I had very little back pain and I had no other problems in my lumbar spine. I think those main reasons why the surgery was so successful.

I let my condition deteriorate to the point that I couldn't walk, I had to literally be wheeled into the hospital. So surgery wasn't optional. The recovery was horrible, it took 12 weeks before I could stand and walk for more that 15-20 minutes, I was
heavily medicated. I think I spent 6 months in therapy, I had to relearn how to use my leg. At 6 months the pain had lessen considerably, but it took almost a year to fully recover. But you know, it was worth it.

My neck on the other hand I had fused 5 years ago, and its given me nothing but grief ever since, now I'm going to have another cervical fusion, it's probably ill advised, but I can't deal with the situation as it is now.

So, these fusions can go either way, I hope I haven't confused you further.


Take Care
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Avatar_f_tn
Blimey you Had it bad but at least you lower back surgery worked!

Thx for your help but yeah your right am still sceptical but it's good to hear that someone has had a fusion that worked cause you all always hear of the negative stories but one more question why did you need the surgeries in the first I mean how did u injuries occur?

One more thing does your spine feel restricted in the L4/5 area or does it bend and feel normal like u haven't had it fused?
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Avatar_f_tn
Also I did meet a guy who was about 45yr old and had fusion when he was 30yr and he said he was fine for 15yrs but he whent back to foot ball training and playing and he trip of the same pain he had be fore then met an ex boxer he had it to but not when he was 30yr and had fusion as well and has been fine as well but he sId he stopped what he was doing before and Leeds a calmer life style. Then you go on the web and you read the negative comments because all the people that had joy with fusion don't post o. Web to let the people that haven't reached fusion stage yet so you end up reading all the negatives about fusion I wish more people who've had joy with fusion would post more on web so all the negative stories don't put you off fusion as I've discovered now that it depends on surgeon who does it and how well the individual heals and takes care of them selves after op! All these things have to be taken into consideration on how the out come is! That's who I look at it now!
But think am not sure 100% on fusion yet?
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Avatar_m_tn
My initial injury occurred as the result of a fall, and I was also very active in sports during this time. I was x-rayed after the fall, and was told I was fine, but obviously I wasn't. It just got worse as the years went on, and I pretty much chose to ignore the pain until it got to the point that I could no long do that. Ironically, had I known that there were other options besides surgery, I probably wouldn't have put myself in the position to have the fusion.

My bending is somewhat restricted, but its not really a problem and I don't even notice it anymore. Your right there's not a accurate representation of the successful fusions, particularly on sites like this, because people that have had successful procedures for the most part are able to get on with their lives and don't post on boards like these.

I know several people that have a successful fusions and haven't had any additional problems, but their all over 40. Just take your time with your decision.


Take Care

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Avatar_f_tn
Thx kalvin appreciate your help and I hope all gose well for you and I will be taking my time with  it because am really not sure about it but and you know I done the exact same I ignored to it got real bad.

Silly ****** I am for doing that!

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