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Thread: Herniated Disc---Fusion surgery

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    Herniated Disc---Fusion surgery

    Ok guys, I will post this up in injury section too, but figured lounge gets much more traffic.

    So my wife about 6 years ago had a herniated disc L5-S1 and had surgery. "lamenextomy"? Where they shaved a part of the disc.

    Well shes been in bad pain this past 3 weeks. Doc first sad its normal and ould go away and gave her nerve blockers. they didn't even touch her pain.

    So we waited 2 weeks, and she got MRI, then waited another week for the doctor to see her.

    Now they just told her its herniated again. And gave us three options

    Epi shots
    Shaved disc again
    Fusion surgery

    We are opting for the fusion.

    But have no clue what to expect. Doctor told her she could be back to work in 2 days (will be in pain but possible).

    I told her to set everthing up and take a least a week off, and ill try to do the same. As we have the baby and 2 dogs and now her to take care of this wont be easy.

    So now im here looking for ANY experience any one has with the FUSION surgery for the disc.

    How long were you out for?
    Did it help any?
    Worth going for it?

    Any info would be greatly appreciated.....

    Thank you guys.

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    I'll talk to my Pop again Sfla! If he can be of any help - I'll certainly pass it along -

    ? / can they use the new fake discs instead of the fusion?? If so look into that / but it sounds as if she may have already experienced something of that nature....

    I'll surely be in touch Brotha!

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    I was told I needed to fuse l5s1 back in 2009. I did the research and didn't think it was worth the risk. I get around pretty good now but it took a long time and a lot of work to get better. I'm glad I didn't do it even though 7 different surgeons said if I didn't do it I would be in a wheel chair as I only had about 2mm of space left at l5s1. It either stiffened up and re stabilized or fused on its own

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    Wow bio.

    So u still have pain?

    How long did it take to go away?

    From what she explained just now ( I think she had to much info and keeps forgetting stuff) buy they are taking the disc out and replacing with screws.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sfla80
    Wow bio. So u still have pain? How long did it take to go away? From what she explained just now ( I think she had to much info and keeps forgetting stuff) buy they are taking the disc out and replacing with screws.
    the injury happened in 2009. At least the final straw. I went and had the Mri then and it showed the disc bulging in every direction and completely smashed. It really took a long time but I toughed it out. I took a solid 6 months away from the gym because the pain was so bad I couldn't go more then a second or two without thinking about the pain. After meeting with all the Nero surgeons I chose to wait and do the pt. I did the pt every hour for 6 months to a year and got back in the gym but traded the disc and nerve pain for major soreness of the low back from the pt. I started really feeling much better about 1-2 years ago. I still have pain but more like a dull ache as oppose to the crippling pain before.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bio-Active View Post
    the injury happened in 2009. At least the final straw. I went and had the Mri then and it showed the disc bulging in every direction and completely smashed. It really took a long time but I toughed it out. I took a solid 6 months away from the gym because the pain was so bad I couldn't go more then a second or two without thinking about the pain. After meeting with all the Nero surgeons I chose to wait and do the pt. I did the pt every hour for 6 months to a year and got back in the gym but traded the disc and nerve pain for major soreness of the low back from the pt. I started really feeling much better about 1-2 years ago. I still have pain but more like a dull ache as oppose to the crippling pain before.
    Yes I don't think this is the way she should go.

    Hate seeing her in pain now, let alone for a year or more.

    Surgery is called a "t-lif"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sfla80 View Post
    Yes I don't think this is the way she should go.

    Hate seeing her in pain now, let alone for a year or more.

    Surgery is called a "t-lif"
    I wouldn't do it unless she is in so much pain she is willing to risk the pain becoming worse or she looses control of bodily function
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bio-Active View Post

    I wouldn't do it unless she is in so much pain she is willing to risk the pain becoming worse or she looses control of bodily function
    Ugh think the pain could be worse after?

    She can barely get out of bed, can't bend over, can't hold the baby.

    What are other options

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sfla80
    Ugh think the pain could be worse after? She can barely get out of bed, can't bend over, can't hold the baby. What are other options
    there is always a risk of it getting worse yes. Has she looked into pt

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bio-Active View Post
    there is always a risk of it getting worse yes. Has she looked into pt
    She has not. Maybe I'll will get her to do that

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sfla80
    She has not. Maybe I'll will get her to do that
    I did the Mckenzie method and it worked

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bio-Active View Post
    I did the Mckenzie method and it worked
    Im going to a good guy now for myself. But the only issue is for her are work times compared to the pt times. She would never make it or have to call out of work

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sfla80
    Im going to a good guy now for myself. But the only issue is for her are work times compared to the pt times. She would never make it or have to call out of work
    once you get in for just a couple sessions she should be able to do it herself at home it were ever

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    At the docs now for my shoulder. Will drop by my wife's PT office next door after & ask a few PTs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bio-Active View Post
    there is always a risk of it getting worse yes. Has she looked into pt
    Agree with both parts of this ^^

    Always try pt - and my pop has gotten worse with each one! Not something he recommends either

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    Damn Sfla ... wishing her a fast recover on whatever you guys choose. I hate back pain. I myself have problems with my L5... good luck to ya my friend.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Proximal View Post
    At the docs now for my shoulder. Will drop by my wife's PT office next door after & ask a few PTs.
    Thanks prox. . Seems like u get the brunt of my family's issues thrown at u lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bodacious View Post
    Damn Sfla ... wishing her a fast recover on whatever you guys choose. I hate back pain. I myself have problems with my L5... good luck to ya my friend.
    Bod definitely appreciate the words sir

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sfla80 View Post
    Thanks prox. . Seems like u get the brunt of my family's issues thrown at u lol
    No problem bud - sorry for the bad stretch of luck! Got out late from the MD, PT staff already left - let me do some checking.

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    Sent mri to another surgeon (friend of her family) and he agrees with the fusion surgery :/.

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    I'll weigh in, I have probably seen 100-150 surgical fusions in my profession.

    My take is two fold.

    If your young, have lots of pain and plan on getting back into shape. A fusion is not a death sentence.

    If you are aged, or unhealth and do not plan to take an active role in your health. A fusion will by year 3-5 cause more problems than it will solve.

    Fusions have basically a 50% success rate skewed to the younger and healthy individuals, for better outcomes. Which is true of about all medical procedures. Although I have seen relatively young individuals have bad out comes it's mostly those that are very unhealthy to begin with.

    The thing about fusions are that the segment above the fusion will start to degenerate and they sometimes will need to be revised. That is why activity is key afterwords.

    Without knowing what other factors your wife has, I find it somewhat strange they would recommend a fusion. I'm also assuming she is younger. Certain co-conditions go along with disc herniations such as spondylolistesis, or post surgical boney changes. Which if she had a laminectomy may very well be the case.

    Have you looked into disc replacement or laser spin verses full on fusion?
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    Quote Originally Posted by MuscleScience View Post
    I'll weigh in, I have probably seen 100-150 surgical fusions in my profession.

    My take is two fold.

    If your young, have lots of pain and plan on getting back into shape. A fusion is not a death sentence.

    If you are aged, or unhealth and do not plan to take an active role in your health. A fusion will by year 3-5 cause more problems than it will solve.

    Fusions have basically a 50% success rate skewed to the younger and healthy individuals, for better outcomes. Which is true of about all medical procedures. Although I have seen relatively young individuals have bad out comes it's mostly those that are very unhealthy to begin with.

    The thing about fusions are that the segment above the fusion will start to degenerate and they sometimes will need to be revised. That is why activity is key afterwords.

    Without knowing what other factors your wife has, I find it somewhat strange they would recommend a fusion. I'm also assuming she is younger. Certain co-conditions go along with disc herniations such as spondylolistesis, or post surgical boney changes. Which if she had a laminectomy may very well be the case.

    Have you looked into disc replacement or laser spin verses full on fusion?
    She is healthy, non smoker , very light drinker, gym active.

    She is 33 years old.

    She had a laminectomy about 6 years ago on the same disc. Oddly enough first one happened from a sneeze. And doc said this one could possibly happened same way.

    He gave us the 3 options, shots, laminectomy again, or fusion.

    We thought the fusion would be best since the laminectomy didn't work first time.

    And I believe there are a few different versions of the fusion surgery correct?

    He wants to do the T-lif. We're those success rates for this?

    Funny thing is she has not been diagnosed with spondylolisthesis. But I was just diagnosed with that. But through x ray and insurance denied my MRI lol.

    Also please explain "activity is key afterwards "

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sfla80 View Post
    She is healthy, non smoker , very light drinker, gym active.

    She is 33 years old.

    She had a laminectomy about 6 years ago on the same disc. Oddly enough first one happened from a sneeze. And doc said this one could possibly happened same way.

    He gave us the 3 options, shots, laminectomy again, or fusion.

    We thought the fusion would be best since the laminectomy didn't work first time.

    And I believe there are a few different versions of the fusion surgery correct?

    He wants to do the T-lif. We're those success rates for this?

    Funny thing is she has not been diagnosed with spondylolisthesis. But I was just diagnosed with that. But through x ray and insurance denied my MRI lol.

    Also please explain "activity is key afterwards "
    Has she tried PT or chiropractic first. I am kinda baffled by them wanting to do surgery on someone so young really. Again, not knowing the Past history or seeing the MRI.

    The T-lift is they basically jack up the vertebra to increase space in the foreamen to release pressure on the nerve root. Which is why they did the lamenectomy the first time.

    Activity is basically staying active after. A lot of people sit on their asses afterwards.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MuscleScience View Post

    Has she tried PT or chiropractic first. I am kinda baffled by them wanting to do surgery on someone so young really. Again, not knowing the Past history or seeing the MRI.

    The T-lift is they basically jack up the vertebra to increase space in the foreamen to release pressure on the nerve root. Which is why they did the lamenectomy the first time.

    Activity is basically staying active after. A lot of people sit on their asses afterwards.
    The first time they did surgery cause she was bed ridden for a month or two. Like mom had to bath her.

    So it was bad before and now again she's moving around but hurts.

    She has not done pt or chiro.

    She definitely won't be sitting on her ass afterwards.

    How long is recovery?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sfla80 View Post
    The first time they did surgery cause she was bed ridden for a month or two. Like mom had to bath her.

    So it was bad before and now again she's moving around but hurts.

    She has not done pt or chiro.

    She definitely won't be sitting on her ass afterwards.

    How long is recovery?
    I think they want 12 full weeks to allow the screws to set.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MuscleScience View Post

    I think they want 12 full weeks to allow the screws to set.
    I know so many questions man.

    But they r telling home from hospital next morning and she could be working within a week.

    She is a desk job....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sfla80 View Post
    I know so many questions man.

    But they r telling home from hospital next morning and she could be working within a week.

    She is a desk job....
    She is going to need to get a adjustable work desks where she can sit or stand.

    Like. Versa desk I think it's called
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    Quote Originally Posted by MuscleScience View Post

    She is going to need to get a adjustable work desks where she can sit or stand.

    Like. Versa desk I think it's called
    I know what u r talking ok good idea

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    Really great advice/knowledge from MS - sorry I'm dropping the ball on this largely because this wasn't my specialty when I was practicing. Very much agree with not rushing into surgery.

    How bad are the radiating symptoms? Does she have bowel or bladder changes?

    How long ago was the delivery, is her core back to being 100% - abs get stretched something nasty when carrying a child.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Proximal View Post
    Really great advice/knowledge from MS - sorry I'm dropping the ball on this largely because this wasn't my specialty when I was practicing. Very much agree with not rushing into surgery.

    How bad are the radiating symptoms? Does she have bowel or bladder changes?

    How long ago was the delivery, is her core back to being 100% - abs get stretched something nasty when carrying a child.
    She doesn't explain symptoms right. It first started with leg pain and then multiplied into the back pain.

    Bowel movements have not changed.

    She gave birth 9 months ago. I do not believe this was the cause. Maybe picking our son up is the problem. He's already about 30#s , and from we read that's the size of a 2 year old lol.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sfla80 View Post
    She doesn't explain symptoms right. It first started with leg pain and then multiplied into the back pain.

    Bowel movements have not changed.

    She gave birth 9 months ago. I do not believe this was the cause. Maybe picking our son up is the problem. He's already about 30#s , and from we read that's the size of a 2 year old lol.
    If you have already consulted with two surgeons and their opinions are the same, then you have done your due diligence.

    I think my only suggestion if that's what your asking for, would be to try a more conservative approach in either PT or chiropractic care. As proxima pointed out, without changes to bowel or bladder and just radiating leg pain. That might be something to try before the full fusion. Again, this is not having seen the MRI or radiology report. Sometimes surgery is the only option, it's just that a surgical fusion is forever.
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    3rd doc now.

    And he also agreed with surgery.

    Gave pros and cons for both types of surgery.

    Basically either way u look at it she will probably have another back surgery in future.

    So surgery is set for 21st. Pending insurance approving.

    Calling landlord Sunday when I'm off, cause now we can't live alone and have to move in with her parents. She won't be able to carry our baby for 6-8 weeks.

    This sucks......

    Thank you everyone who helped in this thread.

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    Damn man. Good luck, hang in there.

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    Hey man. I had six vertebrae fused in my neck do to repetitive spinal cord injuries from my vertebrae getting lodged into my spinal cord during airborne jumps while in the army. The surgery is actually pretty common these days, I don't know about six being common, but one to two sure is. They will remove her bulging disc completely and simply fuse her two vertebrae. It is painful for the first week or so, at least in my case. They pulled my throat to the side and did the operation from the front and it felt like I had strep throat for a month. But it fixed the problem. How bad is the compression on her spinal cord from the buldge? I would recommend getting the surgery, if you have solid insurance. It's expensive.

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    To add, I know a good surgeon in the Hollywood area, if you really do live in south florida. Hit me up.

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    Dhew thanks man. I'll pm u soon

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    I read the entire thread, and MS brings up some good points. If you can get the artificial disc approved (which for me was impossible being in cali) would be the best option. Bio-Active and I were in a similar position but he is more of a man than I'am. I couldn't do pt at all, tried about a dozen times. Looking back the drugs probably had a big lart of it.

    the only side effect I have from my fusion is a small loss of range of motion. Im talking less than 10% probably. I would try to make sure they do an anterior lumbar fusion. Where she is getting fused should make it an option. The anterior aproach should lead to a faster recovery. When my surgery happened they told me when the posterior fusion is done they have to cut through muscle to access the disc space, but when they use the anterior aproach they can mive the stomach muscle out of the way no cutting. I hope MS can possibly add to this.

    I was scared to death of the procedure, but it was the best thing thats has happned to me. Im a little surprised there was no discogram done, because I was told they always do them. Everyone I have talked to that has had a fusion had the discogram. This thread covered a lot of everything so theres not a lot to add, but with the proper surgeon, her following the docs instructions, kicking ass during pt, and staying active after should lead to a successful procedure.

    one thing I want to add is have her use as little pain meds as possible. If she is in pain use them, but if she doesn't need them tell her to not take them. Those are what messed me up the most. As long as she uses them properly for the accute pain she should be fine. You might even look into ordering some kratom for when there is still some pain, but not enough to require the posion that opioid pain killers are. Rant over.
    Last edited by jstone; 09-03-2016 at 12:29 PM.

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    Well insurance has initially declined the surgery....and it's scheduled a week away.

    Just coding errors I guess. They said it shouldn't be hard to get approved after these are fixed :/
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    Good luck to you and the Mrs. Sfla!

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    I just saw this thread and will keep wife in my thoughts and prayers. Pls keep us updated next week when u have a moment.

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