A difficult decision....

Posted , 7 users are following.

I was supposed to have a fusion at L5S1 but consultant was reluctant as I am only 26. so I had a discectomy and laminectomy at L5S1 in April 2014. But It didnt work properly and the consultant has given me a decision, I can either have the fusion or retry the discectomy and laminectomy then have the fusion in later life when Im older. My disc is buggered (his words) but he said my mobility will be greatly decresed with a fusion and it may not remove the pain.

I have to let his secretary know on Monday which Op I want.

So my question is.... Which Op should I go for? ultimatly I want to be pain free. I know other posters have had a fusion so any information on recovery and post op mobility would be helpful. I have had the discectomy and Laminectomy before and it didnt work. I dont want to be here again in a years time still in pain wishing I had choose the other option.

cheers

stuart

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  • Posted

    Hi Stuart, really sorry to hear that you are in such a horrible position especially at your age, I thought my husband was young when his happened at 38.  I can't help with the fusion but I can tell you that my husband had discectomy etc on L4/5 and his didn't work first time so he had it again and actually was probably worse after it, although the recovery was quicker.  His surgeon said the % of success goes down with each op, but doesn't mean you won't be successful.  We are now going down the pain/neuro route.  

    The only point I would make is if you have the same op again at least you have a chance of it working, I know my husbands didn't but you could very well be lucky, but worse way if it doesn't then you could still have the fusion.  Whereas if you go straight for the fusion that's it, no going back.  I appreciate what you are saying you don't to be in the same position in a year's time but maybe give your body the chance of a repeat op as opposed to the fusion straight off.

    As I say I don't know anything about fusions but hopefully someone on here will be able to help.

    Good luck and try and stay positive, keep smiling because somedays that is all that gets you through.  Whatever you decide I hope it makes a huge difference for you.

    Take care

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    • Posted

      Hi.

      I am 33 and I'm 7 months post fusion at L5/S1 with a disc replacement also.

      I have to say it has worked. First time. I am never going to be how I was pre-DDD but my life is so much improved having had the op. I'm a police officer and was on the verge of loosing my job and everything. This op has ensured I can keep my job.

      There are of course risks and each person is affected by those risks in different ways. But think what's right for you.

      There are plenty of ops out there that the surgeons will tell you can't work or there is a 50/50% chacnd etc... They have to tell you the risks.

      Think of your quality of life. That's what I done and now, day to day, I'm relitivly pain free. Yes I have to watch what I'm doing. I have to make sure I sit properly. Stand properly and don't over do it but trust me. If I was to have to choose again to have the op I would.

      I was on a cocktail of drugs and was just existing.

      Everyone is an individual case tho... only you can decide.

      Hope you can come to your decision quickly and your not in too much pain

      Chrissie.

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    • Posted

      Hi thanks for your reply. Can I ask a personal question? You say your a police officer? That's a physical job, are you back on the streets etc or are you desk based? How long after surgery were you back at work? I am a BG engineer and as I have been off work a year British Gas are wanting to get rid off me but if I can get back too work after surgery then I may keep it. I'm glad your feeling better

      Stu

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    • Posted

      I've had a failed Laminectomy and microdiscetomy at L4/5 plus a discectomy at S1/L5. The first op S1/L5 was a success but I niw have only a small amount of disc left in L3/4 all the rest are totally dehydrated.

      Now my point. My mate in OZ had same issue as me at S1/L5. He had a fusion and had never looked back. Choose your surgeon carefully and get another opinion before you go ahead.

      I feel your pain and hope you make the correct decision for you.

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    • Posted

      I am desk based at the moment as the fusion takes upto a year to completely strengthen. But I will be back to full duties very soon!

      I was off for 5 months but that was mainly due having to jump through hoops for health and safety etc. I returned part time to begin with but I'm back to full time now.

      Hope this helps.

      Feel free to ask anything. It's a big decision.

      Chrissie

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  • Posted

    Hi Stu,

    I was at a younger age when my symptons started (21),Im now 44, and after 2 lower lumber disectomies, my pain has got much worse , I have been offered the spinal cord stimulator,  Fusion was offered to me, but now they are saying because of previous ops, this may be a problem to me.

    26 is realy young, dont think anyone could give you any conclusive advice, I stuck it out, great wife & son, luckily a job that was understanding, helped me along.

    PM me if you want anymore advice.

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    • Posted

      Hi thanks for getting back to me. How come fusion is now a problem? Is it because of the amount of work in the same area? I am worried they may turn around and say that if second lumber decompression doesn't work. I think I am going to opt for the fusion. There is no way I can cope with being in this much pain it has ruined the last 12-18 months of my life. I want to get my life back, go to work and bring money back in.
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  • Posted

    Hi Stuart

    I was 30 years old when I had my fusion back in 1992, like yourself I had L5 to S1, it was amazing and gave me my life back and I was able you enjoy my life to the full for almost 20 years. I have  been suffering with chronic pain for a couple of years and I am having a spinal cord stimulator fitted in 2 weeks time.   I never regretted having the fusion. I was back at work within 6 weeks although I was desk based and had light duties for a while.  I wish you well with whatever you decide

    Jane

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    • Posted

      Hi Jane, I have just read your post, I would be really interested to hear how you get on with your SCS as we are just starting down that path for my husband who has spinal problems.  Can you tell me are you having it on the NHS if you don't mind me asking and if so how long did it take from your first referral to get to the op.  Did you have to try lots of other things such as TENS etc.  Thanks for any info you can give.
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    • Posted

      Hi Sorry for not replying sooner

      It has taken me over two years to get an SCS, my pain doctor recommended me to a hospital in Sheffield. I was told there that I did not fit the criteria and would not be offered a SCS. I was then refered to Leeds hospital for a second opinion and after a lot of discussions they did the trial in December 2014. It was amazing the difference it made and how much better I felt,  I slept over 7 hours straight which is a miracle to someone who only sleeps a couple of hours at a time. My friends all commented that I looked younger and so much happier, I am having the implant on Monday 2nd March, It will be done on the NHS and before I was referred I had various injections and have tried most other things. Please feel free to ask anything else you may want to know

      Jane

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    • Posted

      Dear Jane, Thank you for getting back to me, I am so glad it has made such a difference for you and good luck for Monday.  My husband does manage to sleep but only thanks to lots of drugs and drop of alcohol !!!  He is now being sick daily due to the pain, he eats once a day but that causes him pain, he has just been started on the TENS but it isn't making much of a difference, but I think it is just a hoop to jump through until hopefully he can be considered for the SCS.  He is having an op on his neck, the original injury on his lower back has dominoed up his spine now causing problems in his neck.  Such a shame he has gone from an active man to sitting on the sofa and moving very little as working all week is just too much.  Breaks my heart to see him in so much pain, but hopefully we can get him sorted so at least his pain levels are manageable.  

      Good luck for Monday and keep us updated on how you are getting on and hope you go from strength to strength. X

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    • Posted

      I understand totally what you are saying, I work full time too and it takes all my energy I do not go anywhere except work and holidays are a waste of time. I hope that once the initial surgery is over I can recalim my life and stop taking so many pills. Really push for an SCS it doesnt work for everyone but anything is worth a try. Chronic pain takes over your life and makes you feel pretty bloody useless. Good luck with his surgery I hope he gets relief really soon. I will update you on how it all goes  Take care

      Jane x

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    • Posted

      Hi

      Just to let you know the SCS was a complete success, sleeping well now and managing to get about a lot more. Returning to work Monday YAY!! I have managed to knock off the morphine patches all together and next step is to decrease some of the other medicines I take. My best to you

      Jane x

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    • Posted

      Hi Jane, I am so pleased for you, I bet you can't believe it, that is amazing.  I so hope we can have the same, my husband says he just wants 24 hours without pain as it is just getting a bit much at time.  He has just had another op but on his cervical spine so waiting to see if this has made a difference.  I bet you can't wait to get your life back to normal.  Thank you so much for keeping us updated and hope you go from strength to strength.  Katy x
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    • Posted

      Thanks Katy

      I hope your husband gets some respite soon. Constant pain is soul destroying and just takes over everything. I hope the op has done the trick and he is on the mend, if not , fight to get what he needs. My best to you both

      Jane xx

       

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