Fusion scheduled for 07/02
By - mburdish
I had a lumbar fusion 2 months ago. I have a pars defect which was causing horrible pain in my right leg. I had another back surgery to fix it 2 years ago but it ended up not working so my surgeon decided to finally go for the fusion.
I'll be honest. It's kinda terrible. At least it was for me. Before surgery, besides having pain in the calf of my right leg, I also had numbness in part of my calf and about half of my right foot. Immediately after the fusion surgery, I had terrible nerve pain in my leg, which wasn't too surprising since that is where I was having it before and it needed to calm. But I also ended up with new nerve pain in my foot as well as worsening numbness through my foot and calf. And I also had new numbness in my left foot and calf in about the same places, but no where near the same intensity as the other leg.
After surgery, I had a catheter so going to the bathroom wasn't initially a problem. But after they took it out, I had to have help getting to the bathroom because I could barely move. They literally had to use a device to carry me to the bathroom. I couldn't sit up for more than a couple minutes at a time. It got slightly better during my time in the hospital but really it just took time. Like going home from the hospital and going to doctors appointments for the next 3 weeks was a struggle. I could walk long enough to get to the exam room but then would have to lay down for my whole time there.
I also had trouble with my medication, but that's really a story for another time. My pain was regulated like it should have been and I spent the first week out of the hospital going to the emergency room 3 times until my doctor changed my pain meds. Just be sure to advocate (or have someone else advocate) on your behalf if you feel like something is wrong. It will save you a lot of pain trust me.
Sorry to scare you, but now for better news. For the most part now, I'm getting around pretty easily. I'm still have a little nerve pain in my foot (and it was still bad up until like a week and a half ago) and the nerve pain in my leg was gone after a couple weeks. The numbness in both my feet and legs (again more in my right than my left) is still there. Through all this honestly my back has hurt the least out of all of it even though it's still hard to bend down and is stiff. So far it looks like it worked well enough, it's just waiting for the other side effects to go away, if they ever do. It seems like you are not a bad off as me, so that's a good sign! But it can be difficult. So just remember to look forward to tomorrow and keep going! I wish you the best of luck.
Surgery is an inefficient, ineffective, way of scarring up the body permanently. If the surgery works, which usually is not the case, you're probably only going to get worse over time because the body isn't being taken care of to begin with.
Surgery weakens the body. I would do anything in my power to avoid surgery. I'm actually not in pain I specialize in pain that no one else can help with. I'm in Georgia and I do free evaluations to determine what's going on with people but usually any kind of pain in the body, save for actual physical damage to the body like accidents, stepping on mine grenades (yes I've worked on people like that), etc, can be corrected if you start taking care of the body.
I would recommend starting out with PNF stretching. Regular stretching is counterproductive and once you get to the point of chronic pain stretching isn't going to do you much good normally.
However if you can add proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation to the stretching then you not only stretch the muscle out but you strengthen it and use your entire strength to work with you rather than against you.
The best start to taking care of yourself would be foam rolling for a week, even laying the foam roller under your back to let your back stretch out, and see if after a week the pain is better, worse, or the same.
If you lay the foam roller on the ground, watch TV for a couple of hours a night, and do whatever you need for pain relief while you foam roll, lidocaine all over the body to numb the nerves, drinking alcohol, etc within a week you should be better.
Every week you should be better. Most people to get surgery regret it that I know and I have a lot of clients that have had surgery before they get to me unfortunately.
Following my surgeons advice to have my neck fused was the dumbest thing I ever did. Almost 1,5 years post op now and regret the surgery 24/7. In so much pain and discomfort now. And also mentally. I'm a wreck. Fusion surgery has messed up my life.
May I ask what are your symptoms?
I know of a McGill PT who also had a fusion done last year. He posted his surgery story to insta which might give you some idea. He was extremely strict with his rehab and the fusion was happening faster than usual.
Also he mentions Vitamin D with K2 is very important.
Thank you so much I will check it out.
First symptoms when it happened a few years ago I was going numb from the waist down had a lot of pain in the back prior. 1 round of shots and a lot of pt cleared it up. Last year it flared up numbness in my left leg and back pain and again I did pt and 1 round of shots and it cleared up. This time I experienced really bad sciatica pain that I never experienced before. From the lower back down the left butt cheek and into the calf which I feel was where the worse pain was. That lasted for about a week. Now I’m getting numbness in my left foot.
59 Year old male. I underwent an OLIF of L4-L5 with a right/left microdiscectomy 2 months ago. I suffered with severe sciatica down both legs for more then a year before. The surgery brought me instant relief from sciatica.
It’s no walk in the park. Prepare to not be able to do much that involves BLT (bending, lifting, twisting)for a few months. Reachers are your best friends. Listen to your doctor and take it easy.
Get multiple opinions.
I’ve had 2 surgeons tell me I need surgery, both pain management doctors told me I most likely need surgery but we tried the shots first and two doctors who Who review medical issues at work told me surgery would most likely be the best option.
No disectomy option? Have you looked into artificial discs. The surgeron and the method matters.
The dr said that because it’s calcified and that there is bone Spurs where the herniation the fusion would be the safest and best bet. Is there a way to attach a picture of my scan on here or do I need to make a new post?
I had an ER doc, a neurologist, a neurosurgeon and a general practitioner saying I needed surgery.
In so much pain and discomfort now after surgery. Now every doc I speak to says I should not have done the surgery. They say what they think you want to hear. Docs are more busy with making you feel comfortable than giving good advice.
Please consider this before surgery!
About 5 years ago i was diagnosed with 3 herniated disks. Back would go out all the time and i lost complete function and feeling in my left leg. I tried everything to heal and nothing worked. A client of mine( i do hair) suggested a book by john sarno, called healing back pain. This book changed my life. I highly encourage you to read it so you can end all the suffering once and for all. If you cant buy the book for whatever reason, the full audio book is on youtube. Hope you are all doing well!