I had L5 - S1 done in 1984 . I can now walk !!! Had a rough time but that was years ago . Couldn`t get on my feet for 6 days . Had to have it done and pleaded with the doctor to do it sooner than he planned too . Surgery is much more advanced now so it should be a piece of cake . With any bone surgery , I guess there will be arthritis down the road but it beats the pain without surgery . Good luck .
I had spinal fusion L4-S1 when I was 21 (2008). It was from an injury sustained while on deployment and was the only viable treatment method for short term and long term health. I had a fractured vertebra, and luckily had no sciatic issues. I could max my run and pushups on the PT test but struggled to get through the situps with an ~80% and was in lots of pain for several days. They did 2 rods and 6 screws, cadaver disc, bone graft off my hip, etc.
I had the surgery when I was pretty young and fit, so my results may vary.
I was out of the hospital in 3 days walking without a cane or walker and just using a backbrace. After 5 days I was no longer using the backbrace, started driving, etc. I still had limitations bending over, weight limits, etc, but for the most part was relatively functional without any additional care.
After 3 months I was walking along a sporting clays course carrying all my gear shooting only with mild discomfort after the day's end (still a bit less than pre-surgery however).
As long as you have a good surgical team and aren't incredibly out of shape core-wise I don't think your recovery will be too bad. I would expect someone a bit older to be shooting again/doing most physical activities within moderation within ~4-6months.
Barry, I have not had the Lumbar spine surgery yet. I had Fusion on two levels of the C-Spine two years ago. I'm going in two weeks for the next level. Mine was bad enough that I needed surgical intervention pretty quickly. The recovery has been long and not perfect. The alternatives might have been a lot worse. I have been told I need Lumbar Spine surgery. I've done a little research and I will not be doing it all that soon. Check these two links and see if something might offer an alternative. Once they cut, you can't go back.
I've got similar pictures of my neck. It took me three days before they let me out. Had good insurance. I'm about to go in for the next level. The surgery wasn't too bad, but there are some serious issues that can happen with this type of surgery. Paralysis was unacceptable for me, so I opted for the surgery. Anything near nerves or brain, I use a Neurosurgeon.
Barry had L5,L4 and L3 fussed on July 14. Dr chose to use a clamp called a "Aspen" clamp which is less evasive than other methods. Look it up on the internet good reports. Up walking the same day as the surgery. Some pain for the first 30 days, more of a pulling pain than a shooting pain. Still have some siatic pain but dosen't last very long. Saw the Dr yesterday for first time since the surgery and he thinks the siatic pain will continue to lessen over time. If I can answer any more questions feel free to give me a call at 916-599-3314. Live on the west coast. Good luck Jim L Luis
In 1991 I had L5 thru S1 fused two 10 inch plates anchored by four 3/8 x 3 1/2 inch lag bolts. It was a long recovery. I went to Thomas Jefferson in Philly which I would recommend to anyone. To this day I havent had any problems. The only thing I cant do is a bunch of sit-ups or run with any speed.But at 60 I dont have any plans for that activity. Do you research and I wish you the best.
First I want to thank all who have contributed and in advanced to any who will.
This thread follows the line of almost any other discussions I've seen or heard. Lot's of really horrifying stories mixed with great positive results. I believe that spinal fusion is really a crap shoot. I also think that it has improved steadily as new fusing devices are invented.
I have done extensive homework on the treatment options and many surgical groups. Quack's information is very helpful for those going through what I'm going through. Through my inquiries I investigated LSS, Laser Spine Surgery, and, unfortunately, I was rejected with the diagnosis that I was "too far gone" for the procedure to be effective.
Finally, I found the Barrow Neurological Institute. They have a plethora of surgeons ranging from lesser invasive, to laser, to conventional techniques. I have chosen a surgeon who uses the least invasive method and hardware to make the fusion that he feels confident in. I think I have done all I can do to this point.
Mr. Haskin's suggestion of disc replacement was also investigated and no less that 6 surgeons rejected the idea for my problem.
We can't be a candidate for every type of new procedure, but it pays to look around and do your homework. Looks like you have, so good luck with what you decide. Sometimes it's more faith in the surgeon than it is the actual procedure he recommends. I have three surgeons on my list and have trusted them with my life and well being. I'm still breathing and walking. My Neurosurgeon is one of the best around and I'll be under his knife again in a few weeks. I can't really remember a time when I was pain free, but I've been able to deal with most of what I've encountered. Pain management is also part of the equation. If a surgeon tells you that you will be "pain free" after the surgery, I'd get that in writing. Sometimes a pain "reduction" is all we can hope for.
My surgeon says we are shooting for 50% pain reduction, max. I know pain, Quack. Two shoulders, two hips and one knee, all replaced since 2005. I have had varying results and have no illusions about being pain free.
Currently I cannot shoot. If the surgery allows me to start again, I will be very happy. I love trapshooting. Again, thanks all.
I always caution everyone to read all the studies and to listen to all the people that got worse and the vast majority that didnt get better
Review this study synopsis --------- http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39658423/ns/health-pain_center/
"The study provides clear evidence that for many patients, fusion surgeries designed to alleviate pain from degenerating discs don’t work, says the study’s lead author Dr. Trang Nguyen, a researcher at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine"
I have seen these bad outcomes
You are making a mechanical change also which will affect other areas
However- sometimes the pain is so bad that you have to have something done with a hope of pain reduction-
My mother just had this surgery and was out of the hospital after 3 days ( one blood transfusion) and into a rehab center for a week and now how at 82 years of age- she has pain but can walk with a walker- and is improving
She was bent to the side in a C form before the sugery and in constant pain and could not leave her house or even make it to the front door at times.
Just the effects of the surgery alone are significant but it looks as if she is going to have a positive outcome.
Glad to hear your Mom seems to be doing well. Mine is 88 and just had a Knee replacement. We would be very afraid to do anything to her spine, since they wouldn't know where to start. Once the serious pain sets in, people will do just about everything they can to get relief.
Hi Barry, I had L3,L4,L5 fused on May 28. Prior to the surgery, I couldn't finish a round of 25 targets, nor could I do any kind of work for longer than a few minutes. The dr. inserted steel rods and screws to hold the vertebrae together and 22 staples to close up the incision. I was up the next day and was given orders to walk as much as I could but I was not to bend, lift, or twist. I was also told that my pain reduction would be 50%. They started me on formal therapy on Sept. 24 and I just started to shoot a little bit two weeks ago and can now finish a round of 25 without much discomfort. I don't regret I had the surgery as I'm much better now than before the surgery. I have a left shoulder that needs replaced and a left ankle that should be fused. Good luck on your surgery and if I can answer any questions for you give me a call at 269-496-7453. Break 'em all! Tom Ruble
Gene and Tom. Many thanks for the heads-up. I've spent nearly a year doing my research. My friends all think I'm nuts and what am I waiting for.
I spent over 5 years doing therapy, cortical steroidal injections, heat and cold therapy, chiropractic manipulation, aqua therapy, diathermy, electrical stimulation and deep tissue massage. Most of them gave me some relief. But now the only thing that cuts the pain is narcotics. Can't drive or shoot on them so I've come to the surgical wall.
If I don't get any relief from this move then I've lost only time and money.
It's good to talk to you again, Tom. We always had good conversations at Mason and Vandalia. Good luck with your future health decisions.
I shit and got off the pot last tuesday. I'm having surgery on November 17th at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Scottsdale, AZ. Hardware is of a very new design. Much smaller and less metal than the traditional. The rods between the vertebrae are only about a 1/2" long. A very simple design but far less invasive.
Scheduling my C5 fusion for around Dec. 1. Am going to have a carpatunnel at the same time. Right now left hand and arm are going numb, can't grip much, can't reach back or up with alot of pain. Have constant pain and Doc says its surgery time. Don't really want to do it but don't feel there is much choice. Recovery time of 6 weeks before going back to work.