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Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,493
Registered: ‎03-18-2010

Fusion L4-L5 -- any experience with this surgery?

I have a lumbar disc displacement on L4-L5 and planning to have surgery soon.  Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 5,984
Registered: ‎08-08-2013

Re: Fusion L4-L5 -- any experience with this surgery?


@henderson wrote:

I have a lumbar disc displacement on L4-L5 and planning to have surgery soon.  Any info would be greatly appreciated.


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I wish you luck and hope you are having your surgery done by a Neurosurgeon.  Please get back to us and let us know how things are going.

 

Again, good luck.

Regular Contributor
Posts: 159
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Fusion L4-L5 -- any experience with this surgery?

I had this done Feb. 2014. Just do what your Dr. tells you, no lifting, bending, twisting, etc. for quite a while and you should be fine. They give you a steroid block and when mine wore off, it took about 5 days for that to start to happen, and at week one the pain in my legs was horrendous. I just wanted to keep them bandaged tightly with pressure so I couldn't feel the pain as bad. Dr. prescribed me the same meds. they give people that have diabetic leg pain for that.  It helps, but it made me want to sleep all the time. So once the pain died down, after about a week-10 days, I stopped taking those meds.I don't know that everybody has that happen, but I  know I did. You will need to walk at least 20-30 min. everyday also. I did house walking doing 5 min. at a time because of the weather outside.  Other than that everything went fine and I'm doing okay with my back now. HTH

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,572
Registered: ‎07-29-2012

Re: Fusion L4-L5 -- any experience with this surgery?

My husband had this surgery 5 years ago.  He did EVERYTHING the neurosurgeon told him to do.  He wore a large back brace for three months thru the hot Florida summer, no bending, twisting, lifting.  He took a 15-20 minute walk everyday.  He has not had a day's pain since the surgery.  

I wish you well with your surgery.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,357
Registered: ‎03-23-2010

Re: Fusion L4-L5 -- any experience with this surgery?

I had a discectomy and laminectomy at this level. I had a complete central disc herniation which is different than a bulging disc or partial herniation.
I'm not understanding what you are having done.
I have a tiny scar but it took me a long time to become mobile.
So, without totally understanding your diagnosis and treatment plan, I don't have much to offer
Honored Contributor
Posts: 25,929
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Re: Fusion L4-L5 -- any experience with this surgery?


@Gooday wrote:
I had a discectomy and laminectomy at this level. I had a complete central disc herniation which is different than a bulging disc or partial herniation.
I'm not understanding what you are having done.
I have a tiny scar but it took me a long time to become mobile.
So, without totally understanding your diagnosis and treatment plan, I don't have much to offer

When I had my laminectomy they had me walking the hallways at the hospital before I came home. The very best thing to do after back surgery is to walk, unless you have some odd & unusual problem and the doctor said not to walk, however that would be extremely unusual. 

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 5,258
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Fusion L4-L5 -- any experience with this surgery?

@lovethedesert

 

Several things about a fusion:

 

*  A fusion can be accomplished in several ways.  The reason for my fusion was pretty evident, as the disc had totally blown, so I had one vertebrae on top of the other.  It was necessary to provide space ocne again between the vertebrae.

 

*  This was accomplished in two phases: first is the anterior approach in the lower abdomen, right or left depending.  Intestines are retracted and a Vascular Surgeon very carefully retracts vertebral vessels.  Prior to your surgery, you will have an appointment with this Vascular Surgeon, so that he can review your MRI with you.

 

*  After the anterior procedure is accomplished, the surgeon will turn you for a posterior procedure, depending on what is required.

 

*  I had a lamenotomy, which removed part of the lamina (bone); a fusion -  had a cylindrical "cage" with irradiated bone in it placed between my discs; and rods and screws used to provide stability.

 

Was in the hospital 3 days, as my spine was a mess to begin with and the injury was work-related. 

 

At home: purchase one of those aluminum toilet set frames with arms so that you can get yourself down an up off of the seat.  I could not have done without this device.

 

You will use  walker for a while.  Make sure the one you have is appropriate to your various conditions.  For instance:  After 2 hand surgeries, I was left wth a chronic condition called CRPS.  My hand surgeon told me to never use a regular walker or crutches, so he sat down with my spine doc, one of his colleagues, and they discussed exactly what was needed.  They contacted the walker vendor and there in my hospital room after surgery was this great walker that had VERTICAL hand grips.  Works great for patients with severe hand arthritis.

 

Post-op is painful.  Getting out of bed requires assistance for a bit.  Take your pain meds, NSAIDS, and muscle relexants as indicated.  Be sure to include a stool softener, one of which should be taken with each dose of pain medication.  Make sure you have a bolster which can be placed under your knees.

 

R the back brace:  Was given one and it killed my back!  Increased my pain level exponentally.  Some do well with them and others not.

 

I could go on, but think I've probably over-done it as is. Let me know if you have other questions.  Before I retired, I worked with Ortho Spine and Neursurgeons teaching fusions to Residents, so have more info on board.

 

God Bless

Trusted Contributor
Posts: 1,580
Registered: ‎06-15-2015

Re: Fusion L4-L5 -- any experience with this surgery?

[ Edited ]

@henderson wrote:

I have a lumbar disc displacement on L4-L5 and planning to have surgery soon.  Any info would be greatly appreciated.


 

Not sure what you mean by "displacement"!  I've had open back surgery to remove ruptured L-5/S-1 discs. I had a less invasive surgery to remove a ruptured L-3. 

 

I had no fusion on either of these 2 surgical procedures. Both were performed by Orthopedic Spine Specialist, the last 1 done by a close friend. He is a Certified Sports Medicine Orthopedic Spine Surgeon. He works only on Spinal issues at our State's Spine Hospital.

 

I did serious rehab and went back to playing hockey and my factory job of lifting hundreds of 60-80lbs. of reels of telephone wire with no further injuries for over 30 years. I then had the ruptured L-3/did rehab, and returned to being a hockey referee for many years.

 

I've seen many that never completely returned to their pre-surgery lifestyle, many because they didn't do the rehab necessary right after their surgery. There were/are others that dud not make the necessary exercises a part of their daily routine.

 

That is a short summary of my lumbar area of my spine. I also have 3 crushed Cervical Vertabrae from a hockey game in 1973. My friend advised me to leave well enough alone. He said at best it was 50/50 it would get better from surgery, and I did't/don't like those odds.

 

 

hckynut(john)

hckynut(john)
Honored Contributor
Posts: 16,662
Registered: ‎10-04-2010

Re: Fusion L4-L5 -- any experience with this surgery?

@sfnative, you sure went through the mill on that one! Bet you do have more to offer. Glad it's better for you now. Did you say how long it's been since you went through this? I'll look back after I post.

 

No need for me to have surgery as it stands now, I do go in for adjustments. Neck and back area. Mine is L-5 and sacrum area, and so far so good!

Contributor
Posts: 61
Registered: ‎12-18-2012

Re: Fusion L4-L5 -- any experience with this surgery?

I had surgery done 20 yrs ago by an orthopedic surgeon. I had no problems in my earlier years now that I am older I have arthritis in my spine and other places to lol.