View Full Version : fusion

03-30-2006, 09:00 PM
My surgery is scheduled for this May 8th. I'm having anterior and posterior. From my notes I remember the Dr. saying he'd fuse T6 - L 5. NOW I'm reading that most surgeons will try to spare fusing L4 or L5! I read it will greatly interefere with my flexibility. Does anyone have any history with this situation? Thanks

03-30-2006, 09:52 PM
I'm 31 and had sugery 14 months ago. I'm fused T3-L4 and have gained back a great deal of flexibility. I can kneel on the floor and lean over my dog to play with her, make the bed, sit up in bed (with some effort) and this Summer, I'll be back to playing golf. My surgeon had told me prior to surgery that I would gain most of my flexibility back and he was right!

Of course every situation is different and if you're concerned, you really should talk to your surgeon. Be sure to have ALL of your questions answered by your surgeon before going into surgery. He/she really will be your best resource.

03-31-2006, 12:36 AM

Yes you are right about sparing L 4-5. Most dr's do not like to go all the way down unless it is necessary. However, I was fused down to L-3 and now 4 surgeries later they have to fuse L 4-5 S1. Alot of people later in life after the surgery have to have another surgery to fuse down because of disc deteriation. This is what happened to me. I wish they would have just fused me all the way down in the first place then I would not have to go through these surgeries. This may not happen to you, but it could be a possiblity.

I would talk it over with your doctor to see what your options are and it would be a good idea to get a second opinion before you go through the surgery.
If you have any questions please feel free to ask...


03-31-2006, 04:49 AM
My lumbar curve is 60 too & I have this gut feeling I'll be fused pretty low or even sacrum. A few weeks ago I was a wreck thinking about it. Now I think I'm better not knowing until very close to the operation. There are several on this forum that have been fused to L5-L4 or sacrum and seem great. all my best,Lynne

surgery Aug1-anterior/posterior curves lumbar 60/th 60 / 95 thorolumbar

03-31-2006, 05:02 AM
I am still recovering from my surgery (I'm 7 weeks post op) and was fused to L5. Pain is preventing me doing a lot at the moment but I still seem to bend at the hip OK.

I was told that unless thay fuse to the sacrum you should retain reasonable flexibility.

03-31-2006, 06:30 AM

When I consulted with Dr. Boachie he told me that he would need to fuse me to L5 and that there was a chance I'd need to extend the fusion to S-1 in the future. I asked him why I wasn't fused to the sacrum in the first place and he said being fused to L5 preserves flexibility, and that I could get lucky and get 20 more years out of the original fusion before I had to have it extended.

04-01-2006, 02:21 PM
Hi Summer,

I am fused from T-9 to L-5. I have learned to do things differently and can do most anything I want to do. I can't bend straight over and touch my toes with my knees straight...but I can squat or do a squat/bend combo and get anything off the floor faster than most people can bend over.

Kindest Regards,

04-01-2006, 05:31 PM
I'm T-3 to sacrum and right now at only 7 weeks post-op, I am still on a do nothing rule.
I do have physical therapy but it does not involve any bending or anything.
I'm sure in time, they will teach me how to get my own shoes on and tied...lol

It's not that bad at all. I have good days and bad days and sometimes the pain is so bad I want to rip my legs off but again, I'm still so small in post-op time that this is to be expected.

I can walk and get things I need just no bending.
I just have to learn how to do things differently and that is ok with me.
The pain of my scoliosis is gone. This pain is surgical.
I can deal with doing things differently if it means that eventually I'll be off of pain killers after 5 years on them.
I want to live a normal, not drug induced haze life again.
I'll figure out how to get my shoes on. Heck, I tied strings to office sized paper clips to get my own undies and pants on without bending, I'll learn how to do everything i did before and probably better!...lmao

Don't worry about stuff is what I'm saying. The good of the surgery outweighs the bad in my opinion.

Best of luck to ya!

04-01-2006, 08:21 PM
I am fused from T-11 to L-5 and also questioned Dr. Boachie prior to my surgery. As with others who previously responded to this topic, he said that fusion just to L-5 would preserve my flexibility. I still do fear having to go though another operation just to extend the fusion to the sacrum, but he said not everyone develops a problem in the future. If I do need to go back and be fused to the sacrum, perhaps by that time, there will be different more modern technology that's less invasive...who knows?

04-01-2006, 08:58 PM
Hi Summer...

I believe that the reason to choose a surgeon who has a LOT of experience and who has done a lot of research, is that they are good at selecting which levels are to be fused. If a surgeon doesn't fuse high enough, you can end up with junctional kyphosis. If they don't fuse low enough, you can end up putting the discs below your fusion at risk.

If you've chosen a doctor whom you trust, my advice is to trust that s/he's selecting the correct levels for fusion.


04-02-2006, 07:49 PM
thanks so much everyone!