View Full Version : preparing for back surgery-patient advice....

01-30-2007, 04:12 AM
info from spine patients--preparing for back surgery.. in Spinehealth

just some more input on preparing for surgery....nothing too new but general info....Ly

ps.. Surgery saved My Life--spine surgery--on Discovery network, will air again on Feb. 4th @5pm, for those who still have'nt caught it...

pss. American Idol on tonight from Birmingham....try-outs....

01-30-2007, 09:58 AM
Thanks, Lynne.

I especially read with interest the case of the 50-yr-old who had her fusion extended to the sacrum three years after her original surgery. The words of the last surgeon I met with are still fresh in my mind, "I've been doing this too many years to know what happens when you stop a fusion at L5." And that is precisely why I believe most surgeons will recommend the most extensive fusions for us older folks. They don't want to see us coming back for additional surgeries in our 60s and 70s.

Bottom line is it is best to have this disease treated when you are young.


01-30-2007, 10:21 AM
I'm a L-5......!!!

01-30-2007, 10:31 AM
I asked Boachie about the pros and cons of fusing to L5 during my last consultation with him, and he said whenever it's possible, he likes to leave the sacrum alone, because there's always the possibility a person can get "20 good years out of it." On the other hand, he admits it could last less than that.

On the other hand (again!), shorter fusions (like Lynne's) to L5 stand a better chance of holding up over time.

BUT ... you can bet I'm going to have another conversation with him about this before my surgery.

01-30-2007, 02:50 PM
I'm to L5, with an artificial disc at L4. I was advised not to have S1 done yet, as it restricts movement even more, and will add wear to the SI joints. I find though most of my movement comes from the hips anyways at this point. I was told that I may need surgery in 20 years though (I'm 31), either for the L5 or above the fusion.

01-30-2007, 03:45 PM
Hi Cena...

I'm curious.... who did your artifical disc? And, do you know who the mfr is?


01-30-2007, 04:47 PM
Hi Cena...

It sounds like you probably have a cage instead of an artificial disc.

Here's an example of an artificial disc:

Artificial discs have not been approved (at least here in the U.S.) for use below a fusion.

And, here are some cages:

An artificial disc is meant to replace fusion. A cage is essentially just a spacer to keep distance between two vertebrae.

Hope that's not too confusing.


01-30-2007, 04:55 PM
Hi Linda,
Thanks for the info., I'll see if I can upload an image of the x-ray. In my x-ray the implant looks solid, and you can see the metal cage around it. It makes sense that it's "job" would be to maintain space since I had stenosis. It was a decision made after they went in, so I was a little groggy to understand the full explanation anyways - sorry! I wouldn't want to have anything that isn't approved below a fusion, especially a long one! All I know is that so far it works, and that the reduction in pain from prior to surgery (I had flatback) is incredible. The procedure also gave me some lordosis, and I'm finally upright. I thought I should hurt more after surgery, but I truly don't. Thanks for all of your knowledge!

p.s. - oops! I went to add more to my previous post, but I deleted it when I was typing - I'm not used to this track pad yet! Sorry!