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Thread: First time for L4 to Sacrum

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    151

    First time for L4 to Sacrum

    Hello Scoli Friends ~

    I decided to go to this page since I am not revising my surgery from ten years ago . . . just extending it to lower levels - from L4 to sacrum.

    I had several great years after my first surgery, T4 - L4, and then experienced increased pain below the fusions.

    I am looking to those who have been fused through the sacrum. I don't know what to expect, especially in regards to mobility and balance. Currently, my balance is good, but I can't walk beyond a block and cannot stand beyond 5 minutes due to the pain at the base of the spine. So, I already have some issues which surgery may improve.

    I would greatly appreciate any personal experience or information you've gathered from others who have gone 'all the way' to the sacrum. I'm okay to hear the hard stuff as well as the good stuff. Balance? Mobility? Neck pain?

    BTW, I'm considering Dr. Michael Daubs since Dr. Boachie has retired and Linda, the dedicated forum monitor, gave him a thumbs up. Any other recommendations from those who have used him would give me an increased sense of security.

    Appreciate all of you!
    Ginger
    Ginger Woolley

    Oct 2018, L3 - S1, Anterior & Posterior, Dr Sigurd Berven, UCSF, San Francisco
    ******
    May 2008, T4 - L3, Dr. Ohenaba Boachie, Hospital for Special Surgery, NYC
    ******
    Sept 1967, T4 - T 11, without instrumentation, Dr Thomas Brown, Stanford

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Sioux City, Iowa
    Posts
    99
    Quote Originally Posted by Ginger W. View Post
    Hello Scoli Friends ~

    I decided to go to this page since I am not revising my surgery from ten years ago . . . just extending it to lower levels - from L4 to sacrum.

    I had several great years after my first surgery, T4 - L4, and then experienced increased pain below the fusions.

    I am looking to those who have been fused through the sacrum. I don't know what to expect, especially in regards to mobility and balance. Currently, my balance is good, but I can't walk beyond a block and cannot stand beyond 5 minutes due to the pain at the base of the spine. So, I already have some issues which surgery may improve.

    I would greatly appreciate any personal experience or information you've gathered from others who have gone 'all the way' to the sacrum. I'm okay to hear the hard stuff as well as the good stuff. Balance? Mobility? Neck pain?

    BTW, I'm considering Dr. Michael Daubs since Dr. Boachie has retired and Linda, the dedicated forum monitor, gave him a thumbs up. Any other recommendations from those who have used him would give me an increased sense of security.

    Appreciate all of you!
    Ginger
    Hi, Ginger

    2-years ago I was fused T11-Sacrum. At the time I was 55 years old. I have done well - being fused to the sacrum is an adjustment, but for me it seems to be OK. Having said that, I don't like the fact that I can't bend over - I have to squat to get something from the floor or I get down on my knees to pick up something or if I have to wipe up a spill. Another thing that I am very self conscious of is that if I greet a small child or pet a dog, I know I look "funny" the way I have to bend my knees and lean over to get low enough. I have pretty strong legs and that has helped me to compensate for the things my back can no longer do.

    I don't seem to have a problem with balance. I do a lot of walking and I ride a bike outside so I think my balance is OK.

    But, I was like you - I couldn't walk a block or stand more than a couple minutes without have terrible pain from my low back to my foot before my surgery. So, I am very happy to be (mostly) pain free right now and am more than willing to live with the "life adjustments" that I've had to make. I hope I never go back to my pre-surgery pain.

    I wish you much luck in your upcoming surgery. Stay strong!!

    Kathy
    Decompression surgery L4/L5
    April 3, 2015
    Twin Cities Spine Center - Dr. Joseph Perra
    Fused from T11 - Sacrum anterior/posterior
    June 24, 2016 - 55 years old at surgery
    Twin Cities Spine Center - Dr. Joseph Perra
    Before Surgery: 42 degrees lumbar, 28 degrees thoracic
    After Surgery: 10 degrees lumbar, ?? Thoracic
    2 inches taller

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    8
    I am fused T4 to sacrum and my experience has been better than I expected. I have some balance issues, but nothing that I cannot manage. I can bend over to some extent and my range is still improving. I have the same neck pain that I have always had, so no change better or worse. My ability to twist is limited, but this is only an issue when driving.
    I am very happy with Dr. Schwab at HSS.
    Marlene

    T4 to Sacrum; 70 degree lumbar corrected to less than 20 degrees.
    5/7/2016; Dr. Schwab, Hospital for Special Surgery.
    61 at the time.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    151
    I really appreciate your perspectives on extending my fusions. Being realistic about some limitations is important and I feel like both of you provided me with a balanced view of your outcomes. THANK YOU!
    Ginger Woolley

    Oct 2018, L3 - S1, Anterior & Posterior, Dr Sigurd Berven, UCSF, San Francisco
    ******
    May 2008, T4 - L3, Dr. Ohenaba Boachie, Hospital for Special Surgery, NYC
    ******
    Sept 1967, T4 - T 11, without instrumentation, Dr Thomas Brown, Stanford

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