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Thread: Possible Second Fusion

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Kansas City, MO
    Posts
    1

    Possible Second Fusion

    Hello,
    I am new to this group and seeking some support/advice. I had fusion at age 12 from T3-L2 and now have degenerative disks at L4-L5 and L5-S1 with the latter being the worse. I think i'm going to have to have another fusion to fix it. I'm only 24 and I want to have children soon. Does anyone have a low fusion and still had children? Also, does anyone know of any alternatives to fusion? I've already had 3 steriod injections, 2 facet blocks, 6 months of waiting to see if it will get better, 1 month of physical therapy and i am still in a lot of pain everyday. If anyone could provide insight I would appreciate it. Thank you.
    Rikki

    Fusion 10-1992 T3-L2

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,793
    Hi Rikki...

    Although I'm way past having children, I'm in a similar situation. The first disc below my fusion is shot, and my doctor is recommending that my fusion be extended one level. I've actually been able to avoid surgery for two years by doing daily ab strengthening exercises. Unfortunately, I injured something in my rib cage about 5 months ago, and had to stop doing the exercise. Very recently, I've noticed that the pain is getting much worse. (I'm assuming it's because my abs are now in bad shape again.)

    Something I've been interested in for awhile is artificial discs. They aren't approved for people with prior fusions, but they could be used "off label." However, I certainly don't want to be one of the first to try it. How about you? :-)

    Regards,
    Linda

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    San Diego, California
    Posts
    90
    I might not have the best answers for you because my spine is fusioned slightly less than yours is, however I am 24 and have had multiple spine sugeries. I am fused from T-12 to T-2, so far the lumbar area of my back has only compensated for the rest of my spine. However, sugery will be needed at some point as the vertabrae above my fusion is curving and currently at 25 degrees. When speaking to my doc's about pregnacy I was told that I shouldn't have a problem, that I just have to be extra careful not to over do things. Another doc told me that there was a strong likelihood that I would have to be on bed rest most of the pregancy. That in itself does not bother me, when I'm ready to have kids, but everyone is different. If you ever want to talk to someone your own age feel free to email me :-)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    2
    Hello! I'm 29 and had my surgery when I was 13. I had a daughter when I was 23 and everything went great. My doctor was very supportive and we both agreed that gaining a lot of weight was not a good idea, but other than that everything went well. I watched what I ate and only gained 25 pounds and 8 of that was baby! I wasn't able to have an epidural (bummer!) because the doctor could not get the needle in through my bars. I have 3 rods fused to my spine. My pregnancy was a joy and hopefully when you are ready to have children you can say the same. Good luck with your next surgery.

    Dida

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    10
    Hi Rikki,

    I am in a situation almost identical to yours. I am now 30 years old. I had my surgery in 1987. I have been suffering from back pain since last November. I have tried all sorts of meds and PT. The only thing I haven't done is the injections because I was told they would not work for me. I am scheduled to have my revision surgery on April 26th at Barnes in St. Louis. I will have the posterior surgery then and on May 3rd I am having the anterior fusion. I know exactly how you feel. I am terrified to have my surgeries, but I cannot imagine living my entire life in this pain. I too want to have children and have been told that I should be able to get pregnant 1 year after surgery. I know that things might not go as planned but after careful consideration and many discussions with my husband we have decided that this is the best chance I have to live a normal life.

    Where are you located? I found my surgeon through a family member and through this board I found out he is supposed to be an excellent revision specialist. I have been told to make sure you go to a revision specialist.

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