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Thread: Has anyone had fusion L 4-5 S1?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    88

    Angry Has anyone had fusion L 4-5 S1?

    Hello,

    I am a 23 year old female who has gone through 4 surgeries since I was 14 for scoliois. My last surgery was 8/11/05 for fusion of T10-11 due to a crack in my fusion. I have been experiencing extreme pain since my 2nd surgery. It has taken 5 years for anyone to figure out what has been wrong with me. I am very frusterated that all these surgeries has not done anything for me. I am now facing another surgery for fusion of L 4-5 S1. I want to know if anyone has had a fusion this far down? And to get as much info on the outcome and if it relieved their pain? I have had my past 2 surgeries by Dr. Pashman at Cedars Sinai hospital in los angeles. I do trust him and he is a excellent dr but i am nervous about this surgery. If anyone has had this surgery can you please let me know how you are doing now. Will this decrease my mobility alot. I am fused from T1-L3. Dr.Pashman states that he feels that all the pressure from all the other vertabrea are putting strain on L4-5 S1 and that in turn is causing my extreme pain. If anyone can help please let me know.


    Sarah

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    1,291

    Pain

    Sarah:
    here is a link which explains the reason for your troubles:

    http://www.hss.edu/Professionals/Con...dult-Scoliosis

    Karen
    Original scoliosis surgery 1956 T-4 to L-2 ~100 degree thoracic (triple)curves at age 14. NO hardware-lost correction.
    Anterior/posterior revision T-4 to Sacrum in 2002, age 60, by Dr. Boachie-Adjei @Hospital for Special Surgery, NY = 50% correction

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    10
    Hi Karen,

    I see that you had revision surgery. I had my back in April 2005. I am fused down to the sacrum. How long did it take until you really felt better? Do you still have pain? I know my surgery was only 6 months ago but I still have some pain. I need to be more patient, but it isn't always easy.

    Thanks,
    Sydney

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    1,291

    6 months

    Sydney;
    You are rght on schedule. The recovery takes SOOO long that it feels as if it will last forever. At my age I really started to feel more normal at 1 1/2 years although I went back to work, on a very light schedule, after 6 months. I found my back got tired and I needed to lay down.

    I suggest keeping as active as possible allowing for enough rest during the day. There is no shortcut for this; the body needs time to get used to being "un-coiled". I actually felt "crooked", despite my great correction, for a long time.

    I have no pain now but I do Pilates(modified) and walk up and down hills.

    Karen
    Original scoliosis surgery 1956 T-4 to L-2 ~100 degree thoracic (triple)curves at age 14. NO hardware-lost correction.
    Anterior/posterior revision T-4 to Sacrum in 2002, age 60, by Dr. Boachie-Adjei @Hospital for Special Surgery, NY = 50% correction

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    10
    Thanks for the quick response.

    I had my posterior surgery on 4-26-05 and anterior on 5-3-05. My Dr. is Keith Bridwell. I have nothing but complete confidence in him as I have heard by many on here that he is one of the top revision specialists.

    I am 30 years old. I actually returned to work on July 11th for 4 hours a day at first. On August 1st I went back full time. That really is only 3 months after surgery. I do a sit down job but I am not sure that sitting is the best. Sometimes I have tingling and some little stabbing pains. I try to get up as much as possible, but of course sometimes that is not as often as I should. I feel I am doing really well considering it has only been 6 months. Actually I am a little short of 6 months. But when I have a really busy weekend or week then I get more pain. I know it will take a while, but sometimes it feels like it has been forever. I usually lay down when I get home from work and I feel better. I notice I feel pretty good in the morning after laying all night.

    I think I am finally at the point where the pain is better now than before surgery which is excellent. I guess I just question if things will be better 1 year from surgery than 6 months. Everyone says yes, but I feel like I am watching paint dry sometimes. It just takes forever. Thanks again for the response.

    Sydney

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    19

    Dr. Bridwell

    Hi Sydney,

    I have my pre-surgery appt. with Dr. B first thing in the morning and am up late brainstorming questions. This will be my 4th and 5th surgery and this morning as I was trying to finish up at work before we flew out, I had a bit of a panic come over me. I know I am doing the right thing and that I have an excellent doctor, but this is a big deal. I appreciate you reminding me that it's going to take time for me to recover. I'd like to think I'll be back to 100% (measured by 3 years ago) in just a few months, but that's unrealistic.

    What, if anything, did you do to prepare for surgery? Mine is scheduled for December 13 and 20 and I want to do as much as possible to be in the best shape physically, mentally, spiritually over the next two months.

    Also, what do you wish you had done that you didn't to prepare?

    Thanks for sharing your experience! BTW, I am 34...

    kam

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Bloomington, IL
    Posts
    43
    Kam and Sydney,

    I also have an appointment with Dr. Bridwell....November 4! Not for revision but to confirm the possibility of a first surgery. I guess I try to act like it is not going to happen. Can you tell me anything about the visit...him, the staff, the atmosphere. I am really tired after a lifetime of this, being shuffled around by not-so-happy individuals.

    Sue
    48 year old Female
    3 curves...35, 56, 43
    Proud wearer of Milwaukee Brace in the 70's...and hated every minute of it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    10
    D Ann - I hope all went well with your appointment.

    As far as preparing for surgery I am not sure if there is anything that you can do to be prepared. I had my finances in order and made sure my husband understood everthing. I thought I was prepared, but I will have to admit now I wasn't. THe best thing is just to be prepared to accept the unexpected. I turned everything over to God. I trusted my friends and family to take care of my husband and the dog. (no children yet but she is like one) I enjoyed time with my family and friends prior to surgery because I knew it would be a while before I was able to again. I made sure to spend time with everyone important to me and I am glad I did because it was a while.

    Also be prepared for pain. I wish I would have been a little more prepared for the pain especially when I got home. I ended up having to get a hospital bed when I returned home. I spent many nights barely sleeping so laying in a bed that I was able to move up and down was wonderful. People say it is not needed, but for me it was.

    Barnes Hospital was okay. The nurse techs were wonderful. 4 months later my husband ran into one of them at another hospital and he remember us. They really were great. Some of the nurses were too. If it is possible you might want to have someone there with you all the time. I had family taking shifts for me and either my husband or mom stayed every night. I got the private room and boy was it worth the extra $55 dollars a day. I ended up coming home for 3 days and then I had to go back due to pneumonia. I got the private room then too. I was in for a total of 3 weeks and 1 day. The private room was well worth it.

    I honestly think nothing can prepare you for it though. It really is a huge surgery. I don't regret my decision at all now, but I would be lying if I said I didn't regret it 4 or 5 months ago. Just remember to have patience. If you are spiritual or religious keep it up. This isn't something that will get better in a month or two. Like I said almost 6 months out and I still have a little pain. I can honestly say I am better now than before surgery. It took about 5 months though to say that. Oh and remember to follow doctor's orders. I did not feel like doing PT one day and Dr. Bridwell sure called me on it. And take it easy even when you start to feel a little better. I have overdone it a couple of times and regretted it. Do you have children?

    Sue - Dr. Bridwell's staff is wonderful. I have dealt with Bernie and Sarah. The staff really is nice. They are there to answer your questions, so don't be afraid. Dr. Bridwell is really a genious. He is such a gifted surgeon. He also has fellows that see you too. The first time I went my husband and I were amazed at the experience.

    What time is your appointment? Just be prepared to wait a while especially if it is after 10am. Get there for xrays early if you have to get them. Sometimes that can take a while too. WHen you see how busy Dr. BRidwell is you will know he must be a wonderful surgeon. People come from all over to see him. I live in St. Louis and a distant cousin who is paralyzed just happened to be talking to my grandma and told her he had a surgeon I should see. I made an appointment not even knowing how good he was or that he was a revision specialist. Wow was I lucky. That is my divine intervention there.

    Dr. Bridwell can sometimes be in a hurry but he is so busy I can see why. I once heard the receptionist saying Dr. Bridwell had the same number of patients in 3 hours that another doctor had there all day. You will have to decide if you trust him and if he is the right surgeon for you. I saw another one prior to him and didn't get warm fuzzy feelings. When I met Dr. Bridwell I knew he was the one. He was straight to the point. For me the surgery was not optional. I just put my faith in God and Dr. Bridwell. It all fell into place then. Keep us updated.

    Any other questions, let me know. Hope I didn't scare anyone

    Sydney
    Last edited by Sydney; 10-21-2005 at 06:46 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    19

    Dr. Bridwell

    Sydney,

    Thank you so much for your post. It is good to be reminded to spend time with family and friends. Today, we went up to the seventh floor at the hospital and spoke with a couple of the staff. They were really nice and very honest about what I'm in store for. They said that the anterior surgery is much rougher on the patient and to be prepared for that. But, they also said that I'd start to feel a little better after 3 or 4 days and to hang in there. They have recently remodeled the floor and it is really lovely. I am hoping I get a Forest Park side view, but I guess there is no way to guarantee that.

    We rented an apartment on Pine from December 11 to January 11 so that if I need a bit longer to recover before I travel, I'll have a place to stay.

    I do trust that God is taking care of every detail - He lead us straight to the perfect apartment and the leasing agent grew up in the town I'm from. I also ran into a friend from church in the St. Louis airport - they live here now. Little wonderful things keep happening and it is giving me much peace.

    If you think of any other important details, please let me know. It sounds like there are a lot of people looking in to Dr. B right now. One of my friends from home has her surgery scheduled for the end of March. I hope my four month visit will fall during that time so I can come see her.

    Thanks again, Sydney!

    kam

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    3

    Another measures

    Back pain is a terrible situation may be after having so many surgeries you should try perhaps another measures like TENS, acupunture. You can have information at http://www.painreliefadvisor.com

    Quote Originally Posted by slprncess
    Hello,

    I am a 23 year old female who has gone through 4 surgeries since I was 14 for scoliois. My last surgery was 8/11/05 for fusion of T10-11 due to a crack in my fusion. I have been experiencing extreme pain since my 2nd surgery. It has taken 5 years for anyone to figure out what has been wrong with me. I am very frusterated that all these surgeries has not done anything for me. I am now facing another surgery for fusion of L 4-5 S1. I want to know if anyone has had a fusion this far down? And to get as much info on the outcome and if it relieved their pain? I have had my past 2 surgeries by Dr. Pashman at Cedars Sinai hospital in los angeles. I do trust him and he is a excellent dr but i am nervous about this surgery. If anyone has had this surgery can you please let me know how you are doing now. Will this decrease my mobility alot. I am fused from T1-L3. Dr.Pashman states that he feels that all the pressure from all the other vertabrea are putting strain on L4-5 S1 and that in turn is causing my extreme pain. If anyone can help please let me know.


    Sarah

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Bloomington, IL
    Posts
    43

    Sydney

    Thank you for the post. My appointment with Dr. B is at 7:30 am so we're heading up the night before. From what I have read about him I do get a good feeling...hope it goes well. Thanks again - Sue
    48 year old Female
    3 curves...35, 56, 43
    Proud wearer of Milwaukee Brace in the 70's...and hated every minute of it.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    19

    to Sue

    Sue,

    I think this has already been posted, but keep in mind that Dr. Bridwell is an incredibly focused man. You can see him thinking through every detail as he reviews your films. Bernie, his nurse, will answer a lot of your questions. She's super!

    Good luck with your appointment!

    kam

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Bloomington, IL
    Posts
    43

    To Kam

    Thanks for the post. Hopefully I am prepared for a new doctor. I've had years and years with the same guy, so it's always difficult to change. One more week....

    Sue
    48 year old Female
    3 curves...35, 56, 43
    Proud wearer of Milwaukee Brace in the 70's...and hated every minute of it.

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