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Thread: Lower Fusion

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Hanover, MA
    Posts
    6

    Lower Fusion

    I was fused to T8 to L4 in 1970. No problems until 1994 when I started having tailbone pain and pins and needles down my right leg. I did have revision and the fusion was extended from T10 to S1. Personally, I have noticed a big difference in my flexibility. I can still tie my shoes, put on nylons, etc., but now I have to work a bit harder to get into the right position. When I was fused to L4 there seemed to be no problem at all - no thinking about how to get the foot in the right position to be able to reach. Even going up 2 more from T8 to T10 complicated the issues of these simple tasks. It's liveable, IF it HAS to be done. But as the others said, make sure it NEEDS to be done.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    17
    Hi Lee -

    What was causing your tailbone and leg pain? Did the extended fusion make the pain stop? Had you tried anything else for the pain before the extension, like exercise, physical therapy?

    Thanks!
    Judy

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Hanover, MA
    Posts
    6
    Hi Judy,
    I had a Harrington rod put in in 1970. The vertebrae below (L4 and L5) were compressing because they had carried the weight of my upper spine/body for 30 years. The nerves were getting compressed, also, thus, the pain. Yes, the pain I was having before the revision did stop - now I have new pain. Before the surgery, physical therapy helped for 3 - 4 years, I tried yoga, pilates, accupuncture, reiki, and through it all I kept my weight down and exercised to keep the rest of the muscles strong. I would say I put it off as long as I could with pretty good success. But in my case, it would have kept getting worse. So, as I said before, make sure surgery is really needed because messing with the back is serious stuff. I'm pretty miserable all over again and there is nothing that the medical doctors can do except give me drugs, which don't touch the pain, just make me feel spacey, so I deal with it!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    north Georgia
    Posts
    20
    Hi Lee, thank you for your posting. It was very validating for me. I've had an extended fusion for 20 years (T-5 to L-3) and the consequences of all the pressure being on those last 3 discs are similar to yours, it sounds. (Discs have collapsed, bone overlapping bone, etc) 2 1/2 years ago, the leg pain started and got really bad really fast. They tried every non-surgical trt. there is. And since I quit my job and lost weight, it has gotten better. However, they're wanting to extend my fusion when it gets unmanageable again. The research I've done matches your experience. Old pain better, New pain, new problems. So, as you've suggested, I'm gonna wait til it's absolutely necessary. I know it's inevitable, but I'll be grateful for the manageable days, with no additonal problems.
    Thank you again for your post. I'm very new at this sight and am finding it very helpful.
    Camille

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