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Thread: spinal fusion and pregnancy

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    spinal fusion and pregnancy

    I had fusion surgery in Nov. 2006 T3 to L2. I have done very well since. I am now 10 weeks pregnant amd I am wondering how the fusion could effect the pregnancy. I mean I know there are no real answers...but for those who had fusion surgery and then later had did it effect you during your pregnancy and delivery. Thanks.

    Not sure this is posted in the right place.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Northern California

    Your fusion shouldn't have any effect on your pregnancy (or vise versa). You may have back pain, but that isn't really anything unusual. Depending on where you're fused, you may not be able to have an epidural. You should discuss this with your OB. Some anesthesiologists won't even try epidurals on anyone who has a spinal fusion, and others can get an epidural in almost anyone.


    P.S. In addition to any responses you get here, you might want to do a search on PREGNANCY and/or PREGNANT. There have been several other discussions on the topic.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    My pregnancy and delivery (C SECTION) was a breeze. That was with 14 levels fused. I kept my weight down, gaining only 22 lbs and continued exercising until about a month out. I didn't quit doing that because of my back. I was just plain tired.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    New Jersey
    Hi. First of alll, congratulations on your pregnancy!

    I can definitely answer this one! I had a baby exactly two years after my surgery.

    I had no trouble with the pregnancy itself. Occasionally backaches, but nothing that was out of the ordinary. I did not carry to full term. My water broke at 34 weeks for an unknown reason. I was spared the last month of pregnancy.

    I don't have a very long fusion (T-11-L5), but the fusion did prevent me from getting an epidural. I met with an anesthesiologist during my pregnancy just to hear options. There were some, like a caudal block and a spinal. The thing was there was a higher risk of a spinal headache, as well as scattered pain relief, so I decided against even trying it. I didn't like the idea of a needle going into that area. There's already enough there. I went "a la natural." (well, with one IV pain med and was numbed for a episotomy). It was all fine and my hardware was undisturbed.

    I did worry about a c-section, b/c I would have had to be put under general anesthesia, which I really did not want.

    Honestly I think my surgeon thought I was crazy b/c I kept asking him about the hardware and had visions of screws popping out as I gave birth. He kept reassuring me it would be fine. Sure enough, I went for my first x-ray after giving birth and everything was fine.

    Good luck with the rest of pregnancy...enjoy it!
    Surgery date: April 20, 2004
    Anterior/posterior surgery
    Fused T-11 to L-5
    Pre op lumbar curve: 70 degrees, thoracic curve: 42 degrees
    Post op lumbar curve: 19 degrees, thoracic curve: 18
    Surgeon: Dr. Boachie-Adjei
    Had successful pregnancy and birth 2 years post-op

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2010

    Exclamation I dont want an epidural

    Hi, Im 12 weeks pregnant and I had the spinal fusion 10 years ago. I guess its part of me already, so Im not scared of damaging any "hardware", Im just scared of en epidural or anything going on my back. I dont know what giving birth is like, but Im willing to go "super natural" I guess. Is there anything else that I should know about this?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    I had my two children without any dramas at all. I have a long fusion and my doctor said that it actually helped me with the last little push of getting my sons into the word safely. Strength helped me, and my back is strong that is for sure. Can't help with the epidurals with child birth, as both mine were natural with hardly any pain medicine.

    I was very lucky I think, but had a positive attitude right through and did not think at any stage that my back would interfere with things.

    Best of luck to you and of course Congratulations.

    Operated on in 1966, harrington rods inserted from T4 to L3, here in Australia. Fusion of the said vertebrae as well. Problems for the last 14 years with pain.
    Something I feel deeply,"Life is like money,you can spend it anyway you wish, but can only spend it once.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Fiddlestix, Congratulations on your pregnancy! I had my surgery in July 2002, I'm fused from T11 to L3. I have 2 kids, a 4 year old and a 6 month old.

    With my first pregnancy I was horrified. I had nightmares of my rod letting go and poking out of my back. My pregnancy went very well, no complications. I had some back pain but it was minor in comparison to the back pain i had experienced prior to surgery. I was horrified to go natural and felt i needed pain meds. I met with the anesthesiologist during my pregnancy. I had to bring in my xrays. Then when I was in labor I had to make sure I had my xrays with my. The anethesiologist was able to perform the epidural but he had to put it lower then a typical person. It helped with the pain, but I did have a "window" on my right side where it didn't work. My mother asked me when i was in labor what was more painful childbirth or my surgery. I said then that the surgery was way worse, and still think that way.

    By the time I was ready to have my second child I had decided that I wanted to go natural. I thought that I could do it. I began researching methods to tolerate the pain. I tried the Lamaze with my son and it didn't help at all! I stumbled across hypnobirthing. Basically there premise is that if you keep your body relaxed and free from tension you will not feel pain. I took a course to learn and practice all the techniques. Everyone thought I was insane! They all thought I would fail and as soon as the contractions would start I would scream for the epidural. I tell every pregnant woman I meet about hypnobirthing because I gave birth to a 10lb 2oz beautiful baby girl with zero pain medication and I felt no pain! I did feel a lot of pressure. The only moment I felt pain was when her shoulders came out, and that was for about 2 seconds. (long enough to say ahhh and it was over)

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