View Full Version : anyone here fused in all 5 lumbar vertabraes?

01-10-2005, 03:11 PM
I'd really like to find out some info from some one here who has been fused at all 5 lumbar vertabraes. I'd like to email little back and forth and get your opinions on a few things since so far that is my only option given to me other than grinning and bearing the pain.

I'd be very interested in your opinion of how much movement you lost after getting fused?

How limited you are physically?

If you are now disabled and cannot work due to being fused?

Do you have to take it very easy now?

Did the fusing solve the problem or the pain?

Do you find yourself with other pain or chronic pain caused from the fusion surgery which was not there before having fusion surgery?

Are you glad you had the fusion surgery or regret it?

Would you recommend some one else gertting it or not until every other possible option has failed?

If you have been fused in the lumbar region of your spine,I'd very much like to know your thoughts on the questions above.
Can email me at

Thank you

01-11-2005, 10:19 PM
I'm fused from T2 to the sacrum. I'm only 9 months post-op so I haven't done to much yet. I went back to work at 5 months with weight resistrictions on lifting. It is a little difficult to drive at first. You can't turn from the waist to look over your shoulder when you back up so you have to figure out a different way to do that. I am getting more comfortable when I sit on the floor, you do get up differently than before the surgery. I have to get onto my knees and then get up. In the next couple of weeks I'm going to give working out in the yard a try. That should be interesting. The pain that I had before the surgery is gone. What I get now (and it's getting better) is muscle tightness in the small of the back.

01-11-2005, 10:31 PM
Can you turn from the waist at all or just temporarily while you are still healing?

Did you have surgery from both anterior and posterior or one or the other?

01-11-2005, 10:35 PM
Originally posted by scoliosisguy
Can you turn from the waist at all or just temporarily while you are still healing?

Did you have surgery from both anterior and posterior or one or the other?

Cannot turn at the waist at all. You can turn at the hips.

I had anterior and posterior surgery done with a plate attached to my sacrum through an incision in the belly area.

Denise Preuss
01-12-2005, 07:11 AM

I was fused from T4 to my sacrum...so that includeds my lumbar region.

Before surgery, most of my pain was in the lumbar area because of degenerative disc disease as well as the twisted, rotated spine.

I am 6 months out. I am not disabled...I am a housewife and mom to a 6 yr. old boy. I am an RN by prefession and if I chose to return to work, it would have to be "light" nursing, if there was such a thing.

I just began working out with the same trainer that got me into shape pre-op. And, yes, I am becoming more and more flexible but I'll never be as flexible as I was pre-op.

As Theresa said, there is movement at the hips but not the waist.

I an back to my usual routine but fatigue early...it may be the medicine that I am on.

After surgery, my joints and muscles all "redistributed" and changed balance points and pressure points so there is discomfort due to that.

As I just posted on another thread...there is the sensation of the hardware in my back but not really pain.

Would I do it again....absolutely! I was loosing height(I gained 4 inches) and shrinking rapidly as well as getting short of breath and gastric reflux. If I had continued aging like that, I would have been one tortuous and uncomfortable woman in my later years.

The surgery and recovery were horrible but, in my case, I am glad it has been done.


01-12-2005, 11:07 AM
So how long after surgery until you can walk and get around and not bed ridden?

How long did surgery last?

What is the brace like ,is it a custom fit to you personally out of hard plastic?

Any idea if you will eventually be able to do any of the following:
ride bike,paddle canoe,run,lift or move furniture
or will you need to avoid these types of things indefinately?

If you were to bend more than you should,is there danger of breaking fused area ,causing damage to spinal cord?

If you walk or run or anything that puts more of a jolt of weight on your spine,does it hurt more so now without the discs absorbing the shock or weight

Any idea if the discs above fused area now have to absorb more pressure because there is less give with fused area under neath?

I don't at all wish to sound negative or like a downer toa nyone in here,but I am possibly facing this type of surgery at some point and want to know what I'm in for from people who actually know. i do appreciate your honest replies I've been getting.

01-12-2005, 09:14 PM
My surgery was in two days, four days apart. The first day was 14 to 15 hours and the second day was 7 to 8 hours. I had 6 disc removed, a rib removed, my lung deflated, bone taken from the hip (as well as using the removed rib) and the plate attached to the sacrum. Like Denise, I also have arthritic degenerative disc disease in the lumbar discs. L2 & L3 were pretty messed up and somewhat deformed. My health and well-being has greatly improved with the surgery. It's a very long, slow recovery process but 1 to 2 years of recovery will add much healthier years to my life.

I didn't have a brace after surgery. I was walking a few days after the surgery. I ended up with ilus (when the intestines won't start working again) so I was in the hospital for 2 weeks.

I first week home I was in the bed alot, due to all the medicine in my system. The second week home, I was staying up in the living room most of the day.

I can ride a bike, I will be able to paddle a canoe (when my muscles get stronger, I had alot of muscle atrophy), I can lift up to 20 pounds now, and I helped my husband move the bedroom furniture around this past weekend. (I mainly pushed while he pulled and lifted, I might of been more of a hinderance, but I wanted to help).

At my physical therapy evaluation last week, the therapist had me try to touch my toes. I can reach almost to my ankles. (the doctor said that I was very flexible still in the hip area)

From what I understand, the fused area is actually going to be stronger than the areas not fused.

I don't know about your last question, I'm fused pretty high, T2.

I need to take a few breaks throughout the day due to all the muscles still trying to get stronger.

I would do the surgery again! My lungs were already becoming involved, I'm afraid that my heart might have been next. My sternum was already pushing off center of my body. Also on the MRI, one of my kidneys had started to flatten out due to being pressed against my bone.

01-28-2005, 09:13 PM
In May it will be three years since my surgery, so I can give you a "future view".

I am fused T4-S1, that includes my entire lumbar region. No, I can't bend from the waist. The trick is to bend from the legs, knees and hips. My 'bendability' is more limited because I'm fused through most of my spine. If just the lumbar region were involved, I'd be more "movable".

The intense lumbar pain that I had before surgery is gone. Ocassioanlly I get minor pain in the lumbar area, but nothing like what I had before.

I can turn from side to side slightly when just using my body. When I turn from the hips, I get a wider turn.

I was able to walk after surgery within about a week or two. My surgery took two days. A/P. They did the front first and the back on the second day. The second surgery was three days after the first.

I got an awful staph infection and had a very bad reaction to the morphine they gave me. So my memory is fuzzy for the first few weeks after surgery. I spent seven weeks in the hospital, which included one and a half weeks in rehab. Rehab is very important and if your insurance company doesn't want to pay, argue with them and take it to a higher power in your hospital and your state. If you buck them, they usually pay.

I was on disability BEFORE I had the surgery -- officially for my breathing disorder. Medicare and my insurance company paid for my surgery, otherwise I wouldn't have been able to afford it. My disability came up for renewal just before my surgery and by the time I had to go to their office, I was a month out of the hospital, still in my back brace, and they renewed my disablilty.

It has taken me a very long time to begin to feel better and get my body strong enough to want to do things. That staph infection really did a nasty number on me. I am just now becoming more active and interested in things again.

I wish you lots of luck and good health.

01-28-2005, 11:10 PM
No one bends at the waist. :-)

02-10-2005, 09:57 PM
Great point LindaRacine!