Re: How bad is the pain Front & Back Fusion

On Feb 17, 1:03 pm, "ScottyBass" <ScottyB...@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
I am having front and back fusion on L5 S1 and L4-5 on March 12th. I
am freaked out about the amount of pain I am hearing about the first
two days post op........

Can anyone shed some light on just how bad it will be?


Aloha Scotty!

I've been in chronic pain for almost 10 years. It will be 10 next
month anyway. I've had a herniated disc at L5-S1 and another badly
bulging dic at L4. My FIRST surgery, after I tried physical therapy
(basically traction and some "infrared-type" of massage which felt
good enough for me to stick with for about 3-4 months), was the LEAST
invasive I could find called a Discectomy. That's where the surgeon
goes into your spine while you are under general anesthesia and
"scoops out" all the "goop" from the herniated disc(s). The thinking
on that is the surgeon, after reviewing your films has determined that
it's what's leaked out of your discs that is putting the pressure on
your nerves and by removing that, you should feel like a "June Bride"
in no time! - LOL!

Granted, THAT first surgery hardly hurt at all and I DID have a LOT of
relief from the pain for about 2 1/2 months. Then it came back with a
vengeance! It hurt so bad I actually didn't even WANT to see the SAME
surgeon who I felt only "butchered me that first time.

NOW, for the fusion...

I've had a lot of people tell me that if you go to see a surgeon,
he'll suggest surgery as a way to fix whatever is wrong with you. If
you go to a carpenter, he'll suggest using a hammer and nails, a
plumber? The get the idea. I, however, was a mess after
that first surgery and was in more pain then then I was pre-surgery!
My next choice of surgeons I investigated thoroughly and even talked
with some of his peers and all seemed good to see him. He's a fine
surgeon as he isn't afraid to medicate you when you really need it for
pain or whatever and his besdside manner was one of the best I've ever
felt I'd had.

A year had gone by since my "discectomy" and being only 43 years old
at that time everyone in the medical department said I was a good
candidate for this fusion. I OK'd it and I went through it all without
a hitch. This one was an ANTERIOR type and I asked my doctor where
they put my innards while working on my spine! He semi-jokingly said
they just push some aside and some get put into a sterilized tray and
all gets "dumped" back in when their finished! I'll admit, the mental
picture that conjured up was the MOST scary for me, not the fusion!

to be totally honest with you, I have to be the "devils advocate" here
and say that upon waking, I was VERY happy to not be as much pain as I
feared.I was a happy camper and even "joked" with the surgeon
immediately upon waking! He kept my pain properly controlled and
really, the ONLY complaints I have is I have to FLY to Oahu in order
to get ANY and ALL of these spine surgeries because my tiny island of
Kauai diesn't have the technmology in their hospitals and that my
medical insurance refuses to cover transportation to the other island
for medical purposed! GGGGggrrrrr...

That fusion lasted about one and a half years before something else
came up, but for now, I'll stick with the fusion since that's your
next move apparently:

I really was no sore the next day than I was the 3rd day after! I
don't know if it was the skill of the surgeon or just propley pushing
that "Jeopardy button" presicely ever 10 minutes to get a "boost of
pain meds. I had to use a cane for about a month also.

If and when you need another type of surgery after this one, please
look me up and ask me about it because if you have the "Rods and
Screws" put in, I want you to know some very important details going
into this surgery, OK Scott? OK!

I wish you luck and I hope you did what OG suggested before deciding
to have this done. Even though I've had 3 failed surgeries and would
make an excellent "poster boy" for them, I've always preached the same
as he should be a LAST RESORT.

Let us know how it comes out PLEASE!

Aloha Just For Now,
Hawaiian Wayne/Happy hChunk