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spinal fusion

Hi ladies.  I have been having back pain for about 10 years now, pretty much all day, every day.  In traveling on Tuesday, it looks like I caused something to really flare up. I went to a back doctor yesterday who indicated that I am at the point where the only thing left to try is a spinal fusion at L3-4 or L4-5 after a discogram to see which one is causing the pain. 

I have tried lumbar injections, a discectomy and chiropractics in the past.

Obviously I am getting a second and maybe third opinion, but has anyone had a fusion or alternative?  What are your results like?  What was your recovery like?  Looking for personal experience, although I know everyone is different. . .  it's good to have a knowledge base going in!

If it matters, I have herniated discs that are torn and extruded as well as degenerative disc disease and spinal stenosis.

Re: spinal fusion

  • I don't have any personal experience, but wanted to send my well wishes!  I'm sorry you're going through that.  I hope if you opt for the surgery it will make your life a lot more comfortable and pain-free!
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  • I've worked with several patients that were so happy with the results that they wished they had done the procedure sooner. There are a lot of risks though so I definitely agree with getting a few opinions.
  • H did it several years ago. his didn't fuse 100%, more like about 70%, but even so, he is so much better. He can run, and can manage his pain without narcotics. He would probably be even better if he worked on strengthening the back muscles like his doctor told him, but he doesn't. 
  • I've also cared for patients who have had fusions and most of them are very happy with the results. Definitely agree with second or third opinions, since it's nothing to take lightly. Sending well wishes your way!!
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