fusion of L3 L4 L5

Posted by peggyn @peggyn, Tue, Nov 19 3:37pm

Has anyone had this done and would you do it again?My back doesn't hurt as much as the burning all over. I have sever spondolthesis and I believe this is my only option. My feet are not numb, but burning . I just don't know which way to turn as I've been told I need a hip replacement also. That would be minor compared to the back. Which one first ????

@peggyn I don't have lumbar spine issues, but I did have spinal cord compression in my neck and some retrolisthesis and my concern was preventing spinal cord damage as I had compression because of bone spurs and no space left around my spinal cord. Have you been evaluated at a multidisciplinary medical center? I think you should discuss with all of your specialists what their recommendations are and what would be done first. That is a tough choice to make. I would also encourage you to get several opinions, and if you can get an opinion at Mayo, I would recommend it. I had my spine surgery there in Rochester, and had great results. The lower end of the spine bears most of your body weight and movements like twisting and bending put pressure on the spine and on any instrumentation that a surgeon places there, so you want the very best surgeon you can find. The way a surgeon places the screws that holds all of that together is critical and must be at the correct angles and placed into good quality bone. There have been cases of screws pulling out and patients requiring further corrective surgery. I've watched online videos of surgeons giving presentations about this at conferences.

Damage to the spinal cord can be permanent and cause paralysis, so that is why you should have this discussion with a specialist, and ask what your prognosis may be if spine surgery is done now or later. There are a lot of considerations about the rest of your health that can also affect the outcome of surgery. That is a choice only you can make, and should be an informed decision based on your specialist's recommendations. Here is a case with another patient from my neurosurgeon at Mayo about a lumbar spine issue with severe slipping of vertebrae. I hope this helps. I know you are in a difficult position right now, and just know that if I was there with you, I would hold your hand. I'm glad you reached out here for support, and I hope that you have a good support base in your life. You will need help recovering from this surgery and patience as it can be a long recovery.


I've had L4, L5, S1 fusion nearly 25 years ago in Oklahoma City By an excellent Spinal surgeon…the 2 plates and 6 screws are still with me and causing no problems.. they took bone material from my hip to pack around the fusion to make it solid..they cleaned up all sorts of other possible problems..so I am 82..and get around very well…much better than most of my peers. That Surgeon helped me with 2 other problems in non surgical manner..(cervical and cubital tunnel syndrome). The original surgery was done to remedy an accident in which the L5 was pushed partially out of the stack… Get a very good Surgeon… check the team out.. good luck

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