Spinal Stenosis and Spinal Fusion

Posted by kate513 @kate513, Dec 9, 2012

My husband is 58. He has osteo arthritis, degenerative joint disease and spinal stenosis. He has had 2 complete knee replacements, a hip replacement and dec last year L4,L5 S1 spinal fusion. All was good until Nov 13 2012 when we came home from a trip and he had massive back pain and numbness in left leg.
We to the hip surgeon, the knee surgeon and finally the back surgeon to learn that he has developed a cyst on L3. They want to do L2 L3 fusion. We went for the steroid shot in the L3 area-has not worked (been 9 days)…that was the test to see if surgery would work. He is in cronic pain, taking massive pain killers, muscle relaxers and valium- he sleeps 80% of the day and can not function. I don’t know that surgery is the answer- I know there is no “fix” to his condition but what are other options. Is depressing him and I HATE seeing him like this, He is an active person. Anyone with any suggestions-love to hear them!!

He has our best wishes.


Hi, Kate! Your husband’s problem sound very similar to mine I had my first laminectomy in June, 2010 at age 57. During that surgery, my surgeon told my husband that she nicked a nerve! I was a music teacher in the public schools and on my feet 8 hours a day with kids from kindergarten thru third grade! Active days! But, I had continued teaching with sharp pain in my back and going down my left leg just weeks after I thought I should be feeling better!. I changed doctors, went to a orthaepedic surgeon a few months later after having both knees fixed from torn meniscus, who told me that 2 discs were ruptured and suggested a multi-level (5) spinal fusion. I went a head and did that in September, 2011. The drain that they put in after surgery had fallen out and I also developed a cyst/seroma that SAT on my spine causing excruciating pain! The surgeon thought we should wait to see if they cyst would absorb into my body. I waited for over a YEAR at his suggestion, being sent to a pain management doctor who put me on strong pain killers, also! I was miserable! I, too, could not function, being stuck in my recliner and very depressed. Finally, after waiting all of that time, a year and a half, and the cyst not reducing in size, my surgeon decided to go in and explore what was going on. When he was in there, he found that 3 of the screws had come loose (pinching nerves) AND he drained and tied off the cyst, WHICH by the way was filled with cerebral fluid. That was in February of 2013. The severe, stabbing pain in my back is so much better, but still feeling the pain from that nicked nerve and now pain is going UP my back into my neck causing terrible headaches. . I have gotten off the oxycontin but am still having to take pain killers. I am able to at least get up and move around more freely with less pain. Just my own personal experience, the 3rd surgery WAS worth it.


Si existe la cirugía y es excelente. Yo soy paciente operada hace 2 años de estenosis y la prótesis en las lumbares es la alternativa. Voy para mi segunda operación y quiero decirte que es esperanzadora y que la operación lumbar ha progresado muchísimo. Que busque un buen cirujano ortopédico. Y que se opere. Tiene que llevarle un MRI. Yo no me arrepiento hoy día puedo hacer de todo.

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