Hello, Sorry to hear of your wifes suffering. I am 27 and had been suffering with back pain for almost three years now. Amougst other things, my main back problems were that one of my discs had completley gone and the next disc up was extemley damaged. After much debate I had a spinal fusion with sinthetic? bone graph and solid rods (for where there was no disc)but also flexible rods used to support the part of my spine with the very damaged disc. Before my operation I was in agony every day and every night,couldnt drive, stand in a que, couldnt even lay down to get comfy. This had, as I said been going on for 3 years and I was a totally differant person constantly limited in everything i did - I felt about 80! . I had the spinal fusion with flexible rods etc in aug 08. I went back to work in DEC after 3 months off sick for my recovery. I am still very up and down but I have been told it is to be expected for the first year as the bone needs to fuse etc. With a few physio hiccups and lots and lots of hard work I would say at the moment I am deffinatly 70% better - At least I have 'good days' now.I walk everywhere and swim for about half an hour a week but thats about all the excersise i do- with full time work I get very tierd and worn out easily. BUT.....
for the past 3 yrs I wasn't able to walk more than going up the stairs and that was a struggle! - thats such an improvement. I seem to have written you an essay! I have so much more to say but don't wont to blbber on! If you have any questions or want to talk more then send me a message. Thanks
Well, I'm not sure what condition your wife is being treated for so my situation may be completely different since I had spinal fusion for scoliosis. But I can still answer questions about the pain afterwards and everything.
I had my fusion surgery about nine months ago and was fused from T5 to L3. I'll be brutally honest when I say that it's no walk in the park, and it's good that you guys are seeking multiple opinions to see if there are any other treatment options available. Because of the severity of the curve in my spine, I really had no other choice. It's a really tough procedure, and even now I will admit that I'm still not free from pain (though I'm not honestly sure if that's normal and am going to see my surgeon this week to make sure everything's okay, because for a while my pain was really mild and has gotten worse all of a sudden). Like I said though, my situation may be different due to the circumstances and also because my fusion is really long.
Pain after surgery, though, is controlled very well so don't worry too much about that. Recovery is veryyy long. Her activities will be restricted for quite a while, and all of the restrictions are usually lifted after a year.
I'm not trying to scare you or dissuade you, because if done by an experienced surgeon spinal fusions are for the most part successful and can help pain improve a lot. The only pain afterwards is obviously from the body healing, and sometimes the hardware causes issues (particularly bothersome if you're very thin). I'm not even a year post-op, so I can't provide lots of info. on what it's like long term after the op, though.
I'm in the same boat. I had the spinal fusion done to treat scoliosis and kphosis and it made my social life better and my physical life didn't suffer much of a blow by my real concern is, when i'm 40 years of age will i feel like i'm 90 because of this? As far as the recovery, it's not too bad so long as you follow doctors orders and it will certainly take a bit of time, it's been over 2 years and i'm still not sure i'm fully recovered but i do feel more alive...not so much swimming and running but i feel much healthier. The only thing i hate is when i sit or lay against flat surfaces it can be very uncomfortable. That may just be me though and i think its related to the location of the hardware if any is used...the screw in my lower back can actually be felt if you rub my lower spine. This is no joke, give this some very serious thought! I hope this helps you a bit. Understand that it's the second biggest surgery anyone can get in my opinion right next to brain surgery. Good luck in the future and i wish you the best of health no matter what your choice. =))