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How long is recovery after L4L5 fusion?

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I am scheduled for L4L5 fusion next mth. I am 39 and in decent shap with this dang back bring one of my only health problems.

Is it a realistic expectation to be back walking at work (I am a manager and do little if any lifting, mostly walking) within 5 weeks.
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First Helper arbrad1980
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replied December 4th, 2007
Hi
well everyone is different i had my operation in april and im still in lots of pain and haveing problems i had l4/5 discetomy and decompression i was that bad before i had the operation that i had lost controll of my bladder and bowls i went into hospital on easter sunday within 1 hour i was haveing m.r.i scan and was taken to theater after that i now go to phsiyo 2 times aweek and hydro pool once a week and after speaking with my surgeon last monday im now waiting to attend a pain clinic she said doing another operation would not do me any good so i can only tell you whats happened to me but everyone is different jinny
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replied September 17th, 2009
How long is the average healing time?
I had L4/L5, L5/S1 fusion on July 1st, along with having a cyst removed. I haven't been in any pain since but have had problems with constant, major pressure on the lower back (this is different for me than pain) I had PT daily while in a Rehab Center, three times a week in my home and now have water therapy twice a week. Most days I feel worse than beforte surgery as far as the pressure and also I now have tingling in the left leg and especially my left foot. I am looking forward to the day when this goes away. I know everyone is different but am wondering what is the average?
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replied June 30th, 2011
I would say DoNOT DO IT! I had my surgery done 2 yrs ago. I have not been the same since! I wish i could go back to the pain I suffered before the surgery. I had l4-l5 discectomy with fusion, I now suffer pain in my lower back (left side ) along with my left leg giving out . I now have to be careful getting up because I dont know if my leg is gonna even have feeling in it. I have broken my left ankle twice in 17 days, with out a cast because of the imbalance of my back. When my surgeon removed the discs the were crushing the nerve caught in between them I have suffered, my life has been through sooo many changes I once worked as a supervisor, I was married,I had a life...... now I have none of this! I suffered pain that was so unbearable that no pain meds including dilated (dont know if thats spelled correctly) would even touch. I cant lift anything over 8lbs, my job is gone. I went through physical pain that came with mental pain. The dr. told me that once the pain works on the body it then go to the brain, well I could understand that and I also now have empathy for prisoners of war! My back along with my left leg are a sperate entity anymore, now my dr.s have told me it would have taken 3yrs to recover, because this is a major surgery, that I rushed recovery and now its gonna take an additional 2 yrs from now. I dont have a job, Im now disabled I pretty much do nothing because it aggravates the nerve, and then comes the major pain! I really wished I could have just held out but couldnt because the dr. told me in 2 yrs I wouldnt be walking if I didnt have the surgery. Well its what he didnt say I wouldnt be doing or having in my life in 2 yrs that wouldve really mattered. All I can say is I hope your surgery goes well , and as far as you saying your in shape, thats a good thing because so was I at 130lbs at the time of surgery, I now weigh 170 on a 5'4" frame NOT GOOD! Its because of meds, which by the way I take 14 a day and some of those 2-3 times a day and the fact that I now cannot even exercise and therapy is a waste of money and my time! Please make sure you reconsider, I wouldnt want any other person to suffer the way that I have!!!!
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replied June 3rd, 2012
L4 L5 Spinal Fusion
Hi, I m in the exact same boat now before this surgery. I lot my job as well, its been hard on my marriage but god has blessed me there. I see this surgery as my only alternative. Pain meds barely work, I don't have nearly the livestyle I used to and at this point I would rather take the chance. Has anyone had Dr.Charles maloon?
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replied June 3rd, 2012
L4 L5 Spinal Fusion
Hi, I m in the exact same boat now before this surgery. I lot my job as well, its been hard on my marriage but god has blessed me there. I see this surgery as my only alternative. Pain meds barely work, I don't have nearly the livestyle I used to and at this point I would rather take the chance. Has anyone had Dr.Charles maloon?
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replied June 30th, 2011
L4-L5 fusion surgery
I would say DoNOT DO IT! I had my surgery done 2 yrs ago. I have not been the same since! I wish i could go back to the pain I suffered before the surgery. I had l4-l5 discectomy with fusion, I now suffer pain in my lower back (left side ) along with my left leg giving out . I now have to be careful getting up because I dont know if my leg is gonna even have feeling in it. I have broken my left ankle twice in 17 days, with out a cast because of the imbalance of my back. When my surgeon removed the discs the were crushing the nerve caught in between them I have suffered, my life has been through sooo many changes I once worked as a supervisor, I was married,I had a life...... now I have none of this! I suffered pain that was so unbearable that no pain meds including dilated (dont know if thats spelled correctly) would even touch. I cant lift anything over 8lbs, my job is gone. I went through physical pain that came with mental pain. The dr. told me that once the pain works on the body it then go to the brain, well I could understand that and I also now have empathy for prisoners of war! My back along with my left leg are a sperate entity anymore, now my dr.s have told me it would have taken 3yrs to recover, because this is a major surgery, that I rushed recovery and now its gonna take an additional 2 yrs from now. I dont have a job, Im now disabled I pretty much do nothing because it aggravates the nerve, and then comes the major pain! I really wished I could have just held out but couldnt because the dr. told me in 2 yrs I wouldnt be walking if I didnt have the surgery. Well its what he didnt say I wouldnt be doing or having in my life in 2 yrs that wouldve really mattered. All I can say is I hope your surgery goes well , and as far as you saying your in shape, thats a good thing because so was I at 130lbs at the time of surgery, I now weigh 170 on a 5'4" frame NOT GOOD! Its because of meds, which by the way I take 14 a day and some of those 2-3 times a day and the fact that I now cannot even exercise and therapy is a waste of money and my time! Please make sure you reconsider, I wouldnt want any other person to suffer the way that I have!!!!
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replied March 17th, 2010
Hi. I'm recovering from L4&5/S1 instrumental fusion following 2 yrs of investigative treatment and constant 4 hourly pain medication.
I've been largely lying flat and still in pain with limited movement after 3 weeks.
I'm still taking pain meds and seeing consultant in 3 weeks time.
I'm hoping to at least being able to walk a short distance without suffering too much pain afterwArds.
Another thing though is I am experiencing upper spine pain like burning which is only lessened by arching back and with a click something returns and the pain subsides most times.
I would appreciate anyone who had similar experiences to say if and how this may improve.
Many thanks
Mark
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replied February 10th, 2012
L4 L5 Fusion
I had L4 L5 fusion with instrumentation two weeks ago. I am a healthy 54 year old female in pretty good shape. I only needed pain meds for the first week. I can now walk fairly well and have been out to lunch and for short shopping trips. I have been very careful to obey my restrictions...but so far I can say that the surgery was not as bad as I had expected.
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replied July 7th, 2012
l4 l5 disc removal
i had l4 l5 bulging discs. they had to be removed. this surgery was done 6/28/12. its now 7/6/12 i feel better than i did before surgery. i had pain day of surgery. i walked out of the hospital. i have been fine since. i just cant understand why i cant return to work. im only a 32 yr old man. im raising my 2 boys. i cant keep goin withno income. idk what to do. im sorry to see that so many have had so much bad luck.
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replied September 25th, 2012
I had L4-L5 Transforaminal Interbody Fusion 8 weeks ago and am doing great. My surgery was on an emergency basis because I had sciatic so bad I was wheeled into the hospital after suffering for 6 weeks with no relief. I tried all conservative measures including 1 epidural lumbar injection to no avail. After 9 days in the hospital I underwent the procedure with both a neurosurgeon and my orthopaedic. Woke up with no leg pain at all. I have some residual surgical discomfort on the left side which is opposite of what I went in for. I'm still out of work for another 3 to 4 weeks and expect a full recovery. I'm slowly resuming my daily activities like changing sheets, carrying groceries, etc. I walk almost every day and go to PT twice a week. I would say the outcome in large part depends on your surgeon. I wish the best to everyone who has or is considering this surgery.
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replied April 24th, 2013
My L4-L5-S1 recovery
I had L4-L5-S1 fusion, disectomy and laminiectomy on April 4, 2013.. All of the pre-surgery pain is all gone. My surgeon is a miracle worker, he walked my wife and i through every step of the way. Walking as much as possible, only dealing with the surgical pain and stiffness, I know I have a long way to go, but I feel very confident that things are heading in the right direction. No more pain meds, and I have lost 15-20 lbs with all of the walking.
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replied May 26th, 2013
Spinal surgery
I.m having a L4/L5 decompresion and instrumental postero lateral fusion and iliac crest bone grafting. Does anyone have any comments and advice has I.ve had different kinds of back pain that sometimes feels as if its my hip giving pain . I lose my balance walk to the laft and my leg sometimes gives way. I also feel as if someone is permanently pinching my bum and sciatica in my right leg of and on. Any words of wisdom as I feel as if I have no life now and I.m 52 now and my consultant feels it could get worse and ive been suffering with it all my life. I also have osteoarthritis in the spine dis degeneration and spondulitis in my neck.
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