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Doctor insights on: L5 S1 Fusion Recovery Time

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Doc wants to remove disk and do fusion, herniated disk L5 s1. What is recovery time and what is there a high chance of pain relief?

Doc wants to remove disk and do fusion, herniated disk L5 s1. What is recovery time and what is there a high chance of pain relief?

Depends on procedure: There r many ways 2 fuse: anterior, posterior, or both. The 1 2 best advise u is ur surgeon. If u have doubts get an answer 2 which procedure is proposed ; why. If still not satisfied getting a second opinion is in order, but get all the details 1st. ...Read more

Fusion (Definition)

A fusion gets rid of a joint or disk between to bones, getting the bones to join together with bone between them. If successful, it eliminates almost all the motion between the bones. Sometimes fusion simply occur as a result of disease, rarely from aging. Most of the time ...Read more


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I heard fusion is the best way to fix severe disc desiccation on l5-s1. All other nonsurgical procedure didn't work the past 4 yrs. Time for surgery?

Replacement possible: Fusion is gold standard but disc replacement is done as well at this level. Goggle active xl and prodisc for lumbar disc replacement to learn more. This is done in limited centers in us. Dr jochen feil md in hiddleburg germany is an e pert in this procedure. ...Read more

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I have an L5 s1 herniated disc. I am having surgery next week. What can I expect? How long is recovery time? Will I be able to perform daily tasks?

I have an L5 s1 herniated disc. I am having surgery next week. What can I expect? How long is recovery time? Will I be able to perform daily tasks?

Back surgery: Recovery time could be 4-6 weeks or more depending on how extensive your surgery is. Every back is different, and your surgeon will determine whether you will benefit from just a microdiscectomy or whether you will require a more extensive laminectomy or even fusion. You should still be able to perform activities of daily living with necessary precautions. ...Read more

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I've had a fusion and discectomy L5-S1 7 weeks ago I have had a lump about an inch above the incision site which gets bigger at times and is tender,?

I've had a fusion and discectomy L5-S1 7 weeks ago I have had a lump about an inch above the incision site which gets bigger at times and is tender,?

Varies: There are multiple potential considerations. It can be a reaction to the suture mistrial at the top
Of your incision, it can be the spinous process right above your surgery, which can become more prominent especially if the lower spinous process is removed, it can be a fluid collection known as a Seroma as well. I would not hesitate to make your surgeon aware. ...Read more

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After l5-s1 fusion I continue w/ the same diag. L5-s1 herniation, why can't it be surgically corrected?

Scalpel not answer: Surgery is not always the answer. And for back problems, there is increasing data to say that is truly the case. Excercise and rehab have been shown to be very good treatments for back pain. Having been previously fused, it may not even be possible to get to the disk again. ...Read more

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I have a reherniation and collapsed disc at the L5-S1 level. In 2006 I had a microdiscect at the same level. Is microdiscect or fusion appropriate now?

I have a reherniation and collapsed disc at the L5-S1 level. In 2006 I had a microdiscect at the same level. Is microdiscect or fusion appropriate now?

It depends: If you only have leg pain, then redo-microdiscectomy is the appropriate surgery. If you have severe back pain worse than leg pain, then fusion is the better surgery for you. The back pain should be in the center and should be associated with movement and use of your back. If you have both that are equal, you can have either but discectomy may leave you with back pain requiring fusion in the future ...Read more

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L5&s1 fusion 10/10/13. How soon can I have an mri?

L5&s1 fusion 10/10/13. How soon can I have an mri?

Usually 6 wks after: Usually you can have an MRI 6 weeks after your surgery, provided that all the devices are MRI safe. Typically with fusion, all the implanted hardware is MRI safe. If you have an epidural pain pump, that is another story and should be discussed with your doctor. ...Read more

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Does an extruded disc fragment, very painful, require surgery, and fusion surgery l5-s1 help with the pain?

Does an extruded disc fragment, very painful, require surgery, and fusion surgery l5-s1 help with the pain?

See a back surgeon: This is a complex issue and is highly dependent upon the actual lesion, the patient and the extent of symptoms. Surgical fusion may or may not be helpful, and sometimes makes things worse. Find a highly recommended surgeon and let them evaluate and recommend management. Good luck. ...Read more

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I have had a two-level spinal fusion (l5-s1). What is the best way to avoid (or prolong) adjacent disc disease?

Not much: Accelerated adjacent segment degeneration is relatively common and concerns
adverse effects following spinal fusion. It
is believed that this accelerated degeneration
is due in large part to increased
mechanical stress on the adjacent motion
segments. Stay in shape, do not gain weight. ...Read more

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Herniated l5-s1 herniation post l5-s1 laminectomy w/ fusion, why can't I be surgically treated when all has failed?

Vague question: Assuming you mean why _further_ surgery is not advised (the laminectomy & fusion certainly are surgeries!) there may be many factors including general health. However, I would suspect that scar tissue formation around nerves in the area of prior surgery may be so intertwined with the nerves, matted down, that one might easily damage the nerves trying to take away the scar tissue. ...Read more

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I will be having a 360 fusion at L5 s1 how long will the procedure take and what can I expect for a hospital stay?

I will be having a 360 fusion at L5 s1 how long will the procedure take and what can I expect for a hospital stay?

Depends: If this involves an incision that opens the abdomen, a few days on the hospital is topical, but you would need to check with your surgeon to be sure. Give them a call, and they will get back to you with the info. Hope this helps! ...Read more

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Signs/symptoms something has happened with hardware after L5/S1 fusion. Increased pain, pinching sensation, really tender to touch. 11 months s/p.

Signs/symptoms something has happened with hardware after L5/S1 fusion. Increased pain, pinching sensation, really tender to touch. 11 months s/p.

Follow up: Certainly would recommend follow up with your surgeon for exam and X-ray, that is about the time a non Union might start becoming symptomatic, so you would certainly want to make sure it is well fused at this point. If there is any question, a ct scan may be of benefit. ...Read more

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L5/s1 fusion 8 weeks ago. Just started light duty. I occasionally feel a very slight crackling at the fusion site and I am having tailbone pain. Normal?

L5/s1 fusion 8 weeks ago. Just started light duty. I occasionally feel a very slight crackling at the fusion site and I am having tailbone pain. Normal?

Can be normal,: But be cautious and check with your surgeon. It is not uncommon to have clicking sounds from increased motion just above and just below fusion site, but if it is coming specifically from the site, it may be different. The tail bone pain can be from altered spinal alignment secondary to the fusion and should adjust, but make sure that you discuss with your physician just to be safe. ...Read more

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Had fusion l4, l5, s1. How much ROM would be lost with an l3 fusion?

A little more: Adding to the prior fusion with another level will loose a little more motion. There are some less rigid techniques that might be worth investigating. You are welcome to consult with me either virtually or at my office. ...Read more

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I have had L4/L5 fusion 2 years ago. Now there are signs of severe damage to L3/L4 and L5/S1. What can I do to slow this damage down?

I have had L4/L5 fusion 2 years ago. Now there are signs of severe damage to L3/L4 and L5/S1. What can I do to slow this damage down?

Comments: There was a study demonstrating progressive arthritic deterioration above and below the site of fusion, and this seems to be your issue. Would definitely contact an expert spine surgeon but also get involved in aggressive rehabilitation program under supervision of expert physical therapy clinic. A physiatrist is also recommended. ...Read more

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I had an L5-S1 TLIF with instrumentation 2/12/15. Since, I have had a rectangular swollen area about 1.5" above the fusion site. Any ideas?

I had an L5-S1 TLIF with instrumentation 2/12/15. Since, I have had a rectangular swollen area about 1.5" above the fusion site. Any ideas?

Seroma: Multiple potential causes, I would discuss directly with your surgeon. One cause that is fairly common is to have developed a "Seroma" from your surgery. A Seroma is a fluid collection that can develop in healing tissues and often slowly resorb a over weeks to months after your surgery. Again, I would just make sure your surgeon is aware. ...Read more

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Have annular tear at l5-s1 diagnosed by discogram I've tried all conservative modalities with zero pain relief, was told I need fusion? Any options?

Have annular tear at l5-s1 diagnosed by discogram I've tried all conservative modalities with zero pain relief, was told I need fusion? Any options?

You answered it your: If you have tried all conservative modalities surgery is an option. What ave you tried? Fusions are not very effective to treat back pain. If your disc is very degenerated and the discogram reproduced your pain it may be the answer. Only your spine surgeon can discuss specific options with you. This is not a question which can be answered on line with generalities. ...Read more

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I am 3wks post-op L5 S1 fusion. Third day of vertigo when I roll to left (prominent) or right upon waking. No vertigo when laying on back or upright?

I am 3wks post-op L5 S1 fusion. Third day of vertigo when I roll to left (prominent) or right upon waking. No vertigo when laying on back or upright?

Vertigo: You most likely have Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo. Its a common cause of such symptoms. Its due to displacement of crystals in your inner ear. Periods of prolonged inactivity can cause it along with trauma and certain medications but usually idiopathic. Consult an ENT in your area if symptoms persist. ...Read more

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Why would in an MRI my fusion at L5 s1 appear straight but in xrays it has a grade two anterolisthesis?

Why would in an MRI my fusion at L5 s1 appear straight but in xrays it has a grade two anterolisthesis?

Instability: The slippage is likely dynamic and changes with your posture. This can cause significant pain and is an indication for fusion surgery. ...Read more

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Hip pain after L5/S1 spinal fusion?

Hip pain after L5/S1 spinal fusion?

That's common: Often, your low back can cause hip pain, just like hip problems can cause knee pain. I would talk to your orhtopedic and see if he could recommend some strengthening and stretching exercises and also to ensure nothing else is going on. ...Read more

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After having a failed laminectomy w/ spinal fusion @ l5-s1, what can't they surgically fix the area?

Lumbar fusion: Failed can mean alot of things. Is it that you are not happy with the results? Or is there still a problem that is operative, i.e. Adjacent level syndrome at the level above the fusion or did the fusion not take at l5/s1 and there is a nonunion. I'm sure that your spine surgeon has discussed this with you. ...Read more

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What to do if I had surgery (tlif L4 5 L5 s1) and recently found out that What to do if I had a failed fusion.?

What to do if I had surgery (tlif L4 5 L5 s1) and recently found out that What to do if I had a failed fusion.?

That depends on what: You mean by that-did the fusion not heal or did the fusion heal & you have persistent symptoms. 1st case may require another surgery to achieve fission. This may best be achieved by minimizing factors that affect healing like smoking in addition to a 360 surgery or front & back approach surgery with the addition of bone morphogenic protein to help with the fusion. If 2nd case, speak to your doc ...Read more

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I have a fusion at l5/s1 on 5-11-12. Is there any type of decompression therapy I can safely do for my low back?

I have a fusion at l5/s1 on 5-11-12. Is there any type of decompression therapy I can safely do for my low back?

Postop care: Hate to say it, but that is a personal decision your operating surgeon needs to make by interpreting your x-rays and exam. If all clear, save some cash and buy an inversion table. Consider asking for a referral to a mckenzie certified pt. Please don't do anything without your doctor's blessing. ...Read more

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I am having a spinal fusion. This will be my second one. L5 s1. I don't wqnt to use my own bone. What are my options?

I am having a spinal fusion. This will be my second one. L5 s1. I don't wqnt to use my own bone. What are my options?

Spinal fusion: You also have the option of using cadaveric bone though some surgeons do not like to use this source, having said that it is coming used. ...Read more

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Had L5 s1 facet fusion 7 months ago now having extreme groin pain on the right. Is there a chance that this is related?

Had L5 s1 facet fusion 7 months ago now having extreme groin pain on the right. Is there a chance that this is related?

It is possible: Referred pain from the l5-s1 region can be to the groin but so can a hip problem, a sacroiliac joint problem as well as a hernia. See your surgeon to assess whether you have achieved a fusion and to rule out other issues. ...Read more

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Should I shave my pubic area if I am getting an anterior spinal fusion for l5-s1? I am having surgery on the 12th of this january

Just ask: Seeing as your surgery is months away, there's plenty of time to ask your surgeon what his or her preference is when you follow up with them. Depending on how much hair you have, and where the planned incision is, you may not have to shave at all. If you have hair in or very near the surgical field, it will have to be removed. ...Read more

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I had a lumbar fusion at the L5 s1 level five years ago. I am having lower back now. Is the next level herniated or degenerative?

Hard to say: Certainly one cause can be the development of adjacent level disease, and it is probably the most common cause. There are also other structures in the area that can cause pain such as the sacroiliac joints and the facet joint, hips, etc. Thank you for your question. A detailed history, exam and studies can usually determine the cause. ...Read more

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Which has better rates of fusion, lower complication rate, and better long term outcomes for L5-S1 degen disc disease....ALIF or MIS TLIF?

Which has better rates of fusion, lower complication rate, and better long term outcomes for L5-S1 degen disc disease....ALIF or MIS TLIF?

Spine fusion: Both have excellent rates of fusion. A third option at L5/S1 is the Axialif. The best approach is dictated by the pathology, the patient size, and weight. Surgery is indicated when all the nonoperative options have been exhausted and there are significant limitations in activities of daily living. Discuss the options with your surgeon. ...Read more

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I had l5-s1 fusion done, and wondering how bad the bruising can get or should it not bruise that bad. It's not bruising around incisions.

I had l5-s1 fusion done, and wondering how bad the bruising can get or should it not bruise that bad. It's not bruising around incisions.

Bruising: Actually, bruising is quite normal after surgery. Your body's ability to clot blood after surgery is what factors into this finding. Excessive activity after surgery may also result in some bruising around the surgery site. Minimally invasive surgery seems to cause a bit of this around the small incisions since a cautery cannot be used as precisely when the incision is not opened widely. ...Read more

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Done 4 years of pt, pain meds, 2 mri's 3 years apart. Have very bad disc desiccation l5-s1. Should I consider fusion surgery? 30year old male.

Maybe: You're quite young for lumbar fusion but sounds like you have had a long trial of conservative treatment. Only you with the advice of your treating surgeon can make this decision. ...Read more

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Will the occasional Dose of Motrin 800mg inhibit or stop the process for fusion? 3 months post op L5-S1 PLIF. Whole body is achy from virus I think.

Will the occasional Dose of Motrin 800mg inhibit or stop the process for fusion? 3 months post op L5-S1 PLIF. Whole body is achy from virus I think.

Spine Fusion - NSAID: Taking Motrin (Ibuprofen) or any NSAID has the theoretically risk of inhibiting bone healing - that can include fracture healing or joint fusion. It is generally recommended after having spinal fusion to avoid high doses of NSAIDs and instead take Acetaminophen. That being said, an occasional dose of Ibuprofren for body aches should not have a major effect on your L5-S1 fusion. ...Read more

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Can I have normal sexual life and orgasm after L5-S1 herniated disc recovery??

Can I have normal sexual life and orgasm after L5-S1 herniated disc recovery??

Sure: With standard microdisectomy no neurologic worsening is rare so post op should have no effect on sexual function ...Read more

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I had a spinal fusion of l5 S1 5 yrs ago. My left leg is unpredictably weak and gives out. Occasioy. What will improve my coordination?

I had a spinal fusion of l5 S1 5 yrs ago. My left leg is unpredictably weak and gives out. Occasioy. What will improve my coordination?

Physical Therapy: May help strengthen the muscles and other soft tissue on the left leg. Peace and good health. ...Read more