MAJOR BACK SURGERY (OPINIONS PLEASE)

spookypt's picture
spookypt started the topic in Wednesday, 5 Feb 2020 at 9:53am

Hi everyone, just chasing some real time life experience from anyone who has had their lower back joints fuzed. Namely L5/S1 or L4/L5.

I'm 47, surfed all my life and always had a sore back of various orders. Since turning 40, my back has become pretty bad. Ive been to see everyone and anyone from Nerve people to Arthritus people to every specialist in between. Spent $1000's trying to find out what was going on with varying misdiagnosis. Did a trip to PNG in December (It was OK but nothing spesh except thumbs up to ZERO crowds) and found my back was just making life and surfing impossible. Was having 2 endone and an anti inflam before breakfast and after 2 waves simply couldnt move.

Came home, went and saw the GP, my 100th MRI and Bone scan revealed my L5/S1 joint basically had no disc and was trying to fuse itself together. Why no other "specialist"saw this in the previous 2 years after intense MRI, Bone Scan and Xrays has me stuffed.

So off to see a Neuro I saw back in 2008. Ive seen a few more since him! He said after fresh MRI'sand Bone Scans that fusing the L5/S1 joint was the only option. Ive tried everything else! So apart from the insane GAP you have to pay to have it done ($15000) yes 15 x 1000 out of pocket $s, can anyone with experience with this operation chime in on their results. For me, I have no option as my boards are dust magnets until I can get this fing back sorted.

Thanks in advance.

Matt

Balance's picture
Balance's picture
Balance commented Thursday, 13 Feb 2020 at 9:55am

spookypt wrote:

Hi everyone, just chasing some real time life experience from anyone who has had their lower back joints fuzed. Namely L5/S1 or L4/L5.

Hey mate I really feel for you, and am unfortunately all too familiar with this world.
Had l5S1 fused about 17 years ago, when I was 32.
It functioned pretty well for the first 12 years, I think I was surfing about 8 months after the op. I hadn't surfed in the 2 years prior...and like you, I was no chance of surfing again if I didn't have it done.
Unfortunately things have gone south in the last fews years, and I am pretty much now in the same state I was prior to my operation....slowly dealing with the reality that surfing is now a thing of the past. Due to the fusion a lot of stress gets put on areas and joints around the fusion...so now my l4l5 disc is really bad, and I am on that scans and doctor appointments run all over again, thankfully a bit wiser that I was 20 years ago
Really is much advice I think I could give you and more than happy to give you my phone number if you want it.
Seriously buddy take care of yourself, and I wish you all the best

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Thursday, 13 Feb 2020 at 10:35am

tbb is sorry for dropping in...just waving spookypt thru...
...to earlier link for spookypt by udo...linking that one back to here for replies.

Cervical Discectomy and Fusion
https://www.swellnet.com/forums/wax/232326

Crew wish you good health spookypt.

Halda's picture
Halda's picture
Halda commented Sunday, 1 Mar 2020 at 10:20am

Hi matt, If the option for an artificial disc is there, I'd take it - at least if it fails you can fall back to fusion.
At 33, had S1,L5 degeneration, wasn't surfing or playing sport from the pain, Worked in my own small business, office job, so was on my knees on a towel to take pressure off knee caps for about 18 months. (it was my own company, couldn't afford the fancy standup desks at that stage). One day I thought, this can't go on, I've still got plenty to give. Eventually sold up everything I had to raise funds for surgery, got L5, S1 disc replacement. After 3 months rehab, was back out in the surf - having no pain was a dream for those first few years. I'm 39 now, a few niggles have crept in at upper levels and cervical spine, most of which I can settle meditation techniques and a bit of mobility work.
A life of back pain is no good mate, it does weird things to the brain, hope you can get it sorted out. All the best.

Underdownunder's picture
Underdownunder's picture
Underdownunder commented Sunday, 1 Mar 2020 at 4:28pm

Scaffold mate of mine had fusion done in Thailand as being kiwi it was going to cost him mega buck to do it in oz even though he's paid high tax there for a decade. The Joy's of being treated worse than a refugee as a working kiwi in oz. Any way he is back on the tools and pumping scaff gear so it was a success for him.
Other mate had it done with mixed results.

Balance's picture
Balance's picture
Balance commented Thursday, 12 Mar 2020 at 1:11pm

I just got my MRI scan results

L4L5 and L3L4 discs are both ruptured...amongst other interesting reading...scar tissue compressed nerves and cysts...something about hourglass effect
My doctor laughed and said it would have been easier if they wrote what wasn't wrong

I am booked in to see an orthopod in a few months to enquire about disc replacement rather than fusion...I figure any more fused vertabrae will make mobility increasingly limited...no chance of achieving my dream of surfing again...which I just can't give up on yet

But I have read that a candidate for disc replacement will not have had previous major surgery...not sure if this means I am definitely ruled out...or just much less likely...anyone know?

Fliplid's picture
Fliplid's picture
Fliplid commented Thursday, 12 Mar 2020 at 9:13pm

Good luck with all that Balance, hope it goes well for you

Balance's picture
Balance's picture
Balance commented Friday, 13 Mar 2020 at 10:24am

Hey fliplid genuine thanks for that, really appreciate it