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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep. 3, 2010

    Default Anyone with fused L4, L5, S1 ?

    I was on here almost a year ago for my bf who had spinal surgery which didnt really do much.....but he WAS able to ride after awhile, not for long at first, but was up to about 2 hours! However he was still having pain. Dr wants to fuse the next set up so he would all total have L4,L5 and S1 fused.
    Dr said he doesnt think he will have the mobility after that.

    which means not only losing his career.....but also not being able to ride his horse!!!!

    REALLY hoping someone on here has had those fused and that the "frankenstein" spine that the Dr seems to be describing is FALSE!!!!!!
    Im sure he will lose "some" motion, but to be locked up and walk like frankenstein?? that CANT be true!!!!
    I dont want him to be in pain and neither does he obviously, but hes worried about it.
    Also, after the FIRST fusing we thought YAY, it's gonna be all better, no pain, etc......yeah, well THAT didnt work! so after the pain of the surgery (went in thru the abdomen) and rehab and all that....the initial sciatic kind of burning/numbness/charliehorse pain is STILL there!

    anyways, thought I would ask since we dont know anyone else that has had it done.

    If this thread gets buried, Thanks in advanced to all that reply!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug. 9, 2002


    Yes. I had L5-S1 fused in 2001 (by an orthopedist), spent the next 3.5 years still in pain and had L4-L5 fused in 2004 (by a neurosurgeon). Both incisions were down my spine, not through the abdomen. They placed pedicle screws in each vertebrae with rods running through the screws. During the L4-L5 surgery, they actually removed the disc and placed a block of cadaver bone in its' place.

    I still ride. Have a TB that can get a little hot out on trail (keeps me on my toes!). Recently started having issues again with pins & needles feeling down my left leg & foot so we've started epidural injections & they are helping. When I was riding regularly, we would ride 12-14 miles at a time over various terrain (I'm in the northeast as well, we have hills & miles of trails).

    Most important thing, for me, was following dr's post op instructions to the letter. I did not get on a horse or do barn work for 6 months post op.

    I don't have any issues with flexibility and can just about touch the floor with my fingertips while bending over, keeping my knees straight.

    ETA: To see me walking, you wouldn't know I ever had back issues. I can still walk with an easy, swinging stride, no limp at all. I currently do self care and take care of 4 horses daily.

    PM if you have questions or would like more info! Best wishes to your bf, back issues are the worst.

    By all means, seek a second, third, or fourth opinion from respected docs that do a LOT of spinal fusions. My neurosurgeon did a lot more fusions than the ortho that did the first surgery. Wish I would have known that ahead of time... I was 20 years old at the time of the first surgery. Learned my way around the medical world the hard way.
    Last edited by tarynls; Dec. 4, 2012 at 04:14 PM. Reason: More info

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec. 31, 2005
    Pensacola, Florida


    I had L4/L5 and L5/S1 fused in Oct of 2008. Disks removed with cadaver bone put in its place plus hardware. I still have problems with nerve pain down my left leg. Also have major problems with muscle spasms in my lower back. According to the neurosurgeon some of the scar tissue from over one of the screw heads has popped off and the muscle scrapes every time I move it and that sets off the spasms.

    But, I do still ride occasionally. It costs me, but most things do.

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