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Lumbar Spinal Fusion L4/5, L5/S1, 2 Cages, 6 Screws

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  • Lumbar Spinal Fusion L4/5, L5/S1, 2 Cages, 6 Screws

    Hi,

    I haven't been on here in a long time. I have spine issues and in '97 had a microdisckectomy on L5/S1. I saw my surgeon on Wednesday and he wants to do a laminectomy as well as spinal fusion with cages and screws at L4/5 where I have a pretty large herniation that has not gotten better for years even with PT and has in fact gotten worse to the point where I can barely tolerate riding and exercise. L5/S1 will need to be fused as well. I also have degeneritive disc disease and scleroderma to name just a few things.

    I just wondered if anyone on here has had lumbar fusion and how it affected your riding dressage. Riding is my life. I can't imagine not being able to do it. I have surfed online and have seen that some people have said they can no longer sit the trot due to immobility. My doctor said that because it is so low in the spine I shouldn't feel any difference othe than I will no longer have pain after I ride.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks.
    "I've got to keep on chasin' that dream though I may never find it." - Boston

  • #2
    No experience I can share, but you might try cross posting in the Equestrians with Disabilities forum here...might get more posts.

    Good luck!

    Comment


    • #3
      Lumbar fusion

      Hi,

      About your questions on lumbar fusion, I had a riding accident in March of 1999 and ending up having a L5/S1 fusion along with bone grafts. I had only slight other damage to the spine above. I was back riding in 6 months to the day. I do have some lower back discomfort, but I ride everyday as many as 3 horses ( I am a trainer). Sitting the trot is no problem. I must add though, that I do pilates every week and the stretching and strength from that has made every aspect of my riding better. Good luck with your back. I hope you get the answer you seek.


      Originally posted by Gr.Prix Dreamer View Post
      Hi,

      I haven't been on here in a long time. I have spine issues and in '97 had a microdisckectomy on L5/S1. I saw my surgeon on Wednesday and he wants to do a laminectomy as well as spinal fusion with cages and screws at L4/5 where I have a pretty large herniation that has not gotten better for years even with PT and has in fact gotten worse to the point where I can barely tolerate riding and exercise. L5/S1 will need to be fused as well. I also have degeneritive disc disease and scleroderma to name just a few things.

      I just wondered if anyone on here has had lumbar fusion and how it affected your riding dressage. Riding is my life. I can't imagine not being able to do it. I have surfed online and have seen that some people have said they can no longer sit the trot due to immobility. My doctor said that because it is so low in the spine I shouldn't feel any difference othe than I will no longer have pain after I ride.

      Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

      Thanks.

      Comment


      • #4
        i had two laminectomies (L3/L4), a cage, and a fusion. And I would tell as soon as I woke up it was better. The first week sucks (log rolling to get up/etc), but then I could walk up steps, actually knew where my feet were (was numb before). Everyone is different, but I am SO glad I had it done!!!! My GP student, who is also a back doc, recommended by dr (an orthopod who ONLY does backs)....but a nerologist would do the same thing. Are they doing it from the back, or from the front?? My surgery was 8.5 hours laying on the stomach...and your upper thighs will lose feeling...it takes about 3-6 months to return completely.
        I.D.E.A. yoda

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          RLamming - sorry to hear about your accident but I'm glad to hear that you are doing well. Thanks for the comment, it helps.

          ideayoda - I've been doing the log roll to get out of bed for years! Your surgery sounds a lot like what I am considering. My biggest fear is that it will take away my riding.

          I have so much medical stuff going on now, I spend more time at the hospital running tests and stuff than I do at the barn these days. The spine problem is the least of my worries right now. I was diagnosed with scleroderma last year and it has suddenly become very progressive. Add the spine problems to that and you have one miserable woman

          Thanks for the replies!
          "I've got to keep on chasin' that dream though I may never find it." - Boston

          Comment


          • #6
            Well, maybe consider that if your body no longer has to deal with constant pain from your back, your other issues may improve?
            Best of luck!

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Raff - very good point. I am on 13 different medications right now and my goal is to fix the back not only so I can keep riding but so that I can get off of some of the medications.

              I have read that some dressage riders were not able to continue to ride comfortably with the fusion. Seems like it's up to the individual person. I don't think I could be ME if I couldn't ride. I would like to get back into competing at some point but right now I can only handle riding for about 30 minutes without causing myself severe pain.

              I am a very determined person. I will ride pain or not but what scares me is that I'm bone on bone right now and smashing my nerves to bits which will just cause me more issues. If I have the surgery I may lose some mobility but at least I will not be causing any nerve damage.

              I've also heard that riders have had to put off riding for a year....
              "I've got to keep on chasin' that dream though I may never find it." - Boston

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Gr.Prix Dreamer View Post
                Hi,

                I haven't been on here in a long time. I have spine issues and in '97 had a microdisckectomy on L5/S1. I saw my surgeon on Wednesday and he wants to do a laminectomy as well as spinal fusion with cages and screws at L4/5 where I have a pretty large herniation that has not gotten better for years even with PT and has in fact gotten worse to the point where I can barely tolerate riding and exercise. L5/S1 will need to be fused as well. I also have degeneritive disc disease and scleroderma to name just a few things.

                I just wondered if anyone on here has had lumbar fusion and how it affected your riding dressage. Riding is my life. I can't imagine not being able to do it. I have surfed online and have seen that some people have said they can no longer sit the trot due to immobility. My doctor said that because it is so low in the spine I shouldn't feel any difference othe than I will no longer have pain after I ride.

                Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

                Thanks.
                Is your Dr a neuro or ortho? Just curious. Had my surgeries done by a neurosurgeon.
                What would happen if you just had the lami instead of the fusion?
                Don't know how old you are but we all end up with some level of degenerative discs.(Don't know why its called disease) I'm told that after a while they fuse on their own.
                It was also explained to me that a fusion (surgery)would then put stress on the next level.
                Sounds like you have a healthy attitude and will work to overcome your issues. That's what it takes!!!
                Good luck.
                "My treasures do not sparkle or glitter, they shine in the sunlight and nicker to me in the night"

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  He is an Ortho. He did my microdiskectomy in 97. I am going for a second opinion at Northwestern which is a great hospital. I go to the sclero clinic there and they have some of the best doctors in the nation.

                  I have so many questions. This is definately not something I want to jump into.

                  I am getting married in November and I would like to have this behind me so that I can enjoy the cruise we are going on.

                  Oh and I'll be 40 in July.
                  "I've got to keep on chasin' that dream though I may never find it." - Boston

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I have a full spinal fusion, done to correct scoliosis back in '97. I had to take a year off from riding, but now I'm back to it. Yes, it's harder to sit the trot, and my spine is sort of permanently twisted to the left, which makes riding to the right more challenging, but it's not that bad. (See pic below, you'll see what I mean.)

                    http://a3.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphot..._2358655_n.jpg

                    The main thing is, when horse-shopping, you'll want to place a heavy emphasis on choosing a horse with a gentler trot that's pretty easy to sit. I can't handle sitting a jarring trot. Not that it's painful, I just bounce-bounce-bounce! When we bought my husband's appaloosa, one of the biggest selling points for me was her smooth-as-butter trot.
                    Last edited by JCS; Jun. 13, 2011, 07:31 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I dont have anything to add but a heart felt Dayum (southern damn!) and I hope it all turns out ok for you. Dayum!
                      "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                      ---
                      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        JCS I think it's amazing that you ride and you look awesome! I definately will not be horse shopping as I have my dream horse already. He has a ton of suspension and huge, beautiful gaits. I love to sit his trot because when he gives you his back it's like sitting on a big beach ball. He is fabulous, if I could only be 1/2 as good I'd be thrilled.

                        This surgery might make things better for me or they might make riding more painful than it already is. It's such a big decision, I just wish one of the doctors would say I HAD to have it done. It's so much harder to decide when it's considered an "elective" surgery. There are a lot of positives that could come from this. The worst thing that could happen would be that my riding would be taken away. That would kill me...even if all I can do is ride for pleasure, which is pretty much all I've been doing since my divorce and illness anyway, I'll be happy.

                        Oh decisons, decisions!!
                        "I've got to keep on chasin' that dream though I may never find it." - Boston

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hello everyone.........last year got back to riding after 26 years and in mad love with it. Last August I was given a gift of a half Arabian --- she and her previous owner won region 16 dressage and horse of the year.

                          I've lived with low back pain for the last 20 years and am having 360 lumbar fusion of L4/L5 on July 20th. I miss riding SO much but my surgeon said at some point I can get back to it. I pretty much only pleasure ride and trail ride only and have a wonderful horse who enjoys no longer dressage testing but just the fun of it with me.

                          Read many of your posts and curious for any advise of the timeframe post lumbar fusion to getting back on plus any types of PT specific to getting back leg nd core strength.

                          Many many thanks,
                          Lisa (SA Fancy Free's adoring mom)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I had three lower level fused and five metal plates in 1989, that after two laminectomy surgeries. Yes you can ride and yes you can do sitting trot, altho I will admit sitting is a bit more challeging due to some loss of flexibility. The surgery was HELL and the recovery (which may not be as bad now) took 9 months in a back brace. But glad I did it!!!!!
                            www.shawneeacres.net

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              My daughter is fused from T3 to L4, titanium rods the full length and 27 screws. This was also to correct scoliosis, done in November of 2009.

                              She started riding again about 10 months after the surgery. She now says that riding actually makes her back feel better when it is a bit sore. She also does yoga 2x a week which was suggested by her surgeon.
                              Things Take Time

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                lumbar

                                Look into the new devices that are flexible rather than rigid. I am holding out for that. They are still experimental but that doesn't mean they won't work. The FDA is just very slow approving and insurance is fussy about anything not 50 years old.
                                The flexible ones will not stress the vertebrae above and below the "fusion" as a rigid one does. It should be better for riding too. Most docs will be nay-sayers so persist in your research and see who is doing trials.
                                http://TouchstoneAcres.com
                                Touchstone Acres Lipizzans, Standing N. Samira VI (Gray), N. XXIX-18(Black), more in 2014

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