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Thread: Recovery time and hunting after lumbar fusion

  1. #1
    Member shmobag's Avatar
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    Default Recovery time and hunting after lumbar fusion

    Hey all,
    I received some bad news the other day. I can either continue to live with searing pain in my lower back, or I can get a 3 level lumbar fusion. My question is, if I am to get the fusion will I ever be able to bear enough weight to go backpack hunting again? What will recovery time look like until I am able to do so if at all? And how limited will my range of motion be? I discussed this stuff with my doctor but because of the variables he doesn't want to give me any specifics Then have to eat his words, understandably. A little about me I am a 24 year old man. If anyone on here has ever gotten a fusion I would love to hear your story. Thanks in advance!

  2. #2

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    I have no advice for you, but I do wish you the best of luck either way. I herniated my L5/S1 disc last October and I'm nervous about packing during this hunting season, but I remain hopeful. Good luck.

  3. #3
    Member Bob the fisher's Avatar
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    I am a 47 year old man that has had 10 back surgerys since 1996 which resulted in my entire lower back being fused into one solid piece now. So for me, I wood say no way as I can barely walk in the mornins but; you being just 24 and with the hightech procedures they have out there now and you takin it easy after your surgery and doin your excersise, I wood say "hell ya" you cood do it. Here is a tip from me to you, Have your surgery done the season before so you have a year to get recovered and I bet u will be fine....
    "Fisherman for Life" and "Phantom owner Forever"

  4. #4
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Find a really good surgeon. I have a friend (55ish) who just had a triple fusion in his lower back and 6 months later he is glad he got it done and is getting around very well.

    That said, the more you do with/to it, the more it is going to hurt you later.

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    Wow, 24 and a multi level fusion. Was the original injury due to trauma? Have you tried and failed conservative treatment such as physical therapy, ESI's, meds and most importantly given it time? Are you having any problems with bowel or bladder? Are you having symptoms in your lower extremities or just your back? Be careful opening pandoras box, once you have a fusion in one or 2 spots on your spine you increase the stress above and below the fusion and frequently they will need to be fused as well. I would highly recommend getting several opinions if it is not emergent in nature. Also check out "Treat your own back" a book by Robin McKenzie available on Amazon

  6. #6
    Member shmobag's Avatar
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    My original injury was due to a trauma, that was back in 2011. I have had physical therapy, massages, steroid injections, RFA blocks, I've been given narcotics and nerve pain blockers. The best that's happened so far is the nerve pain blocker help a bit with sciatica, but my leg and toes still go numb sometimes. I am nervous about getting surgery this young especially as tigerpaw pointed out that it will likely lead to more fusions as happened with you, Bob the fisher. I have spinal stenosis, foraminal narrowing at L3-4 on the right side. Bulging discs between L3-4 and L4-5. And forward slip of the vertebrae at L3-4 and L4-5. With the bulging discs came loss of disc height as well. Thank you for the input so far!

  7. #7
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    I just had a fusion,L5,S1, felt immediately better. I'm 59 and really excited to be hunting. Can I pack 125 lbs of meat......no, can I hunt smarter and feel great.......yes. Go see Dr Humphreys in Soldotna.

  8. #8
    Member Bob the fisher's Avatar
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    Dam bro, I'm sorry to hear all that. I would find a good nuerologist first instead of an orthopedic surgeon as surgery sucks and if there is any other way to help u the nuerologist will be able to do that. This is just my opinion from my past experiences. I wish all the best for u and remeber, use your knees and not your back when lifting and aways ask for help. You will get thru it... Just keep on keepin on...
    Quote Originally Posted by shmobag View Post
    My original injury was due to a trauma, that was back in 2011. I have had physical therapy, massages, steroid injections, RFA blocks, I've been given narcotics and nerve pain blockers. The best that's happened so far is the nerve pain blocker help a bit with sciatica, but my leg and toes still go numb sometimes. I am nervous about getting surgery this young especially as tigerpaw pointed out that it will likely lead to more fusions as happened with you, Bob the fisher. I have spinal stenosis, foraminal narrowing at L3-4 on the right side. Bulging discs between L3-4 and L4-5. And forward slip of the vertebrae at L3-4 and L4-5. With the bulging discs came loss of disc height as well. Thank you for the input so far!
    "Fisherman for Life" and "Phantom owner Forever"

  9. #9

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    I would never do surgery. You will never be the same, and at 24, you're looking at more and more surgeries before you are unable to walk by the time you hit your prime at 40. Sounds like you have tried everything.....except for chiropractic. I went to a chiropractor after they told me I would have to have surgery. I had pain down the leg, numbness and weakness. He gave me adjustments, exercises, stretches and therapies and I have been 100% since then. I stretch everyday, exercise and hunt every year. I owe my life to my chiropractor, and I know I wouldn't be hunting like I am today if I would have gone and had that surgery. They are the true spine specialists, not these robot spinal surgeons that want to cut and fuse anything that moves. Don't do it. You are too young.

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