I had a spinal fusion on February 15th of 2006 and still to this day have not even begun to feel any amount better. I am in the process of trying to get social security disability as I am no longer physically able to work. The fusion was done as a treatment for 2 herniated discs in the L4, L5, S1 region.
Almost 3 years down the line and my back pain is worse than ever. I have no range of motion anymore (I cant even touch my toes or put on socks half the time without my husbands help). I currently take several pain medications, including lortab, flexeril, and etodolac to name a few.
The reason I ended up on your website is that I was trying to get a percentage of how many fusions lead to permanent disability and the findings are hard to swallow. I still can't believe that a disc replacement option was never even mentioned to me. (I didn't know that option existed until about a year or so after the fusion was done.)
I was told by my doctor that 33% of people who have back surgery get better, 33% stay the same and the other 33% get worse. I was also told by him that I had about an 85% chance of the fusion relieving about 50% of the pain. well, I guess I'm in the latter 33% because I now have 2 more bulging discs right above all the hardware they put in to hold things together.
From what I have been told by other doctors is that I will keep getting worse from the look of things. Please don't stop posting this kind of info on your website. People need to know the truth and to know they have more than one option (which I was told it was the only option left to try).
I now know that information was wrong and if I could go back in time and change my mind about having the fusion, I surely would. Thank you for your website. It's an eye opener for sure. 68% leads to permanent disability. That's a damned shame in my book. - Peggy