Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    55

    Minimally Invasive Spinal Fusion - anyone had one?

    As the title says, my degenerative disc disease is at the point where it needs to be fixed. I'm looking at an L4-5 fusion with screws & rods, which can be done minimally invasively. There doesn't seem to be much out there about recovery & going back to MTB & CX; anybody with first hand experience?
    The surgeon gave me some rough guidelines of trainer in 3mo, road bike in 3-6, which he said will be dependent on degree of bone fusion among other things.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    60
    Minimally Invasive Spinal Fusion = Oxymoron.

    This procedure was recommended to me over 12 years ago and I decided to wait. I'm glad I did.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    186
    you wont get back to cycling. you will be lucky to get back to work.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    55
    Quote Originally Posted by mastakilla View Post
    you wont get back to cycling. you will be lucky to get back to work.
    Is this based off of anything objective, or just opinion? This surgeon has had a few patients back to work a week post-op from single level TLIFs.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    186
    Quote Originally Posted by XLR99 View Post
    Is this based off of anything objective, or just opinion? This surgeon has had a few patients back to work a week post-op from single level TLIFs.
    based off of opinion after working the medical profession for the last decade. the guy who is recommending this surgery to you also makes around 1 million dollars per year doing these procedures so I'd say its safe to say he may be biased. think long and hard first, it cant be undone.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    111
    I have a pair of rods and 8 screws to stabilize my T12 which had a 3 column compression fracture. Was told by my spine specialist that going back to MTB was highly recommended after the removal of my implants after 18 months due to the fact I might have a disc hernia with all the bouncing and etc from riding offroad. He recommended stationary cycling after 3 months and roading cycling after 6 months, the period when the bone has mended.

  7. #7
    Endo King
    Reputation: MtnHound's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    112
    Quote Originally Posted by XLR99 View Post
    As the title says, my degenerative disc disease is at the point where it needs to be fixed. I'm looking at an L4-5 fusion with screws & rods, which can be done minimally invasively. There doesn't seem to be much out there about recovery & going back to MTB & CX; anybody with first hand experience?
    The surgeon gave me some rough guidelines of trainer in 3mo, road bike in 3-6, which he said will be dependent on degree of bone fusion among other things.
    The last part says it. It depends on a variety of things going right but none more than your own desire to follow through with the physical therapy afterwards. When my dad had his done, I seen people up and moving the very next day. They had a very high threshold for pain and desire to get better. There were others who were in so much pain, they laid there and wept and got worse. The PT's are a tough group but if you give them half a chance, they can help you get where you want to go. Best of luck with your decision.
    "I didn't surrender. They took my horse and made him surrender..."
    -Chief Lone Watie

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    55
    Thanks for all the input everybody! I've been giving this a lot of thought, spent yet more time with the surgeon and his PA, staff from the surgery floor, as well as the pain mgmt doc. I've worked at this hospital for quite awhile, including several years in the OR, so I've already been involved in the actual surgery (may or may not be a good thing ), less knowledge about the recovery side. After more discussions, I'm still concerned about recovery, but it sounds like trading 'my' pain for surgical pain, which I know will at least improve after awhile with some ass-busting and misery.
    I recognize that the surgeon is going to make coin on surgery, but I specifically went to him after talking to multiple people and purposely selecting the most conservative surgeon.
    I think MTNHound hit the nail on the head - recovery is all about attitude.
    Honestly I've been in enough pain for the past six months, that I've been unable to do much other than work. I'm at the point where I need to get this fixed and get back to living my life. I want to get back to playing catch, hammering my son when he tries to run around me with the football, mowing the entire lawn nonstop in one day, and wrestling with my son again. That plus the riding thing...
    My primary riding buddy has been very supportive - he had a discectomy about 10 years ago when he was a few years older than me, and his symptoms were abit more severe than mine at the time. (Luckily for him, his herniation/impingement was easier to fix than mine) He's been riding with my 12y/o to give him a good workout on the trails since my riding is limited to a couple miles of 8y/o girl pace riding, followed by ice/vicodin therapy.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    55
    Wow, I just realized I haven't been back to the rider down forum in awhile. Unfortunately looks like lots of people getting injured this year.
    As an update, after going back and forth about it, getting a second opinion, coin toss, etc. I decided to go forward with surgery for the reasons outlined above. My symptoms got quite a bit worse the week before surgery, reminding me that I had made the right choice, I guess.
    Surgery was on Jul 27th, and I had my initial follow up with the surgeon today. After waking up in recovery, I had no radiculopathy symptoms at all, no numbness, tingling, or left leg pain. I was in the hospital for three days. I had a Dialudid patient controlled analgesia pump the first night, which was DC'ed the morning of day 1. Up out of bed in the morning after being fitted with a stylish back brace. By the afternoon, I had figured out the timing for taking pain meds, then getting up about half an hour later. I was up as much as I could be, including doing some stairs, but overall I'd classify the hospital stay as not fun.
    I got paroled on Day 3 after getting signed off by PT and the surgeon. The ride home was probably the worst part of the whole experience, a 30minute ride in an Odyssey felt like a 6 hour rock garden odyssey in a dump truck.
    Initially the surgical pain was worse than my preop pain, but the big difference is that the pain continues to lessen, and I've been able to take progressively less in the way of pain meds. I was very, very tired for the first week, probably due in part to the meds. Better this week, and for me it's more manageable and predictable than the shooters I'd get pre-op. The down side is needing to have an assortment of grabbers and hooks to help getting dressed, pick up stuff I drop, etc. Still, I'm happy knowing they are only temporary.
    Assuming that I win the battle with employee health, I should be back at work on Monday.
    SO the big question - I need to wait another two weeks to get back on the indoor trainer, and wear my back brace while riding. Another month before riding on the road. Barring any other issues, I should be good to go for MTB by the time everything dries out next spring.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    1,304
    They recommended lumbar fusion for me too. But I never got a good enough vibe off of one of the Dr's to trust them. Did 2 years of hot yoga instead and I think I got results as good as I would have from surgery.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    55
    Update from one month out: slowly getting better and getting energy back. I started PT a few weeks ago & have been using their stationary recumbent b/c I don't have to wear my brace on it. My pain levels are far better than before surgery, haven't had any of the pain down the leg that got me to this point. My big accomplishment to date was walking a 2.5 mi singletrack loop while my kid was out riding. It took awhile, but felt good to be out in the woods again.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    11

    navigation guided

    As a healthcare worker. Radiology. I've seen the best and most accurate results with navigation assisted surgery. Check it out.

    But with all spinal surg, it is a crap shoot. Pain may never go away. Make sure your surgeon takes the time to dissect muscle anatomy if it applies

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •