Photo of Spinal Fusion Incision – L4 & L5

Good morning, attached is a photo of my incision as a result of a recent fusion of my L4 and L5 vertebrae.  Coming in the next day or so will be a journal detailing my recovery from this spinal fusion.  The incision extends about another inch below the belt line of my pajamas.  At this time it is still tender.  The other marks on my back are from the brace I must wear constantly.  After 10 days, my journey has gone well.  May God bless you on your journey.   Remember, through it all, God has your back! 


173 Responses to Photo of Spinal Fusion Incision – L4 & L5

  1. Tonya Booker says:

    I am 36 years old. A mom of 2 young children. I had curent MRI’s with and without contrast 2 weeks ago. I am in the decision making part of trying to decide if I should do the L4-5 fusion as suggested by my Dr. I have had 2 other back surgeries, May 2010, Nov 2010, and 2 sets of SI injections & 1 set of facet injections. I also have been diagnosed with bilateral sacrollitis. I have been in severe chronic pain since Nov 2009, taking mediaction daily, using a TENS unit daily & I have completed two 6 week sesions of physical thrapy, all with very little pain relief. I am hoping as I go through your blog, it will help me in my decision making process in regards to the L4-L5 Fusion.

    • Sorry to hear that you have not had any relief from your pain. You will be in my prayers. After 9 weeks, I feel very good. I attended a 3 day insurance seminar the other day and I arrived each day at 6:00 am though the class did not start until 8. I got out each day at 5 and I remarked to my wife that prior to my surgery I would have been sore and bent over for at least 3 days from sitting in those conference chairs. My lower back did not bother me at all! The surgery has been a very good decision for me. I am still wearing the brace and I met a man at the conference who had the same surgery this year in January and he said he is also having excellent results. He was out of his brace after only a couple of months. If you have any specific questions, please feel free to email me directly at May God bless you and your family and may you have a good night’s sleep.

      • marygrime says:

        I also have a new grandchild and am scheduled to have spinal fusion of L4-5 next Thursday, July 14th. I was scheduled for July 7th and went through all of the anticipation, but insurance denied my claim at the last minute. Found out at 6 p.m. the evening prior to surgery. I have so enjoyed reading your blog. My faith is very important to me and will help me get through the ups and downs.

        Mine is an anterior and posterior fustion-stabilization from front and back. I am very nervous and have four more days until surgery. I am calling this week my “groundhog week”. Anticipation, my last celebration with friends and family for a while, and cleansing on the day prior to surgery.

        God bless and continue on your road to recovery.

      • Sorry to hear that you had to go through the week before surgery twice. I am sure that was disappointing. I am glad to hear that you will be able to rely on your faith as you go through your recovery. What a blessing to know we serve a Lord who never leaves us nor forsakes us. I will join with your friends and family in praying for an excellent outcome and a speedy recovery for you. May God continue to bless you.

        In Christ,
        Pastor Phillip

    • Ed Sargent says:

      For me it’s 12 years of pain med and the side effects. Hospital for bleeding colon from med. But without med I would go insane with the pain. No win situation rods and screws 2 surgeries and no change. At least no more crackling in back from original operation. if your in pain or a long time chances are surgery will not help. Hope in future for new ways to reduce pain but for now grin and bear.

      • Hi Ed, sorry to hear about you pain. I know that some people have degenerative conditions and sometimes the outcomes are not what we hope for. I will be in prayer for you to receive relief from your pain and for God to do a miraculous work in your body that doctors have not been able to do.

        May God bless you and your family,
        Pastor Phillip

    • Russell hauck says:

      I had L3 L4 S1 AN L5 Fusion They put two rods 7 screws an 3 bone graf. the first 3 weeks was hard i was one walker 2 weeks on a cane but i do not have the same pain i went in now its getting over the surgery I have God on my side i will get over this.

      • Hi Russell, thanks for sharing your experience. May the Lord continue to bless you.

        In Christ,
        Pastor Phillip

      • Mary Allison says:

        I just had spinal Fusion. Two titanium rods and 30 screws. My surgery was May 31,2016. I was in surgery for 14 hours. Mine should of taken between 8-10 hours. I’m suffering alot. I find it difficult to do just about anything. I was constipated was able to go and now can’t go again and now I’m not feeling the abillity to exercise. Whenever I try it hurts alot. I can barely stand from sitting. Will this complicate my recovery? I already feel weak not strong enough to do this. My husband go’s back to work in about 6 days. Will I heal properly.

      • Good afternoon Mary,

        Your experience is not an uncommon one. Keep your doctor informed, keep following his orders and pray for patience and healing. I will be praying for you as well. I know that you will be fine in the long run. If you have any specific questions please feel free to ask.

        Blessings to you and those you love,
        Pastor Phillip

  2. Tonya Booker says:

    Thank You! I am enjoying your blog! If you don’t mind, please add me to your prayer list. I am still in the decision making process of trying to decide about the L4-5 fusion.
    God bless!
    In His Love,

  3. Heidi says:

    I hope you are recovering well. I am 25 and have been to my third opinion this week, all spine specialists, all recommending the same thing – lumber fusion. I do not want to do this but do not have much pain relief and worry about what will happen as I get older. I have gone through years of PT and yoga, both help sometimes. Also I have lived with a heating pad since I was 12 or so. I am very nervous on what is the right choice to make. This is a life changing decision and I want to make the right choice.

  4. Tracy says:

    I had a 360 spinal fusion July 11,2011. I have an incision in front ,back and on my hip because of a bone graft. Before surgery I had been diagnosed with spondylisthesis, retrolisthesis, and degenerative disc. They fused L4-S1. I had severe right leg pain before that came on very quickly. Unortunately, I still have it . The doctor says it is from nerve inflammation and will go away with time. It is very hard to be patient and has been a huge test of faith. It has been 8 weeks today and I really thought I would be okay by now. I need to go back to work and want to take care of my family again, though my husband has been a huge help and my children who are in high school have also stepped up. I try to stay positive but every day I wake up and think the pain will be gone but it is still there.I feel very isolated and my friends from church have not exactly been helpful and that is also very disappointing. How can I keep my faith alive during this difficult time?

    • Hi Tracy, I would base all of my answer on James 4:2 “ye have not because ye ask not”. First, if you are still hurting that badly, talk to your doctor and your insurance carrier – you should not be going back to work yet. I know someone else who was out for 10 weeks for the same surgery I had, even though I was out for 5. Everyone is different and that is okay. Second, talk to your pastor. Let them know that you could use some additional prayers and some additional support. Be sure to have some specific items ready to ask for and some general healing and support ready to ask for as well. Third, talk to a friend from church or Sunday school class who can be an accountability partner and who can check up on you from time to time. Speak to someone who you can confide in, someone you trust. Let them know you are struggling a bit and you need their support right now. I know they will come through for you. Fourth, talk to your Lord. Ask Hiim to help you through this hour…then the next…and the next. He will do it! Ask Him to give you specific wisdom and knowledge on how to occupy your mind and how to best relieve the pain that you are having. Ask Him for a good night’s sleep tonight and a good day of rest today and let tomorrow worry about itself. Hope that helps. Please let me know how it goes. You can email me directly if you like or continue to post here. I will be praying for you and asking the Lord to grant you strength and relief. May He bless you and your family.

      • greg says:

        I had l4-l5 fusion on oct 07. 2014. Its been almost 3 months. And i can still barely walk. I am more pain now than i was. Im normally very active go to gym 5 days a week. Play softball. But cant do any of that at this point. Any ideas?

      • Hi Greg, first let me say that I am sorry you are having a tough time. I will pray for your recovery and healing. I was not allowed to do any walking or jogging for exercise or lift anything over ten pounds for six months.

        Where are you hurting? The nerves in my legs hurt bad from time to time for about ten weeks. Be sure to talk to your doctor about what you are experiencing. Mine made me take a conservative approach to exercise and I had to wait. Also, I was told that it took a while for the sciatic nerve to heal following the surgery along with the other nerves that were inflamed. Don’t give up hope. I know the Lord can strengthen you and help you.

        Keep me posted and feel free to email me with any questions you may have.
        Pastor Phillip

  5. Tracy says:

    Thank you for your reply. I have lots of medication it just doesn’t help with nerve pain. I have been talking to the Lord a lot and I know that He will heal me in his time not mine. It is just hard to be patient but I do think I am slowly getting better. I go to the Dr in another 4 weeks and will hopefully be able to get out of my brace. I think mentally that would help a lot. My children are in sports and I try really hard to go their games but it is hard to sit through them. I am glad I found your website and will keep checking back. Thank you for your prayers!

    • Tammy says:

      I know this post is from 2o11, I am experiencing low back pain and taking Gabapentin which is for nerve pain, contemplating L4-5 spine fusion surgery and I am very nervous and will get a second opinion regarding the severity of the surgery.

      • Hi Tammy, You are wise in getting a second opinion. I will pray for wisdom and healing for you in whatever you decide.

        May God bless you and your family,
        Pastor Phillip

  6. andre Swanepoel says:

    Thanks! Enjoyed the reading. Greetings from South Africa. 6 weeks post L 4 and 5 fusion and through God’s grace no problems! Kindest regards. Andre.

    • Hi Andre, glad to hear things are going well! God’s grace is good indeed! Continue to follow the doctor’s orders and you will be fine. This week I am one year past my surgery and feel great. May God bless you with a wonderful recovery.

      In Christ,

    • Suzyd says:

      I I’m in my late 50″s and had L4 and L5 fusion with a laminectomy. The surgeon made 2 incisions on my back about 2 1/2 inches long and then 1 laterally on my mind left side. This was for Degenerative disc disease . I hurt the normal way after surgery but 15 days after I can not lift my left leg. It hurts from my back, down my gluten, my thigh, and to my feet. The right side is ok, just normal surgery pain. My left leg now hurts even sitting in a specialiced lift chair, electric and so nice. My surgeon passed me off yesterday back to my pain clinic and they passed me back to surgeon. But, they will see me. I’m out of pain meds.I hurt more now before surgery and when I came out of surgery. I take oxycodone, which I’m out, also lyrica, muscle relaxer, oh, I’m allergic to steroids, I take a before for panic disorder, so that is my meds, nothing is helping. I walk my dog about a block, come in and sit and ice incision and dies not help. Is this failed back surgery, should I go to different Dr. or what. I’m really suffering, all alone, husband works never see him, family lives in other states, PT guys wanted me to walk faster, which I couldn’t. I cancelled them. They made me feel like a failure. But I’m a Christian for 48 years, no reason to lie, not a drug seeker. The surgeon looked at my xrays, saw me approx 4 mins, did not even look at my incisions, shoved me out the door with 800mg ibuprofen, which slows down healing. I was in the medical field and husband is a RRT register respiratory therapist. What do I do. Some one help me. Severely depressed, and no, can’t take depression drugs, it messes with my restless leg syndrome..God bless

      • Hi Sue,

        Sorry to hear of your struggles and difficulties. I will keep you in my prayers. If I felt like I was not getting the help or answers I needed them I would go back to the doctor again or I would go get a second opinion. I will keep you in my prayers. Please let me know how you are doing.

        In Christ,
        Pastor Phillip

      • Elisa says:

        I’m wondering how you are doing one year later?

      • Glen GW Whaley says:

        My fusion was done from the front he cut me from my belly button down to my butt and I hurt worse than should be allowed I don’t get any pain meds anymore two years ago they decided I didn’t need them anymore my days are spent in a hospital bed and I don’t have any kind of a life anymore I wish I had the option of surgery to do again I don’t want anyone to make the same mistake I made

      • Dear Glen,

        I am sorry that you are still in pain and did not have a good outcome. You will be in my prayers. Have you thought about seeing a new doctor to get another opinion? As I said you will be in my prayers.

        In Christ,
        Pastor Phillip

  7. Mimi Turpin says:

    Had surgery February 1, 2012. My back feels really good but I can not straighten my right leg when laying down or standing. If I sit in a chair and straighten my leg it is o.k. Went for a M R I last Friday and talk to the doctor this Friday. I really need to get back to work plus this really scares me. When I first came home form the hospital I could do all the exercises. Now I can’t because of this problem. I came home from the hospital on a Friday and ran fever the whole weekend. They never could come up with a reason for the fever. Also, can not sleep because my fingers go to sleep really bad. I am thinking this could be a side effect from the Neurontin. It swells my feet but the doctor says to continue taking it.

    • Hi Ms. Turpin, I had a similar problem for a couple of weeks but it soon passed. Continue to keep your doctors informed. It sounds like the nerve is “waking up”. The fever may just be something unrelated such as allergies or cedar fever (I’m in Texas and we get that here). Let me know how it goes when you see the doctor. Was your surgery on the middle to upper back? Stay patient, I will pray for you. I know the Lord will take care of you.

  8. kim says:

    Had an anterior/posterior fusion on march 1 L4-S1. Woke up with weakness and extreme pain on opposite leg. Was in hospital for 5 days went home, surgeon called next morning very worried about my drop foot, scheduled 2nd surgery for that night. Back in hospital. 3 more nights for pain control….so after some days I dont really remember I’m finally ready to move forward. M & T were great, today I’m low in pain and feel like a gigantic burden….but googled spinal fusion recovery and what pops. Up God has your back! I calmed and realizes He has me and my family! Thank you!

    • Hi Kim, I hope that your recovery continues to get better. Sometimes it is like a roller coaster with some ups and downs. I pray that God will bless you richly and lay His hand of healing and patience upon you. May His favor and grace be upon you and your family.

      Pastor Phillip

  9. T.D. says:

    I,m 35 an im afraid that all the story’s you here about back surgery is one of the reason i have put it off as long as i have what are some of the pros an cons of having the surgery

    • Good morning, My experience has been really good. The Lord has blessed me with a very good outcome. I can pull weeds, work out and stand for hours without the problems I had before. It has been 13 months since I had my L4 and L5 fused. The cons are that the recovery takes a lot of patience. There are 6 months of not lifting anything heavier than 10 pounds and being very careful and you have to wear a brace for 3 to 6 months depending on your situation and your doctor. Read through the first 6 months of the blog and you will see some of the things I encountered – some sleepless nights during week 2 and 3 due to nerves causing pain in my foot. But overall I did not have any lower back pain once I got out of surgery. It was a very good decision for me. I will pray that the Lord will give you wisdom in making your decision and relief no matter how He leads you. May God bless you.

  10. Tracy says:

    I had a 360 lumbar spinal fusion 10 months ago because I could no longer walk. After surgery I expected my leg pain to be gone, it wasn’t. The disappointment I felt was unbelievable. The first two months was all I could do to get out of bed, however I slowly started to regain my strength and the gratefulness I felt at being able to walk was what got me through the next few months. I still have the pain in my leg but if I look back at even two months ago the improvemnet is amazing. I wish I had never had to have the surgery, however, being able to walk and enjoy my family again makes it all worth it. I still have days where the muscle spasms are intense but I also went back to work full time three months ago. It beats sitting around thinking about pain. Cleaning house is a challenge but my family understands I can no longer do things the way I used to or want to.I would consider every option possible before having it but after you exhaust all of those sometimes we have to make choices we rather wouldn’t. May the grace of God be with you making your decision.

    • Hi Tracy, I am not familiar with all of the medical terms involved with all back surgeries so I am not sure I understand the entire scope of your procedure. I agree that every individual must prayerfully make their own decision. I am glad that you have received some relief and have had some improvement. I will pray that you will continue to progress so that you can get back to doing even more things than you are doing now. May God bless you and your family. (On a related note, when my sciatic nerve was waking up during weeks 2 and 3 my doctor told me it might be several months for things to settle down. He mentioned that sometimes due to years of inflammation, it takes a while for the inflammation to subside to the point of “normalcy”. I will stand with you in prayer that you will see great improvement.)

      In Christ,
      Pastor Phillip

      • Hi!

        Make sure you tell everyone to be really careful about what drugs the are given for post-op pain. To be short: in 1995 I had a cervical spinal fusion with bone from the hip for a graft, etc. I was very stupid and ever since then, up until now, was having a major problem involving plenty of opiates, benzos, etc. Now I have been off all the drugs for a couple of months, and quite frankly when I look back, and think about all the things that went on for all those years, I am amazed. I don’t know that person. Things were so ugly, it’s a wonder I did not lose everything. But, I didn’t. Jesus and Mary’s hands were always there. It’s over now and the future is VERY bright.

        MAKE SURE you tell everybody, BE CAREFUL with what the give you for pain. Very, very easy to end up with the spine all fixed, only to find the the drugs have made you a zombie.

      • Hi Jim,

        Thank you for sharing your story. You are so right. One must be very careful with the various medications and monitor their usage and effectiveness closely. I am glad that you are doing well. Thanks again for sharing your story.

        May God bless you richly,
        Pastor Phillip

  11. First time I saw your blog when I googled fusion. Had back surgery 2 yrs. ago to remove a disc fragment & was in extreme pain. That horrible pain is gone but have had to continue with low back/left hip pain for the past 2 yrs. Still have to take nightly RX pain pains & advil during the day. My Problem is with L4-L5 & saw a spinal specialist yesterday who said he would put it off spinal fusion as long as I could due to degenerative disc disease, arthritis & my age (71). I’m able to take care of myself & my husband but am in constant pain. Wear a TENS unit 3 hrs. day, do PT @ home & have taken 4 acupuncture treatments which are helping some. Would appreciate your prayers as until one goes through this they haven’t got a clue how bad the pain can be. As a christian who has prayed for healing, claimed healing & believes in healing I will not give up because I know in HIS timing God will see me through all of this.

    • Good evening Linda,
      I will stand with you in regard to praying for your continued healing in the Lord. I pray that you will have relief very soon. May God bless you and strengthen you in every way.

      Pastor Phillip

  12. Thanks for your reply & prayers. The prayers of a righteous man availeth much.

    In Christ,

  13. Brian says:

    Wow, I love this site. I am 13 days post op from a L4 L5 microdiscectomy. THIS IS MY 2nd . This past one was a revision from 4 years ago. I really believed I over did it the first time and never gave it time to heal. I didn’t follow through with exercise and continued to do stuff I should have been really careful doing.

    So far, 13 days out, I am doing great. I still have some calves and leg issues in my left leg. I re-herniated the disc and it was in really bad shape impinging the nerve so I am expecting a slower leg fix. The doctor wanted to do a fusion prior to this surgery but I would not, probably because of all of those negative sites and he ok’d a revision.

    Like most of you, I am in a constant state of worry. I am 28 years old and had 2 surgeries and very little disc remaining which terrifies me. Is anyone else in the same situation as me and relatively the same age? I go back to the doctor on Monday and I am going to ask for therapy. I know I have to walk daily and do a daily stretching regime. I am walking 1 15-20 min walk ago. Today, I am going to bump it up to 2.

    What do you suggest with the little disc remaining, wll i be fine? Will I be able to play with kids and have an ok life? Also I notice my legs burn or ache when I lay on my right side, this never was the case, that typically was the only side I could be comfortable and now it isnt.

    Sorry for rambling. I was searching the web endlessly last night and this site actualy relaxed me enought to sleep. I just hope someone else has had 2 disc surgeries at the same level and in later 20s to help. It is mental more now than anything but I am overly cautious doing anything.

    Much appreciated feedback. Brian

    • Hi Brian, I think that you will have a great life and be just fine! You may want to be careful about doing too much walking. My doctor slowed me down. I was putting in up to an hour a day after 3 weeks and he pulled me back until after 6 months other than just 10 minutes a couple of times a day. But my doctor took a very conservative approach… but then again he was dealing with a 48 year old man… now I am rambling.

      Follow your doctor’s orders to a “T” and you will be fine. Trust in the Lord and know that you will be in mine and others prayers too.

      Pastor Phillip

      • Brian says:

        Thanks Pastor Phillip. This is very encouraging. Although, I don’t anticipate getting a fusion, its just the fact the doctor wanted do that and after we talked we decided to try the microdisectomy again. I have heard many discouraging fusion stories and I am too young to want to risk that. I think I saw your email above and may email you from time to time. It is always nice to have a person to talk to that is going /went through the same thing. My plan is to be very careful and not do some things that I did in the past that I really don’t need to do. Of course, walk and stretch more. Do you know what type of fusion that they did? Take care, Brian

      • Hi Brian, mine was a L4 and L5 fusion with a laminectomy. Basically, they cut off the spiny part of the backbone, ground it up into dust and made a past to put onto a circular wire mesh that took the place of the disc. A couple of pins and about 4 tungsten screws hold it all together. Seems to be working fine. I have some of the technical terms on the weeks 1 and 2 blogs – sorry I can’t remember them.

        I think it is fairly common for the doctors (or insurance companies) to suggest the microdisectomy and see if that works first. It is less invasive, less expensive and gives some people the results they need.

        You will be in my prayers.
        Pastor Phillip

  14. Patty says:

    Hello, I was so happy to read this blog!! I am scheduled for a L5/S1 and L4/l5 360 degree fusion. I have been in physical therapy for 6 months and have seen many doctors trying to find pain management medication that will not drug me out and take me out of my life. My doctor and I have made the decision to move ahead with survery. Please pray for me and my well being while I wait 3-4 months for my surgery. I know God is with me and when I focus on Him, I am more calm about waiting for the surgery.

  15. Heather says:

    Hi Brian, I am also 28, had a micro d on L4/L5 and am facing the decision of a fusion. Feel free to email me if you’d like to talk further.

    God Bless,

  16. Shay Gibson says:

    I am going for a 3rd opinion next month regarding my ongoing back issues. On 5/4/2011, I picked up a box at work and messed my back up. The box wasn’t very heavy but it was wet on the bottom and I moved wrong when the box started to tear. The funny part is that the box was full of small luncheon milk cartons, and milk is supposed to do the body good…hahahaha. Well, after 2 microdiscectomies, over 10 series of injections, a laser rhizotomy (nerve burn), and countless medications…I’m still in the same pain I was on the day of injury. My neurosurgeon is at his wit’s end and has told me I’m certainly not a “normal” case and has said that he wants to do a fusion in hopes of relieving some pain at L3-L4 and L4-L5. Since I got hurt at work, I was sent for a second opinion yesterday, and he immediately said I needed the double fusion. I’m also scheduled for a 3rd opinion on August 13. I don’t like to complain, one bc it doesn’t make anyone (especially me) feel better and two bc no one really wants to hear it. I have worked with students that have had terminal illness in my past teaching career and I really feel guilty for even thinking about complaining or asking for help bc I saw these students on their best and worst days with a smile on their faces and trying to help/comfort those around them. So who am I to complain or not do for myself. But I know that I do need help and need help managing my pain, I just don’t like admitting it I guess. To say that I’m terrified of another surgery is putting it mildly, I woke up from anesthesia from my first back surgery thinking both of my feet had been cut off..I had no feeling in them at all and after a year the feeling has not come back. I have absolutely no feeling in either feet from a little above my ankles to the tips of my I’m terrified of having more complications from another surgery. I was like a toddler trying to learn how to walk and now walk like Frankenstein but I can walk, so that’s a blessing in itself. I found this website and it was a true blessing to know that others are going similar situations.

    • Hi Shay, I will pray for your continued healing and progress. I am glad that you have your faith to lean on. My L4 and L5 fusion has gone very well. I am sure yours will too! Keep me posted on your progress.

      Pastor Phillip

  17. Fern Trujillo says:

    I am scheduled for a similar surgery in 2-3 weeks, I am obviously concerned. My additional issue is that the vertebrae has shifted forward at L5 so the surgery is necessary as it is pinching my nerves directly. Both L4 & L5 will be replaced and fused.

    Your site has given me quite a bit of relief, God bless and Good Luck.

    • Good morning, I know how painful that pinching of those nerves can be. My surgery was about 18 months ago and I am doing fine and exercising regularly. I will pray for your speedy and full recovery. Stay patient, prayerful and follow doctor’s orders.

      Pastor Phillip
      p.s. keep me posted on your progress

      • Fern Trujillo says:

        Thanks for the reply and the prayers.

        The surgery is scheduled for monday morning, with the good Lords help I should be on here in a few days to report on how the back is feeling.

        Thanks Again


  18. liz moore says:

    hi my name is liz, I had spinal fusion surgery L4-L5 lJune 27,and I am still in a lot of pain in my back and legs, it feels like I never had the surgery, maybe I am rushing it, I just want 2 be pain free, how long did you have to wait until the pain disapears

    • Hi Liz, I would have to check my blog to get specific. But I would say that I felt really good at about 3 months. After about 8 weeks I did not have much leg pain at night. My doctor told me that some people have problems with the nerve pain after surgery for 6 months to a year in some rare cases. Continue to keep your doctor informed. My doctor told me I was not resting enough and retricted me from walking the first 4 months. I will keep you in my prayers.

      Pastor Phil

  19. Tracy says:

    I had a two level fusion ,L4-S1, July 2011. It was November before I started feeling somewhat normal again. I did go back to work in December but I still think it was too soon. I just wanted so badly to feel normal again. I still take 6 Lyrica a day . I just tried to wean off of it for the third time and the nerve pain in my leg became unbearable again. It is a very long journey. I would feel a little better one day and horrible the next. I would become very frustrated feeling like God had abandoned me. I now know He did not and that even though I don’t know why this happened to me there is a reason. I hope you start feeling better very soon. Just follow the doctor’s instructions and let people help you. It does get better. I still have to take the Lyrica like clockwork but as long as it helps thats okay.
    In His Name,

  20. Fern Trujillo says:


    I had the two level fusion with disk replacements two weeks ago yesterday.
    The pain in the Hospital was formidable/unbearable as well as the first few days back home. Yesterday I finally had some relief, and I can see there is light ( I pray) at the end of the tunnel.

    The Doctor put me to walk as soon as I got home, The resulting pain to the entire hip,back, leg area was extensive but a lot of it I think was soreness from the exercise. Today I had the followup and everything is going well according to him.

    He wants me just walking and raising my arms over my head for the first 3-4 months before PT starts, he says walking right away is the key to good recovery. I am definitively less sore today that I have been the past two weeks.

    My doctor does not believe in prescribing a brace, he feels the constriction does more damage than good to the healing process, so I have been spared the Burden some have.

    My prayers are with those of you suffering or attempting to recover from this very painful injury.


    • Ida Miranda says:

      My husband will be undergoing fusion surgery on Friday, Sept. 21st. He is 74 years old with a history of heart attacks. In 2008 3 stents were placed in his arteries. He has been given the O.K. by his cardiologist to have the surgery. Needless to say, we are both nervous about this surgery. He is not able to walk for any length of time without a lot of pain in his legs and after two epidural procedures, physical therapy and pain medication, all to no avail, he has decided to have the surgery.
      Please keep him in your prayers. Thank you and God bless each and everyone of you who have had this type of surgery.

      • Good evening Ida,
        I will definitely keep you and your husband in my prayers. I pray that he will have relief very soon and a very quick recovery.

        Pastor Phillip

      • Ida Miranda says:

        My husband has his surgery on Friday, Sept. 21st. The surgery went very well and he is now recuperating. The first day after the surgery the physical therapist had him get up twice from the bed, the first time he walked a few steps around the room, the second time he walked the entire corridor. The pain medication is working well as of today. The powerful prayers of friends and family have been a great blessing. Thank you so much.


  21. I am so happy come across a positive blog about this surgery!

  22. Ida Miranda says:

    My husband is now home from the hospital since his surgery. He is walking some but he has a lot of pain where the incision is. He was told not to sleep on his back, only on his side and this has proven to be quite difficult for him, as a result he is up most of the night trying to get comfortable.
    Please pray for us!

    • Good afternoon Ms. Miranda,

      I will definitely keep your husband and you in my prayers. I hope that he is able to rest this evening and that he recovers very quickly.

      Pastor Phillip

  23. Carrie Weiser says:

    Hello Everyone,
    May God bless us all. I had L4 L5 fusion on Oct 11, 2012 and still have nerve pain in my legs and still have pain in my lower back especially when I sit. I’m taking Neurontin for nerve pain which has helped and Percocet when my back pain gets real bad. Hope this helps.

    • Good evening,

      It has not been that long since your surgery. I did really well the first couple of weeks and then (if I recall – I would have to check the blog archives) I had a flare up in the leg pain during weeks 4 and 5. It is not uncommon for those nerves to come back “awake” and have some pain from time to time in the first 6 months according to my doctor. My pain did not last very long. I pray that yours will go away soon and that you will be blessed with a quick recovery.

      Blessings to you and those you love,
      Pastor Phillip

  24. Cindy Sandene says:

    I realized I have been forgetting to pray for us all. I must be getting better! My L4-5 fusion with disc replacement and removal of a large synovial cyst was 10-31-12. I am 55 and was quite active before the pain became unbearable July 23,2012 and I had to quit my job as a nurse.
    This surgery seems to have a very long recovery time.
    The hardware in my back looks huge on Xray, but I really cannot feel it.
    I still have leg and hip pain, but I have been able to sleep through the night. Before, the surgery, I found it hard to sit through a movie at the theatre.
    Now I can and I can also drive an hour to go see my boyfriend in another city. I can cook and bake cookies. I rode across Nebraska last week to see my son in Colorado. I wouldn’t attempt that alone yet.
    I still dont like to bend my knees and get way down to pick things up, but I do. I didn’t use the grabber at all last week.
    I love my diet coke and still can’t lift a 12 pack. I wonder if I ever will be able to.
    I am writing this to reassure others that are afraid of having the surgery. This surgery , before and after ,was the most painful scary thing I have ever been through. I came back to God, because I needed Him! That is the one postive thing that happenned.
    Jesus is the vine of the grapes and we are the branches. Sometimes we need pruned to bear good fruit. The one postive thing about this is that it took away my vanity and made me depend on God and other people, whereas before I thought I could be in charge of everything.

  25. Sylvia Sikkelerus says:

    HI Pastor Phillip, I am scheduled for L4/L5 Lumbar fusion in 2 days. After about 20 years of on and off pain following an acccident at work, and the last 3 months of constant pain, trying physical therapy and a trip to the ER, my surgeon decided nothing more could be done other than this surgery. After consulting 2 other surgeons and my regular doctor, they all agreed. I was looking up Spinal Fusion and Stenosis and found your blog. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read and re-read every word. I’m still nervous about the surgery and recovery, but I wanted you to know that your blog has given me hope that I will have similar results. I think the 6 month recovery time will be worth it if I can play soccer, among other things, with my grandson again. Please keep me in your prayers and I’ll check in after and let you know how things are going.
    Thanks again for taking the time to write the blog. I know it has helped comfort many in the same situation.
    God Bless You,

  26. kim says:

    I just had a consutation w/my neurosurgeon and he said I needed a spinal fusion. I have DDD, stenosis, and my disc is pinching my nerve. I wasnt sure what to expect and when I told my friend about this she thought it was extreme. Im wondering why he would suggest this over a discectomy. This was just a consult so I wasnt sure of what questions to ask. Anybody know why he would suggest a fusion over a discectomy. I am 41yrs old and have tried steroid injections on 2 seperate occasions(3 rounds each), pt, and pain meds all of no help. I am having back pain as well as pain down my right leg and in my hip. Any suggestions would help.

    • Hi Kim, Sorry it took me so long to get back to you. I know that a discetomy is a less invasive procedure and has a shorter recovery time. Most insurance companies prefer that this is a first attempt to be made in lieu of a fusion. Some of them will not pay for a fusion unless it is a last resort. You can always get a second opinion from another doctor. My experience with my fusion has been good. I suppose it really depends on what that diagnosis is for your condition. A discetomy, as far as I know removes a portion of a bulging disc that impinges on a nerve. A fusion realigns the vertebrae and keeps them from pressing on the disc which then presses on the nerve. A discetomy will not help if your vertebrae are too far out of line or if some other condition is the root cause. I will be praying for you to receive wisdom and most of all, relief and healing.

      In Christ,
      Pastor Phillip

  27. Doothy Hartline says:

    What a blessing you site is. I am 74 years old and in great health….exception my back. Just had an injection for diagnostic purposes. However, because my back is very unstable…protruding discs, moderate scoliosis and the sciatic pain, the surgeon is recommending fusion of L4and 5. My son, a physical therapist also had a surgeon friend review my MRI and he concurred with the fusion recommendation. It is a big decision for me and I am definitely seeking the Lord’s wisdom. You great results are an encouragement. How long before you were resuming normal activities. I have four rescued dogs and they require my attention… although I have a very helpful husband. My problem will be taking it easy after surgery, because I usually think if I push myself I will feel better. I would appreciate your prayers and I certainly felt the Lord’s presence during my injections. Thank you, Dotty

    • Hi Dottie, I will certainly keep you in my prayers. It sounds like you are pretty active so I think you will be fine. I went back to work for half days at four weeks in the claims office. Do your best to rest and follow doctors orders. Every now and then in the first couple of months you will have some nerve pain in your feet but nothing severe if you are like most people. I kept pretty extensive notes the first year in the blog but let me know if you have any other questions.
      In Christ,
      Pastor Phillip

  28. Dotty Hartline says:

    My surgery is scheduled for Aug 1. I am, to be honest, getting a little apprehensive, but also am drawing close to the Lord and trusting Him for His peace and healing. I really appreciate all prayers for a successful surgery and also for my husband that he won’t wear himself out trying to “do it all”. I don’t know about how long it will be before I can return to work since my job involves standing most of the time, lifting (etc). I work at a health food store, so we are always bending/ twisting to get things for customers. Another thing to trust the Lord for His perfect timing.

    God bless and thank you for your prayers.

    • Hi Dotty, Myself and some others have been praying for you. I know that the Lord will be watching over you and your husband during this time. I went back to work at 5 weeks. If you bend with your knees and try to turn your entire body you will be just fine when you return to work. You will have a brace on and the screws that are in place are really secure so I think you will be just fine. Follow doctor’s orders and trust in the Lord and things will go fine.

      Blessings to you…keep me posted!
      Pastor Phillip

  29. Dotty Hartline says:

    Thank you so much for your reply and the prayers. I praise God for His faithfulness, love and protection. Dotty

  30. dana says:

    I am going to have L4 -S1 fusion. I too am scared and worried that it wont turn out well. I also was wondering how long it takes for a recovery well enough to return to work. I work in the sheriff’s office. I deal with filing, computers, people, in contact with inmates, stairs ( several stairs) and constantly getting up and down for copies and files. I read several comments about how pain differed. I guess it is all up to each individual. But for the most part would you say a couple of month? My Dr said I could go back to work initially in 2 weeks and start PT in 6 wks. That just did not even sound right but I explained my work habits and they said 6 to 8 wks. How do you know what to plan for? Or even when to plan it as I am a mother of 2 and (1 in high school 1 in college)I don’t want to miss church or other activities of that manner .They need me and if I do this I will need them and don’t want to be a burden.

    • Hi Dana, I went back to work after 5 weeks. I did not do any real working out or physical therapy for 6 months but believe I could have begun much sooner. I tracked my progress each week of the first year on the blog. Check it out and let me know if you have any specific questions. You can email me directly at

      I felt pretty good at 4 weeks even though there were some occasional brief twinges of pain from time to time.
      Pastor Phillip

  31. Tracey Dibbern says:

    I came across this site when I was looking for different options for fusion. My husband was told he needs an L4 L5 fusion. The only problem is that he is our only FT income right now ( I substitute at a small Christian school that my kids attend). Also because he is a semi-truck mechanic, this surgery will end his career as well. We are trying epidural shots and pain rx until I finish grad school in May and hopefully I can find a FT teaching position for the next school year. We also have a 5 and 7 yr old to take care of too. Please pray that we can make it through the wait for surgery, that my husbands pain can be managed until then, I find FT employment, and that through this my husband will come to know the Lord. I know that God can use this for good, but I am extremely tired of the chaos life is throwing at us right now. Please pray for us.

    • Hi Tracey, I will definitely keep you in my prayers. I know that everyone’s experience with the spinal fusion is different. My surgeon had one patient who was a professional hockey player who was able to resume his career 6 months after the surgery. I am back to lifting and running several times a week. Your husband’s job does sound pretty strenuous. We will pray for relief of his pain, his healing, your school work, both of your vocations and God’s provision for you.

      Stay strong in the faith,
      Pastor Phillip

  32. Dotty Hartline says:

    Hi Pastor Phillip,
    It has been 8 weeks since my surgery.and I am back at work. As far as my pain is concerned, I am pleased with the results of my surgery. My main problem is fatigue. I just can’t seem to get my energy level back. At the end of my work day, I notice an heaviness in my back and legs and of course the area around the incision aches. I work at a health food store and am on my feet most of the day waiting on customers or putting product on shelves. I also have 4 dogs that I have to take care of. So, maybe I am expecting too much of my self. I pray daily asking the Lord for strength and wisdom, but honestly am getting a little discouraged . Any wisdom and of course prayer is greatly appreciated. Thanks and God bless you,


    • Hi Dotty, Glad to hear that you are doing well enough to go back to work. Also glad to hear that the surgery went well. It sounds like you are still suffering a little bit from “surgery fatigue” as your body is still on the mend and putting a great deal of its resources into the mending of bone and healing due to the invasive procedure that took place. I know that my sleep patterns were disrupted during the first few weeks and that alone took me awhile to recover from. Hang in there and do try to take it easy and pace yourself. We will keep you in our prayers. May God bless you with renewed strength and continued healing.

      In Christ,
      Pastor Phillip

  33. Nui says:


    I have had surgery last Monday and although the pain is different, I am still having pain high in my thighs. Can’t sit for too long or lay down for too long. Walking feels good but I still have staples and burns and hurt when I sweat. What do I do while I am waiting to get out the staples? Please help?

    • Hi Nui, sorry to hear that you are having some challenges. So far what you are describing sounds pretty normal. The incision will burn and itch for a few weeks and the nerve pain in the hips and legs will slowly dissipate. It may come back sporadically in the first 6 months as the nerves heal. I would suggest doing something to occupy your mind. Maybe reading, crossword puzzles, watching movies or something like that. Perhaps writing letters or something else will keep your mind off of the normal aches and pains associated with the healing process. Keep me posted on your progress.
      Pastor Phillip

  34. Keri says:

    Having L4 fusion tomorrow after numerous rounds of sacroiliac joint injections, PT, and medications that have not relieved unbearable pain and limited mobility. Although my physician expects to be able to utilize minimally invasive lateral approach due to my small stature, I have tremendous anxiety. I am fairly young at 34 with 6 children at home, including a 19 month-old and worry about the stress of the recovery period on the family. I want to make sure I allow myself adequate healing, but feel sure I will feel conflicted with needing to meet their needs as well. All prayers for a safe procedure, speedy recovery, and smooth adjustments with lots of grace in our home are appreciated!

    • Hi Keri, I will keep you in my prayers. My surgery was 2.5 years ago and I am doing well. I played full court basketball last night for 2 hours and 45 minutes. The back is fine. One calf did cramp up about 2 am last night though!

      Trust in The Lord and follow doctor’s orders and you will be fine. Keep me posted.

      Pastor Phillip

  35. Esther says:

    Dear All,

    I have found words of encouragement through your messages. Please pray for me I am a bit scared though I know God is a miracle working God. I had my first surgery on L5 in 2012 and improved a little bit. It looks like my doctor wants to schedule a second surgery because the same kind of pain is back .Your advice will be appreciated.

    Be blessed

  36. Beatrice says:

    Pastor Phillip,

    I just wanted to say Hi! I’m glad you shared your story and are helping others who need advice and guidance in their personal journeys. Maybe my experience can help others, too. I hope you don’t mind the long post.

    I am 48 years old and had my L4-S1 double fusion three years ago-it was my 5th surgery in 11 years, and the best decision I’ve ever made. My last two surgeries were only a couple of months apart, so the inflammation from the long-standing nerve irritation and the surgeries took almost a year to subside. My pain did not begin to subside for about 14 months. I still have residual nerve damage in my entire leg that continues to heal veeeeerrryyyyy ssssllllloooowwwwwlllyyyyy….but I smile with glee every time I realize I have a little more sensation, a little more feeling, a little more muscle activity. I had some severe damage to begin with from a combination of spondylolisthesis and a recurring herniated disc, so I know it could be years before I’m done healing. And the bone needs time to grow around the screws!

    I was out of work on disability for three months, in a back brace the whole time. But even after the brace came off I was extremely careful in my movements and body mechanics, and still am. I lifted nothing heavier than 5 pounds for the first 6 months. I took every advantage of physical therapy to learn how to lift, move, stand, sit, and strengthen my core.

    One important thing for me is to make sure I eat the right food and stay as healthy as possible. The nerves and bone need proper nutrition to be able to heal and grow. I also try to balance moving around with resting throughout the day, too. I work in an office so got a sit-stand work station from Ergotron (purchased at Office Depot) so I don’t have to sit for too long, which puts a definite strain on your back. The way I look at it is, I have a certain amount of energy to get me through the day, and I need to pick my priorities on how to spend that energy. For the first year out of the brace I prioritized work so I’d have an income, and everything else went to the side. Many dinners were cooked in disposable/recyclable aluminum pans and eaten on paper plates so no dishes had to be cleaned afterward. I let the garden go for a while.

    It took a long time for my energy and stamina to come back. Even after 3 years I still get tired at times and wear out, and I try to plan my days knowing I may not last the whole time without crashing. If I know I’m going to be on my feet all day I make sure to take rest breaks at least every hour to sit 10 minutes or so, plus stretch. Walking on concrete all day in flats is harder on my back than walking on carpet in the office, so I keep a pair of sneakers in the car to change into if I need the extra cushioning for my feet. My best days now are when I’ve been active all day and totally wiped and exhausted from activity and not from healing, and there is NO pain. I know I can be very active for one day, maybe two, but not three or four days straight.

    I’ve learned the difference between nerve pain and muscle pain. I have no more nerve pain, but as the nerves heal and the muscles begin to work I do experience soreness (that I am thankful for).

    The best words one physical therapist ever told me was to not stop doing what you want because of your back. You may need to make adjustments and modifications, but don’t stop. So instead of thinking I can hike 10 miles all day, I will hike a while, take a break, hike some more. I may pick smaller mountains that are less steep, too. But I still hike.

    I’ve made adjustments that I know will last for the rest of my life. For others going through this, please try to be patient. Learn as much as you can from your doctor and physical therapist. Listen to your body and give yourself permission to take a break. I wish everyone peace as they contemplate or go through this surgery, and as rapid and successful a recovery as possible.

    Blessings and prayers to all!

    • Hi Beatrice, thank you for sharing your story and your good advice! May The Lord continue to bless you in your recovery and may He pour out His favor and grace on you and those you love.

      In Christ,
      Pastor Phillip

  37. pastorpstephens, do you still post on this blog? If so, I sure need your prayers, having decompression and fusion of L4 L5 on Tuesday October 28, 2014…Thank you and God Bless!

    • Hi Lena, yes I post every week. You can go directly to to see the weekly posts. Sometimes I post twice per week.

      You will be in our prayers and in the Lord’s hands and I trust that you will be just fine. Please feel free to email me directly and let me know how you are doing.

      Blessings to you and those you love,
      Pastor Phillip

  38. Sandra McDaniel says:

    I am in the process of waiting for fusion of L4 & L5. Waiting for insurance clearence.. But this site has been helpful and truly a blessing.
    thank you Pastor Stephens..

    • Hi Sandra, glad this site has been helpful. May the Lord bless you with a quick recovery. It has been three and a half years since my surgery and I am feeling great.

      Blessings to you and those you love,
      Pastor Phillip

  39. Rachel says:

    Hi, I am almost 6 weeks post opt spinal fusion L4-S1. Had the incision on the front and back. My back feels a lot better! Lived this past summer in so much pain it was unbearable! I am grateful I made the choice to have the surgery. Making good progress weaning my self out of my brace this week. Haven’t had to take any pain medication in about 2 weeks. Loved reading all of your posts. May god bless all of you and keep you in healing spirt! Rachel

    • Hi Rachel, glad to hear it is going so well for you. I pray that you will continue with your fantastic recovery and that the Lord will pour out His favor, grace and mercy on you and those you love. My doctor kept me in my brace for 6 months. He took a very conservative approach. Please take it easy and don’t over do it. I know that you will do well.

      Pastor Phillip

  40. Pingback: Spine Surgery L4 L5

  41. Terry says:

    My incision looks just like that!!!

    • Terry says:

      I just had fusion of L3 L4 L5 with rods and all that good stuff. I had my first fusion in’97 and laminectomy /discectimy in ’96
      Was having problems in hospital after surgery, so my Dr did MRI and found blood clots in spine. I was back in surgery 24 hrs later. After a couple days at hospital, they sent me by ambulance to rehab near my home, and I had a terrible time there! I just wanted to go home. After 5 days, my Dr agreed and I am finally in my own bed! My husband took some time off work so he could take care of me. That part has been wonderful. I seem to have some depression over everything, just quite tired of it all! I know God will heal my body, soul and mind, I’m just a little down!

      • Hi Lynn, Hope your recovery continues to go well. Just keep following doctor’s orders and praying and you should do well. I had some nerve pain off and on for a few months but I hear that everyone has a different experience. Just try to stay patient. I am almost 4 years post surgery and I am doing great! The Lord has really blessed me and I pray that He will bless you to.

        In Christ,
        Pastor Phillip

  42. Sandy says:

    1st 4 weeks were so good that I traveled whole city with my parents every weekend. My symptoms started after 5th week of my surgery. I felt whats wrong is it fixed or not ?6th week I saw the doctor He said everything is right. Don’t worry you will heal. Do PT. I started PT but every time I do the exercise I am getting more irritation to my left leg !. I have started getting pain while walking, I am scared to walk, it hurts my left leg! I am 10 month post op. I use to be very active before surgery and confident. I am loosing all day by day !

    • Hi Sandy,
      Sorry to hear you are having some challenges. My doctor told me that some of the pain I stated having at about 2 months was because some of the nerves were waking up, trying to heal, etc after years of being compromised. He said it could take up to about 18 months for these nerves that had been pinched or impinged to heal.

      Keep communocating with your doctor and telling him or her what you are experiencing. They shoukd be able to tell if things are progressing appropriately. We will add you to our prayer list and ask the Lord to remove the pain and promote healing and a complete recovery. Please let me know how you are doing next month.

      May God bless you and those you love,
      Pastor Phillip

  43. cramps and shooting pains periodic in my legs, and numbness in my feet and hands. I am scared that something is wrong. I am seeing doctor earlier than planned and have been resting more. Praying that this is just a normal part of healing. Karen says:

    I am at one month post-op L4 L5 fusion. the first couple of weeks I was great! Minimal pain, walking a mile or 2 daily after one week. This past week something has changed. Pain is back. Cramping and throbbing pain in my lower back,

    • Hi Karen, I had a similar experience. My first couple of weeks after I got out of the hospital I had no nerve pain but after that I experienced some pain on the top of my foot from that darned sciatic nerve. My doctor said that the nerve was “waking up” after the surgery and beginning to mend. The pain was not too bad compared to the pre-surgery pain and lasted off and on for a couple of months. Apparently the nerve had some healing to do. From time to time at night it bothered me for a couple of months. I am at 4 years past the surgery now and doing great. Ran 3.5 miles this morning and I feel fine.

      I will pray for your continued healing and recovery. May God bless you and those you love,
      Pastor Phillip

    • Beatrice says:

      Hi Karen,

      I had a similar experience with nerve pain. You may still have inflammation from the surgery that is putting pressure on the nerve, but it should eventually go away. It just may take some time. I had the same “waking up” of the nerves, too. For me, the muscle cramping was from the muscles learning to work again. I had nerve damage that slowly progressed all the way to my toes, and the healing is in reverse, starting at my toes and going backwards up my leg. Every once in a while I’ll have pain in a particular area for a day or two, then an electricity feeling off and on for a day or two, then severe cramping all in that same place. That little part of the nerve was healing, then was able to send a signal to the muscle, the muscle started working but was not used to working, so cramped up. I did a lot of stretching during the day, and my doctor prescribed muscle relaxers that I took at bedtime, because most of the cramping occurred at night.

      Listen to your body and don’t be afraid to rest and take it easy for while. Recovery isn’t always a straight line. You will probably have some ups and downs, but hopefully you will have more ups than downs and over time be back to your usual self.

      Take care, and God Bless!

  44. cramps and shooting pains periodic in my legs, and numbness in my feet and hands. I am scared that something is wrong. I am seeing doctor earlier than planned and have been resting more. Praying that this is just a normal part of healing. Karen says:

    Thank you Pastor and Beatrice,

    In the past week the pain in my feet has gotten much worse. I cant wear shoes and it hurts to walk. I have shooting electricity pains in my feet and toes constantly. The doctor thinks its inflammation and put me on a 5 day steroid pill pack. I am on day 5 with no improvement. I am resting and decided to use this time to work on a book idea. It would be my 2nd book and maybe I am being slowed down for a reason. I might as well use the time for good.

    Thank you for sharing with me that this will pass. I just need to trust God and take care of myself. I will have the rest of my ife to be busy once this is over.


  45. Michael Rivera says:

    I am so sorry that some of you are still going through all that I know I had that pain and numbness and ant like effect on my legs for 10 yrs. I was very afraid to do the surgery had back injections for 4yrs then I started to loose my bladder. I had look at many doctors all of and finally found one in San Angelo Texas but you have to do everything he ask of you “NO BENDING, NO LIFTING, NO TWISTING and you can walk all you want but still you need to rest. You will be out of work for about a year even though you feel great you see I also had a bone graph done on me as well as the fusion and hardware installed. I am doing AWESOME thanks to him and God. But I am and still do listen to everything he said I may do or not. His name is Luis Duarte Shannon Medical Center he is awesome man. For me on a scale of rating him as a great doctor I gave him a 10 plus 10 plus 10 and more. Good luck and will keep you all in my prayers and please do keep me in yours. Always,
    Mike (Marfa Texas)

    • Hi Mike, glad to hear you are doing well. You are right, following doctor’s orders is very important. It is true that there is always some healing that needs to take place on those nerves. I appreciate your prayers for all those who are going through the same issues. We will pray for you too!

      May God continue to bless you and those you love,
      Pastor Phillip

  46. lindsay says:

    Hi there I am 10 days post op from an lamenctomy and L5 S1 fusion I have to wear a brace all times except when in bed just got my 21 staples out today which is nice because the brace isn’t rubbing on the staples any longer hope you are feeling better and god bless

    • Hi Lindsay,
      Glad to hear you are progressing well. It has been 4 years since my surgery and I am doing great. I pray that the rest of your recovery goes well. Keep following doctor’s orders and try to stay patient.

      May the Lord bless you and those you love,
      Pastor Phillip

  47. Oh boy, after reading all the posts, I am still at square one…..SCARED and APPREHENSIVE about having the fusion surgery. I have nothing scheduled, but, I know if I told my doctor I was ready, he would schedule it. Most of my pain is when I stand too long or walk too long. I make myself walk everyday to stay in halfway decent shape. I am thin and want to remain that way. I am one Nervous Nelly about having this surgery. My doctor told me that some people are helped extremely well, others pretty good and then others not so much. I keep wondering which group I would fall into. I know I am sick of living in pain…..almost 3 years now. I am not bothered when sitting or when laying in bed (just not on my stomach which is my favorite way to sleep)…..darn it…..SO here I am in limbo, searching on the internet…….I am sorry for those of you on here having problems and elated for those of you that are doing great. God Bless all of you…….Christine in Oregon…..

    • Hi Christine, I will pray for the Lord to give you comfort and wisdom and discernment in this area. It has been four years since I have had the surgery and I am doing great. I hope you have a restful and pain free week.

      May the Lord bless you and those you love,
      Pastor Phillip

  48. Terry says:

    I’m so scared I was told u have to stay in the hospital for 3 days an is it painful this would be my first L4 L5 fusion

    • Hi Terry, Everybody has a different experience. My experience with the back pain was not too bad. I was in the hospital about a week because I had a bad migraine for a couple of days and could not keep down any food. Finally, some wise nurse decided to give me my migraine medicine which helped me get back on track. The pain was less than the pain I had going in. There was some nerve pain in my foot but overall I thought the hardest part was being patient and following doctor’s orders. As I said, everyone has their own story. I will be praying for you to have an easy time and for God to take away your fear and your pain. Let me know how it goes.

      In Christ,
      Pastor Phillip

  49. robin brueland says:

    Ten years ago I had lower lumbar done thru the abdomen recovered better anyone talk to your doc about that and cheaper for insurance companies

  50. Christy says:

    Hello. I really like this blog, very informative yet uplifting. I’m only 30yrs old and was in a bad car accident. After 2 yrs still in pain, I’m having a spinal fusion decompression surgery on June 30th. Saying extra prayers and trying to stay positive. Very helpful reading all the comments and everyon’s experiences. Hoping becuase I am still a bit young that I will heal fast and all will go well. Could use some extra prayers that anyone can spare!! God bless!! 🙂

    • Hi Christy, sorry to hear about the accident and your pain. We will definitely be praying for you to have a quick and complete recovery. May the Lord bless you and those you love.

      Pastor Phillip

      • Christy says:

        Thanks you so much! Your journey and my family have recently reminded me of the tremendous works of our Lord, sometimes we forget in the midst of our most trying times. I appreciate all the prayers more than you know, my nerves have set in!!! I have to remember that God will ALWAYS have my back!! 🙂

  51. John says:

    Today is day 7 post-op! Had an L3-L5 instrumented fusion on June 15/15. I experienced some pain prior to surgery but my primary issues were with numbness/inability to control muscles involved in walking. There was a concern that bowel/bladder function was at imminent risk.

    So far, my recovery has been fantastic! Off the pain pump in 24 hours. Nothing but regular Tylenol after 48 hours. Out of hospital on day 5. Walking without numbness for the first time in years!

    God has been so good to me. I heard this saying once:

    I used to complain that I had no shoes. Then I met a man who had no feet.

    The time spent in hospital and reading this site has only reinforced this thinking for me.

    I have no reason to pity myself. There are many who have written here who are much more worthy of my pity than I am. You are in my prayers.

    And thank you pastor, for writing about your experience. I stumbled upon your site and it had a significant impact on me. Thank you and God bless.

    • Hi John, I am so glad that you are doing well. I am also glad that the blog has been helpful. I pray that the Lord will continue to bless you and watch over you. May He pour out His favor and grace on you and those you love.

      In Christ,
      Pastor Phillip

  52. Christy says:

    Hello! Just checking in… I’m a week n half out from L5-S1 spinal fusion and decompression surgery with cages and electro nerves. I wanted to thank you pastor for you wonderful blog and your prayers. I’m already able to walk more than I could since my car accident 2 yrs ago that caused this. Happy to report that it DOES get better! If anyone needs the surgery, just do it! It can be a little frustrating not being able to bend, twist or lift in the beginning but you will get used to it. Make sure you have some help at home or visting nurses and home health aide, etc. Also, make sure to look up post-up lists for home, very helpful! You will get stronger everyday and it’s always helpful knowing God has your back!! for the continued prayers!

    • Thanks for the update! Glad you are doing well. We will keep you in our prayers. Sometimes the nerves act up a little atound week 8 for a week or two in the healing process. Hang in there. Follow doctors orders and keep the faith.

      Pastor Phillip

  53. Abby says:

    I’m wondering about the pain you. Felt before and after and how long the process is taking.

    • Hi Abby, it has been almost 4.5 years since my surgery and I am doing great. I would have to go back through the blog to give you a play by play. I know that the first couple of weeks it was painful and then it got better and then there were a few weeks where I had some nerve pain off and on. By 3 months I was feeling pretty good as I recall. I would definitely have the surgery again. I would suggest that you go to the archive section and check out the posts for the first 6 months. I kept track of each day for the first few weeks and then week by week for the first year. I will pray for you. May the Lord bless you and those you love and extend His hand of healing and mercy to you,
      Pastor Phillip

  54. Tina Arthur says:

    I’m 49 yrs old. Have been scheduled for spinal fusion on October 27, 2015. My discs are slipping and my L4 L5 & S1 are so tight the only relief I get is to bend over so that they open up. I’m nervous but I know God has this. Thank you for your blog because it gave me insight as what to expect. Please keep me in your prayers.

    • Good morning Tina,
      Glad to hear the blog gave you some insight and hopefully some encouragement. God is good and He is faithful. You are right, He has this! We will pray for your recovery and ability to stay patient throughout the process. If you have any specific questions, please feel free to let me know.

      Blessings to you and those you love,
      Pastor Phillip

    • hi Tina, your symptoms are exactly what i had been going thru. I was walking hunched over to get thru my days. I had anterior/posterior fusion on L4 L5 and S1 on October 7th and October 12th 2015. I am now in my 3rd week post op. I am 64 and this is the toughest thing i ever have gone thru. I am still weak at times but i am taking this healing process one day at a time. I had a good neurosurgeon and many prayer warriors.
      Good luck and I will pray for you. You can do it!
      Barb M

  55. Tam says:

    50 female I had L5 to S1 fusion laminectomy about 6 weeks out still have various pains numbness is there light at the end of the tunnel or am I hoing to end my work career

    • Good morning, Sorry to hear that you are having some current struggles with nerve pain and numbness 6 weeks past your surgery. That is not uncommon. The top of one my feet hurt pretty bad from time to time at about 6 to 8 weeks. Your nerves have been battered and bruised for a while so they will take time to heal. There is light at the end of the tunnel and it is not a train… hang in there! We will pray for you. Keep following doctor’s orders and try to stay patient. The road to recovery can be a long one but it is one that you can travel and move forward on. I trust that one day you will look back on your journey as I have and be glad that you made the trip.

      May the Lord bless you and those you love,
      Pastor Phillip

  56. Tamara says:

    Hi…I’m 5 weeks out from lumbar L3-L4 decompression with fusion. It’s been quite frustrating as I still have right hip and leg pain. The first 2 weeks seemed good as far as recovery as Dr. described. He said progress would be slow, but that I should try to walk and continue to build that up to 30 minutes/twice daily at 4 weeks. At 2 weeks I began walking outside the home slowly, but could not walk even 5 minutes when pain would begin in hip, then inner knee and eventually front of leg, similar to before surgery. Left hip/leg ok. At night right hip/leg hurt and if I sit beyond a few minutes, same thing. When I talked to nurse, she said I just probably walked too much too soon. She said that the nerves were re-inflamed and that I might have this for as much as 2 years.
    This was alarming. The Dr. said recovery would take time, but never said I would still have the same pain(nerve). I want to trust the surgeon. He said my surgery was successful with no severe nerve damage. I keep praying about it and want to trust God’s healing, but I just worry if the surgery has helped. I have many praying for my recovery, but I could use your support also.
    Thank you!

    • Hi Tamara, I am no doctor but I agree with your nurse. 30 minutes for two times a day sounds like too much. I had a similar experience and had to cut back on my walking. My pain was in my foot and leg. I heard a similar thing from my doctor about how long the nerve pain might last … “Two years…maybe” he said. It dissipated in a few more weeks though it popped up from time to time over the next six months. My recovery was slow but steady. By God’s grace I got there; you will too. We will keep you in our prayers. I tracked my recovery for the first year on the blog. Hang in there. If you have any more questions feel free to email me at

      Pastor Phillip

  57. Tamara says:

    Thank you, Pastor Phillip, for your encouraging words and prayers! I will hang in there and be positive and by GOD’S grace, I will be healed!
    Blessings to you and your devote biblical works.

  58. Tracy Thomas says:

    I am so sorry to hear the pain you are in. I was told I would heal in 4-6 weeks. The pain was almost as bad as before surgery, I had a 2 level fusion. I would go back and the doctor would say nerves heal slowly and it would be a few months then it was a year and then 18 months. Finally slowly and by the grace oh God I started feeling more like myself. I still can’t do a lot I used to do but I am grateful I can walk. I know it is so hard and you just want to give up but it does get better . I have a new type of normal but just keep praying and looking towards the future. It might happen slowly or more quickly for you but it will get better.
    Praying for you,

    • Tamara says:

      Thanks, Tracy, for your encouraging reply. I’m still having the same issues, pain in right hip and leg, but I’m trying to be patient and faithful. Just hearing your testament and knowing that you are praying for me (and others) means so much. I try to be prayerful for others daily and pray that all will know God’s healing.
      Many blessings to you,

  59. rootsgal says:

    I am having my L-5-S-I fusion done from the front. (anterior)
    He also told me, that in 2 years after the first fusion, he will go “in through the side, to fuse L-4-5”.
    In 1998, my first L-4-5 ruptured disc surgery was from the back, and that was the WORST pain when I woke up. I had no idea they still did surgery from the back.
    I am terrified about the incision (stomach muscles) and also wonder if I will be worse off or better.
    This is all rather daunting and since neurosurgeon appointments are quick, its hard to know what to ask about, in the short 5 minute appointments.
    I have to have (2) physicals from (2) different physicians (my primary care plus their choice).
    I am glad they are being very thorough of course.
    No doubt the neurosurgeons I have on my team are the “cream of the crop”, which makes me feel a tad bit better.
    The LONG healing times are the real bummer.

    • I will be praying for a good outcome. You are right, the long healing times are a real bummer. Do your best to stay patient and follow doctors orders. Keep me posted on how you are doing. May the Lord bless you and those you love.

      In Christ,
      Pastor Phillip

  60. Glen Whaley says:

    I had an anterior lumbar fusion of my L5 S1 and it has totally ruined my life I can’t set stand walk drive nothing I need a home health service because it’s not safe for me to drive I’ve been to numerous doctors and none of them will even try to help me I live alone I can’t go to the grocery store sleep my hips and knees and feet and back hurt so bad I lay and cry if anyone has any suggestions please let me know

    • Good morning Glen, I am so sorry to hear of the difficulty and pain you are having. You will definitely be in my prayers. I do not know the extent of doctors you have been seeing or what all may be preventing or hindering your healing and recovery. I am curious about how long ago your fusion was and if your doctor given you any reason for the continued pain. I know that I have been told the nerve pain and healing process of those nerves can take a couple of years. Hang in there and keep praying and seeking a doctor who can and will work with you.

      May you receive God’s peace and comfort,
      Pastor Phillip

    • D worsham says:

      Please know that u r not alone. I have had 5 lumbar surgeries. My first started in 2005. It’s been one surgery after another. Pain pumps n stimulators. Hospitals for low back popped out n can’t figure out what’s wrong or care because I’m 5 deep. After l4 fusion it took my whole spine out n my neck. Been in hospital several times viomating blood. I am bed ridden now n have to depend on my mother n she is up there in age. I feel every day it would be better if I wasnt here. Goin to try to go to John Hopkins n see if I can get any help. I know it doesn’t help much but when u get to this point all u have is god. That is it. Just him. All u can do is keep talking to him. I feel I won’t be here much longer but all u can do is try to keep going until u know its ur time to go. I will mention u when I pray. Please pray for me

      • Dustin, thank you for sharing your story…and thank you for offering your prayers for Glen. I pray that both of you will receive relieve and be blessed with peace and comfort and strength from the Lord.

        God’s Grace to you,
        Pastor Phillip

  61. David Faber says:

    I’m begining my L5 Fusion trip just talked to the Dr. today…He thinks L5 needs fusion but will be able to see more wth CAT and MRI on June 29th…I’m so tired of this pain, I just want to go away!!! Thanks for your blog it does help, and thanks for praying for us,you are in our prayers also my brother!!! Dave Faber

    • Hi Dave, thanks for your prayers! I will keep you in mine. Surgery was a good decision for me. I still have some tightness from time to time and every couple of years I will over do it but surgery made a great difference. I wish I had done it sooner. I will pray for your healing and recovery. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have.

      Pastor Phillip

  62. Kelly Tyler says:

    Pastor Phillip, thank you for this page. I do not have any back problems but my 22 year old son and my 56 year old husband does. I have been searching the internet for encouraging words, not only for the two of them but for myself as we deal with their back issues. I find myself getting sad for the two of them and the situation they’re in. It is difficult being the cheerleader for them and I try so hard to keep their spirits up but sometimes I feel like I need encouragement. As for my son, he was a successful college basketball player and was invited to try out for a professional basketball team, but after months of back pain, it was discovered that he had a degenerative disc. After 6 months of PT, and no good relief, he decided to get the ALIF fusion at L5/S1. He got the surgery on July 20, 2016 and he is doing well, meaning, he was up and walking after a week, was able to walk with a cane after 2 weeks, and was able to begin walking without assistance and began water therapy and walking on a treadmill after 4 weeks. He is able to function ok with his pain meds but he says he doesn’t like to take them because they make him sleepy. He has trouble sitting for long periods so he limits his driving. He is sometimes depressed because he was always active and now he is restricted to doing minimal activities. I am sad for him because he is such a great young man and works so hard at school, home, and sports but I know I have to be strong for him. He loves the Lord and I have given him healing and faith scriptures to confess. I pray that his recovery goes well so that he can get back to a normal life. As for my husband, the doctors are saying that he must have fusion of his cervical spine because his has constant neck pain, tingling in his arms and hands and stiffness/numbness in his torso. He does not want to get the surgery because he thinks it will cause limited mobility and will completely change his quality of life. He also has 3 herniated disc in his lumbar area. It pains me to see him in pain all the time but again, I have to be strong for him and encourage him. Please pray for us. Pray for their total healing and for my strength. Thank you.

    • Good morning Kelly, We will keep your family in our prayers. I know that it can be a difficult decision as to whether or not to have the surgery. I pray that both your husband and your son will experience God’s healing and that they will be blessed with patience and strength as they continue to deal with the various aches, pains, PT, and other things that accompany the journey they are on. I will also pray for your strength. I know that God will watch over all of you and help you. You will all be in our prayers.

      In Christ,
      Pastor Phillip

  63. Jones says:

    Hi Pastor,
    I was wondering how long it has been since you have had your surgery and how your results have held over time? I injured my back in 07 with a herniation I also have DDD and spondylolisthesis. I have had a microdiscectomy, epidural injections, PT, chiropractor, radiofrequencies injections for my SI joints and others. this has been going on for 12 yrs. Some days are better than others. Surgeons consistently tell me I am too young for a fusion surgery, but my pain management doctor thinks it might help. She has now decided I might have relief from a spinal cord stimulator. I am 30 yrs old and a single mother of 4 active children. I don’t know if I should try and push surgery or just keep going on the way I am. Last week I was sent home from work 2 hrs early because I was hunched over, couldn’t walk, and barely able to stand. I was sobbing in my office had to use a walker to get to the restroom and had to have a co worker take me to my vehicle in a wheelchair. I probably shouldn’t have driven that day but I live an hr from work so I needed to get home somehow. I want to have some quality of life with my kids and don’t feel like I am getting it this way, however I have heard so many bad things about the fusion surgery and the spinal cord stimulator that I am afraid my quality of life will be worse than what it already is.
    Do you have any words of wisdom in this? U see a new pain management Dr next week (due to insurance change). I am hoping he can shed some light on something to help give me some relief. Thank you

    • Hi Kelly, I am about 5 and a half years past surgery and the results have been very good. I do have more stiffness in my lower back than most and have some trouble with getting down on the floor to work on projects because of all the bending down, etc. but I am grateful that I had the surgery. I turn 53 tomorrow and I do find that in the last couple of years I have had to lay off the basketball. My back is starting to get tight again when I play… but then again, I play really hard and I have had to tell myself that those days seem to be over. Too many falls on concrete, ankle surgery last year…I should give it up. But for me, the surgery has been a blessing. Recovery was tough for the first couple of months and I had to take it easy for months 3 – 6, just walking, etc.. but it has allowed me to be able to go shopping with the wife and grandkids without all the pain I had before. I still exercise and work out, I just have to have some limits. I never used a stimulator so I cannot comment on that. The surgery was a good decision for me. I wish I had done it sooner. You will need to do stretching exercises and will probably never feel great putting together IKEA furniture while you sit on the floor, but that is not what we live for anyway..let somebody else assemble the TV stand while you walk in the park with the kids. I will be praying for you as you make your decision. And I will be praying for your healing, your strength and peace of mind in regard to whatever you decide.

      Blessings to you and those you love,
      Pastor Phillip

  64. Donna feezel says:

    Hello. Your blog has been very helpful. Something positive as opposed to all the negative. I am 67 and just 17 days post lumbar laminectomy and L4/5/S1 PLIF fusion. Had the operation mainly because of hip and leg pain. Also had spondyliothesis ,DDD and some stenosis. I tried all conservative methods for a year including a spinal cord stimulator trial. Nothing helped. I was disappointed after the surgery as I still have my original pain only a little worse. I was thinking once the nerve was released I would have less pain but I was wrong!! The doctor said it could take months for the nerve to heal. I have been walking about 40 to 50 minutes a day, short walks. Well at night the pain really gets bad and more inflamed. After reading your blog about the walking I have decided to cut back on the walking to see if that helps. I am on gabapentin and pain medicine. I had been on narcotics for over a year because I had a hip replacement less than two years ago. So it will be hard for me to come off of them. I was hoping the surgery would get rid of the nerve pain and that I could go off them easily. It is so hard to be patient. This recovery is so much harder than I ever imagined. I used to be so active but the last two years of my life has been spent in pain and not being able to do anything. Thank god I have a wonderful husband who takes care of me and all the household stuff and cooking. I always loved cooking but haven’t been able to do it for past few years. I wish I had the faith you have to get me through this. Could you please pray for me to get me through this difficult time. I read your blogs everyday.
    Thank you

    • Good morning Dona,

      I am glad the information has been useful. I will definitely keep you in my prayers. I am glad to hear that you have someone to help you during your recovery. I firmly believe that you will regain the level of activity you had before. It will take some time but you will get there.

      May God bless you and those you love,
      Pastor Phillip

  65. William says:

    I had L4 L5 fusion with a cage and two bars and 4 screws back in June and because the state I live my disability only lasted for 3 months and by mid to late October I had to go back to work the pain that was going down my legs is gone the back pain is not that bad just trying to get the muscles back to the way they use to be is taking a little time oh and I am a grounds keeper for a cemetery

    • Good evening William, I will be praying for you and for the Lord to heal you and help you through the recovery phase. I know that it can take a while to get back into shape after surgery. Do your best to stay patient and follow doctor’s orders. Blessings to you and everyone you love.

      In Christ,
      Pastor Phillip

  66. Sharon says:

    I had a fusion in 2012 add on S-1 for 4 level. Mine followed 3 previous ectomies of different levels which failed. All 4 surgeries took place in less than 2 years. I am curious how your recovery has been as mine has left me disabled and in worse pain than before. I think its because those mucles were cut too many times without giving time to heal plus they left a pc of bone or disk toothpicked thru my L5 nerve for 6 months leaving damage and loss feeling. Was your recovery successful?

    • Hi Sharon,
      My recovery has been successful. Five years have passed and I am doing well. You can go through the archive section on the blog and read about some of the challenges I faced the first couple of months. Overall things have gone well. Sounds like you had to have much more work than me. I will keep you in my prayers.

      Blessings to you,
      Pastor Phillip

  67. Sara says:

    I’m going to go by Sara due to my being in a law suit at present time however I had spinal double of L4 L5 lumber in 2009 n extended 2010 hardware taken out in 2013 my fusions are now growing apart literally and at first not able to be seen but shows now in both CT n XRAY that they r not complete at motion segments they grown apart has anyone heard of anything like this ? Please help this pain is unreal I am disabled n have been since after all this i am prescribe many medications to manage my pain this has changed and now is the worst pain one can image please any advice is much appreciated or knowledge .

    • Hi Sara, I have not heard of this problem. I am sure that it hurts a great deal. I would talk to your doctor about what you are experiencing. If he or she is not giving you the help you need, seek a second opinion. I will be praying for you to have relief and to find answers to your questions. I pray that you will be able to rest this evening and the rest of this week.

      In Christ,
      Pastor Phillip

  68. Atif Ahmed says:

    Last 2 month ago my lumber surgery l4 l5 .the problem after some day my lower back is curve I mean (scoliosis) plz help me I am 22 year old boy

  69. Suzanne Martinez says:

    My brother had an fall on July 22, 2017 from a balcony.
    He’s had two surgeries. L2 and L5 lumbar fusion. He can’t walk, uses a catheter, and in excruciating pain. His physical therapy has not been consistent. He was in intense therapy for three well in August. But from 9/13 to 10/9/17 he had nothing. He now gets 1 or two 30 min sessions a week. He’s also taking Cymbalta.
    What can he do for pain? He’s trying to only use norco when he has PT and morphine to sleep.
    My prayer is that he will surrender himself to God, be pain free, and a full recovery.
    Any advice would be appreciated.

    • Hi Suzanne,

      I will keep your brother in my prayers. With the trauma from the fall and the surgery, it seems like it could take a while for healing and for the inflammation and damaged tissue to improve. There are some physical therapy exercises that are good for loosening the back and keeping the lower back from having the muscle spasms that sometimes lead to nerve pain. Continued communication with the doctor and following doctor’s orders are really key.

      In Christ,
      Pastor Phillip

  70. Lisa Bishop says:

    I’m getting ready to have this done. Would like to keep track of your progress.

    • Hi Lisa, I am about 5 to 6 years post surgery now. I ran 2.5 miles today and lifted some light weights yesterday. I played basketball a couple of times last week and was able to walk upright afterwards even though I played for almost 3 hours one day.

      You can check out how my first year went on the archive section of my blog

      Let me know how you do. I will be praying for a good outcome and patience to follow doctor’s orders.

      Pastor Phillip

  71. Mike Weatherford says:

    I am 3 weeks out of my 3rd fusion. I have S1, L5, L4, and they just added my L3. I am a plumber that hurt my back doing some sketchy military activities that I won’t go in to. I walk an average of 7 miles a day on concrete. My fusions have allowed me to continue my career when I was headed for long term disability. I am able to work normally opiate free with the help of a spinal stimulator. If you have arthritis also the stimulator works great. Those that have never lived for months and years in constant pain have no idea how tough it is. The best of luck with your recovery.

  72. Nathaniel Chetty says:

    Dear Pastor Stephens

    I hope you are well and I thank God for coming across your blog outlining spinal issues.

    I am a Pentecostal Christian 32 Year old guy who has recently had a tormenting spinal issue 😦

    My MRI revealed that my L4 and L5 discs are degenerative (spinal fluid is missing) and my S1 is touching a specific nerve which causes severe pain on both hips and upper buttock area to the lower back. As you can imagine the pain is excruciating.

    I keep thinking of the pain our lord and savior Jesus christ had to endure and that by his blood he will relieve my pain, my faith in God has always been strong. I am not perfect and we all fall short of the glory of God but I will always believe that christ is my God almighty.

    My neurosurgeon had given me 1 epidural injection and 3 cortisone injections over a 1 week stay in hospital. I’m on conservative therapy at the moment which is the physio, exercises and the usage of a lumbar brace for 4 weeks.
    The pain has returned back after 2 weeks 😦

    I don’t know what to expect and I am scared.
    Will surgery work or will it make it worse?

    God bless you

    Kind regards
    Nathaniel Chetty

  73. Moira Jones says:

    I am nearly 83 years old and in February 2019 had the “full works” of fusions and laminectomy etc etc from L2 to S1…. not much pain from a few months after op just uncomfortable and numbness both back hips – feels like a box on my back. I had an excellent Neurosurgeon and also Orthopaedic surgeon so had very good care from the time of hospitalization until about a year after with my post-OP visits. Good luck and God bless everyone who needs to have back ops.

  74. Becca says:


    I don’t know if anyone will see this since it’s 10 years later but I have a few questions. I just had my spine fused at L4-L5. But I feel like the wrong level was fused. Can you tell me where you feel the “cage” and loss of motion? Is it towards the bottom of your incision? Mine feels like it is about an inch below the top.of your incision. But I know L4-L5 is lower than that by about an inch or two. I have my post-op appointment on Wednesday and I don’t know how to address this with my surgeon. But I was hoping to find out from you where you feel L4-L5 so I have a better idea of if I’m correct that my surgeon messed up. Thank you so much in advance!

    God bless you,

    • Hi Becca, I don’t think I ever really felt or discerned the exact level or location of the cage. I am ten years down the road and things are going great. I played basketball two hours yesterday with guys in their twenties and felt fine. I do have some stiffness when I pull weeds for several hours but nothing too bad. I would just say that I do feel like I don’t have as much flexibility or ability to bend over as someone who has not had back problems, but that was the case prior to the surgery as well. And again, I cannot pinpoint the exact area, it’s just my lower back. Keep communicating with your doctor and asking questions. Best of luck!


  75. Terry says:

    I feel for you brother. I’m two weeks out of spinal fusion of L1-L5 and ablation in the same areas. My brace is different and I’ve also been prescribed an electo STIM device to wear at least two hours a day. Mi incision is very similar to yours.

  76. Pamela J Greening says:

    Wow, I am given this gift to have found this blog. I am a 64 yr old female, I had back surgery in 2020 L-4,L-5 foraminotomy and partial discectomy. I also have stenosis and scoliosis.
    The surgery was not successful so it was recommended to see a pain management Dr.
    The Dr ask me if I would like to start on a medication that they had used for anxiety and discovered patients with nerve pain were seeing results. Long story short , I have been able to curtail the nerve pain with Cymbalta and epidural injections every 3-4 months.
    I am now bilateral epidural steroid injections 3L,4,5,S-1. But, it’s not the solution, just a way to sit, drive, walk, and function .
    I am seeing a new surgeon and have my second (interview) with him this Thursday.
    We discussed the needs of my back and a fusion and disc implant will be needed.
    I will follow -up after this next appointment.
    Thank you for listening, this nerve pain is exhausting and I will pray for you all🙏

    • Good morning Pamela, you will be in my prayers. My fusion was over ten years ago and I am doing well. I played full court basketball Monday for over two hours and had no back pain at all. I will be praying for you and the meeting you have with your surgeon. Please keep me posted on how you are doing. I will also be praying for you to feel better, feel rested, for the pain to subside and for you to have a great outcome going forward.

      Blessings to you and the people you love,
      Pastor Phillip

  77. Adam Grant says:

    I am 38 yes old with L4 fusion you rods screws and all that. Had this a spinal fusion when I was 18 or 19 so I’ve dealt with this pain for just as long as without it. I’m dedicated to God with a few stumble blocks. The main one that bothers me is my pain meds and whether god doesn’t like me taking them. 9 years ago I didn’t take them but I wasn’t saved and done illegal drugs(weed). Lots of weed yes it hurt but I was to stoned to care. Changed over 1-2 ago and I hurt after I quit drugs but walked around mad or disappointed in life cause I hurt. Now I see a doctor get pain meds but I don’t want to die not knowing what I do may not be what he would have me to do. I am a Pentecost so yeah we get loud and we should. Anyways I speak in tounges and that makes me think I’m OK but with that statement I’m confused a little. God doesn’t confuse. I’m trying to build a TRUE relationship with our father and this is my roadblocks. I know he speaks through his word and I’ve heard no auditable voice,yet,and I know I may never. To my understanding everyone hears different. I’m buying a audiobook today on disearning gods voice to learn more. I’m fully dedicated to this and I will prevail,with God I can do all things.

    • Good afternoon Adam, I will be praying for your health- physical and spiritual.

      I am of the opinion that prescription drugs are okay for a Christian to take as prescribed by a doctor. Some of the guidance I see in the scriptures are: “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof.” And Paul told Timothy to drink a little wine for his stomach.

      I will be praying for God to give you wisdom and to take away your pain and to give you greater discernment in hearing His voice. I find he speaks the loudest through His word.

      Blessings to you and the people you love,
      Pastor Phillip

  78. Grace Price says:

    I have had 3 back surgeries and the third one was a spinal fusion at L4 L-5 & S-1 back in 2013. I am in constant pain so severe that some times I cannot walk as it affects my left leg. I have tried every pain med on the market and have tried many epidural injections and refuse to get any more because the last needle I had the pain specialist hit the wrong spot it paralyzed me for 2 hours. Needless to say I will never get another one . I would not advise anyone to get a spinal fusion unless t is absolutely positively necessary. I need to live with pain the rest of my life.

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