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What kind of quality of life for a 46 year old woman after spinal fusion?

By February 3, 2012 - 6:30pm
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I am a 45 year old ( soon to be 46 )woman diagnosed with spondolysis. I am peri-menopausal. My specialist says that I will probably require spinal fusion because all other attempts to ease the pain in my L5 S1 have failed.
What percentage of women with similar diagnoses have had a better quality of life after spinal fusion?
Is there any medications that help to ease the pain of spondolysis while I wait for surgery? I had a bad reaction to oral morphine.Did anyone report findings of a drug for a woman with similar situation?

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EmpowHER Guest

I suggest getting in a pool. I had a L3-S1 fusion in July 2010. Water therapy helped me so much after.

February 20, 2012 - 8:41pm

Hi Krista,
Walking is a good start. I know that exercising when you are in constant pain is difficult. I had one thought, but I don't know if it is practical- exercising in water- like walking in a warm pool. I know exercising in water is helpful for people who suffer with arthritis.

Here is the link to the EmpowHER Spodnylolysis Home Page
It looks like there is already a support group established.
I hope you find some helpful information on this page.

I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. You have great determination!

February 7, 2012 - 7:08pm

I can only imagine what agony you must be experiencing. That is indeed a hefty list of potent pain killing medications.
Trying to exercise to burn calories is a true challenge when you are in severe pain.
Hopefully, the result of the upcoming MRI will give your physician the needed information to treat you properly.


February 6, 2012 - 6:11pm
(reply to Maryann Gromisch RN)

Thank you again Maryann
I saw my Dr. yesterday and she said to keep my meds the same for now...they are working for the time being (why mess with it). She also told me to try walking a bit at a time as it is a form of exercise. I live on a farm and our barn is 280 feet from the house...so I plan to walk out there at least once a day to start and see how that goes.
The only problem that could arise is when I am on my feet for an extended period of time my ankles swell and legs get tight and swell...I have to do this in moderation so I do not make things any worse then they are now. It is possible that the spine may be slipping and the nerves are being pinched. Do you have any suggestions on how to exercise without causing any payback that my body will give me??
Or do you know any Web sites I could explore to find something that works for me?? Also should I join a group on EmpowHer to get feedback from others in this similar type of situation??

Again I appreciate your comments and check daily to see if any messages are left for me.
Thanks again for your insight, Krista

February 7, 2012 - 3:06am

May I ask your height and weight?
The lumbosacral region, where you have the problem, is a pivotal point in the body. If you are overweight, there is added strain and stress. Even following surgery, the added weight will continue to crush the nerves in this area and the pain will continue, if not worsen.
It would be advisable to discuss your prognosis with your physician before considering surgery. Ask your physician to recommend any available medication that may relieve your symptoms.


February 3, 2012 - 6:59pm
(reply to Maryann Gromisch RN)

Thank you Maryann. I am 5 ft 2 in tall and weigh 215 lbs. Since being at home for the last 6 months I have gained 25 lbs.
I have been diagnosed with spondolysis (?spelling) and have 2 stress fractures in the pars something. I will be going for an MRI soon to dtermine what damage there is...then we can go from there. I have tried all different things to help ie. physio, massage and tried different meds. to help with the ever increasing pain. Do you have any suggestions?? Morpine did not work for me (had a reaction to it). I am taking a myriad of meds : Demerol (for pain>up to 750 mg a day ; Furosemine (because my feet and legs are puffy) ; Lyrica (because I have widespread pain) ; Flexiril (for the muscle spasms that occur regularily) ; Amitriptylene ( to help me get rest but we will have to increase the dose >I only sleep 3-4 hours a night) ; and we are trying thyroid pills to see if they help. What a list EH!! ( I'm canadian by the way)
Any help from anyone would be a godsend. The specialist said that we may probably be looking at spinal fusion...but we will see what the MRI says first. Any suggestions??? I know weight is a factor but it is hard to be active when in this much agonizing pain.

February 4, 2012 - 11:30am
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