Today marks my first week of recovery from my L5/S1 fusion surgery. I decided to have this surgery because my L5 (the lowest of the lumbar vertabrae) had slipped forward over the S1 (the first sacral vertabrae). I had quite a lot of movement in the L5/S1 joint, which compressed the nerve, causing pain. I tried non-invasive treatments, but because I had so much movement in the joint, I felt that I would not make any real progress in relieving my pain without surgery. Basically the surgery involves going in through the abdomen and replacing the disc between L5 and S1 with a mesh cage filled with synthetic bone replacement material (ALIF). This allows the two bones to fuse - it takes about 6 - 8 weeks for the fusion to begin, and 9 - 18 months for it to complete. Once the cage was inserted, the surgical team turned me over and added rods and screws to keep the bones in place while the fusion completes (PLIF). This is one tough surgery - I've never experienced pain like th
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