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Discussion: Spinal Fusion & Softball

Posted Discussion
March 15
Lebobster1
Men's 65
19 posts
Spinal Fusion & Softball
I've been told that I need a fusion of L4-L5 to address a Grade 1 Spondy. Anyone have experience with this and the ability to play/hit afterwards? Have been putting this off for years now but almost at the point to have this done to address the discomfort.

Thanks!
March 15
Rick35
Men's 55
78 posts
Spinal Fusion & Softball
You can...look at Tiger Woods, he had spinal fusion and he plays golf afterwards...
March 16
Lebobster1
Men's 65
19 posts
Spinal Fusion & Softball
Thanks for the reply but I’m not interested in playing golf.
March 18
Rick35
Men's 55
78 posts
Spinal Fusion & Softball
I am NOT talking about you playing golf!! I simply said to look at what Tiger had done with his back. He saw a SPORT (key word) orthopaedic specialist/surgeon that specializes in spinal fusion for athletes and undergone a strict PT. Make sure you ask your specialist about his "work"
March 18
dand
Men's 75
30 posts
Spinal Fusion & Softball
Lebobster1 I had a spinal fusion of my L4-L5 back in 2002 along
with a slipped vertebrae and spinal stenosis which was my 2nd back surgery, 1st one in 1976. I now have titanium screws, cages, etc. in my back. Everybody recovers differently but I recovered from that and started playing softball again the following year. I have been playing senior softball with the Syracuse Cyclones since 2006. I also had another back surgery 5 years ago on my L3-L4 area and came back again. Hopefully, you make the right decision as I know what you are going through. If you have the surgery, make sure to follow your doctor's advice about recovery and get a good physical therapist.
March 18
El Guapo

1 posts
Spinal Fusion & Softball
Lebobster1
I had a spinal surgery June of 2016 by Dr. Tony Mork MD. I back out to play Sept. On time for L.V. W.S. You can send him your MRI,
he will look at it, and will give you his opinion. This is a free consultation over the phone.
He was absolutely great for me. Especially when he said I refuse to fuse. The only down fall!! He doesn't take insurance. For what he did for me, paying out of my pocket was well worth it. Hope this will help you.
Good luck.
March 24
Lebobster1
Men's 65
19 posts
Spinal Fusion & Softball
Thanks so much for the feedback!

Follow-up Questions: post surgery, was your range of motion affected? Has there been a difference in your fielding/hitting/running abilities? If so, how significant?

Thanking you in advance!
March 24
bogie
Men's 65
449 posts
Spinal Fusion & Softball
Due to spinal stenosis or arthritis, my L5 and S1 are arthritically fused and I had a L3,4,5 lamenictomy 2 years ago to clean out area for the spinal cord which was getting compressed . Differences I see are large. Much less mobile, walk at an angle leaning forward and overall much more stiffness. Its improving but rotation that suffered so much, is slowly but surely coming back. Having to relearn stride and rotation. My suggestion is that anyone who has back problems and develop numbness, get something done. I waited too long and have permanent nerve damage in the feet, which is quite dramatic and painful. The longer you wait on symptoms, the greater the change is long term. I find Davey Reeds youtube instruction on the foam roller helps alot and just overall stretching and working out helps. At 64, its a slower process of improvement, and I imagine if your older, its a healing process and rehab of a large scale, but certainly achievable. jmo bogie
March 25
dand
Men's 75
30 posts
Spinal Fusion & Softball
Lebobster1. As I mentioned, I have been playing senior ball since 2006 and do not have any problems with fielding, hitting, etc. and that is after 3 back surgeries. Not everyone heals the same and I do know guys who have not done well. I may be the exception. Had a real good orthopedic surgeon and
a great physical therapist who knew that playing softball was a priority and he got me back on the field. Wish you luck on whatever you decide.
Sept. 9
Lebobster1
Men's 65
19 posts
Spinal Fusion & Softball
Thanks Rick35, dand, El Guapo & bogie for the info! ANY info is GREATLY appreciated.

Update: As a last ditch effort to avoid the fusion that two MD's (a Neuro-Surgeon & an Orthopedic Back Specialist) recommended, I began Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections in the L4-L5 area by a Non-Surgical Sports Medicine Physician. The injections were given four weeks apart in October, November & December of 2018. In mid-January 2019, the doctor also performed a caudal injection in the area. Two weeks later, he gave me a second caudal injection but in the right piriformis muscle only. The last caudal injection was given into the right piriformis muscle in early March. My symptoms began subsiding in February until they went away completely within several weeks. It's a MIRACLE to play pain free(to date) for the first time in over five years!
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