Thread: What to do?
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Old 02-21-2012, 12:28 AM   #2
SweetPeainSF SweetPeainSF is offline
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Re: What to do?

Some follow-up questions: did you experience any relief between the discectomy and laminectomy and the MRI? You stated that nerve damage was not your primary concern, but what is that concern? I'm guessing back pain...

Also, you mentioned the doctors want to do a fusion and discogram. Do they want to do a discogram for diagnostic purposes, then a fusion if the disc is the pain generator?

Is the herniation causing stenosis? Spinal or foraminal? Do you have any signs of instability? Is the disc bulging/protruding/extruded?

Nerves can heal slowly, once they are no longer impinged, so don't write off that possibility. I had an extruded disc causing spinal and bilateral forminal stenosis. The three epidural injections helped for two days each. The PT, chiropractor, and oral steroids did not help much. After two years of struggling, I had a one-level fusion in early December 2011 and am already much improved. I did have an increase of radiculopathy about one month post-op, which is starting to dissipate. My theory is that the circulation to the nerves improved and they let me know how mad they were! I continued a lot of my PT exercises up until the surgery, and I think doing so has really helped my recovery.

If the first two injections did not help, and the surgeon is just planning on doing the same thing again, I would recommend trying something different. Between my second and third, I had an EMG which showed nerve root irritation at a lower level than my herniation, so I was hopeful that changing the injection site would help for the third round. It didn't work out, but I felt like I wasn't just spinning my wheels.

 
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MikeLite (02-21-2012)