Hi - this is my first post, although I've been "lurking" for a couple of weeks. Thanks for all the information I've gotten so far. Now, two questions. They may seem trivial, but I'm just wondering.
After the epidural injections gave me no relief, my neurosurgeon said I had two options: I could go on like I was or have surgery, probably a fusion. I had the discogram on Monday of this week, and it wasn't too bad. The very next day I was back to my normal pain level, but then yesterday and today, the pain has been more intense than ever. I wonder if this is attributable to the discogram (4 days ago now).
Second question: The dr who did the discogram ordered a ct at all levels. Is there any underlying meaning there? Or is this usual?
I'll see the neurosurgeon Dec. 4th, but in the meantime, I'd like to hear from anyone with like experiences.
Also, I'm a 5th grade teacher, and I'm still working. I'm thinking about having the surgery the first of the year. Any chance of going back to work before the end of school (May)?
Hi Carken, welcome!!! I've never had a discogram yet, but have heard that it can set the pain levels off for a few days!!
Did you experience your usual pain intensified during the test?? That usually tells the dr that the disc is the cause of your pain, and that's usually when they decide to operate! It sounds as though he's concerned about a few discs and that's why he's ordered more scans on them!
Don't quote me on it 'cause I can't say for sure, and I'm sure someone more knowledgeable will be by shortly! Take care!!
I had a CT myelogram at all levels even though it was pretty clear that not all levels were "suspicious." I asked about it since I was "impressed" by how long the CT took--much longer than any prior CT I had had. They told me it is usual for them to do anywhere from three to five levels. Since my problem disks are unusual ones--2/3 and, a bit, 1/2, I think they wanted to check to lower ones more fully as well, where most people have their problems.
Thanks for the reply. My diagnosis: degenerative disc disease, stenosis, spondylothesis, etc., etc. Maybe the latter two fall under DDD, I don't know. I'm new to this, I'm new to pain, and I'm new to the thought of surgery. I'm 62 years old and have not been in the hospital except to give birth.
Hi Carken, I know how you feel about being new to the thought of surgery!! I've been dealing with this pain etc. for 7yrs now, but I'm only 35!!! I'm still in shock when I think of having to spend the rest of my life in pain etc., and I hate the idea of having spinal surgery too!! Though it would be nice if surgery was atleast an option for me!! My drs tell me that there's nothing they can do surgically without damaging me more! Nice eh??
Anyway, I wish you luck!! You're in my thoughts and prayers daily!! Take care!
I would wait to see what the discogram shows. As Out2lunch asked, did the disocgram replicate your everyday pain? Hopefully, you were awake enough to respond to the doc. How many levels did they check? The discogram is used to see if the pain is coming from the disc itself, or to rule that out.
I would be concerned that they immediately jump to 'fusion'. Are you planning on getting a second opinion? If you do, perhaps a Neurosurgeon if you're seeing an Ortho...and vice versa if you're seeing a NS. Just to make sure that you're getting the absoute best advice. The scary thing, to me, is that fusion is forever. If there's some other alternative that you could try first...and then if that doesn't work ~ by all means - you have the fusion to go to. This is just my opinion.
I'll be interested to hear what they have to say about your discogram. And if they offer any alternatives other than fusion.