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Old 10-05-2004, 01:00 PM   #1
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back from appt

well, though I didn't get a surgery date, things are still progressing. The doctor isn't sure that a surgery would help the symptoms in my neck, but didn't say he wouldn't do a microdiscectomy. The next step is a discogram of the two discs in my low back and from there we will determine if I will have a two level fusion. Our thoughts are a fusion is highly possible and if so we will request a micro for my neck since he said they are easy to do. If I get good results, then great. If my pain continues then I will seek medications like Neurontin and meds similar to vioxx (obv. can't have that one anymore). Though I have no definitive answers, I am okay with the decisions made today. It just sucks having to wait again and it really sucks getting poked with needles for the third time in a month. Oh well.
What can you all tell me about the discogram???
So, got some time to go again. Thanks for all the support!

 
Old 10-05-2004, 01:11 PM   #2
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lynns HB User
Re: back from appt

mel, im glad you did get somewhere with your doctor. as for a discogram- no clue. im just happy that your happy. how long do you have to wait for next step?
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Old 10-05-2004, 01:22 PM   #3
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Re: back from appt

I shouldn't have to wait too long, once we get prior auth from the insurance co (may take a week) then all we have to do is schedule the discogram. I am thinking it should take no more than two weeks to get the study done. But, not sure, just depends on how fast everyone works and the first available appt for the discogram. From what I do know, they sedate ya for the procedure and stick needles in the affected discs to determine if the pain is the same pain I have w/o needles. EEWW. NO MORE NEEDLES! well, one more anyway.

 
Old 10-05-2004, 01:30 PM   #4
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Re: back from appt

Hi Mel,
I am very happy that you are satisfied with your appt, it's about time something decent happened. I am unfamiliar with discogram so I am no help in reagards to that. Anywho take care and let us know how things go. Kristy.

 
Old 10-05-2004, 01:32 PM   #5
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Re: back from appt

oh, when I asked if it was possible to have nerve problems even when the diagnostic testing doesn't show it, he said that it is very possible. When he said that he didn't see nerve involvement that could be surgically helped for my neck, I gently informed him that my previous MRI showed no nerve problems for my low back, yet the micro helped a great deal, and that if I had not gone back to work, I wouldn't be standing there in his office. I hope he takes that into account, just b/c it doesn't show it, doesn't mean it can't be fixed. Just wanted to add that.

 
Old 10-05-2004, 01:52 PM   #6
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injured betty HB User
Re: back from appt

Mel, I hate to be a naysayer, but if you can avoid the discogram, try to do so. When they stick a needle into a disc, they don't always know if it is a healthy or damaged disc. The Neurosurgeon told us that they normally poke the one above and below the one that might be causing problems in order to recreate your pain. A perfectly normal disc can become damaged during this process. It might lead to tears, herniated discs, etc. Is there another route that you can go?

Last edited by injured betty; 10-05-2004 at 01:53 PM. Reason: spelling

 
Old 10-05-2004, 01:56 PM   #7
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tanamodessi HB User
Re: back from appt

A discogram can be very painful if its the disc that is causing your back pain. But i had prepared myself for the worst and it came out ok. Ask your doc to give you a slight sedative or painkiller, but this is mainly for your anxiety.

I was laid on my stomach and they put like and x-ray type machine over me, the dr stood at my side and gave me numbing injections first and then he didnt tell me which disc or when he was injecting the contrast. I felt a lot of pressure and he said he was going through the muscle and the outer part of the disc. The first disc he injected just felt like pressure. The second disc was a bad one. I thought I would jump off the table straight through the ceiling, but I just held on to the sides and said THAT HURTS!!!!He said yea thats a bad disc.(NO KIDDING) But that extreme pain was over in a matter of seconds. Once its over its over.

The tech showed me the picture of the disc and how the contrast was seeping out of the tears in the disc.
Afterwards I was stiff and my regular back pain was little stronger for a few days. But it really wasn't that bad. Your Dr. may do a catscan while you have the contrast in you. Mine did. Good Luck, I hope I didn't scare you too bad, but anyone suffering back pain, I say can handle anything! Debbie

Last edited by tanamodessi; 10-05-2004 at 02:02 PM.

 
Old 10-05-2004, 01:59 PM   #8
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Re: back from appt

Debbie,
So, the disc that they hit first, that just felt like pressure? That was a good disc? Do you think that you will have problems with it down the road now that they have stuck a needle into a healthy disc?

 
Old 10-05-2004, 02:01 PM   #9
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Re: back from appt

there isn't anything else I can do aside from the discogram. The two bad discs are L4-5 and L5-S1. At this point I have no choice but to go through with it. I will discuss the possiblity of injury with my PM doc who will be doing it.
I handled the EMG and Nerve conduction tests as well as my ESIs okay, so I am hoping I will be able to handle this too. I just hate all the waiting, you know? With any luck all this will take place next week and I will know the next step soon.

 
Old 10-05-2004, 02:06 PM   #10
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tanamodessi HB User
Re: back from appt

betty, I'm not really worried about the disc being damaged from the discogram i'm worried about it because 7 weeks ago i had fusion on the bad disc and the doc told me chances are after a fusion the disc above or below a fusion has greater risk of going bad. I hope I never have to go through another fusion. im still in post op and im not sure everything is going as it should.

 
Old 10-05-2004, 02:10 PM   #11
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Re: back from appt

I wonder if there are any ways to minimize degeneration and injury to discs above and below fusion sites. Lucky for me, there would only be one disc above the surgery site, if I had a fusion, but I wonder if there are ways to prevent it from degenerating. Was that redundant? I think so, sorry. Anyhoo, that is something you can be sure I would be asking about along with the discogram's possibility of injuring that disc.

 
Old 10-05-2004, 02:13 PM   #12
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injured betty HB User
Re: back from appt

[QUOTE=tanamodessi]betty, I'm not really worried about the disc being damaged from the discogram i'm worried about it because 7 weeks ago i had fusion on the bad disc and the doc told me chances are after a fusion the disc above or below a fusion has greater risk of going bad. I hope I never have to go through another fusion. im still in post op and im not sure everything is going as it should.[/QUOTE]

So, you have given greater odds to the disc above it going back by the needle stick?

My husband is less than one week post op from neck fusion of the C5/C6. They told him that c/4 looked pretty back and that by the time that he has to have that done, cervical ADR will be approved. That is the chance that you take with fusion. It is much more so with lumbar than with cervical though.

get better,

 
Old 10-05-2004, 03:24 PM   #13
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tanamodessi HB User
Re: back from appt

Thanks Betty, and Mel maybe by the time and if you have to have surgery you can get the the total disc replacement. Thats what I was supposed to be getting but when I went in for my pre-op the day before surgery the Dr said they couldn't get the hospitals FDA approval to perform the artificial disc even though they were one of the hospitals in the study. They say this is going to be the best thing that has happened to back surgery.
debbie

 
Old 10-05-2004, 04:17 PM   #14
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mel1977 HB User
Re: back from appt

but can they do a two level ADR? Both L4-5 and L5-S1 need to be taken out.

 
Old 10-05-2004, 04:34 PM   #15
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tanamodessi HB User
Re: back from appt

I'm not sure about that,sorry. I know that they told me I was a great candidate for it because I only had one level.

 
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