what is your body telling you? What do you expect to happen from surgery and are you prepared to have pain either be the same or worse afterwards? Do you have a plan if you have more or equal pain? What are your long term goals? If you choose not to have surgery, can you still meet them?
These are all questions I ask myself and I answer myself too. My body tells me I need intervention, more than injections and meds. I expect to have less pain, but understand I may have more, if so, I will fully go into PM and try anything possible. Long term, I want to travel, maybe have kids and return to school. If I don't have intervention, I cannot do any of those things (but I know if the surgery is not successful, I won't be able to do them anyway. To me though, it is worth the risk).
I hope some of this was able to help you out, and if you have any other questions or just wanna talk, I am here quite a bit.
it is totally up to you. we should be so blessed to have spouses who are so supportive. I bet she just wants to see you pain free as my hubby does. It is hard for them, but hard for us too. I am only 26 and have a lot of life to live still. Sometimes I feel 80 and that isn't right. I shouldn't have to deal with this. Now, I have had surgery already at L5-S1 (micro) two years ago, and did well. I went back to work and that is why I am here now. I have a bulge at C5-6, as well as spondy and a pinched nerve. I have DDD and bulges at L4-5 and L5-S1. I will be having a discogram and my dr and I have discussed the two level lumbar fusion AS WELL as cervical fusion/or micro. How is that for scary? Three levels-now that is a lot. I am still not sure what I am going to do. Part of me says go for all three, and part of me says just do lumbar and try other stuff on the neck. But, if I wait too long, then my goals for next year get pushed back again, and I can't have that (want to return to school). So, I could do all three and then if one or all don't work I will just have to try something else. It is confusing and I understand how you feel. I am not scared of surgery, but I have had five (only one on back though) all but one required hospital stay. Plus, I work in healthcare, so I am used to all the medical stuff (but boy do I love those hospital beds-may have to get myself the kind where you can adjust the knees and head )
Well, I wish you well and I am sure you will make the best decision for you.
Their hands are tied. They can't say for sure where your pain will be. That is why it is entirely up to you. It is like jumping off of a cliff and hoping that there is a safety net. It is scary.
I agree with injured betty. But I just wanted to tell you that whatever you decide to do, I wish you the best of luck. I hope all goes well if you go through with your surgery. Kepp us updated. Good luck and take care. Kristy.
I am so sorry about your confusion. All I can tell you is my experience and what my Dr. told me. Prior to surgery, I was told that surgery was only suggested if there was leg pain. When I got to that point, he told me the pro's/cons and then left the decision up to me. When I decided to have surgery, I wrote down all my questions, as I thought of them, and then I faxed the list to my Dr. and asked him to call me when he had some time to answer my questions. He did and told me to call him if I came up w/ other questions. (Maybe you could do the same) I did have the fusion 8 wks. ago. The leg pain is completely gone. I do still have some back pain if I over do it. The Dr. said he is expecting me to recover to 80% of what I was, prior to falling. I hope you get the answers you need. Let us know if you have specific questions re. surgery and back problems.
Hey I'm new here too. I just signed up today.. I know exactly how you feel.. I will see my surgeon on Nov 11 to decide when I'll have the surgery..(L4-S1 fusion-TLIF) This is so hard to decide... Im only 30 but I've had 3 microdiscectomies (all on the left side)in the last 2 years and I just herniated the right side of L4/L5 in early Sept.. They're telling me that it's up to me about the fusion, but how do I decide??
Chris, I'm glad everything went well and you are recovering so well! I am new to the boards and am having anterior and posterior fusions (L4-5 and L5-S1) in 11 days. I am a 54y/o female with history of hip and leg pain for 16 months. I tried injections, PT (twice), rest and am on Tylenol#3, Ultracet, and Zanaflex at present. I took Lortab at beginning but it makes me hallucinate, itch and loopey, and doesn't completely relieve the pain. The meds I take now don't completely relieve pain either, but I can function at least. Is 360 the same as anterior/posterior fusion? Mine will be done 2 days apart.
so glad to hear from you chris! I had my lumbar fusion and man, it is hell isn't it? but so glad I did it! I had a 360 lumbar interbody fusion at L4-5 and L5-S1 on December 15 and am faring well. My neck pain is getting worse again, so now we have to fix that, but won't have any surgical intervention at this time. I will avoid that at all costs. I hope things continue to go well for you. I started a surgery success thread, would love for you to post on there. HOpe you come around some more!