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Old 01-22-2005, 07:45 AM   #1
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Surgery for primarily back pain..anyone had good results?

I saw another neurosurgeon for a second opinion the other day and he basically said the same as the first (though he turned out to be a former associate of my Neuro) He really did not look at my films either...I had to ask him to look at them! He said since my back pain is worse than the leg pain, I might not get any better with surgery. But I CAN"T live like this anymore! I am now taking methadone...I want off the meds and to have a semi-normal life! I don't feel any better after talking with him. He did say he would not do a fusion, since I have 3 bad discs..the domino effect. He said if I was comfortable and my Neurosurgeon was comfortable that the l5-S1 is the primary source of pain...I could try the ADR. Has anyone out there had a fusion or ADR that has back pain that is worse than leg pain? If so, did it help?

As always, thanks for the input.

starrfish

 
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Old 01-22-2005, 10:48 AM   #2
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Re: Surgery for primarily back pain..anyone had good results?

Hi starrfish, are all your 3 discs DDD ? Are your doctors just thinking your L5-S1 may be the pain generator or did you have a diskogram done ? Did they even suggest esi's to you ( the injections). Your doc.'s kind of remind me of my own . They look at me baffled like, I dont know what to tell you. I can really relate , I am sick of taking meds, my stomach doesnt do well as it is. My liver count was really high, I think possibly the meds so Im trying to reduce the intake. Its really tough to try & balance things out. Let me know how things go !!!!

 
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Old 01-22-2005, 02:13 PM   #3
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Re: Surgery for primarily back pain..anyone had good results?

Hi Star,

All I can do is share my own experience. It's different for everyone and there are no guarantees. I did not catch your diagnosis. I had a big herniation at L5-S1. The back and leg pain where really bad and the only thing that helped where opiates. My problem was more leg pain. Had a dischectomy 2 years ago today (I just realized!). The first 6 weeks I had severe back pain but the leg pain was gone. At the six week mark I was off all meds but started to experience leg pain again. Long story short, postop MRI showed scar tissue/adhesions on the nerve root. This was a result of surgery. There are few good treatments for this. I have been in constant severe pain for 3 years. In the last few months I have come to accept that I will always have pain. With the help of an aggressive PT program, PM Dr (currently looking for a new one) and the right meds I am slowly improving the quality of my life. I am no longer afraid of opiates or addiction. They are tools to a better more productive life. I think my experience is a minority but there are always risks to surgery. By all means discuss adhesion/fibrosis prevention during and after surgery. The successes don't ussually hang around here so keep that in mind.
Good Luck,
Kevin

 
Old 01-22-2005, 02:57 PM   #4
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Re: Surgery for primarily back pain..anyone had good results?

I had two discs with DDD and little leg pain and I had a fusion a month ago and so far it IS working. The first doc I went to told me he could not help at all and refused to even discuss surgery. I wasn't willing at 27 to live with all the pain I had and refused to be on narcs forever. I want to go back to school, travel, have kids (maybe) and if I didn't do something, I may not be able to do what I wanted in the future. The next doc I saw thought as long as the discs were the culprit, that I may be a good candidate for the two level fusion. So far, so good. I am happy I had this surgery. My L3-4 is in good condition but the last two were crap. Have you had a discogram? This test was the one that determined if I would be good for the fusion. Now, maybe if that one had been bad, they would take out and fuse the two bad ones or do all three. I say get a third opinon. Discuss this board too! I did this and that was one way I told my dr I wanted this-others were happy. NOW, that is my personal opinion. I don't know if you even want surgery. I, DID.
I hope you get some answers soon! Best wishes

 
Old 01-22-2005, 03:06 PM   #5
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Re: Surgery for primarily back pain..anyone had good results?

oh, I have seen Two orthos -one for my first surgery-was great.
Second was the one who would not discuss surgery.
The dr who did the surgery was a NS. SO maybe you should seek a ortho's advice. I went to a NS b/c the ortho was so mean. I also got help from patients and nurses where I work and they were able to tell me who they liked. It was important to me to have a nice dr and I sure found that. He is young too and I have found the younger the better only b/c they aren't burnt out with us back people yet-atleast that is the vibe I get from the older ones. Heck, in MO one doc refused to see any new back patients b/c we are so "common" and seem to be hypochondriacs, though i so disagree with that!

 
Old 01-22-2005, 06:32 PM   #6
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Re: Surgery for primarily back pain..anyone had good results?

[QUOTE=danagc]Hi starrfish, are all your 3 discs DDD ? Are your doctors just thinking your L5-S1 may be the pain generator or did you have a diskogram done ? Did they even suggest esi's to you ( the injections). Your doc.'s kind of remind me of my own . They look at me baffled like, I dont know what to tell you. I can really relate , I am sick of taking meds, my stomach doesnt do well as it is. My liver count was really high, I think possibly the meds so Im trying to reduce the intake. Its really tough to try & balance things out. Let me know how things go !!!! [/QUOTE]

Yes, I have DDD in L3-S1. I have had PT, ESI's, Facet Injections, etc. I finally had a discogram and all three discs were painful, but the L5-S1 was the pain I have daily. The second Neuro said I do have severe DDD in those disc, so he would not recommend a fusion. My liver count has been elevated as well, and I find it hard for anyone to write my meds for me...they all want the other doc to do it. I guess I basically have to make a choice to do PT again...which the first time only made me hurt worse, or go through the ADR with the possibility that I will still be in pain. What I don't understand is...if the discs are internally deteriorated, especially L5-S1...how will PT help? I can see how it might help the facet hypertrophy and movement, but the inside of the disc where it is torn....how can pt help that? I think I am going to end up having the ADR, but I feel like my family...especially hubby..thinks I am rushing into surgery. This has been going on since I had my daughter in 2003! And I am only 31...I would like to have another child and I can't see that happening if I am in this much pain right now. I can't imagine not being able to take any meds AND carrying the extra weight.

Last edited by starrfish; 01-22-2005 at 06:38 PM.

 
Old 01-22-2005, 07:25 PM   #7
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Re: Surgery for primarily back pain..anyone had good results?

Hi,
I'm new to the boards, but I can tell you I have had pain since 1998, and was first told I had MS, well after years of thinking the Dr's were boss, I found a Dr that told me I'm the employer and have the right to be satisfied with thier service or fire them. I searched for a long time and found a Dr. that truely had MY best interest at heart. I have DDD in L4-5/ L5-S1, Stenosis, and spondylolisthesis, I had major leg and hip pain for years. Had a 2level fusion in Oct. 2003, It got rid of leg and hip pain, but back pain was terrible. Just had the hardware removed on 12-14-04, turns out two screws were loose, but they couldn't see that in any xrays or Ct's. They redid the one level fusion that failed and left me with no hardware. I feel so much better already. I can't tell you what to do, because we are all different. But I have found that sometimes you just need to keep searching till YOU are comfortable with the Dr. AND the diagnosis. don't just settle, listen to your gut instinct. Good luck and God Bless

 
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