I just saw my neurosurgeon this morning. He said my discogram showed the pain is generated by my L5-S1 disc (or rather the lack of the disc). He said that he could go in and do a fusion. He said it would not make me worse, but he's only 60% positive that it would make it better. Because my pain is all in my back, he can't be sure. So, what do I do? I've been in terrible pain for 2 years. I've done PT, I've had steroid injections, I've tried aqua therapy. Nothing worked. I can't do many exercises because of the pain. So what should I do? I'm so confused. Please help!
[QUOTE=rowboat]I just saw my neurosurgeon this morning. He said my discogram showed the pain is generated by my L5-S1 disc (or rather the lack of the disc). He said that he could go in and do a fusion. He said it would not make me worse, but he's only 60% positive that it would make it better. Because my pain is all in my back, he can't be sure. So, what do I do? I've been in terrible pain for 2 years. I've done PT, I've had steroid injections, I've tried aqua therapy. Nothing worked. I can't do many exercises because of the pain. So what should I do? I'm so confused. Please help!
Becky[/QUOTE]Hi Becky, I was in your shoes last year, I didnt care what they did as long as the pain wasnt there. I did it all to, But I had the surgery, Im still in pain, BUT not as bad as I was before my fusion. Thats got to be your decision to have surgery, But is there anything else you could do ? Maybe pain meds and exercise ? Good luck what ever you choose.
If it's only the one disc I would be looking in to ADR "artificial disc replacement" it was FDA approved this year here but they have been doing it for years in Germany and I think it would be worth doing your research and checking it before going ahead with fusion.
My conditions are not operable but if they had been this would have been my choice.
Dunno what to say. I always want to hear Dr's say... "This is what is wrong and THIS is how we can fix it!." Sadly that is rarely the case in spine surgery and I don't think ANY Dr could honestly tell you that. While we all wish they could and it would be so.
You've suffered with this pain for so long now. You have a decision to make and your the only one that TRULY knows how severe your pain is daily and how much it is affecting your quality of life....and your enjoyment missed with your girls and husband.
I'd rather he wouldn't have said it "wouldn't make you worse" ....having the surgery has three possible outcomes.
Make you better
you'll stay the same
your pain, could be worse
I wish I had answers for you - you need to discuss this with your husband & yourself and see if you are to the point where you MUST try the surgery.
There is still the option of seeing if your an ADR candidate?
and you could always hold off long enough to get a couple more opinions?
I honestly don't know if you can do anything more than pain management or surgery Becky ~ seems you've been through hell while trying it all!
What were the RA test results you had?
As always I wish you the best
we'll all be right here for you
shawley, where is your pain? is it all in your back? that's where mine is, and that's why they only give me a 60% chance of getting better.
Linda, my neuro actually has been trained for the ADR. unfortunately, the two discs right above this one are showing significant signs of degeneration already, so I am not a candidate. He said in another couple of years, they will probably change that criteria.
Bionic, you're always so sweet. you sound alot like my doctor with the "this is wrong and this is how we fix it". He said he gets very frustrated because it's not cut and dry (no pun intended with the cut) He is my third neurosurgeon, so I don't think it would do me much good to get any more opinions.
I think this surgery might help me. With my disc completely gone, my L5 is resting on S1 and he said it shows sign of spondy something or other. But he said he would pull them apart and put cages in and put bone from my hip there to fuse them together. That sounds promising, right? All I know is it gets worse every day. I went to pick my 6 year old up from her friend's house today, and walking down there driveway, my foot landed in an uneven spot and I thought I was going to drop right there. Do you know the pain I'm talking about?
My RA test was negative. One was positive, but that just indicates inflammation. And we know I have that!!
Hmmm.. sounds like you've pretty much decided to go ahead with the surgery Becky.
I honestly think it's most likely your best shot of any significant relief.
I didn't realize you'd already been through 3 NS's already too....or that you had other levels involved. I think if it was me (Hell, it WAS me *grin) I would do it - your faced with exactly the same things I was when I commited to the fusion.
And yes my love ~ I know exactly the pain your taking about.
Warm thoughts and loads of hugs I send you!
Hi, Becky. I wonder how much research you have done? I have read and been told that lumbar surgery for back pain ONLY is usually not very successful. I think the 60% your dr. is quoting is quite generous. Before deciding to do it, why not get a second opinion. If the 2nd dr disagrees with the lst then you go for a 3rd opinion. This is a huge decision and you have to be sure you are making the right one.. . You cannot undo a fusion and if you are going to continue to have pain anyway, well...
I do understand where you are coming from; when we hurt so bad, we get desperate for relief. I rushed much too quickly into my second fusion and I have had lots of time to be sorry. So think about it, research it, and get another opinion.
I had a laminectomy, too. The scrapings from the laminectomy were mixed with the BMP. That's why he didn't have to touch my hip. Actually, my spondylolisthesis was only grade 1-2 so he wouldn't have even gone in if it weren't for the laminectomy. He fused me from L3-S1 posterolateral.
ok, my spondy is a 2 dunno what if anything he plans to do about that since he'll be in there anyway, will find out on the 26th. [/QUOTE]
The laminectomy was because of severe spinal stenosis; I could hardly walk. I had off and on locking pain in my hip area which might have been from the 1-2 spondy. Between the lami and the fusion I have no more pain/trouble walking. I still have grade 1 spondy but it is stable.
I hope I don't sound stupid, but what is BMP? My NS did not mention it. I have not seen an ortho. I like my new neuro. I know that sounds silly, but I do. You know how sometimes you just get a good feeling about someone? My first neuro spent less than 3 minutes with me. Second one was more thorough, but he's only been doing this a few years, so he didn't want to tackle all my problems. this one seems to be well experienced, he takes time to answer all my questions. I didn't feel rushed out of his office. Plus, he helped my 4 year old put together a model of a brain!
Bionic, I think I have pretty much made up my mind, but I keep waffling. I didn't realize you'd been through this once already. How bad is it going to be?