I am 33 and in January 2001, I had a very bad fall. Now, 4 years later, I have already had 3 back surgeries: 1 fusion, 1 fusion revision and 1 hardware removal. Three weeks ago, I was told I should strongly consider an Artificial Disc Replacement. I have degenerative disc and Arthritis at L3.
The online research I have done on this gives me great hope but there is one important fact that is giving me some worry. I have yet to find where this procedure has been done at L3. Since December '04, I've had 5 epidurals, all of which helped me none. My pain management specialist strongly suggests I NOT do it. He said I should continue with physical therapy, epidurals and medication therapy. Unfortunately, just this past weekend, I could hardly walk and because of continued pain intensity, couldn't even go to yesterday's physical therapy appointment. I hate to say this but I am even beginning to think the PT is making me worse.
I can't work. I can barely do the most minimal of household chores and pardon me here, but I haven't been intimate with my husband in nearly a year. My back problems have been running/ruining my life now for way too long. I would appreciate any and all responses from those who have had ADR at L3 as well as any postings from those who are walking in my shoes. Bless you all and thank you for your time.
Hi, I'm so sorry to hear that you are having so much trouble, and at such a young age too, I'm 57 and only had one surgery, but I can relate on the pain and not being able to work, and do housework and etc. Have you gotten a second opinion? If the epidurals haven't helped, I see no need in having more, sounds like he just wants you to keep on having them. I only had 3 and they didn't help me either, I had a 2 level fusion on Feb. 28,2005. Good luck.Valley
I havent had my L3 fused, But I feel for you. Im starting my epidurals again next week, I hate them, Im a big sissy when it comes to needles, I had them before my surgery, Didnt work, I know what you mean about PT making it worse, I couldnt walk after PT. I did PT for 9 months.It made no difference.
I dont think a pain clinic Dr will tell you to have surgery, I dont know what to tell you, But I wouldnt put up with it, Do what you feel. I hope you feel better.Pain sucks, Im 39 and can't do to much . No more Football-softball ect..ect..good luck
hello there im so sorry to hear about you problems i to havent been intimate with my partner for a lomg while with all the pain im in i just cant find the strenght and energy any way back to this adr i think it is one of the best success surgerys out there and a clinic that will do you l3 is alpha klinik the web addres is www.alphaklinik.com give it a look and please let me know how you get on i have studyed these people for months and hope to have surgery here when i have the money godbless you
I am so sorry for what all you've been though. That's more spine surgeries than one person should have to endure in a lifetime and your only 33!
I don't have any knowledge to offer you on the ADR...just wanted to wish you well on your upcoming surgery. May I ask if the same Dr has treated you throughout this? and why is your PM so adament that you don't proceed with the ADR?
I totally understand the pain and struggles you describe in the daily chores and such, I am in the same boat. I am 43 and facing my 3rd back surgery. My house used to stay immaculate & now it's looks like a cluster bomb went off everywhere kinda hard to do when your in agony.
Please just know I understand exactly where you are and we will beat this with determination, guts and the glory of getting our lives back!
I fully agree with Valley if youv'e not gotten relief from the ESI's by now why put yourself (or your body) through anymore. While some people are fortunate and get relief from them I never did either.
actually it was my PM doc that referred me to my current Dr and he is the one that finally diagnosed my fusion failure.
I don't have any knowledge to offer you on the ADR...just wanted to wish you well on your upcoming surgery. May I ask if the same Dr has treated you throughout this? and why is your PM so adament that you don't proceed with the ADR? I'm on doc #3. The first was an Orthopedic surgeon and the latter a Neurosurgeon. I left the Ortho because he couldn't help me when I was still in severe pain 6 months post-op from my very first surgery. I still see my Neuro who did surgeries #2 and #3 but he, too, seems to not know what to do to help me now. I recently saw a third doc, another Ortho, because a nurse neighbor of mine had heard such great things about him from the patients at the hospital where she works.
My PM says that the ADR hasn't been done enough here in the US and that since I've already had 3 surgeries, another one probably wouldn't help me. He said I should hold off until they get all the kinks worked out.
I fully agree with Valley if youv'e not gotten relief from the ESI's by now why put yourself (or your body) through anymore. While some people are fortunate and get relief from them I never did either. Yeah, I know this is going to sound crazy, but I always kept trying just one more to see if maybe that one would finally be the one that helped. You know what they say about people who keep doing the same thing expecting a different outcome.....they're insane! Also, I would wonder what I was doing wrong that they didn't help me while others sang their praises. I'm really bad about making bad outcomes my fault. I plan on telling the PM next week that I'm done with the ESIs and PT.
Thank you for your well wishes. The input I've received here has made me realize I'm not the only one with all these issues.
When I was considering the ADR, like you, I did alot of searching on the internet. I found out that I was not a candidate for the procedure because of previos surgery on other levels.
Here in the U.S. the ADR is approved for simple, first time back surgeries. In Europe, where they have been doing it longer, their criteria is not as strict. I didn't even qualify for the research studies with ADR.
Also, since it is a new procedure here in the states, not many insurances are on board and paying for this type of surgery.
I sincerely hope that things have changed in the last few months. It would be great to have that as an alternative to fusion. I just had a 2 level PLIF, and now looking at another ACDF on C5-6.