I notice you are living in Virginia and are originally from Minn. I am in Alexandria and originally from Boston. I have been told by my neuro that I need a three level fusion and he wants a discogram and emg done first. I saw that you had a three level fusion and was wandering how you got away without the tests and also how the surgery and recovery went. Thanks for your help
Well, I didn't have the discogram because there was no question from the MRIs that I needed this done. I did have the emg done. Once was enough of that also. I am glad that I taught LaMaze because the breathing came in real handy when he was zapping me with the current. It was the emg that pushed me over the edge and caused the surgery to be scheduled. Mu surgeon had said that if there was no long term nerve damage he would buy me more time. When I had it done we found that there was long term damage in my good leg and damage starting in my bad leg. I had no options but to schedule the surgery at that point.
I am an anomoly. My 3 level fusion went well. The problem started when they went to get me out of bed the day after the surgery. As they were getting up I fell an explosion, like a paper bag popping. I told them to stop that something was wrong. The nurses and PTs informed me that everyone feels that way and not to worry...i had gained back two inches in height and would need to stretch. Un huh. They got me up for a week,twice a day, with a pain level of 14 on their scale of 1-10..and I have a HIGH pain threshold. My left leg was dragging and I had little feeling in it. My surgeon was out of town at a conference. When he got back he listened to me, had an exray taken. Good news/bad news. Good news was I was justified all the pain I was having. Bad news was my back was broken and I required more surgery.
They took me down that afternoon. Another 5.5 hours later. They took out the hardware they had put in, clean out the broken bone, inserted 2 15" titanium rods and 20 of the biggest screws they make. Sewed me back up. Sent me to a nursing home for a month to have intense physical therapy. I asked for the pediatric wing as I was the youngest one there by 30 years.
The day they discharged me from the nursing home they found that I had a blood clot from my calf to my groin. Throwing clots into both lungs. Spent another week in the hospital for that. Met my new best friend..katherine, katherine Heparin (sorry )
Left home 16 Feb. 05 returned home 8 April 05...and no one had dusted...
That's the short version.
I am currently with a PM doctor. Saw my surgeon this past Tuesday for my 2 year check. Will have another 2 years of PT (have had 2 already) and will have some level of pain the rest of my life...I'm working through this part. It will take a few days to accept.
That being said, where are you doctoring? What is your prognosis.
My husband said that so many people kept saying that I was an anomoly that he was going to change my name to Ann Nomoly.
My neuro is in N virginia. I wanted another MRI as the last one was from sep 06 and the pain got much worse. He said you don't need another MRI, you need a three level fusion. I almost died. Then he said discogram emg etc. I said I need to think about it because of the success rates for three levels. I went to a pm doc and he says you dont need a fusion! Let's see $30000 for the fusion for the neuro or $ $10,000 in injections for the pm doc. Funny but it always seems to get back to money. I dont know who to believe. I just took my last prednisone today. The pain has subsided somewhat but I still cant stand for more than five or ten minutes. I am going to try a personal trainer and see if it will work. I also have lost 11 pounds and would like to lose 30 more. I am presently 220 lbs and 6 ' tall. I need to get to 190. At least if i have to have the surgery the recovery will be easier if i am lighter. Question, If you had to do it again, would you or would you try to get maybe just a discectomy only to try and releive the nerve pressure? Thanks for caring.
I saw 6 neurosurgeons/spine surgeons. I had 6 completely different opinions. From suck it up to I am going to be crippled at 40. I lost 35 pounds 5'11 215-5'11 180. Helped a little. For some reason, the last one had a option I liked, I had this new procedure an endoscopic discectomy. If it doesn't work, I will try a artificial discs or fusion. 3 weeks from post op and doing well. I can walk, 1/2 mile at a time. Before I couldn't stand for a minute without screaming in pain. Anyway, keep searching until you are happy with it. If you don't feel comfortable with it, it won't work anyway. I don't know about everyone else, but I think fusion is the last ditch effort to helping your back problem. The more posts I look at the more fusion scares me. I am hoping the new artificial discs will go to three levels.