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Old 03-01-2007, 11:29 PM   #1
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Angry 25 y/o girl a few days post discogram (drama rama)

I had it done at 3:10pm Tuesday... it's now after midnight going into Friday morning. This is my 1st time sitting down at the computer... I put it off as long as possible. Quite uncomfortable.

I am lucky to have had my procedure done at a fancy brand new place... everything was new and clean and fresh. Team was young and perky and ran like a well oiled machine. I hadn't eaten (on purpose) to try and avoid vomiting mid procedure and they weren't thrilled about that... so started up an IV within 5 minutes of walking in the door. Apparently antibiotics are pretty common BUT I am allergic to nearly everything they had in the office so we had to be creative which involved an obscene ammount of Benadryl to keep me from itching my skin off from mild hives reaction. By the time the doc came in, I was asleep in my chair. They didn't like this and had a hard time waking me up. I had to sign all my forms asleep.. it was crappy. By the time I actually reached the procedure room, the benadryl was wearing off quickly. I began to have nervous twitches which turned into nervous shakes which turned into nervous convulsions. The procedure took nearly 2 1/2 hours on the table because they kept needing to give me rest breaks to try and control the violant shakes because the xrays were coming out blurs, even with having me hold my breath. I got toradol about 3 times over the course of the 2 1/2 hours... they (stupidly in my opinion) did a 3 level and went from high to low. (My fracture is L5 S1) so the 1st two levels created nothing. When they reached them bottom/tailbone area I prepared for the worst... when the injection was done it was instant tears followed by hyperventalating but I remained still so they could finish up. At that point they (finally) broke out the morphine and I mellowed out. As the xray shot off many times I heard everyone commenting "wow... it's just blown! how old is she again"? and other annoying comments. One person remarked that I may as well have been a linebacker or a running back... just a mutilated and destroyed disc.

I was then moved to recovery. Apparently my doc stopped in and spoke to my husband briefly before she went to clean up/change. After being moved around I got the shakes and sobbing again so morphine round 2 began. I dozed off slightly... and the dr walked in. Again! I never really got to talk to her when I wasn't high or asleep. It sucked. From what my husband explained to me later, she has an entirely different opinion than my present surgeon.... the guy who wants to operate in 2 short weeks. HE says synthetic disc replacement is the way to go. SHE says no way... do standard fusion. synthetic replacement is way too new to experiment myself on... don't risk it. So here I am.... my whole life ahead of me and 2 babies who need me and I have this awful deicision ahead of me. It's miles beyond depressing. She also upset me a great deal by telling me the recovery is "about a thousand" times more painful than a csection recovery.

I went home and slept about 18 hours... then called for stronger pain meds to be called in (Norco, i believe) and they've been making me vomit all day, which in turn moves my back in an uncomfortable way.

In conclusion I wish I'd never done it. They only confirmed the MRI's and stressed me out. What a waste of a co-pay

 
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Old 03-02-2007, 05:42 AM   #2
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Re: 25 y/o girl a few days post discogram (drama rama)

Hi there!! I am so sorry you suffered so much from the discogram but it sounds like they confirmed exactly where the pain is which is not a bad thing. Wouldn't it be terrible if they operated on a disc that look suspicious and really was not the culprit of the pain??

A fusion is big surgery but the worst part will not being able to pick up your kids. No lifting, no bending, no cooking, no cleaning, etc. for a long period afterwards. I am 4 weeks out from my fusion and I don't regret my decision one bit.

By the way, I had a fusion on s1/s2 at 17 and at 42 I just had a fusion at
l5/s1. You will heal alot quicker from a fusion at your young age!!

Good luck to you.

 
Old 03-02-2007, 11:21 AM   #3
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Re: 25 y/o girl a few days post discogram (drama rama)

I am in the same boat. One doctor says fusion is the only option. Another doctor says no you are too young, you need to have the disc replacement. I am torn. I am getting a third opinion but still am puzzled.

Good luck and let me know what you decide.

 
Old 03-02-2007, 01:46 PM   #4
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Re: 25 y/o girl a few days post discogram (drama rama)

Here is my simple opinion. Once a fusion is done there is [B]no going back[/B]. At least with the replacement disc they haven't (to my knowledge) totally destroyed the normal anatomy. So I would go back to the first doctor and review why he thinks you should have the replacement rather than a fusion. Weigh your choices and make a decision. As hard as it seems even major herniations do heal with time but most people just don't want to go that route. The down side of fusions is that the adjacent levels may start to go. So think long and hard about this one.
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Old 03-02-2007, 07:08 PM   #5
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Re: 25 y/o girl a few days post discogram (drama rama)

I didn't realize they were doing disc replacement on L5-S1 in the U.S. I have only seen that they're doing cervical disc replacements at the major teaching hospitals in my neighboring cities. Is the disc replacement at a big-name hospital? Or are lumbar disc replacements more common than I've been able to find?

So sorry to hear about your experience. Thanks to you, I'll try pretty hard to save my insurance company some money. . . I seem to have the same kind of luck.

How long does the doctor think it will take until your pain subsides? Hope you feel better soon and that you can find wisdom to make the right decision for you.

 
Old 03-02-2007, 09:53 PM   #6
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Re: 25 y/o girl a few days post discogram (drama rama)

My tear is at L4-L5.

 
Old 03-02-2007, 11:40 PM   #7
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Re: 25 y/o girl a few days post discogram (drama rama)

Hi. You had a rough time getting through that discogram.. so many obstacles! Wow.. but you made it. I agree with the others about the discogram being a positive tool for you, but with unfortunate process. I am also very med sensitive and they only gave me pain killers right before I left the hospital when I had my discogram done last March. I threw up all night and all the next day too! The procedure was extremely painful, the pain meds came way too late, and I hurled for 24 hours.

BUT, IT WAS WORTH ITS WEIGHT IN GOLD for me. It was able to produce my pain, BUT with a HUGE twist. My bulging disc all the docs thought was causing my pain wasnt at all. It turned out the one above it was the problem but did not show on 3 years of MRIs.

If the doctor had done my surgery on the bulging disc, it would have gotten rid of the bulging disc, but my pain would have remained because it was the one above it.

So try and look at it with the glass being half full and not empty. It confirmed what they were seeing. That is a good thing.

As to the conflict with the surgeons opinions.. if you are not sure what route you want to go... I suggest you hold off until such time that you can make an informed decision on what is best for you. You have to be at peace with your choice. Surgery is surgery regardless of which one you choose. The surgery risks are there for both.. and ADR's are not easily undone, shown by recent research.

I would get another opinion or two. But when you do.. make sure you do not tell the new docs what any other docs opinions are.. let them draw their own conclusions. But definitely take your MRI's and reports.

Im not sure what the doctor meant about what hurt being gobs more than a C-Section. I have had a fusion and also a C-Section as well. Discogram.. healing from that.. was less than the C-Section. I was quite sore from it, but I was back at work within 2 days. The fusion.. it is worse than a C-Section. So much is messed with internally and lots to heal. But all very manageable.

It's really hard at times to stay focused and not become a "victim" to this back trauma. It really requires to pull deep from within at times. So I say take a step back a tad, ingest what's been said by the two docs, then either choose then or pause and get more opinions and learn more about the options and then make your decision then with a peaceful mind when you do.

I first hurt my back at age 18.. herniated l5/s1. I was told not to have children because of my back. I have two children, now grown and while it was hard many times raising them. I am now 45 and had my first back surgery.. fusion at l4/l5 last april.

You have a full life ahead of you and you will lots of wonderful years watching your participating in the growth of your kids.

Hang in there. We are routing for you! Tammy
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L5/S1 bulging @ 18, now 46; still there (but no pain)
Fusion at L4/L5 Apr -2006
Solidly Fused Nov-2006
A Success, but still improving!

 
Old 03-05-2007, 06:20 PM   #8
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Re: 25 y/o girl a few days post discogram (drama rama)

Jen,

Discogram pretty tough... sorry to hear that. I know what you are talking about. Its supposed to be the most painful test along side of certain emg's. It makes facet joint injections feel like a massage.

As far as fusion???? My opinion is to do everything before fusion. Because after fusion.. all the other stuff you cant do AND although some fusions are very successful, most lead to more pain and more operations.

If you can try something before permanant fusion... why wouldnt you?

Currently I am in the same boat as you. I am starting disc decompression at 4-5 and 5-1 next monday. I hoping this will save me a trip to germany. Its a machine called drx 9000. Its supposed to repair the disk in about 80% of patients. If this fails I am getting ADR.

I am scheduled for artificial disc replacement at 4-5 and 5-1 at stenum hospital, bremen, germany. United states is not very good for adr. And the only lumber disc approved is the charite (which is a poor design.) Maverick is much better. If this fails, I am getting fusion.

Either way, fusion is the last step. Once artifical discs go in, you can still get fusion, but not the other way around.

Your age is the BEST reason for you to consider adr instead of fusion. Your DR is right... there are no long term results for adr. But the long term results for fusions are more pain and more fusions. So why not take your chances on artifical disc? YOU CAN STILL DO FUSION IF ARTIFICIAL DISC FAILS.

Sorry for rambling... too many percocet I guess.

Good luck,
Paul

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Old 03-05-2007, 07:38 PM   #9
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hugg724 HB User
Re: 25 y/o girl a few days post discogram (drama rama)

[QUOTE=OnHold;2832990]I didn't realize they were doing disc replacement on L5-S1 in the U.S. I have only seen that they're doing cervical disc replacements at the major teaching hospitals in my neighboring cities. Is the disc replacement at a big-name hospital? Or are lumbar disc replacements more common than I've been able to find?
.[/QUOTE]

When I had my lumbar surgery last year, my NS told me that the disc replacement hasn't been approved by the FDA BUT the FDA is leaving it to the discretion of surgeons who have been trained to do the disc replacement (mine is one) if he feels the patieint is a good candidate for the replacement vs. the fusion.

Sounds like a fine line to me but if its an option available, RESEARCH RESEARCH RESEARCH and have a thorough list of questions to ask your physician to make the best possible decision for you.

Jami in TN

 
Old 03-05-2007, 08:10 PM   #10
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Re: 25 y/o girl a few days post discogram (drama rama)

Paul, I need the same levels done, if the series of surgeries don't work, I am going for the disc replacement. Now I have done tons of research, I thought the pro disc was the best one for multiple levels, why did you choose the maverick? I am really curious on how you operation works out. Could you let me know how it goes?

 
Old 03-05-2007, 08:58 PM   #11
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painful paul HB User
Re: 25 y/o girl a few days post discogram (drama rama)

pic nic,

The pro disc is for single or multiple levels of mostly cervical, not lumbar. Pro disc have had problems with multiple level lumbar because the keel on the prodisk is too big to distribute the load over the angle once the person stands up. If they would make the patient immobile till the bone fused to the prodisc, it would probably be ok. The maverick fits the lumbar area's angle better. It has a smaller keel, but with holes in it so the bone can grow through it. When a person stands up 1/2 of the surface of the maverick takes the load. With prodisc it creates a prying effect on the keel.

I am trying this new drx 9000. Its supposed to create a vacuum in between the disc space and rehabilitate the disc itself, its not like traction. I start that Monday. If not, I will continue with plans for Germany on April 20.

What hospital is doing prodisc at your lumbar??

Good Luck

 
Old 03-14-2007, 08:40 AM   #12
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rockflower HB User
Re: 25 y/o girl a few days post discogram (drama rama)

My doctor is also debating between the two. He says the miliotary is doing disc replacement with great results. I am definitely leaning that way

 
Old 03-14-2007, 08:12 PM   #13
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picnica HB User
Re: 25 y/o girl a few days post discogram (drama rama)

I tried the drx9000 I tore the disc more. I was upset. I was hoping not to have surgery. It was my last ditch effort. Thanks for the info on the discs.

 
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