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Old 03-23-2007, 09:45 AM   #1
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myhearthurts HB User
what age is too young for surgery?

My drs think Im too young for back surgery like fusion. they think I should wait until my 40s (Im 22). Instead they want to mess with my nerves...what age is too young for back surgery like fusion (dont really know of any others), or other ones?

just wondering
thanks
mel

 
Old 03-23-2007, 09:54 AM   #2
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girl12345 HB User
Re: what age is too young for surgery?

I saw three surgeons before my surgery. They all stated that I am too young for a fusion (I was 21). They said that I should wait until at least a two level disc replacement is approved. If I got a fusion then, I would have more problems for sure with other discs down the road. They did say that I could get a discectomy, which I did. It has been a year and a half and I am still hurting, even worst (see my other post). I would try to hold off on any surgery if possible or at least stay away from a fusion. I hope that this helps.

 
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Old 03-23-2007, 10:03 AM   #3
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Re: what age is too young for surgery?

Hi ,
I'm sure if you were in bad shape they would do the fusion. Sounds like to me your Dr. don't feel your in that much pain..Besides why a fusion ? They have artificial disc that they can replace your's that is skot..Not as bad as a fusion , for us old fart's that have spondylolisthesis there is no other way but fusion..I say this..If it hurt's that bad..I mean you can't stand it or do anything why not the surgery ? I know this guy who bawled about his back hurting ,I told him. DON'T do surgery unless your really in pain..He didn't listen and had surgery and now all I here is it hurts more now than before .. Didn't listen...

Maybe you should get other opinion's from different Dr.'s ? There is option's out there..Seek and you shall find

 
Old 03-23-2007, 10:05 AM   #4
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Re: what age is too young for surgery?

I had surgery at 17 for a birth defect.

 
Old 03-23-2007, 10:45 AM   #5
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shawley HB User
Re: what age is too young for surgery?

I had my tonsuls or however you spell it out when I was 12 ?

Top That Pepper !

 
Old 03-23-2007, 10:53 AM   #6
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Re: what age is too young for surgery?

Hi!

I was 27 went I had my fusion. L4, L5-S1. My doc was hesitant in doing it at first until he saw proof that I needed it done (I think bc of my age). But I really wanted it done, I was in so much pain!!! I'm glad I did it to, bc now I can live my life w/out that pain anymore. I still have pain, different pain but at least the agony of torn discs is no longer. Good luck!

 
Old 03-23-2007, 10:59 AM   #7
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Re: what age is too young for surgery?

Well your not alone, I was 19 when I herniated my discs, the surgeon said I was to young for surgery, and i begged him, just do it. My mom told me I should be glad that he wasn't surgery happening. It took along time but it did get better, to a degree I could function, always had to kinda watch it etc. But then years later, it turned into Degerative Disc Disease,same disc

Anyway, you should try to avoid surgery, for as long as you can. Once they do it, its done, you can't go back.

They are getting better and better technology all the time. The new artifical discs are awesome, and if you could hold off for years and years, think of the new things that would be out.

But sometimes, they do surgery when your young. Good luck. Walk Walk walk

 
Old 03-23-2007, 11:11 AM   #8
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Re: what age is too young for surgery?

I too am 22. I was told I was too young for the fusion that I just had 10 days ago (L4-L5 laminectomy with posterolateral fusion). It came down to trying everything that I could possibly do before it was even considered. I had an epidural, facet joint block, and nerve block that didn’t help me. I have tried PT, message therapy, chiropractor (w. the machine not manual manipulation), weight loss, and acupuncture (which I still do and love). It showed the stenosis and that my disc was torn in the MRI but the discogram proved it even more. It was my last resort to be fused especially because it’s not a small surgery and it will impact the rest of your life. I don’t regret the surgery even this early. I am feeling better already I only am having the pain from the surgery not the pain I was use to, I was in serious pain for almost 2 years. It feels like the pressure in my back is gone from the stenosis but that would be a result of the lamectomy. My suggestion is if it is your last resort, find a great surgeon and get as many opinions as possible.

Last edited by spunky7300; 03-23-2007 at 11:13 AM.

 
Old 03-23-2007, 11:12 AM   #9
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myhearthurts HB User
Re: what age is too young for surgery?

No its not that they dont think I am in pain. They do, and I am in a lot of pain. The only thing is they rather RX me pain killers and stuff. I dont know, I guess I just really dont like taking them. They had me on 120 15mg methadone a mon, 120 15mg oxycodone a month and 90 375mg soma a month. I cut down myself cause I dont think taking all that especially for long periods is that healthy and worry about my kidney/ liver function. Now I only take 120mg oxycodone a month. Why fusion? That is the only surgery I know of (not that educated on back surgeries), and the RFL that they want to do to me now.

 
Old 03-23-2007, 11:24 AM   #10
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myhearthurts HB User
Re: what age is too young for surgery?

No its not that they dont think I am in pain. They do, and I am in a lot of pain. The only thing is they rather RX me pain killers and stuff. I dont know, I guess I just really dont like taking them. They had me on 120 15mg methadone a mon, 120 15mg oxycodone a month and 90 375mg soma a month. I cut down myself cause I dont think taking all that especially for long periods is that healthy and worry about my kidney/ liver function. Now I only take 120mg oxycodone a month. Why fusion? That is the only surgery I know of (not that educated on back surgeries), and the RFL that they want to do to me now.

 
Old 03-23-2007, 12:17 PM   #11
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Re: what age is too young for surgery?

[QUOTE=shawley;2877884]I had my tonsuls or however you spell it out when I was 12 ?

Top That Pepper ! [/QUOTE]

Ughhhhhhh........hush up Shawley


What I mean't to say was that I had a fusion at 17 for a birth defect.

 
Old 03-23-2007, 01:07 PM   #12
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olliedoll HB User
Re: what age is too young for surgery?

I had my first back surgery at 17. I ruptured a disc playing softball in highschool. I had a laminectomy to correct it and had absolutely no pain until 5 years later. I was blow drying my hair and flipped my head over and instantly went down in pain. I had ruptured the same disc again.The doctor put me through multi level esi's every 4 months, pt, pain meds, etc. When the esi's stopped helping me the doctor finally said it's up to you. I had a fusion in
Dec. 06. Come to find out there was scar tissure on the left sciatica nerve and the vertebra was crushing the right one. The disc had degenerated and there was nothing in between the vertebra. Anyway, I guess it depends on your situation. Just make sure you know what you are doing and completely understand everything.

Ollie

 
Old 03-23-2007, 02:11 PM   #13
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Re: what age is too young for surgery?

Well, none of the doctors want to do back surgery on overly young patients and the age varience varies between doctors.

You must be an advocate for yourself and speak up to what you want, not necessarily letting your doctor dictate to you at this point. Depending on how bad your pain level is, where your pain is, what type of pain you have.. also is a HUGE factor in determining if you need surgery now or later.

Either way, it sounds like you are going to need surgery of some form in the future, and if the non-surgical remedies are fruitless, then surgery must be discussed. There is no need to live in horrific pain when there are things out there to do to TRY and relieve it for you.

If you do not like the doctor's opinions.. I would strongly suggest you take your MRI's to another doctor and get another opinion.

I hope you get relief soon. 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 03-23-2007, 02:41 PM   #14
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myhearthurts HB User
Re: what age is too young for surgery?

Yea my doctor did say I will eventually need surgery. I have degenerative disks but he says I have degenerative arthritis. so I dont know if the degenerative arthritis causes degenerative disks or what but he said it was caused by trauma. He also said there is no way to stop degenerative arthritis but you can slow it down.

Last edited by myhearthurts; 03-23-2007 at 02:43 PM.

 
Old 03-23-2007, 03:00 PM   #15
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Re: what age is too young for surgery?

[QUOTE=myhearthurts;2877937]No its not that they dont think I am in pain. They do, and I am in a lot of pain. The only thing is they rather RX me pain killers and stuff. I dont know, I guess I just really dont like taking them. They had me on 120 15mg methadone a mon, 120 15mg oxycodone a month and 90 375mg soma a month. I cut down myself cause I dont think taking all that especially for long periods is that healthy and worry about my kidney/ liver function. Now I only take 120mg oxycodone a month. Why fusion? That is the only surgery I know of (not that educated on back surgeries), and the RFL that they want to do to me now.[/QUOTE]

Myhearthurts,

Oh, Believe me I feel for you. My 26 year old daughter started having severe back problems when she was 22. She started out with just 1 torn disc, her 1 doctor recommended an IDET, but her insurance would not cover it(Military Tricare) and the doctors did not want to do a fusion. She was on High doses of Oxycodone, DURAGESIC (fentanyl patch), neurontin and oh my gosh so many other medications for almost 4 years! The doctors still did not want to do surgery because of her young age.

By the time she was 25 she had 3 herniated disc's and torn disc's. FINALLY her pain specialist pretty much told her surgeon that he HAD to do a 3 level fusion on her.

At 26 yrs 3 months old on Feb. 26, 2007, she had her first surgery a 3 level (S1-L5, L5-L4,L4-L3) Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (ALIF) & bone taken from right hip to graft.

Her second surgery was 4 days later on March 2, 2007, they went in on the back side... it was a 3 level (S1-L5, L5-L4,L4-L3) Posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) and transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) , with rods, plates and screws.

Hind sight tells her that if she knew what she knows now...she would have insisted that they do a fusion when she just had 1 bad disc. Now every case if different, so that doesn't mean you should have the fusion...just weigh all the options.

It has been 3 weeks today and she feels better than she has in 4 years. She still has a lot of pain but she says "It's a different kind of pain, and I know I am getting better everyday."

She has rapidly progressing degenerative disc disease, so now we are looking into something to slow that down.

Blessings to you and know that you are in my thoughts and PRAYERS!

Terri
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