Hi guys after reading your posts i have to ask do you regret having these surgeries? do you think things would have been better with out them.iam going to a surgeon on dec 4 but i dont think its such a great idea,seems alot of people get worse.i need people to be truthful
I for one have NOT gotten worse..I do have some smaller new problems...but the real PAIN is gone..My posterior lumber fusion (L3-L4) with hardware was last Feb '08...I was out of work almost 3 months..Now I'm doing most everything I could do before my sciatica started...Just have to limit my activity...
Hang in there...
great question marywoo. please know the people who respond are people on this board and they are here for a reason. they are in pain both mentally and physically and need people who can relate with them and are in need of answers. i have asked myself this question a few times. am i better now after 2 micro-d surgeries? yes..am i healed and don't suffer from pain every day? no. but, i am in less pain then the very excruciating pain i was in, when i had a very large disc that was resting on a nerve. i guess you have to ask yourself, can i continue to live in this much pain? the answer is probably no.
i wish you pain-free days!
Hello Marywoo, I very much regret having my fusion. It turned me into an invalid with agonizing pain. I'm somewhat better because of meds, a tens unit and pool therapy, but no where near as functional as I was before surgery. I never ever dreamed that I would be worse!! My surgeon said this surgery has an 85% sucess rate in relieving the pain. That was a lie. I found out (after surgery) that it's more like this: 1/3 patients get better, a 1/3 stay the same, and a 1/3 get worse!! I think if you go into this, you need to know that it (the pain) COULD get worse. Be as informed as you can be. Put Failed Back Surgery Syndrome in an encyclopedia search engine, and you will find tons of info. Also, this healthboard provides a lot of valuable info as well. Don't mean to scare you, but like I said in previous posts, "knowledge is power". -janiee08
I have been asked this question so often since my surgery. I had posterior interbody fusion with rods and screws, cages L4-S1 May 06 and I am one of the unlucky ones. There are many reasons for failed surgeries though. Care and following of instructions post surgery, competency of the surgeon, post surgical physical therapy and use of it at home and the list can go on and on. My first recommendation would be to find out the record of your surgeon's sucesses. There are so many newer technologies now too that were not there a year ago like this new pro disc that allows flexibility. That is the only thing I regret of my surgery. I am in more pain now than prior but I have other things going on so I don't blame the surgery for that, I do blame the surgeon for not listening however. But I can't touch my toes or bend certain ways, polishing or grooming my toenails is extremely difficult as well as many other things but I don't regret the surgery at all. There are also surgeons out there that perform fusion surgeries through laser surgery where they only have to make small holes instead of the usual 3 inches and up incisions. This can prevent pain from scar tissue as well.
You will find a variety of ya's and nay's for these surgeries but it truly varies by the individual and how much pain you are truly in. Many of us still feel like we are going in circles trying to get a cure so we can resume our normal lives. I finally had to bite the bullet and try to get on with my life and get back to work. I have a teenage daughter and I don't want her memories of me not being able to do anything. So, I push myself beyond my limits, suffer incredibly but create those memories. I am in pain management and if it weren't for that, I wouldn't be able to do anything much at all. Without my surgery, I would probably be a nut case by now.
I hope you reach down deep inside and find the answer that is best for you. Just make sure you do lots of research as it appears you are. Good luck to you and please keep us posted.
I am also awaiting an appointment with a surgeon, but I would guess that a lot of it has to do with the reason you are having the surgery in the first place, your age, your overall health, your weight....
My grandma had the fusion surgery a few years ago, and is a much happier person now.
Hi frosty and megs,iam sorry for being so blunt but i get conflicting views from people,alot of people are telling me ,i will be worse off and that scares me to death.i also have trust issues with drs,i was having major upper back pain(i have a disc pressing on nerve) in neck area,but my surgery will be for my spondy,the lumbar area,anyway when they were doing xrays for the surgeon they found out that i had left sided tendenitis,treated me with prednisone and i feel much better,that was a -----.we beleave i got that from the facet shots my pm dr gave me,see where iam going with this.....these drs scare me,anyway Frosty iam so sorry for all you have been through i can not imagine having all that,you are a real trooper,and megs i didnt want to scare you it just seems like this is a roulette game and personally iam scared to pull the trigger.my reumatologist said although the stenosis is worse on the left i also have it in the right side,is this the case with you megs?i wish i understood all this stuff but i just dont my mind is not as sharp as it once was,my husband would crack up if he read that.i hope everyone has a great day and does not feel to much pain.thank you for taking time to reply. marywoo
Hi mel and janiee, i just seen your post that advertisement was covering it,Mel i am so happy for you Janiee,thats exactly what iam afraid of.my brother had back surgery and killed himself afterwards this ways heavy on my mind,i can still move my arms and legs and scared of what surgery will do.thankyou for being honest,my one girlfriend had 4 back surgerys now they tell her her problems come from adhesions,iam so confused by all this.plus my family just does not get it they dont help now imagine if i cant bend over for 6 months,theyre in major denial,i would never have let my house get this bad,iam not a clean freak but the clutter in here could smother you,most of my energy is used in keeping the animals alive,my husband is addicted to the warcraft game and son follows dad,i just dont think it would be good for me.the thought at being at their mercy is scary,i have to really think about this i also have osteoporsis so i wonder how that would play into the situation.thank you both i will really way the pros and cons.i hope you feel better,janiee you must be in so much pain i truly am so sorry. marywoo
Hello Mary dear, You are so like me.
I have huge fear factors of meds, surgeries & everything else. although as I usually I am left with no choice.
You need to write a list of questions for this surgeon & yes see if you can check him out.
One thing you must consider or ask is if any of the problems you have can cause permenant damage if left alone?
What is the prognosis if left alone?
How much does it interfer with you daily life, do you still function well enough to go without?
What are the chances of it being worse after surgery?
I am just throwing a few out there for you. I have heard great success stories along with some that were not so great.
I have made up my mind to do surgery because no matter what meds I take I believe I will suffer & dont want to use the meds as a bandaide anymore & am worried about nerve damage. I also have no other options to try. If I did I am sure I would try those first. In my opinion surgery should always be the last resort, which is how alot of surgeons look at it.
I dont think you can make a educated choice without speaking to a surgeon.
Remember you can always get another opinion by another surgeon & compare what you are told.
I would at least go in for a consultation then at least you are informed.
The more knowledge you have the better off you will be. So go in with a list of questions & then give yourself some time to think about it.
To be honest some feel they are left with little or no choice, their condition is so bad it takes so much from ones life that they just feel like they dont have much of a life. I know that if I had more pain control I would probably put it off which is not always wise either.
I would exhaust all other methods or treatments before having surgery thats for sure. Good luck & god bless Mary, Sammy
I don't regret my fusion surgery for a second! I still have pain everyday, and I am going through the maze of applying for disability, but I'm way better off than before the surgery. If I had to make the decision all over again, I'd do it in a heartbeat!
Keep in mind as you read here that the success stories are mostly not hanging around here. They've gotten their lives back and are working, shuffling kids around, and out at the movies and restaurants, having a social life. I've "seen" dozens of people go through their fusion surgery while posting here over the last couple of years, and most of them did great and are no longer on the board. A few of them check in periodically, but we mostly don't hear back from those who did well, which is most of them.
You should try something. It really helped me to make my decision. Make a Pro's and Con's list of having the surgery done. On the Pro's side I had things like: No more pain killers, no more depression, be a better mom, be a better wife, be able to get pregnant again without worrying about the pain, no more appointments, surgery will actually fix the problem (I also have spondy)...
On the Con's list I had things like: long recovery, painful recovery, risk of complications, open myself up to future surgeries....
Look at each point on the list, and weigh the pro's and the con's. My pro's list was much longer than my con's list, even though I gave "painful recovery" and "long recovery" 2 points each. To me, and for my family's sake, I decided to have the surgery.
The last thing you should have is an operation.
You should try anything and everything first. if you can not overcome the sciatica then an op it must be.
I had sciatica for some time and it was agony everyday.
I could not bend , stand or sit but I refused an operation.
I can now do almost evrything and getting better day by day, no more muscle relax tabs and no more pain killers, I even sat on the bus last week.
Read up on how others have found cures and copy them, one may be your cure
Mary I also have osteroporosis. I think that contributed to my decision to not have the fusion but just the discectomy and laminectomy. Of course, try everything else first, but I had reached the end of my tolerance level. I was sick of laying in bed at night with that horrible pain down my leg and my toes tingling.
Sorry to be a party pooper but my choice to have the surgery a neurosurgeon recommended was a terrible decision for me. In '06 I had a dbl. fusion of C5-7 & the hip bone never fused.
Now my T-spine & Lumbar have bone spurs, likely from carrying my head around for my neck. (Also have spurs at C3-5) Have pain from head to toe now.
In hind site, I'd much rather have lived with the head & arm pain....if I only knew. It never even went away even the tiniest bit.
I hope you don't have to have surgery. I would get multiple opinions & if any of the surgeons say no...then don't do it. Just my humble advice.
I've been on every anti-seizure med for nerve pain & every narcotic practically made. None have helped.
Life's a challenge but I have a strong faith in God that gets me through each day...an eternal perspective.
Conservative treatments are many. Try them all 1st.
Hopefully one or a combination will do the trick.