It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Back Problems Message Board
Post New Thread   Closed Thread
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 02-24-2009, 01:40 PM   #1
Newbie
(male)
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 7
badbacklumbar HB User
Unhappy Possible L3-4,L4-5 fusion

my Hx...

1997...Laminectomy/discectomy @ L3-4
1999... Lumbar fusion (biological from donor) at L5-S1
2007... discectomy @ L3-4 (again)

I am experiencing SEVERE pain in my low back. Less often than not it is radiating down both legs. This pain is ONLY experienced when I move (on a scale from 1-10, I am at an 11). I have been fitted for an LSO with some relief (that and a long hx of hydrocodone and Skelaxin use). Been diagnosed with DDD @ L3-4, L4-5 and am seeing the surgeon on March 20, 2009 to discuss a spinal fusion at said levels. This pain I experience upon movement is not something that I can "deal" with. It wakes me up at night, I need help getting dressed (socks especially), cant concentrate at work, college, or on any activity for that matter (sorry for rambling but I am hoping there is someone out there that is worse off than me and can put me in my place). My question is, with my Hx of back pain, DDD, and the lack of disc mat'l at L3-4, am I a good candidate for spinal fusion or is this something that will get better over time? (As I shake my 8 ball..."signs say NO") but anyway... I don't want to be alone here and would appreciate a hug!!

Thanks

 
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 02-24-2009, 10:20 PM   #2
Junior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: East Rutherford, NJ
Posts: 25
ck07073 HB User
Re: Possible L3-4,L4-5 fusion

My name is Cathy and 6 years ago I had my back fused from L3-L5. The S1 disc is also herniated but you cannot have 3 fused together, in a row.
My journey started 4 years before my fusion surgery when I was diagnosed with DDD. I tried every treatment available and I also had Laminectomy’s/discectomy’s on the both the right and left sides of L3 – L5.
The decision to fuse is a huge decision and one that will change your life. If there is anyway to avoid it I would highly recommend doing so but from you’ve gone through I believe you have done everything you could. Our history looks very similar.
The day it was decided that I had to have the surgery was when I could no longer walk at all. Between The sciatica nerves and the muscle spasms, which would not stop, fusing it was the only option.
My surgery lasted 9 ½ hours but I had to wait for a little over 2 months until an operation room was available for the length of time he thought he needed. I was put on-call. He called I went in J.
For the last year prior to the surgery I was using both the
Duragesic Patchs and percocet daily. The last 2 months my doctor also added morphine pills to try to control the pain just until I could have the surgery.
My biggest warning is to make sure you talk to your doctor about how your pain is going to be controlled, managed after the surgery. I see you’ve had the same surgeries I did before needing this one and you probably didn’t have much pain with those surgeries but you must listen to me……. I have had many surgeries in my life but nothing….nothing prepared me or compares to a spinal fusion. Do not be scared be informed. My motto was the sooner you can get up and move around the sooner you’ll go home and get better and feel better.

I was not prepared for the pain after the surgery so make sure your doctor knows if you are to have the surgery he must give you the pain medication for it. When I woke up from the surgery it was 6:30 in the morning and the nurse only gave me 1 morphine shot. My doctor went home to get a couple hours of sleep and forgot all about the pain meds I had been on. It didn’t help that I was hospitalized 15 times that year and my veins were shot but no matter what there is no reason for anyone to be in any pain. The next day this man came in to measure me for my cast. I was unable to move enough for him to get all the measurements he needed until the 4th day.

My doctor told me repeatedly that the operation was not a “fix all”. He told me I would probably be on pain meds for the rest of my life. He tried to make me understand I would be better than I was but not cured. I listened to him but it took me by surprise with what I was still unable to do. In my head even though I was listening to his words I guess I expected to be back to my old self before the trouble began but I’m not. The operation did save my life in many ways. Until only a couple of months ago I hadn’t had a back spasm since the day of surgery, 2 months ago S1 started causing me trouble, I no longer get stuck in a position, not able to move. If I had to make the decision today knowing what I know now … I would do it but I would have been better informed and I would have asked a lot more questions. I’m sorry to say you will not get better over time without treatment. DDD is Degenerative Disc Disease meaning the discs will not repair themselves nor can they be repaired. My surgeon is one of the creators of the disc replacements. Unfortunately with DDD we are not candidates for them.





<deleted : read the rules in the FAQ>





I look forward to your reply!
I wish you the best!!
Cathy

 
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 02-25-2009, 05:56 AM   #3
Newbie
(male)
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 7
badbacklumbar HB User
Re: Possible L3-4,L4-5 fusion

Cathy,

Thanks so much for responding. I am almost positive I need the surgery because of the instability issue I have. Pain meds don't help much and the LSO helps but I still have the instability issue. As far as 100% recovery, I know that won't happen and I'm ok with that. I just do NOT want this thing to "slip" anymore. When it moves, I go down and its not fun. The pain is excruciating. I don't even care about the reduced range of motion... I just need to be able to relax. (The term "slip" is a sensation I have. I don't know if there is actual movement back there). I think its the sensation of L3-4, bone on bone, not bone on disc.

Again, Thanks for writing. I appreciate it more than you know

God Bless

Jeff

 
Old 02-26-2009, 11:08 AM   #4
Newbie
(female)
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: london
Posts: 1
dicebird HB User
Re: Possible L3-4,L4-5 fusion

i had a laminectamy(sory if spelling is wrng) disectamy 9 years ago i have never recvered and have never returned to work ,my head is no longer on the floor so the opp did fix that but the pain the inability to walk or bend the falling to the floor the embarresment when i try to stand and walk def never got better only worse.......now iv been offered fusion should i or should"nt i is killing my brain will i be worse......your story seems a little like can you give me any advice .thanks

 
Old 02-26-2009, 01:03 PM   #5
Junior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Shrewsbury MA USA
Posts: 49
nancyco14 HB User
Re: Possible L3-4,L4-5 fusion

Less than a year ago I had a decompression and fusion performed on L2, L3, L4, L5 and S1 because of spondylolisthesis and other problems. The surgery was a wonderful success, bringing my pain from an 8 to a 1; I'm able to stand erect, walk and do everything I'd not been able to do for several years. Yes, I lost some flexibility, but that's a small price to pay for such remarkable pain relief.

It took several visits to several surgeons before I found the right one; others said there was nothing that could be done and to just take pain pills; that was not for me.

So, don't give up if you're having terrible pain; you don't want to end up in a wheel chair if there's something that can be done. Just be sure your surgeon is board certified and comes highly recommended.

 
Old 02-26-2009, 09:27 PM   #6
Junior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: East Rutherford, NJ
Posts: 25
ck07073 HB User
Re: Possible L3-4,L4-5 fusion

Hi Jeff,
Your welcome.
I think your feeling either one of two things. First would be that the disc is actually moving it might be bulging out the side and that causes the pain and for you to go down or the second reason could be that the disc is out and has fragmented. Small pieces get stuck in between the nerves and muscles and they cause tremendous pain as well as knock you off your feet. Either situation usually comes and goes at first but it will get only worse. Sorry... I won't lie to you. An MRI will tell your doctor which one it is, what stage your at and the right course of action but it's very important to get the MRI done ASAP. When it's happening, because if it's not fully herniated it can trick us and look like everything's okay, which we know it's not.
My tests were all done years ago so maybe they have something newer.... something better that an MRI but my tests showed all.
My doctor didn't truly believe me when something happened to me.... he would just send me to the lab for my MRI's and then when he got the results he would call and then be all concerned. Be aware.... of what you need to do and what can be done.
I know I've said it already but I'll say it again. If I had to choose all over again...I would choose to be fused.
Take care,
Cathy

Last edited by moderator2; 02-27-2009 at 07:51 AM. Reason: please do not post your email address in the public forums - instead, use the private messaging system

 
Old 05-02-2009, 07:55 AM   #7
Newbie
(male)
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 2
Pajarito Huezo HB User
Re: Possible L3-4,L4-5 fusion

CT LUMBAR SPINE

Clinical History: Previos discetomy 1993. Now pain radiation to left leg.

Finding: multidetector volumetic CT acquisition has been performed with multiplanar recontructions. The L4/5 apears to be fused and presumibly, represents previos surgery.
The pedicles are developmentaly short which predisposess stenosis but the spinal is considered adequate at this level.

There is facet jooint degenerative changes at 3/4 and L5/S1, but there is no soft disc protusion or spinal stenosis.

At L2/3 level, huge central osteophytic spur is present. This impiges the central portion of the thecal sac and results in a quite tight spinal stenosis. Correlation with the level of the patient's neorological symptoms would be helpful to determine if this is significant.

There id no fracture or bony destructive process. The psoas and paraspinal muscles are of normal configuration.

Coment: Developmentaly short pedicles predispose to spinal stenosis, and a huge central osteophyte at level L2/3 in fairly tight central stenosis at that level. Previos surgery at L4/5 appears uncomplicated but there is multilevel lower lumbar facet joint degenerative changes but withoout neural compromise at the lower level.

 
Old 05-02-2009, 08:05 AM   #8
Newbie
(male)
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 2
Pajarito Huezo HB User
Re: Possible L3-4,L4-5 fusion

CT LUMBAR SPINE

Clinical History: Previos discetomy 1993. Now pain radiation to left leg.

Finding: multidetector volumetic CT acquisition has been performed with multiplanar recontructions. The L4/5 apears to be fused and presumibly, represents previos surgery.
The pedicles are developmentaly short which predisposess stenosis but the spinal is considered adequate at this level.

There is facet jooint degenerative changes at 3/4 and L5/S1, but there is no soft disc protusion or spinal stenosis.

At L2/3 level, huge central osteophytic spur is present. This impiges the central portion of the thecal sac and results in a quite tight spinal stenosis. Correlation with the level of the patient's neorological symptoms would be helpful to determine if this is significant.

There id no fracture or bony destructive process. The psoas and paraspinal muscles are of normal configuration.

Coment: Developmentaly short pedicles predispose to spinal stenosis, and a huge central osteophyte at level L2/3 in fairly tight central stenosis at that level. Previos surgery at L4/5 appears uncomplicated but there is multilevel lower lumbar facet joint degenerative changes but withoout neural compromise at the lower level.

 
Closed Thread

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Board Replies Last Post
L3-4 Symptoms myspine Back Problems 6 07-12-2010 07:17 PM
New information on possible surgery jenj770 Back Problems 5 09-25-2009 07:18 AM
Possible sudden bladder issue GB888 Cancer: Bladder 82 02-13-2009 08:38 AM
Symptoms with Cervical Sponylosis -- and other possible spine issues? Bearygood Back Problems 4 06-02-2007 08:18 AM
Possible ruputured tendon nichole72 Open to All Other Health Topics 0 01-14-2007 11:20 AM




Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is Off
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Sign Up Today!

Ask our community of thousands of members your health questions, and learn from others experiences. Join the conversation!

I want my free account

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:59 AM.



Site owned and operated by HealthBoards.com™
Terms of Use © 1998-2014 HealthBoards.com™ All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!