I am having a one level fusion in early April, but the more I think about it, the more concerned I am becoming about something. The old surgeon I had been working with said I would need a two level: L4-S1. The L4-L5 disc does look more normal on the MRI than the L5-S1 disc does, but it is diagnosed to have an annular tear, bulge, and DDD. A CT scan later said it was herniated. The discogram I had done showed that pain was coming from both L4-L5 and L5-S1 (in addition to my pars fracture and Spondylolisthesis at L5-S1).
Now, the surgeon who will be doing my surgery will only be fusing L5-S1, and believes most of my pain is coming from the spondy. He said that my fracture goes all the way across, and is pretty much separated from the rest of my spine. He will remove that piece of bone and use it for the fusion along with cadaver bone and rods and screws.
I am nervous that the L4-L5 disc IS responsible for part of my pain, and that this surgery will not take all of my pain away. When he makes the incision, will he be able to see that disc and do something about it if he sees that it could be part of my pain? I will have incisions in both my back and my abdomen, so he will hopefully get two views (if he will be able to see). He didn't mention how long the incisions will be, that is why I am not sure if he will be able to see.
I am just in terrible pain and want this surgery to be my cure!
My surgeon had said originally to me that while he was in there if there was alot of movement with the disc that he'd give me a fusion, I then apted for the fusion as I've reherniated worse than prior to injury/first surgery. I do believe that some doctors do/can make decisions while your under, but depending on insurances/and authorizations, I would re-check with him and speak your concern, I'd hate for my dr to go back in again, that's why I'm getting fused this time. Disc stinks, and most likely it's inevatible for me so I'd rather do it now.
One hiccup may be your coverage and what needs to be preauthorized prior etc.
I believe I would talk to the doc about that. Many docs dont really mess with a bulging disc. Annular tears can heal depending on how badly they are torn. The DDD well.......thats the part I would be asking about......Call and talk to your doctor or do you have a pre-op visit? I would ask is the DDD going to make L4-5 worst?
Yeah, I will talk to him about it at the pre-op visit. Everything happened so fast at my appointment with him last week that I forgot to answer my questions. After he said he wanted to do my surgery, I couldn't think straight after that because I was so full of emotion!
I just don't want to go through such a major operation and still be left with bad pain...
Ohh meg believe me I have the same thoughts. I'm going to be so mad if my nerve impingement of 6 months has been too long and created something permanent but, they say look at me now lol, everyone does. I've got no choice but to go up from here. Lose 10% bending twisting abilities more than what I have now.
I did a post somewhere on here that was questions to ask your surgeon prior to surgery, peek at that post as peeps had some really good ?s to ask. I would recheck on the cadaver bone I don't know much about that but would prefer my own bone personally. But I'm a stickler, I dread the screws and rods, but it's my only feasible option for recovery and a normal life, or as close to normal as I can get now a days.
I can only shower and do a quick meal for my kids-that's my GOOD day. I can't do laundry, vaccuum, mop, I live off a grippy stick. This is no life for me. I can't drive and pay daycare expenses because I cant' get my son to school or home after school.
Heck I can't hardly shave my legs. And good Lord are they past due.
I hear ya on so fast at the appointment, they're like ya wanna book now? I was in shock even though I knew it was coming looking at my own MRI films a week prior. It's hard, but truly, you only want to do this once, I'm on 2x in 5 months, and they AINT going IN THRE AGAIN. FORGET THAT. lol
Write everything down that you want to ask, you haveto or you'll get sidetracked.
Hey Rosespetal. I am just like you! Normal functioning is a huge challenge for me. Right before I logged onto here I was emailing my friend and mentioned that bathing is even really difficult for me to do at this point and I can't do it everyday. I don't wear make up anymore because I can't stand up for that long to put it on. This really is no way to live. I can sometimes throw a load of laundry in, but dishes, vacuuming, moping, cooking!? Forget it!
I also tell myself that it really cannot get that much worse, so I am mentally prepared I think (or as much as I can be) for the fusion surgery. I really hope that your up coming surgery will be your last!
Thanks, I know what you mean, normal has tacked back a few steps bigtime over here.
My kids are older, so I get them to do ALOT around here, took them awhile to step up to doing it, but they learned the hard way how short cuts turn out to be with housework.
My daughters helped tremendously, she's 16, and never had to do a chore in her life but her room, so now she's great around the house poor kid. She starts track again soon though, we'll see how well things go with that coming omg.
I too can't shower every day, if I do, it puts me back a day or 2. I've learned my max now, to an extent, so I do alittle, and haveto lay down for 2-3 hrs, then do alittle more, lay down again. I have a laptop so it makes life much easier, and a wireless internet connection. Was the best thing I ever got myself. Had it prior to getting hurt and it's godsent.
I hate how dry and gross my feet are, no matter what I do I can't get rid of it, (not that I can do much) my mom brought me to the hair salon and I got 2 inches off for the surgery, so I won't haveto worry about that and ething growing too long. I got a tooth pulled to was killing me, and had to do it before surgery. God knows I won't be able to be in a dentist chair for a bit after surgery. Since I knew for a month this was coming, I picked a day each week to handle each feat, hair, house, dentist. Now I just wait and gotta do my pre testing this week and I'm as good as I'm going to be for this.
I had the kids rearrange all the kitchen cabinets, the pots are up high now, and all their snacks and microwavable canned whatnots are low where they can grab them when needed. I rearranged the freezer too, and had them put all THEIR type foods on the bottom shelf. It's much easier. I learned with the first surgery to have all the easy microwavable frozen and other type foods in reach, as I lived on those after surgery last time. Heck even before surgery for 2 months as I was completely bedridden compared to now.
With the first surgery, NOTHING was worse, than no one home, and being hungry and hardly able to stand, and see a very easy leftover chinese food container on the BOTTOM SHELF, that you can't reach and you just stand there hungry saying SOB? So try to pay attention to your fridge, freezer, cabinets, and what everyone does in your house NOW, and point out things. Get a grippy stick if you don't have one. My SO got me one at the depot. It works great. I even screwed in a lightbulb with it I got so good with it.
I'm hoping we'll be up and rearing to go quickly and heal really good. Still grosses me out with the screws n whatnot but, whataya gonna do. I'm going in next monday, they said 2-4 days in the hospital. I'll post back as soon as I can and let you know how it went. I know last time when I got home from surgery I emailed my friend, LMAO you should of seen my typing with the pain meds HAHAHAH was a riot to re-read a week later.
I laugh as I read your post haha especially about shaving your legs. I had surgery dec. 16 and STILL cannot shave my legs. I did manage to shave my calves sitting in the tub but my husband has to help me which well....you know, he surely didNOT mind ha....LOL I am having an extremely rough day today. I am not sure if its because we got 6 inches of snow over the weekend and its so cold or if maybe I slept wrong? In pain today ugh......OH and about the dry feet. I have NEVER ever had such dry feet till I moved to cold country ack......I was sitting here at my puter yesterday and worked on them some. I use a course nail buffer to buff my feet and it works good. Get you 1 at walmart, they are like a dollar to buy. If you are sitting in a chair.....just pull your foot up on your opposite leg and buff away. Just do it to where it doesnt matter where the nasty dry skin goes ack.....I will say, my feet are much better since I did that!
Rose, I didnt realize you was having a fusion too? Good gracious.....I hope you have good results! And a great recovery. Trust me......it seems like it is way worst than what it will be. I had a 2 level fusion with cages, screws and plates. I didnot have rods. Not sure if there maybe is a difference in recovery or not? My recovery hasnt been so bad....its just so long to heal. And to tell you the truth, I sometimes forget and BEND down and it doesnt seem that I lost any range of motion. I can bend lol I am a tiny petite woman.....so, not sure if its because I am so tiny? Not sure if that has anything to do with it but I am sure being small, it might..... As far as taking a bath....dont try to take a bath, stand in the shower. After your surgery, you will not be able to sit in the tub....you have to stand. Just have someone there to assist you getting out of the tub so you dont slip and fall. Maybe get that grid type bath matt and put in tub....also, get a walker in case. I am not sure if you used 1 after your first surgery or not but, you may need 1. I used 1 in the hospital and it helped me feel secure. I didnot use it at home.....but I do have 1. If you are anything like me.....you will feel better as far as your back hurting very soon after surgery. Your nerve pain should go away instantly as doing the fusion gets the stuff on the nerve.<unless as you say, you have nerve damage and I surely hope not for your sake> I had a slight impingement so I didnt have a bad nerve issue BEFORE surgery. It was 1-2 weeks later I suffered serious sciatic nerve pain....to the point of being re-admitted to hospital. The screws the doc put in my vertabrae's irritated the nerve roots bad...but it is ok now. Taking lyrica and it helps Once you start feeling better from surgery and back to cleaning ect.....I went to walmart and found a electric sweeper that weighs like 4 pounds. I have learned to use it without twising my back and its so light weight. That sweeper has become my best friend haha i am a clean fanatic and thats where my depression set in.....I cant get much cleaning done and it simply drives me crazy. I wished I had sought out a maid for help while I recovered. My husband helps but its not like me doing the cleaning.....I just have to close my eyes to things UGH......well, let me know how you are doing!!!!! You take it easy and try to relax before your surgery. I promise its not so bad.....
Meggs....I hope you have a great outcome as well. BUT 1 good thing going for you is, the fact that you are young and the younger you are, the easier a recovery. I am by no means saying you will not hurt after surgery because you will. But younger bodies do recover faster. Just make sure you get the babies things to where you can REACH. My baby is 3 and she learned real QUICK that I couldnt hold her. I know your doc said it was ok to hold her but I dont think I would bend down and pick her up....your doc's rules are very leniant. Just be careful so you dont have to do a repeat and get yourself feeling better.
I wish you both a good surgery with no complications and a great recovery!
OH and let me add, you was very smart getting your haircut BEFORE surgery. I didnot and it was so hard to manage. I always dry my hair with my head down and I couldnt do that after surgery. I had like 6 inches cut off a couple weeks ago lol much better to handle now .....
That is so funny that you mention getting your haircut because I plan on doing the same thing! The other night I was talking to my mom, and we were discussing things that needed to be done before the big day. Getting my haircut is one of them!
Lynn- I am hoping that my age will aid in my recovery. All my test results say no nerve root compression, but my sciatic pain has been SO bad the last couple of months, so it will be interesting to see what the surgeon finds when he is in there. I actually called today to see if I could try Neurontin again. I had tried it once last fall, but the leg pain wasn't bothersome enough to deal with it's side effects. You said you take Lyrica for nerve pain? What are the side effects like? Also, where do you get a walker? I want one right now.
Rose- you only have a week to go?! You will have to post as soon as you are able after the surgery. I am glad your kids are helpful. Grace is too little to know what is going on. I know it is going to be really tough when I can't lift her because she won't understand.
I hear ya both, I do hope to be rid of the pains that's for sure. To go for a walk OUTSIDE omg I couldn't fathom it.
Ya, I'm getting usedto the minus 2" hair but, last time it grew about 5" and I looked aweful besides the horrid gimp and egore-ish posture.
I was on Lycria had ALOT of side effects with that, they switched me to neurontin and I couldn't sleep for anything when I got upto 900mg a day. Couldn't sleep w the lycria either, and when I did on occassion I had the STRANGEST dreams I couldn't believe it. But they both did work for my nerve pain. I was on 50mg Lycria 2x a day, and the exhaustion daily was too much, groggy ugk. The neurontin took longer to get into relief, and then no sleep from there so now I'm just on pain meds and nausea meds.
It's good she's so young in a way, but if I were you I'd be practicing with that grippy stick and re-doing my kitchen asap. You're not going to be able to pick her up, or maybe start getting her usedto coming to you on the couch now, or climbing up??? You've got some time to get her usedto a sort of new way think it out now and save yourself later, an unhappy little one AND surgical pain is not a happy day!
Just think everything out. It's easier in the longrun for the effort.