Im 39 years old getting ready to have my 4th surgery. I had a diskectomy Dec 2006, diskectomy feb. 2007 and a laminectomy dec. 2010. Started having pain again in sep. of this year. Had a MRI and it is showing L4/ L5 disk is gone and it is rubbing bone on bone. Also showing I have a lot of scar tissue in the nerve canal. Then he looked further and noticed my L3/L4 disk is getting ready to rupture along with L5/S1. I have been on percocet10 mg without tylenol for two months now. Im up to taken 5/6 of them a day. My pain in buttocks, legs, calf and cramps in both hips and the bad pain in back has gotten me so depressed where I just want to sleep all day. I went to Neuro surgeon/Spine dr and he said pins and rods in the 3 areas is all we can do now. He would not be able to go through my back for I have to much scar tissue he would have to go through my sides. I went to pain dr and he said epis will not help, but also called me a pill popper which made me very deffensive. Im here to get help to get off the meds. Im very scared for this surgery then I was with the others. Can you tell me how long will I be out of just being the mom I need to be and how painfull is it when you wake up from surgery etc. also me getting three areas done is my back not going to be free of doing normal things around the house and such. IM VERY SCARED THIS TIME AROUND. This surgery should happen in the next couple of weeks.
Welcome to the board. Have you thought about getting another opinion before proceeding with this surgery? Since it is a big surgery and cannot be "undone," it is always a good idea to get several opinions, as different surgeons sometimes approach a problem in different ways. I assume the surgeon is talking about removing the discs at all three levels, replacing them with some sort of spacer, and then tying it together with rods and screws.
If that is the procedure he is recommending, and he does all three levels, you will be facing a long recovery. It is very important that you not bend or twist for the first several months, so your activities will be limited. Most people do not drive for anywhere from 3 weeks to a couple months...depending on when you get off pain medications.
I've never had a discectomy so don't have anything to compare a fusion to, but others have said a fusion is quite a bit more difficult to recover from. Hopefully others who have had both will chime in with their opinions.
I am Sorry to hear your having such a bad time of this. Back in 1996 I had a discectomy followed by the laminectomy followed with the fusion L4 L5 S1 posterior and anterior
They went in from the front and placed cages between the vertebrae and then flipped me over and installed the screws and rods. They drugged me up on methadone and I guess I was in the hospital for about two weeks and then they let me go home .the worst part of the whole thing was the bone grafting they took from my hips dam. Ask for the synthetic or cadaver material.
Now Iím not sugar coating this procedure because it was rough for about a year.
But I kept moving would not let the hurt stop me I might have even pushed too hard sometimes but I still believe that mindset got me through this faster, and better off.
Now my wife would tell you I was a little baby about the whole thing and I know she kept me doped up to ease the pain.
You are going to need some help around the house if your minding small children, the simple tasks of running a vacuum are a no no for several months.
Now you mentioned they were going in from your sides ( Xlift??)After 17 years, I had my last surgery during Christmas 2010 and that procedure was using the Xlift.
They went in from my side and fused L3 to L4 I was walking the next day and went home in three days, back to work in a month. There was a big difference in the two operations.
Now itís been almost a full year post op for me .I ride mtn bikes I walk about 2.5 miles a day. (got to take the dogs for a walk) I donít bend all the way anymore .but I lead a pretty normal life the doc says this wonít be completely healed for 2 years, Iím half way there .I still have a slight nag, when I do too much, you know (overdo it) and it is easy to do because you feel good and you donít think about it until itís too late.
There is light at the end of all this for you. Take your time ( Iím not saying this to be rude donít sit there and feel sorry for yourself when your sore. get up and move even if it hurts you will be better off because of it.)
BUT KEEP YOUR BRACE ON!!
Good luck to you
Please if you need to talk
You can find me here
Ps, slap the guy that called you a pill popper, until he feels the pain he will never know.