Yes...I'm good actually. No pain; just the sensations of numbness and weakness although I have gained back a little strength in my left leg/foot. It makes it a challenge to know I am going forward with surgery, so I have to remind myself that I am still afraid to do much of anything except walk and a few planks to keep my core strong, and that I have felt good before and one move put me through the roof. That helps remind me that I must have this done. I truly just want to get it over with.
Do post when you know what your treatment options will be. I am thinking injections maybe?
I think you made the right decision too, and glad you're feeling better. My headaches keep coming on and off and I tried to bend my leg a certain way that was clearly a no-no.. But I'm still taking it easy. Yea, I'm hoping he'll suggest injection before surgery. I really like this doc. He did my husbands cervical cage a few years ago and did a wonderful job.
Don't overdo it yourself either. I know you're ready to get on with it.
Hang in there.
Met with Dr. I have Level 5 Annular tears in L3, L4 AND L5! He said 3 disc fusion! We asked him about alternatives, and he suggested considering Autologous Stem Cell transplant. So, he is getting more info for us, and we are researching.
I posted a new thread asking for some comments. We'll see what happens. I'm just taking it one day at a time.
I did go get a lumbar brace today, that seems to help.
Sigh, can't believe this is my life. Then again, my sister was diagnosed with Leukemia.. (Doing well after BMT) So I'm trying to keep things in perspective.
The following user gives a hug of support to grover771:
grover771...I have never heard of the stem cell transplant. I am going to look for your other thread. I surely hope there are folks on here who will have information that will be helpful for you. I hope you are feeling at least a bit better.
Still weighting to hear from surgeon. We've been researching and I'm going to ask him if Laminectomy, Artificial Disc Replacement or IDET are alternatives to consider. I'm thinking that because of the extent of my damage to all 3 that I wasn't a candidate.
Taking the pain Meds, working reclined in a chair and getting by.
You back to feeling normal? Weather up your way has been crazy!
I can pretty much assure you that you wouldn't be a candidate for laminectomy or ADR. A laminectomy without fusion would leave you in worse shape and unstable. A 3 level ADR is not approved by the FDA for use in the US. With the stem cell thing, I'd be concerned the doctor wants to use you for a guinea pig. This would be considered experimental.
Even though you "love" this surgeon, you should get another opinion at a minimum. A three level fusion is a big surgery and you don't want to agree to it until you know all your options.
I was wondering if you could share your experience with your 3 Level fusion.
And you're probably right about yet another opinion. I just can't see what other options would be. Every thing I'm reading says there isn't anything else other than pain management. Have you heard of anything else?
I'm going to get the digital versions of the MRI and Discography to get another opinion. :-( boy, this sure is exhausting. :-(
Last edited by Administrator; 02-06-2013 at 08:26 PM.
I have heard of it. It helps bone heal faster. They are going to pack my crushed bone they remove from my lamina into my disc area after they scrape it out and put the spacer bones in then they will take some of my bone marrow out of my hip, put it through a special machine to get the stem cells and put it in the area of crushed bone to promote healing then of
F course the screws will go in.... This is at my L4-L5. , I a, scared to death but I have one of the top neurosurgeons doing my surgery and it took me three different doctors to pick my surgeon. Pick one who is reputable and up on new procedures and technology....
I think that what Cthom2 is referring to is fairly standard procedure for one type of graft for fusion, but I believe what your doctor is talking about is a procedure that is different from fusion, and that does not involve fusing the spine. At least the way you mentioned it, it sounded like a procedure that would mend the annular tears but would not immobilize that area of the spine in any way.
As I think I mentioned, I am not familiar with the type of stem cell procedure for the spine...I don't know if it is a procedure similar to what they do for some cancer patients or just what it is.
Regarding my fusion, I was first fused at L4-5 (PLIF) in a surgery that was medically successful but that never resolved my pain issues. I had not had any previous surgeries on my spine. A year after the fusion surgery I had a smaller surgery, a foraminotomy, which the surgeon hoped would resolve my sciatic pain. I was good for about two weeks. Eventually, after many trips to a variety of specialists since no one could determine the source of my pain, after many diagnostic nerve blocks, positional and prone MRIs, etc. I had the 3 level fusion. The surgeon again went in from the back, using the same incision spot that was used previously.
The surprise was what he found once he cut me a bit higher -- the facet joints at L3 were basically non-existent. They had worn down to little teeny nubs allowing my spine to move in ways nature had never intended. This didn't show up on any MRIs I'd had previously and the surgery was truly shocked to find this little problem. So the surgery ended up being more involved than originally planned.
Also the hardware from my first fusion at L4-5 was not compatible with the new hardware so he had to removed the pedicle screws. Then he inserted new screws at every level, attached everything with longer rods and they sewed me back up. My discs at L3-4 and L5-S1 were left in place -- I have a cage at L4-5 and I was fused at this section...so he just added on to this.
Oddly enough, this surgery was much easier than the one level fusion. I was off all pain medications at ten days and was feeling wonderful as I had no sciatic pain for the first time in about six years...or so.
I'm happy to answer your questions. I'm not sure what specifically you are interested in.
Hope you can get an answer. I have asked the same questions and I only hear... Everyone is different, depends on the person. Not what I want to hear? Judy making myself super strong and my mind set that I will be back to normal in no time.
Thought I'd share an update. Went to see another Ortho in the area. They seem to think my pain could be caused by the facet joints at those levels. I'm scheduled for facet joint injections over the next couple of weeks, then a lumbar epidural steroid injection (which the Nero said wouldn't help because I didn't have sciatic pain).. Maybe he's just making sure they show that they've tried everything before fighting insurance for surgery.
I'm going to keep my fingers crossed that these DO give me relief so I can get on with my life.
Best of luck to you, you may get lucky and this will be the magic method that helps you, stay strong, do everything you can. I made it 6 years with a couple if injections and a lot of core strengthening exercises... This Friday I go on for my L4-5 fusion... One more hurdle to get around but I will come back even stronger... Hang in there, more power to you?
[QUOTE=Cthom2;5142076]Best of luck to you, you may get lucky and this will be the magic method that helps you, stay strong, do everything you can. I made it 6 years with a couple if injections and a lot of core strengthening exercises... This Friday I go on for my L4-5 fusion... One more hurdle to get around but I will come back even stronger... Hang in there, more power to you?[/QUOTE]
Cthom2, I'm so glad to hear that yours lasted 6 years! Yah!!
I will send up a little prayer this Friday for you that your surgery will be successful. Be strong!
BTW, I'm from Houston (been gone 20 or so years).. but sis lives in Humble area now. It's beautiful up your way.