I have lived with chronic back pain for 8 years and knew i had degenerative discs but my latest scan has revealed several 'tears' in the discs which my consultant has identified as pain generators. Every non surgical treatment and proceedure has so far failed & i am now waiting to speak to a surgeon about the possibility of a fusion operation. Does anyone know anything about torn discs? I am looking for suggestions of painkillers that work as most i have tried do not help.
If you read through some of the threads, I believe you will find some information about back problems, and will get help from some people who have been where you are right now.
My understanding of this kind of surgery is that the risks and benefits ratio isn't always that great. Meaning, that most people I've known, talked to or have read about on these boards have had major problems after this type of surgery. My aunt had it done only in one area of her back 2.5 years and her pain now is worse than before and she has never been able to return to her jazzercise classes or her dancing. Before her surgery, she suffered from pain, but not like she has now. She was able to do the things she loved to do, not as often as she wanted, but was at least able to enjoy them on her less painful days. Now, she does neither.
Only you can decide what is going to work for you as far as having surgery or not having surgery, but my advice is to do as much research as you can, and if you choose to have the procedure, then make sure you have found someone who specializes in this specific area and type of procedure.
Also, are you currently seeing a pain management doctor? If not, I would recommend getting a referral to one because they specialize in treating pain and have many more options available to them as far as treating pain goes. More medication type options as well as other treatments that don't include medications.
I am so sorry you have to deal with back pain & problems because it's not a pleasant thing to deal with. I wish you the very best in finding help with this!
Hi MLD - I'm not very familiar with the phrase "torn" discs. I am, however, very familiar with spine fusions as I've had over 9 operations in the past 5 years. I can only speak for myself when I say that all of my surgeries have been very succesfull and have relieved the pain that I was in prior to the surgery. I have severe osteoporosis and was breaking vertabrae spontaneously. The reason for so many surgeries was because after the first fusion, other vertabrae would break, then another, and another, etc. So my surgeon had to go in 2 to 3 times a year to fuse and sometimes re-fuse vertabrae. Maybe I'm just one of those lucky folks or perhaps I have an excellent surgeon. But, I can honestly say that each and every surgery resolved the pain caused by the broken bone. I still have some back pain and I suffer from hip pain (broke my righ hip last year), but I'm better than I was. But I have to agree with Lezlee when she says not all folks get relief from surgery. There are other non-invasive options that need to be explored long before surgery enters the picture. Sometimes though I get just a little tired of hearing people put surgery at the bottom of the list of possible remedies. When indicated, it can be a terrific answer to a tough back problem. There are lots of pain meds and other modalities (physical therapy, exercise, massage, etc.) that you can try first. Hope you'll see a doctor who is qualified to diagnose your problem, hear your options and then get a second opinion before making any decisions. All the best - KathyMac
That was a very informative post. I read it and am glad you posted, and even more happy that your surgeries have been successful. I'm sorry you had problems that led to your having to have pain and surgery, but it is good to hear about the success stories.
You are totally right- when surgery is needed and the outcome seems to be favorable, it certainly is worth having it done. And again, like you said, have it done by a specialist. It would be great if MLD lived in your area and could get in with the doctor who did your procedures. I know we aren't suposed to put information like that on the boards, but it sounds like you have been blessed with a wonderful, skilled surgeon.
Lezlee - I don't remember a rule that prevents us from posting the hospital or surgeon who performed our surgeries. I've often posted it. All my surgeries were done at Johns Hopkins University Medical Center by Dr. David A. Cohen. Now....If I check back in the morning and I've been banned, I'll know that I broke the rule!! KathyMac
They did the discogram, then, while I had the "dye" in me, they did CT scans and so on.
MY damage is too severe. Surgery might do more harm than good. I have damage in other areas, not just the discs.
My PM&R Dr. recommends Medtronics Morphine pumps or their electronic pain relief device, inserted into the body cavity and has wires running up my spine which stop between my should blades. I am interested in the electronic one.
Good luck with yours...they declared me "Permanently Disabled" and sent me home.