Re: lumbar spinal fusion to do or not?
Re: lumbar spinal fusion to do or not?
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Posted by KC
on January 09, 2000 at 18:29:48:
In Reply to: Re: lumbar spinal fusion to do or not? posted by richard may on January 05, 2000 at 13:15:30:
: : : : : my pain started may 12, 1999 and has worsened over the months. i have been told that i do not qualify for the percutaneous laser discectomy or the bak but will need fusion since i have degenerated disc disease and herniated l5-s1 the neculeus has dried up and will no longer hold fluid. i have tried epidural injections, pt, chiropractic services and still have found no relief from any of those things. i am a mother of three and wife with a busy life that has been changed drastically since may 12. if any body can give me any negative or positive information on the spinal fusion with my bone and cadaver please help i am at my wit end and need relief.
: : : : 12/27 Hi, I think I am in the same spot as you! Have tried ALL conservative measures since Feb.99 with no relief and the pain in my legs has gotten worse. I don't know what a BAK procedure is and I was told my only option was to remove a disc (diskectomy) and then a fusion with my own bone graft. I have researched high and low over the past few months and have talked to many. On the whole, most have felt relief and tolerated the surgery well. I, too, am a mother and work full time but am probably older than you (48). Your youth may help you even further. I am concerned about time off work? I have consulted with two orthopedic surgeons, started with an osteopath who specialized in back problems and then did PT, chiropractic and epidural injections as well over 9 months time. Good luck, it's scary isn't it?
: : : I feel that I must respond. I had a baby in 1993. After that, I had a herniation at l5-s1. I had a diskectomy after trying all of the conservative procedures; nerve blocks, pt, chiropractor, drugs, drugs, drugs. Nothing worked. I felt a little relief after the first surgery, but was still unable to return to work. I had a second diskectomy and fusion at the same space in 1995. My own bone was placed in the disk space and two days post-op, I couldn't walk or go to the bathroom. I kept having muscle spasms throughout my entire body. The physician assistant accused me of just wanting more drugs. When the surgeon came to see me, he called for a CAT scan and saw that the bone dislodged from the disc space. He immediately went back in to remove the bone fragment, but the damage was done. I have numbness and weakness in my leg, no reflex at all, muscle spasms and can't sleep. I have not been able to return to work, although I try to get along the best I can. I now have two children and can't lift them and spend many days lying on the couch because of pain. I used to be a very active person with a job and a future. The reason I am telling you this is that it is very dangerous to operate on the spine. My story is hopefully unique, but I doubt it. I now go to a pain management clinic and my doc tells me that he can't really count the back surgery failures, because we are the only patients he sees. I have never met anyone that had severe enough back pain to require surgery that is now living pain free. I think it is more a realization that this is life and trying to find a way to deal with it. Exercise helps and having a positive outlook helps too. Good luck with your decision. Let us know what you decide to do and how you make out.
: : : Lori
: : my name is richard may and my father-n-law is going to have his third back surgery and they want to do spinal fusion . he knows nothing about it and he is scared!!! i am looking for someone he can talk to about the surgery. he doesnt use computers so i thought i would see if i could locate someone for him. if anyone has had this type of srgery please contact me at 615-838-5373 or send me an e-mail he really needs to actually talk with someone about this to make sure he is going to be fine . i think he just need some opinions so please call me if anybody has had the surgery?
: : THANKS RICHARD MAY
: reguarding your father in law
: just a note to let you know there is a light at the end of tunnel. I am a 41yr wfi have been having back pain for 10 yrs,putting off any surgury due to the scare factor.Recently I had no other choice the pain was so bad down my leg I had to do something. Fusion was it for me to
: L3-L4 and L4-L5 Just had it done dec 27th . i am home and doing great I have none of the pain from my back or down my leg.The cites sore but i am up and moving and happer than i have been in years. I'm not even taking pain med because for the first time in years i don't need them. My sugury was preformed by a nuerosurgeon on the central coast of california Dr.Edleman He did an exellent job . He becomes highly recommened.Good luck with what you chose to do ,i was just as scared but this has helped sooooo much.
: And we hope and prey that what ever you decide to do gives you the freedom from pain I know you are looking for. Good Luck JODI
I have dealt with back pain for most of my life - I am 30 and first started to have problems when I was 14. I had a laminectomy at 20 and was only pain free for about a year. I was told by more than 1 doctor that I would probably have to learn to live with a certain degree of pain for the rest of my life! Unfortunately, that's what I did. In 1998, the pain started to get worse - instead of centering in the small of my back, I started to get pain again iin my left hip and down the leg. I went through another round of doctors and physical therapy. Four doctors agreed that I needed surgery and all were recommending fusion. Long story short...I finally found a doctor who I trusted and agreed to have the surgery. In May 1999, I had a fusion at 1 level. It was not successful. I had a second surgery 2 weeks later. That one was successful and I have to say that I have not been this pain free in about 6 or 7 years. The whole process was very scarey to say the least. But I really think the key is to get SEVERAL opinions - not just a second. The doctor who I finally ended up with is an orthopedic surgeon and when I had the surgeries, he worked with a neurosurgeon. I have been back to work for 5 months and am very active again. The process is not without risk...but if I had to do it again, even knowing that it would take 2 surgeries, I would. I wish you the best in whichever decision you make. KC