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Posted by Kari on November 28, 2000 at 02:51:43:

In Reply to: Re: IDET/Fusion for multi-level spine degeneration posted by Kari on November 27, 2000 at 16:18:02:

: : Hi,

: : Brief history...problems for a couple of years - got really bad in Aug '00. Had MRI which showed severe degeneration in L4-5, L5-6 (yep, extra vertebrae)had the morphine blocks, phys. therapy, tried bracing, pain meds (still...) muscle relaxers - still no workie.

: : After myleogram and discogram (YUK!!) disco showed that the 3 levels they tested , 3-4, 4-5 & 5-6 were all positive (4-5, 5-6 the worst). I had them stop after these three - horrible.

: : My neurosurgeon then advised that I had degenerative spine disease and (in his exact words) 'he could not fuse my entire spine'.

: : He recommended continual pain management - PROBLEM, I have a terrific career, am only 31 and have a husband and two little children. I cannot imagine the rest of my life on pain management - while this thing progresses.

: : I have been to two different neurosurgeons, and orthos and they have recommended IDET - not much info on this new procedure. And if it fails - you end up fused anyway.

: : I am currently seeing a neurosurgeon who is recommending I have an EMG to check for permanment nerve damage! - WHAT.

: : I have no explanation to why this is happening - no injury, trauma or accident. All I are too young for this...

: : No kidding...

: : Right now, I do not have any ideas to my options. IDET or nothing. I am told that I am not a candidate for any fusion because of the multiple levels. But then I hear of this new 'cage' fusion technique.

: : Any information I will greatly appreciate...

: : thanks for listening to my griping.

: : Beth

: Hi, Beth...
: I basically have the same problem with my spine. I have Degenerative Disc Disease at 3 levels of my lumbar spine, L2-3, 3-4, 4-5. Each of these levels are also torn and buldging. I, too have been told due to the three levels involed, surgery is NOT an option. My only alternatives are the IDET or living with the pain, and working with pain mamagement specialists. The IDET was denied by my insurance, and also the doctors felt that IDET would be less successful because of the three levels. Seems one level shows excellant success rate, two levels somewhat less, three levels the least successful of all. I have been having problems for over 10 years, the last 2 being the worst. I now am working with pain management, which is truly a God-send. They all are super people, who truly understand our pain and suffering. I currently take Oxycontin, Ultram, Celebrex, Effexor, and Lasix. I now have developed Atrophy, which is severe swelling in my ankles, feet, and legs. This swelling occurs because all the impingement of the nerves in my spine and back, which causes the blood to be circulated MUCH slower than usual, which in turn causes the swelling. Hopefully this can be controled by medication. I have been unable to work since February, I've also had to apply for disability through SS. This entire experience has been like a nightmare for me. Cinsidering everything, I feel I'd much rather wait and see if there may be new techniques developed that will help my condition, rather than going ahead with any type of surgery. I have found that pain management has worked extremely well for me, maybe you could look into it, try it for awhile, then make your decision. If you are experiencing the horrible pain similar to mine, I know it's very hard to be optomistic about anything at times! My very best wishes to you, please remember, there are many people out there who can help you deal with your pain.
: Take care of yourself, Kari

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