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    Old 06-30-2004, 09:19 AM   #1
    Mistina
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    Hasn't ANYONE had a fusion because the disc was collapsed causing facet jointproblems

    Hi everyone!!
    I just can't believe I haven't heard of anyone who had a fusion because their disc was collapsed causing the facets to rub, produce spurs and trap nerves. I am going to have a fusion eventually for L4 L5 disc degeneration and my facets are the big problem and I am amazed that noone else is going through what I am!
    Is there anyone who has/had the same problems out there?

    Christina

     
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    Old 06-30-2004, 11:03 AM   #2
    Racharina
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    Re: Hasn't ANYONE had a fusion because the disc was collapsed causing facet jointproblems

    Hi Christina!

    Well, guess what: I have been told by two great NS that I have collapsed disc L5 with L4. I also had herniation on L5 right side. They did [i]hemilaminectomy/discectomy[/i] back in July/03. Still is painful but has never been like prior surgery. I just tent to be impatience and stress out as in being paranoid (some days good some bad). My NS decided not to do anything with the collapsed disc and see if the [i]hemilaminectomy/discectomy[/i] would do it first. If that didn't do it then they would do a fusion. I went for a second opinion to [i]Stanford Hospital[/i] here in California and 3 good NS there told me the same thing. That my NS had made the right decision. They think I was young and I could heal.

    Now, I still have pain.. and I always think: [i]"Oh, it is my collapsed disc"[/i] .. but I won't Keep letting that to happen, I will treat this physiological. I am reading a lot of information about [i]"mind over body"[/i] and see if that could help. [i]"Meditation"[/i] and [i]"Visualization"[/i] as well. I want to start treating this mentally. Sounds crazy but you never know.

    Do you have a herniation also or it is just a collapsed disc? Have you gone to get a second opinion? What kind of surgery have they recommended?

    I have read that these collapsed disc tend to feel as arthritis, you know, we don't have that jelly in there anymore. I have been reading a lot about Herbs, I bought a book called: [i]"The Herbal Drugstore: The Best Natural Alternatives to Over-The-Counter and Prescription Medicines!"[/i] and it talks about how we can help arthritis. They say that [i]Glucosamine 1500 mg[/i] can help in the long run and also have other options. These are medicine that won't hurt you. I am giving myself an opportunity to try other not so invasive treatments. You know what I mean?

    Good luck,
    -R

    Last edited by Racharina; 06-30-2004 at 11:05 AM.

     
    Old 06-30-2004, 11:10 AM   #3
    onthemendnow
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    Re: Hasn't ANYONE had a fusion because the disc was collapsed causing facet jointproblems

    Racharina ... you don't sound at all crazy to me. It's so unfortunate that you've gone through so much and still have pain but I applaud you for seeking alternatives. We never know what will help us.

     
    Old 06-30-2004, 11:33 AM   #4
    siberiandog
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    Re: Hasn't ANYONE had a fusion because the disc was collapsed causing facet jointproblems

    im having spinal fusion this fridayL5-S1 WITH PEDICLE SCREWS AND PLATE ,DOC IS TAKING OUT DISC ALTOGETHER AND PUTTING IN BAK CAGE ,THE PEDICLE SCEWS ARE FOR MY SPONDY,i saw your note and to me makes sense,the fusion will bring your vertabrae back to normal heidth ,wich in turn will stop rubbing of facet joints, i wish you the very best cause ive waited for over a year to have surgery,am lil nervous but,am confident this will let me have my life back)))))good luck kiddo

     
    Old 06-30-2004, 11:44 AM   #5
    MARY G
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    Re: Hasn't ANYONE had a fusion because the disc was collapsed causing facet jointproblems

    Sear Mistina,
    I HAD CALLAPSED DISCS L4,TL5, TO S1, tHEY PUT TREMENDOUS PRESSURE ON THE NERVE, AND THE PAIN WAS SO TOUGH TO DEAL WITH. i HAD A FUSION IN JAN, AND I HAVE NO MORE NERVE PAIN. I HAD HAD PREVIOUS BACK SURGERY. I HAD HAD A 'FOOT DROP'. WHEN I WOKE UP FROM SURGERY, MY FOOT WAS NOT IN ITS DROPPED POSITION, AND THE NERVE PAIN WAS GONE. THERE WAS GREAT SURGICAL PAIN, WHICH DID RESOLVE. I AM IN PHYSICAL THERAPY 3 X'S A WEEK. SINCE MARCH. MY BACK FUSED AAT THREE MONTHS. I HAVE 4 CAGES, AND RODS AND SCREWS. RECOVERY IS SLOW, AND I GET IMPATIENT. IT HELPS ME SO MUCH TO READ OF OTHERS AND THEIR STRUGGLES AND TRIUMPHS. KEEP A POSITIVE OUTLOOK, AND GOD BLESS YOU.
    MARY

     
    Old 06-30-2004, 12:13 PM   #6
    Mistina
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    Re: Hasn't ANYONE had a fusion because the disc was collapsed causing facet jointproblems

    Thanks to all of you,
    I don't think that Herbs or meditaion will help. You see, I had a discectomy/lamy last summer and facetectomy to remove spurring at the joint due to the bone on bone rubbing. I thought it might have helped me out at about 3 months but then I started getting 'crappy' again. At about 8 months post op I insisted on another MRI and lo and behold, my spurring has come back and so has the herniated disc material. I know that my pain and symtoms, which exist 24/7, are due to the facets grinding together and the spurs are in the same spot trapping the nerves. I have been dealing with this for FAR too long absolutely cannot take it anymore. It is putting a huge stress on my relationship not to mention my emotions and the way I act. I try to remain positive and I AM positive that a fusion will help me. It is just a roller coaster of events to get to this point to come to find out what was the root of my problem that I'm just terribly exhuasted as of now. Sometimes I think I'm smarter than the doctors!lol I've been telling them all along about this!
    I ended up going to Manhattan to two doctors because I wanted top opinions on my situation being that I had previous scoliosis fusion surgery. The one idiot told me that these things can get better on their own with Mother Nature but I knew I was past that point. He didn't even review my x-rays and stuff and I went to the other doctor the next day and he explained what was causing my symptoms (of which I knew all along) and told me of my only option. Fusion at L4 L5 with a cage. Not to mention that he said it will never get better without the option of fusion. So, I'm very optomistic that this will help me since I'm extremely limited from every movement and position causing the spur(s) to be in a position to trap my nerves. It could get worse I'm sure but I don't see how it can! I hope not anyway, but I'm truly hoping for the best!! It's just another waiting game as of now to see when I can get it done. I want it done TODAY!!

    SiberianDog!
    I wish you all of the luck with your fusion. I truly hope that everything works out! Please keep us posted!!
    Love and prayers to all,
    Christina

     
    Old 06-30-2004, 12:33 PM   #7
    Racharina
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    Re: Hasn't ANYONE had a fusion because the disc was collapsed causing facet jointproblems

    Mistina

    I totally feel your pain, but don't give up. I know it is hard and can affect your personality to be short patience therefore affecting relationships. I know, It happened to me. All this chronic pain can just debilitate you emotionally.

    Just want to say, that i hope you get better. Also, while the doctors are trying to find the problem and fix it, do your researchers on other options. If they don't heal it one way, it can get caught up on the other way.

    Give it all you can, that is why info is out there... just to the touch of your fingers.

    .. and yes, some doctors can be such a** and have not sympathy at all. I had an experience with one, that happened when my husband and I where waiting in his office, he stormed in the room that the roof moved upwards... then throwing the MRIs and said: [i]"you guys need to wait, there is nothing I can do with this"[/i]. I was so down that I thought I didn't have hope. There is when I went to Stanford Hospital, and the doctors there were so nice. My NS that did my surgery he is also sweet. I think when they go through medical school they need to take classes of having more emotional understanding and support.

    Hope you get better.
    -R

     
    Old 06-30-2004, 12:39 PM   #8
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    Re: Hasn't ANYONE had a fusion because the disc was collapsed causing facet jointprob

    Hi Mistina,

    I'm so sorry to hear about all of your problems and definitely recognise the kind of doctors you've been dealing with! I know exactly how you feel.

    Would you be able to recognise a collapsed L5/S1 disc on MRI if you saw one again, by any chance?

    L

     
    Old 06-30-2004, 01:37 PM   #9
    Mistina
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    Re: Hasn't ANYONE had a fusion because the disc was collapsed causing facet jointprob

    Thanks guys!
    Well I don't know if this has anything do with it or not but seriously I'm sure it does. On my MRI, my discs like have the 'clear' look to the middle maybe calling it white. It is where the disc still has it's 'water' and 'jelly' so it appears white looking on the MRI. My L4 L5 that is the bad one, Is BLACK. There is no water in there at all. Doesn't look to promising when you look at it, Kinda like an area of doom! But hopefully I will be speaking about this stinkin experience in a whole new light eventually!

    R-,
    Yeah these doctors amaze me. I went to that idiot doctor because I heard he was caring and considerate but when he didn't x-ray my previous fusion (which is long) I knew right away he wan't being thorough. To top it off he was acting like it was no big deal. I will also add that his other option to me aside from letting mother nature try to work it out, was that the artificial disc will be FDA approved in a year or so so you might want to consider waiting for that BUT if might not be approved for people like you since you have had a previous fusion. I thought, what the H*** are you telling me to do then you freak! Along with the fact that insurance might not even cover it because it will still be in the experimental phase. I was so ticked when I left there. Especially since I went to NYC to see him and that is what he told me.
    But, seeing the 'most popular' doctor the next day, gave me hope. Only thing is the fall back being, is that he doesn't accept insurance, maybe very few. He is like top doc in NYC and I paid him $600 for his opinion and if I used him for the surgery, I would need $10,000 to $15,000 up front. Now, we all know that if you an average person like myself, that's impossible. So, he gave me some doctors names of ones here in PA who are capable of the surgery. That is what I'm waiting for. I have to wait for this first choice doctor to respond to my letter and records that I sent. Now it's just the big search for a doctor who I feel comfortable with doing the surgery. Like I said, it's a rollercoaster of events and I hope this ride ends soon!!!


    Christina

     
    Old 06-30-2004, 02:14 PM   #10
    onthemendnow
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    Re: Hasn't ANYONE had a fusion because the disc was collapsed causing facet jointproblems

    (If you're allowed) What was the "top" doctors name? I went to NYC for my "top doc", but I was very happy with him. Curious ... thanks.

     
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