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  • Considering endoscopic discectomy+IDET for L5/S1 herniation

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    Old 05-29-2003, 05:32 PM   #1
    tennisnut
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    Post Considering endoscopic discectomy+IDET for L5/S1 herniation

    I am a 37-year-old woman who had been very active and a sports enthusiast before my back injury. I have had back pain from a herniated L5-S1 disc for the past 9 months. The MRI shows a clear annulus tear with some disk material leaked out (mild to moderate protrusion). There are also signs of disc degeneration on the MRI. All other discs are normal. I am extremely lucky not to have any leg pain or weakness. However, the back pain is very debilitating and constant. I am not able to sit for more than 20 minutes and most activity flares it up. After trying various conservative therapies (PT, epidural injections, rest) over the past 6 months (the first 3 were spent in denial), I am no better off. Its clear that I need to try some form of surgical intervention.

    I have seen two orthopedic surgeons and one neurosurgeon. Both orthopedic surgeons want to remove the damaged disc. They are both at institutions where the PRODISC clinical trials are taking place. I would be guaranteed to have the PRODISC rather than be enrolled in a clinical trial. They really try to sell you on this new treatment, but it is truly at the very early stages of experimentation. There are no outcome data in Europe past 10 years (when most artificial joints fail). I view this surgery as a last resort option.

    The neurosurgeon recommended a combination of endoscopic discectomy and IDET (performed at the same time). Theoretically, the discectomy will reduce the intradiscal pressure and the IDET is supposed to kill the nerve cells growing in the annulus tear and recollengize the annulus. He felt the odds of a good outcome (complete relief of pain, return to all activities I did before injury) was 85% with the combination. The odds of improving my back pain from the endoscopic surgery alone are much lower. I would be paying for this procedure out of pocket. Its a financial strain, but I could do it. Also, during the 3 months post-surgery you must wear a back brace and avoid sitting for more than 5 minutes. This would be really tough, but worth it for a good outcome.

    I could probably find a neurosurgeon on my health plan who would do the endoscopic discectomy without IDET, which would be covered by insurance. Plus, the recovery is faster and there are fewer restrictions than with the IDET. The big question is: what is the efficacy of IDET for back pain? This is still unknown, unfortunately, so there is no easy answer.

    I will be deciding what path to take in the next month, and will keep the board updated.

     
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    Old 05-29-2003, 08:37 PM   #2
    HNPatL4L5
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    Welcome, tennisnut!

    What a detailed and thoughtful post! I'm sure many here will be interested in following the course of your treatment. I hope that whatever path you choose brings you relief from pain in the long run.

    http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/heart.gif HNP
    __________________
    HNP at L4-5 late Sept 2002
    3 months PT and Ibuprofen
    Reherniation late Feb 2003
    Nerve block mid March 2003
    Microdiscectomy 4 April 2003
    3 months PT (trunk stabilization)
    Walk 4 miles daily from now on.

     
    Old 05-29-2003, 09:18 PM   #3
    successtory
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    Hi tennisnut and welcome

    I would be VERY VERY careful of the IDET. The thermal temperature the IDET wire is heated to is quite high. It seems to be the key in why IDETers cannot reach the 100% recovery mark. Ask your doctor about a Nucleoplasty instead. It also utilizes thermal heat, but at a MUCH less temperature. The nucleoplasty was created for contained herniations (contained within the disk)...however, my own surgeon who was (apparently) #1 in doing IDETs, is now going strictly with the nucleoplasty instead and finding a much higher success rate.

    The IDET was originally created to fix tears in disks by coagulating the disk material to form a "scar door" of a sort. I am thinking the IDET may be too much, but that is just me. I have found so many many many people either re-injure themselves or have over a year recovery time (depending on whether you get too active too quickly or not). There are special protocols for IDET recovery too. YOu need to make sure you have a PT who is versed in IDET protocol in therapy exercises.

    You also need to think about the timeframe with IDET. You can count on 2 months of no bending, twisting, stretching, basically ANYTHING. It seems the most successful IDETers remain "immobile" for at minimum 4-6 weeks. This means no driving kids to school, no shopping, no laundry, no vacuuming, no cooking, no nothing....period. You should know what you are getting into....sorry if this is frightening, but it is fact. I dealt with it because I knew my triple procedure (nucleoplasty, IDET and intra-discal injections) were the answer for me. I still fight with it and I am post-op a year and a half!

    My life has done a 360...I am no longer the same person I was before my injury. But I am a better person now (I think)...it is what you make of your situation that will make you a success (in your life). Good luck to you.



    ------------------
    successtory
    Oct 2000: Repetitive Stress Injury-Inverted Hernia
    Feb 2001: MRI. Shows only slight bulge at L4-L5
    Dec 2001: Discogram/CT scan shows Inverted Hernia at L5-S1. L4-L5 & L5-S1 ruptured in all 4 quadrants. Unable to walk.
    Feb 2002: IDET, Nucleoplasty, Intra-Discal Injections
    Sept 2002: Rated in the top 10% for successful patients. Retraining for new career.

     
    Old 05-30-2003, 02:45 PM   #4
    tennisnut
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    Thanks for the responses! I am very nervious about the IDET procedure for exactly the reasons you detailed. Though I wouldn't be looking forward to the 3 months of very restricted activity post-op, I could do it. But I need to have a level of confidence that it will be effective, which I don't. Let's face it, there's been 20,000 of these procedures done in the U.S. and no one has been able to scientifically show that this is an effective treatment. Plus the fact that you're essentially giving yourself second degree burn at the disc site-that's gotta be painful.

    I read some about nucleoplasty/coblation some time back. I thought it was essentially the same as IDET, except that they also suck out some of the nucleus to relieve intradiscal pressure. I haven't come across any good studies on this procedure either.

    I think my next step is probably the endoscopic discectomy, which may very well not help with my back pain. I want to avoid a laminectomy if at all possible. But before doing any surgery, I will meet with at least 3 more specialists. So I think it will be a number of months before anything is scheduled. Time flies when you're having fun, doesn't it?

    I am starting on a course of Neurotin tomorrow. My PCP said about 50% of people get some pain relief. Will also report back on my experience with that. My PCP said something funny today, that she believes people should avoid surgery if at all possible. Well, DUH! Then she refers me to some cranial-sacral massage therapist. I will go (what can it hurt?), but can not remotely see how this will help my disc heal. She means well, though.

    Wishing everyone positive thoughts (I am in need some some myself!). I am trying to focus on what I can do instead of what I can't, but that is easier said than done.


     
    Old 05-30-2003, 02:56 PM   #5
    mokita
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    Hi Tennisnut!

    I am very interested in what you find out. I also have a tear that is leaking (L4) but, it didn't show on MRI. They did discogram. I also have some DDD and the S1 nerve is involved somehow. If you read my signature, you'll see that I've been dealing with this for some time. What I didn't say is that I'm 40 and was relatively active prior to birth of first baby. I like aerobics, esp step, v-ball (beach&indoor) bowling, love to dance...you get the picture. Now I have two babies and I'm not as active w/ them as I'd LIKE to be... but, I still roll around on the floor a little, swing with them, dance a little... I no longer go to the Y and I really need to ..... at least w/ pain meds, I can start walking again. That's a start. But, my mother still plays Volleyball - she's 68!!!! I wanna be her!!!! So... I'd say make a long story short... too late! Keep posting.... I am looking at some of the same things! I don't know what to do... if anything!

    Good luck to you... hope you're feeling good and have a painfree weekend!!!

    Karen

    ------------------
    9/22/00 24 hour labor, baby posterior, left tailbone killing me
    12/00 MRI - PCP said nothing amiss - but, had to begin taking vicodin
    2/8/02 - 2nd baby born after long, painful pregnance as weight gain
    2000-11/02 various PT + pain meds
    11/02 Referred to Neuro
    3/03 NEW MRI - shows slight bulge L3-L4,slight DDD Neuro Refers to PM for ESI
    3/03 PM Doc orders ESI
    3/21,4/1,4/8 - ESI's no help
    5/9 - Discogram - shows Tear L4 w/ significant leak onto nerves, DDD
    Doc sched NEW discogram 'cuz performing doc oversedated, False Negative
    New Consult w/ Dept Head Cleveland Clinic 7/8

     
    Old 05-30-2003, 09:13 PM   #6
    Telzey
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    Hi tennisnut and welcome to the boards
    Wow, you sound a lot like me about 12 months ago. I also used to be very active until I developed an annular tear at L5-S1. I did quite a bit of research into the surgical alternatives, and decided against the fusion, diskectomy, and laminectomy because it seemed that very few people had long term improvement from those procedures. My surgeon told me that the IDET was minimally invasive, that I was a perfect candidate for it, and that 2/3 of his IDET patients got better and 1/3 stayed the same. Nobody got worse. It looked like a great choice, and certainly a lot better than a diskectomy or fusion.

    Well, I had the IDET about 6 months ago and am still worse than pre-IDET, and wish now I'd never done it.

    I have a couple of questions for you. (1) Can you work? (2) What activities are limited for you? (3) What is your resting pain level on a scale of 1-10?

    The reason I ask these questions is that if your answers aren't (1) No (2) All (3) 7 or greater, then be advised that you may end up more disabled than you are now, with any kind of surgery.

    Your PCP sounds smart and unusually frank for a doctor. Most of them will try to encourage you to get surgery, because that is how they make their money. After my surgery, I talked to several doctor friends, and they all said that most surgical patients end up worse than pre-op eventually. I heard those warnings from others too, but I was looking for a quick cure so I could get back to how I was before. I wish I had listened.

    Surgery can help people with their pain, especially after an accident or if they have extreme disabling pain. You need to consider how badly off you are now.

    Discs can heal, but they are very slow. I have spoken to several people who healed annular tears. But it took multiple years. Now, however, they are fine. Unlike many of the people who had surgery, who may have gotten temporary relief from pain, but a few years later are back with worse situations.

    I am not saying that you should avoid surgery at all costs. Just, please consider alternatives. I have lost at least six months of my life, was disabled and unable to work or drive for about four months, and am in worse pain than pre-IDET. I just wish I could go back to last November and say, "I am going to try to avoid surgery."

    At this point, I will have to spend the years waiting for my disc to heal. Without the surgery, I could have gotten a six month head start!

    This is just my opinion. YMMV.

    Good luck with whatever you decide.
    http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/heart.gif Telzey


    ------------------
    4 years of back pain
    Annular tear L5-S1 diagnosed 5/02 via MRI
    IDET 12/2/02
    1/26/03 Posterior disc prolapse occurs after sitting too long after walking. Causes new pain down left leg.
    3/1/03 Leg pain reduced with exercises from the book "Treat Your Own Back" by Robin McKenzie.
    3/9/03 New buttock and thigh pain and numbness.
    3/25/03 Used McKenzie techniques to treat buttock and thigh pain -- pain reduced
    4/4/03 Started physical therapy
    5/8/03 Still worse than pre-IDET, but showing slow improvement with PT, McKenzie exercises, yoga, and Hanna Somatics exercises
    5/30/03 PT suggests buttock and thigh pain may be from my facet joint

    [This message has been edited by Telzey (edited 05-31-2003).]
    __________________
    4 years of back pain, but was still able to work and maintain moderate activity (hiking, low-impact aerobic exercise)
    Annular tear L5-S1 diagnosed 5/02 via MRI
    IDET 12/2/02
    1/26/03 Posterior disc prolapse occurs after sitting too long after walking. Causes new pain down left leg.
    3/1/03 Leg pain reduced with exercises from the book "Treat Your Own Back" by Robin McKenzie.
    3/9/03 Severe, new buttock and thigh pain and numbness starts.
    3/25/03 Used McKenzie techniques to treat buttock and thigh pain -- pain reduced
    4/4/03 Started physical therapy
    5/8/03 Still worse than pre-IDET, but showing slow improvement with PT, McKenzie exercises, yoga, and Hanna Somatics exercises
    5/30/03 PT suggests buttock and thigh pain may be from facet joint
    7/6/03 Still worse than pre-IDET due to leg and thigh pain and numbness, and have become so inactive I can't tell whether back pain is better. Can't stand for any length of time, can't walk long, run at all, or do any aerobic activity. I regret agreeing to the IDET and wish I had had more patience with the natural healing process of my disc!

     
    Old 05-30-2003, 10:36 PM   #7
    Bcorica
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    Hi Telzey

    I am sorry to hear that you are still in a lot of pain. What is going on? I was hoping that you were feeling better, but I guess not, and I am sorry to hear that.

    Well, I decided to get the Nucleplasty done, and it is scheduled for June 16th. I am not sure if I am doing the right thing, but I have tried almost everything to relieve the pain. What concerns me is, I am looking for that quick fix that you spoke about. I am so afraid that I am going to be worse after the procedure, and I guess that is what really scares me.

    What are your thoughts on Nucleoplasty??? Do you think I will have a better chance with this procedure?

    I remember the post that you wrote several weeks back about surgeries, and I totally agree with you, and you made some very good points. I guess that is why I am having second thoughts. I made a appointment for a second opinion, and hopefully I will see what other options are available to me.

    It is so sad to hear that you are still having problems. I felt so bad for you when you had mentioned not being able to hold your son, that just broke my heart to pieces. I hope some time soon, that you will get your life back without any pain, and will be able to do all things that you so much deserve.

    Good luck to you, and I wish you nothing but the best things in life, and please don't be such a stranger, we miss ya!

    Take Care
    Brenda http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/heart.gif

    [This message has been edited by Bcorica (edited 05-31-2003).]
    __________________
    May 2002: Injured at work
    June 2002: Had MRI
    June 2002: Had ESI's
    July 2002: EMG
    Feb 2003: Prolotherapy
    March 2003: Discogram, Showed left posterolateral radial tear @ L4-L5 and more diffuse annular tear @ L5-S1.
    April 2003: Transforamital Injection
    May 2003: Intra-Discal Injection, Finally got some relief from the hip, groin, butt and leg pain. This injection worked the best!
    May 2003: Second Opinion, Doctor Suggested Disc Replacement as my only option.
    May 2003: Postponed Nucleoplasty
    June 2003: Went to Psychiatrist for depression.
    July 2003 - Present: Trying to take one day at a time, and learning to adapt to a new way of life.

     
    Old 05-30-2003, 10:46 PM   #8
    Telzey
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    Smile

    Dear Brenda, http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/love1.gif
    Thank you so much for such a sweet post. http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/love2.gif I have actually heard good things about the nucleoplasty. I'm sorry if I sound so down on surgery... I really do believe it can help many people. It was just a mistake for ME. Please don't let my strong opinions keep you from a procedure that may give you much needed relief!!!

    However, it certainly is worthwhile considering surgery very carefully, and getting second and third opinions.

    Surgery is a bit of a gamble. I am such an optimist (though you'd never believe it from my posts! ) that I was certain I would beat the odds and do well. But hey, this is real life. I should have been more realistic before I went in for surgery.

    But on the bright side, I am improving. And I am much better than I was the first 4 months post-IDET. Much, MUCH better. And it's also possible that the IDET may have done my disc some good. (Of course, that may just be from the 6 months of enforced rest I've had!)

    Thank you so much for your caring. I wish only the best for you. Please take my opinion as just one among many when you make your decision. Nucleoplasty may be wonderful for you. I hope it is!!!!!

    Best of luck and good wishes for healing, and again, thank you for such a kind post. I really needed that! http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/heart.gif

    Love,
    Telzey

    ------------------
    4 years of back pain
    Annular tear L5-S1 diagnosed 5/02 via MRI
    IDET 12/2/02
    1/26/03 Posterior disc prolapse occurs after sitting too long after walking. Causes new pain down left leg.
    3/1/03 Leg pain reduced with exercises from the book "Treat Your Own Back" by Robin McKenzie.
    3/9/03 New buttock and thigh pain and numbness.
    3/25/03 Used McKenzie techniques to treat buttock and thigh pain -- pain reduced
    4/4/03 Started physical therapy
    5/8/03 Still worse than pre-IDET, but showing slow improvement with PT, McKenzie exercises, yoga, and Hanna Somatics exercises
    5/30/03 PT suggests buttock and thigh pain may be from facet joint
    __________________
    4 years of back pain, but was still able to work and maintain moderate activity (hiking, low-impact aerobic exercise)
    Annular tear L5-S1 diagnosed 5/02 via MRI
    IDET 12/2/02
    1/26/03 Posterior disc prolapse occurs after sitting too long after walking. Causes new pain down left leg.
    3/1/03 Leg pain reduced with exercises from the book "Treat Your Own Back" by Robin McKenzie.
    3/9/03 Severe, new buttock and thigh pain and numbness starts.
    3/25/03 Used McKenzie techniques to treat buttock and thigh pain -- pain reduced
    4/4/03 Started physical therapy
    5/8/03 Still worse than pre-IDET, but showing slow improvement with PT, McKenzie exercises, yoga, and Hanna Somatics exercises
    5/30/03 PT suggests buttock and thigh pain may be from facet joint
    7/6/03 Still worse than pre-IDET due to leg and thigh pain and numbness, and have become so inactive I can't tell whether back pain is better. Can't stand for any length of time, can't walk long, run at all, or do any aerobic activity. I regret agreeing to the IDET and wish I had had more patience with the natural healing process of my disc!

     
    Old 05-31-2003, 01:57 AM   #9
    successtory
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    Hi tennisnut and all!

    You are correct about the coblation nucleoplasty (sucking out the bad stuff)... then they inject man-made stuff back in to replace the fluid lost. The nucleo also uses thermal heating as the IDET...however, the big difference is the IDET heats up to around 70-90 degrees C. While the nucleo heats up to around the same degrees but in F!!! Big difference. The first 4 weeks after an IDET and a Nucleo are about the same. After that, the nucleo kicks IDET outta here in recovery time.

    But I think you are going in the right direction for you. I have heard good things and GREAT recovery times for the endoscopic microdiscectomy. I am leary of the laminectomy too. Haven't heard many of those about, they're there...but just not in the mainstream.

    Finally....CranioSacral Therapy. Maybe this blurb will help give you an idea of what this is all about.

    CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is a gentle, light-touch method of evaluating and enhanding the function of the craniosacral system -- the physiological body system comprised of the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord. CST enhances the body's natural healing processes to improve the operation of the central nervous system, dissipate the negative effects of stress, enhance health and strengthen resistance to disease. The method generally requires only five grams of pressure - the equivalent weight of a nickel - to test for restrictions in various parts of the craniosacral system. The craniosacral system is vital as it influences the development and performance of the brain and spinal cord, imbalance or restriction in this system could potentially cause any number of sensory, motor, or neurological distortions. These expressions could include chronic pain, eye difficulties, motor-coordination impairments, etc.

    This type of therapy can help with your back pain, the nerve pain, the emotional difficulties, coordination impairments, stress related difficulties, central nervous system disorders, TMJ, chronic fatigue, neurovascular disorders and postsurgical dysfunction (to name a few). It is along the same lines as acupressure (if you can find a good one, that is). Pressing strategic points along the body's natural energy and biological pathways to enhance circulation, remove blockages, etc....etc. I think you will like this therapy, ask questions of your therapist. I am sure they will be a fountain of knowledge and eager to share it.

    Good luck to you!



    ------------------
    successtory
    Oct 2000: Repetitive Stress Injury-Inverted Hernia
    Feb 2001: MRI. Shows only slight bulge at L4-L5
    Dec 2001: Discogram/CT scan shows Inverted Hernia at L5-S1. L4-L5 & L5-S1 ruptured in all 4 quadrants. Unable to walk.
    Feb 2002: IDET, Nucleoplasty, Intra-Discal Injections
    Sept 2002: Rated in the top 10% for successful patients. Retraining for new career.

     
    Old 05-31-2003, 09:47 PM   #10
    NursethatHurts
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    Hey Tennis,
    I too was very interested in the endoscopic disectomy,but unfortunately I am unable to find any doctors or hospitals that seem to do that procedure in my area(where my insurance covers me)And,there would be no way that I would be able to front the cost for that operation out of pocket.My orthopedic surgeon wants to do open back surgery,I however simply cannot be out of commission for as long as it would be necessary for the proper healing of a surgery of that magnitude(I have 3 young children,and I need to remain working )So,if that surgery is an option for you and you think it would benefit you in your situation,I say good luck to you,whatever you decide.I am hoping that time will heal my disc(L4-L5 central disc herniation with extrusion of disc material and L5-S1 right sided bulge onto right S-1 root nerve,resulting in alot of pain in right buttocks,thigh,and calf)but then again I have been told that I am a dreamer....good luck

     
    Old 06-02-2003, 11:10 AM   #11
    tennisnut
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    I spent some time this weekend digesting everyone's comments and everything I've been told or read. As you might guess by now, I am very analytical! I have some general thoughts in this note. I also would like to respond to some individuals directly, but this may have to wait until later in the week.

    It is simply amazing to me how little the medical world understands the back. Why is there so little knowledge when this problem plagues so many people? It boggles my mind. I don't buy that the back is so much more complex than other body parts, take the heart for example. Yet we have so many effective ways to treat heart diseases.

    One reason that I have so little confidence in taking any particular course is that the specialists have told me drastically different stories about what is causing my pain and the likelihood for recovery. Both orthopedic surgeons seemed much more concerned about my degenerative changes and seemed to view the herniation as a minor issue. One felt that I would not improve without removing the disc and that there was only a small chance that an endoscopic discectomy or IDET would help. The other ortho also thought the degenerative changes were most significant. He thought I might improve without surgery, if I was very careful in my activities for a year. He also said that I could expect to see a 15% improvement about every month during this time if the disc was healing. This has not happened. I am essentially unchanged.


    In dramatic contract to the orthos, the neurosurgeon felt that the herniation was the only source of my pain and that I would not have even felt any pain from the DDD if I didn't have the herniation. Conclusion? The experts have no reliable was of pinning down the source of anyone's back pain, particuarly when it is "discogenic" pain.

    This neurosurgeon also said that I should be very careful and not lift more than 10 lbs. as I could very well cause a piece of the disc to break off and then would no longer be a candidate for endoscopic surgery. He also said that my condition would worsen without intervention. This is was concerns me the most. Since the protrusion is right on the midline of the spine, I would likely develop pain in both legs. So not only does he want to do surgery, but he wants to do it soon.

    On the much more conservative side, my PT (who has an excellent reputation) says to avoid surgery if possible. He also agreed that we should stop PT after 3 months since it was making me worse. He also suggested that I try 6 weeks of total bed rest before trying any surgery. I just can't see doing that without some sense that this would be helpful. I think that I would just get further atrophied and have the pain return when I started to be active.

    I can totally relate to feeling desperate and jumping at something that appears might be "the cure." Although my life is completely different from what it was 9 months ago, I am probably better off than many people. I can walk without much discomfort and can do a limited number of strengthening exercises. I have adapted my home office so that I no longer work while sitting. I have one computer work station that I use while standing and another that I use when lying down. But I have had to turn down jobs that require me to sit or travel, and this has hurt my business. I don't have any children, and have so much empathy for those that do are are dealing with back problems. Having little ones to care for while going through this personal trauma must be so tough.

    When I am extremely careful about limiting my movements, I can achieve a constant pain level of 4-5. But this is tough, and I often find the pain has flared to 6-7. The hardest part for me is that the pain is unrelenting and not relieved by lying down. The constant nature of it just wears me down emotionally.

    Here's where I am at in a nutshell:

    Began a trial of neurontin this week. Will be 3 weeks before I will know if it is beneficial.

    At the same time, am weaning myself off pain meds so that I can clearly assess the effectiveness of the neurontin. I also think it's a good idea for me to get off pain meds because I tend to be more active when I'm taking them, and may be doing too much and paying the price later.

    Seeing neurosurgeon #2 on Friday, June 13 (how's that for auspicious timing)?

    Thanks again for all your personal stories and advice. It really is helpful to hear.

     
    Old 06-03-2003, 02:15 AM   #12
    Suddzrus
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    Good luck Tennis, I don't know much about ur situtation but good luck.
    __________________
    • Chronic back pain for 6 years
    • Epidurals, PT, occasional relief
    • Hurt back severely during college football
    • Ruptured L5 S1 and nerve damage
    • Hemilaminectomy/Discectomy, medial facectomy on 2-20-03
    • Pain is getting better every week
    • Residual numbness and pain in foot, butt, calf
    • Rehabing at new PT and getting better
    • Still have numbness and occasional pain in leg
    • Eric Davis goes to the same PT as me! I'm in good hands!

     
    Old 06-03-2003, 03:15 AM   #13
    mokita
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    Tennisnut...

    You are going about this the right way. Arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible to help you to make the best possible decision for YOU... because, really, that's all that matters. You have 'no children' on your side as, if you need the 'bedrest' for anything.... to avoid surgery, to recup, etc.. you can follow the doc's orders. That seems to be all important. People who have not suffer the consequences. That was my initial reason for not wanting the IDET, because I knew I would ruin it. After all the reading I'm doing, I'm not sure it's a good choice, period. I tend to agree w/ Successtory that the degree they heat the disc c/b the culprit as to why it is not more successful.

    As for the question as to which doc is 'best' or to whom you should listen? That's a personal choice. I have read that Neurosurgeons have more medical training than any other doc. Now that I've written that, I can't remember where I read it... so, I'm off to search

    Finally, your appointment on Friday, 6/13... I had an epidural steroid injection on April Fool's Day! http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/dizzy.gif What person in their right mind would allow someone NEAR them w/ sharp objects on 4/1? You got it, a desparate woman in pain!

    Keep us posted. And always go with your gut instinct http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/bang.gif

    Karen

    ------------------
    9/22/00 24 hour labor, baby posterior, left tailbone killing me
    12/00 MRI - PCP said nothing amiss - but, had to begin taking vicodin
    2/8/02 - 2nd baby born after long, painful pregnance as weight gain
    2000-11/02 various PT + pain meds
    11/02 Referred to Neuro
    3/03 NEW MRI - shows slight bulge L3-L4,slight DDD Neuro Refers to PM for ESI
    3/03 PM Doc orders ESI
    3/21,4/1,4/8 - ESI's no help
    5/9 - Discogram - shows Tear L4 w/ significant leak onto nerves, DDD
    Doc sched NEW discogram 'cuz performing doc oversedated, False Negative
    New Consult w/ Dept Head Cleveland Clinic 7/8

     
    Old 06-03-2003, 04:33 AM   #14
    oakleygirl
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    Location: Oakley, Il. USA
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    Hey tennisnut-
    Welcome to the boards. You will find a lot of information here.

    Although I had a diskectomy in April, '02, I have continued back pain that they believe is coming from the disk. My MRI shows lots of degeneration (facet, bulges, stenosis, osteophytes, foraminal narrowing, levoscoliosis, marrow edema), but they feel the pain generator is the disk, even though it did not show any tears on the MRI. Currently, they want me to get a diskogram to confirm their beliefs, and the PM doc is strongly suggesting IDET. I just don't think that is the answer for me, but the alternative is fusion surgery, which I don't think I can do, either.

    Looking at Telzey's and Baxter's outcomes from these two procedures, I am inclined to continue on meds and hope for an early release of the artificial disk. Not sure if I want to be the first in this area to get one, though!

    My neuro called the Charite disk replacement manufacturers, and they told him it would be 1-2 years before widespread approval.

    I do take the Neurontin, but can't say it has helped much, if any. Watch the fuzziness that goes along with it.

    Good luck with whatever you choose. Keep in touch. It seems we have a lot in common.

    Oakleygirl


     
    Old 06-03-2003, 06:26 PM   #15
    jdlfmc
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    Join Date: May 2003
    Location: Indiana
    Posts: 1,185
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    Tennisnut,Read you are starting neurotin I take it along with three other meds but finally after starting the neurotin I have been able to sleep some at night and I sure wasn't before it will be 4 years for me 6/13 that I injured my back I really don't remember what a pain free day is but I think the new med will help you I know it has me. I had just found this site and my computer crashed and I just got it up and running today and it took me a while to find the site again I can't tell you how I feel now knowing I'm not alone in all this mess I just hate knowing that people have to suffer like this I often envy animals that have owners that love them ebough to put them out of their misery I have exe's that I'm not sure I would wish this pain on,well maybe I would!! Good Luck!! Linda

     
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