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Torn Disc
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Torn Disc

I am giving advice here.  I had a torn disc.  After one year of "hoping" it would repair itself or stop hurting, several surgeons reccommended fusion.  After two surgieries, fusion then disc removal, I am in worse shape than ever.  I do not understand why none of these doctors would not tell me that I had pain control options, that would have allowed me to wait just one or two years for the latest technology (artificial disc) that I knew was available in Europe with tremendous success?  My pain was so intense I was told these were the ONLY OPTIONS.  Wrong.  There was another option, managing my pain until this new tech was available whether it be one year or three, or even just disck removal alone.  Now I am using the drugs that would have managed my pain just fine for a while.

Now, I will suffer tremendous pain the rest of my now worthless and useless life.  And my surgeons get to buy a bigger boat. They made hundreds of thousands of dollars off of me, and I am left to suffer forever.  These doctors never look back at YOU.
                           BEWARE  
Tags: fusion, Pain
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10 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_n_tn
You don't say what area your two surgeries were in, back neck or other.  I know the frustrations and anger that come from inability to carry on as before.  Acceptance that we won't be 100% anymore is a hard thing to swallow.  The mind is a powerful thing though, and your body needs all the positive energy you can provide it. Try to accept that the time and place you are in will be constantly changing. and I hope it becomes better for you soon!
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Avatar_n_tn
Uh, I thought you wrote your comment for me. You are absolutely right. My back surgeon just got married and had to pay for his divorce. No options were given. He said that he could help me and I was so desperate for pain relief that you'll take anyone if the say they'll help you. Five years later I have the same pain, had to retired from work, loss friends and family members because they don't get it and they're tired of hearing about the pain.  I still hae my wife and she says I'm a better person because I hae compassion now.
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Avatar_n_tn
I had back surgery 10 yrs ago - had a disc out. I wasnt given any options, as the pain was that bad and couldnt straighten up. No pain killers would work. Now, I can do day to day things, but energetic things are out the question, and no sports. It does flare up now and again, but I have come to the conclusion that this is how it is. Unfortunately, this is the way my back will be for ever - until it gets worse!
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Avatar_n_tn
you any of you really remember the pain you were in--really--before your surgeries???? I had an anter cervical discectomy with a donor bone, 2 metal plates & 4 screws. that was 10 months ago.  I do still have neck pain occasionally and I was as miserable as you until a couple of months ago, about the 8 month mark, when I started PT. am I 21 again? no. can I type this blog without my hands going numb? YES!!!!! i can also lift weights again, which couldn't do for 5 year! I can pick up babies and children and books, and groceries.  I could not before the surgery!!!!  I have some permanent damage, but nothing like I would have if I had allowed the bad disc to continue to DESTROY my nerves that work my neck, arms, and hands.  My L4/L5 disc is also ruptured and I'll probably be having surgery soon---SO THAT I CAN WALK AGAIN!!!! I thank God every day that I am above ground and can use my arms and legs! I hated myself for having the first surgery because it took much longer to heal than I had expected, and I thought it was a failed surgery. i was wrong, it just took a long time to heal. hang in there, please?
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Avatar_f_tn
I agree with ruthless64. Suffering extreme pain can be very debilitating. And putting off surgery for some "future" surgery is not always reasonaable. Being on pain medications for 2-3 years can have tremendous consequesces for your health. It takes a long, long time for the body to heal after major surgerys of this type. And just because you can't do all of the things you did before does not mean you are useless or worthless.  You may need to scale down your expections, and may be in need of something to help this depression you seem to be in. Good luck.

Still in pain, but glad my nerves are not still deteriorating.
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Avatar_f_tn
hi desperate...well im sorry to hear that you feel  worhtless right now because of what you feel. But im so happy to hear that you can afford to know what is your condition. Life is really short i know it is hard woke up every morning that different kind of painful your going to suffer. And thinkng before going to bed all the pain you suffer all day.
Coz i know how you feel coz i feel the same way. Its been a year im suffering from different sickness everytime i go to check up everything is normal. They just give pain reliever for my head  and for my neck and to my back and to my shoulder. Every morning different kind of pain i suffer.
The only thing i did is to get closer to GOD...coz i know he is the only one will relieve all this pain  i have. Im ready to die without hesitating without small regrets in my life coz im in god right now...no time to blame those people i cant help..me...i hope in this way i can help...open your heart and all the pain you have right will take away....take care and god bless
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Avatar_f_tn
I am awaiting surgery on my cervical spine-removal of discs at C4-5 and C5-6 level. The disc at the C4-5 level is torn open and causing compression on my spinal cord, and the other isn't torn, but is also buldged out substantially and causing a good deal of compression also. I have terrible migraine headaches, arm pain, neck pain, and muscle stiffeness in my neck, shoulder blades, and upper back. I was recently put on Zanaflex, a muscle relaxant, which has helped soooooo much with managing the frequency of my headaches (to my complete surprise) and with muscle stiffness. I have to have the surgery because of the extreme amount of compression on my spinal cord. When discussing the surgery with  different doctors, they all agreed NOT to use disc replacements. My Neurosurgeon, who is the best around and so highly regarded, will not use them because he is not comfortable using something that hasn't been around long enough for him to know how reliable it will be down the road. He said there are too many manufacurers of the disc, and there haven't been enough studies done for him to feel comfortable using them. They just might not be reliable enough, and may cause more problems down the road, The other doctors totally agreed!!!! I am having synthetic bone put in the disc places and then the metal plate to complete the fusion. He has had good success with fusion as opposed to disc replacement. I think you were wise to have the surgery instead of waiting, because waiting could have caused your problem to worsen. There is no doubt in my mind about that. I have read so much about it. Pain killers would have masked the problem as it got worse. I would recommend going to a pain specialist or some other doctor who may be able to help you manage your pain, because something else may be able to be done for you-cortisone shots, muscle relaxants-I don't know . But, If more than one surgeon, as you mentioned didn't want to do the disc replacement, it's probably for the same reasons my doctors gave me. I think the artificial discs have been out for 10 years or so, and that is considered a very short time....not enough to know how reliable they will be in the long run, and how they will hold up. There is help out there for you, so think positive if you can. I know it's hard when you are in so much pain, trust me, I do, but you deserve to seek whatever help you can, and don't stop seeking it. No one is worthless and useless, and if you think that, you need to do whatever it takes to muster up the energy to get help now. Good Luck!
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Avatar_f_tn
Have you ever heard of fibromyalgia?

It can be hard to get a diagnosis when you have fibro, and it's confusing because the pain "moves" around. I have bad sleep issues with my fibro. I used to sleep 8 hours and it felt like I'd only slept 4 hours. My sleep test showed I did not have sleep apnea.

I had a rheumatologist diagnose me but I also was given a real run-around. Not all rheumatologists are honest and fair or "believe" in fibro. I had one diagnose me but not TELL me what my diagnosis was. I asked for a copy of my records and found out (after I'd been diagnosed by a different doctor and was doing a records-transfer!)

Good luck to you. I don't know that this is your problem, but it is something to look into.

Heather
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Avatar_f_tn
Hello Desperate for help,
I am so sorry for your pain and the horror you have been through.
Firstly let me start by saying I have been through hell and back and I completely understand where you are. Everything I am writing to you is 1000% fact and I am only writing for 2 reasons-1) I may be able to help you if you read the whole comment, and 2) I want you to know there is always someone worse off. I am 41 years old and for 9 years it’s been a living hell. I had a ruptured/herniated disc in my Lumbar Spine L4, and had a failed  Laminectomy in 2004 that was a failure. The surgeon was a very well known surgeon that I felt I could trust. He actually missed that I had an extreme case of Degenerative Disc Disease for a 31 year old woman. It was so bad that the disc had started deteriorating and just cutting off the herniation and didn’t help. There was a major amount of nerve damage that he missed as well. I became completely "against" surgery after that, but didn’t know my disc was deteriorating as the years went by. I choose to go on pain medications and manage my pain instead of trying to "fix" the problem. I accepted the inevitable.............that this would be the way my life would be forever. I am not going to tell you it hasn’t been horrible, but there is light at the end of the tunnel, and finding an incredible surgeon is what it is all about.  I have had every single treatment that is known to man. I have had epidurals (spinal blocks), cortisone injections, chiropractic physical therapy, physical therapy, massage, pain management, as well as acupuncture. Nothing was helping with the pain at all.
As time went on in 2006 my left leg and foot started having shooting sharp pains and became horribly numb. I also started experiencing pain in my neck. I also had corporal tunnel syndrome since I was 21 which started flaring up when my neck started acting up. All of this at 35 and before this I was extremely active, healthy and loved life. I lived in Vegas, Sedona AZ, and traveled everywhere......I barely can go to the grocery store now. I became extremely depressed. Then in 2007 I was bite by a tick and developed Lime’s Disease which I believe is the cause of them diagnosis of Fibromyalgia and Arthritis, which to me is worse than any of the suffering.
I went on increasing pain meds year after year. I also researched and sought out every known fix, cure, help in desperation. I feel still very worthless, my children don’t understand nor my youngest sons father. Unless you go through this, its impossible to understand.
8 years went by this way, and in July of 2011 I lost full mobility of my left leg and foot. I could barely walk. I was referred too a Surgeon that through the circuit I had heard of 1000xs. Friends of mine, as well as many family members have been successfully treated by him. I went to him as well as a second option just for good measure. He told me I waited too long and the nerves were very damaged, but he could still give me a 60% chance of walking normally, get some o the numbness gone, as well as reduce this horrible back pain. He was honest and fourth right from the start. He was dead on in everything he said. He also told me about the artificial disc which he had great success with. I am lucky I live in Maryland and the hospitals are fabulous. This Surgeon Dr. Reginald Davis I am speaking of is the Chief of Neurosurgery of GBMC (Greater Baltimore Medical Center). Don’t let the (medical Center part of the title fool you, it is a very well known hospitals here in Maryland. GBMC is even better than John's Hopkins Hospital for this specific procedure. However he was a surgeon at John's Hopkins for years.
The doctor did say Angella if you don’t have this fusion with the artificial disc and titanium rods and screws the likelihood that you will be in a wheelchair soon will be very strong. This scared me to death. I had the fusion, and maybe he can correct what this doctor did to you.
It was a long hard recovery but a lot of things that were wrong were better. Then this past January on the 18th, I was coming back from Physical Therapy while at a red light...I was stopped fully and rear ended by a truck. He totaled my truck and left me with major damage (per the MRI's) and Nerve Conduction Test. That’s a whole other story. The point is, I think he can help you, or at least call and see if he can try. I recommend him inside and out, he is incredible.
I will now have to go in for a cervical fusion as the accident tore a disc in my neck, and the crash bulged the disc above the fusion. This obviously has nothing to do with your situation, and I highly recommend you call the office to see if they except your insurance and set up an appointment to speak to him to see if there is any sort of reversal he can do for you and put the artificial disc in. It’s worth a shot, and worth the trip no matter where you live. Email me any questions you may have.
I wish you relief and blessings
Angella

Dr. Reginald Davis (GBMC)
Baltimore Neurosurgical Associates.


6569 North Charles St, Suite 403
Towson, Maryland, 21204
Phone: 410-828-4621
Official Website:
http://www.Balt-Neuro.com
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Avatar_f_tn
I too have been a through almost 25 yrs of horrific pain. I have also treated with  Dr Reginald Davis. He is absolutely amazing!  I have had quacks try to force  me into unessesary surgery, as a condition of continued pain management. Dr. Davis,  has always been completely forthright as to my options. He could have billed my lifetime medical for hundreds of thousands of dollars to treat my unstable spine, pelvis, Sacraliliitis, DDD, DJD,  and numerous other conditions. He has always been more concerned with my quality of life, rather than performing surgery, too soon, that could cause advanced progression of my conditions. He was much more concerned with my maintaining my current activities for as long as medically possible. He has refused further surgery, after two failed fusions, until the point where medical intervention is my only option. He sees me periodically to update my condition and weigh my options against  the latest medical advancements. He is simply amazing, and incredibly gifted! I thank God every day, I have a nationally recognized neurosurgeon on speed dial,  who has always been extremely candid, with the integrity, to put the needs of his patients, before his own financial gains! I trust him implicitly! I'm incredibly Blessed, indeed!
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