I have had one spinal fusion at the L5-S1 one area about 17 years ago, when I was 21. The doctor did this fusion from the back and used my own bone to fuse it. Well, it lasted about 15 years and I only had to take medication in the winter. It worked out wonderful. But now 17 years later it is no longer fused and I have to go back in on March 27th, to have it fused with screws and rods(now I am 37). The doctor will be going in from the front and the back. I too have been on medication now for 2 years straight and I understand what you are saying, YOU ARE NOT CRAZY! The medication is not helping and I don't want to kill my kidneys or liver. So I too am going in. All I know is the first one worked for some time and I hope the second will work as well. The first surgery was done and it was not done with all the technology they have now. So I think you will do just fine. I will be thinking about you and wishing you well. KEEP YOUR HEAD UP AND YOUR HEART STRONG (that is what I keep telling myself). Good Luck and let me know how it goes.
So sorry to hear what you are going through. I had spinal fusion in 2004, with titanium rods/screws and bone graft including partial cadaver bone. It was my L4 and L5 as well. Diagnosed with DDD too! I went through H--- for almost 15 years. Told it was in my head by many and no amount of medication helped! I know how helpless you feel. Finally 2 months before my surgery my back "went" again and I couldn't get up off the floor this time. It was searing pain as I know you've had. I found an amazing doctor by the name of Dr. Kime in Harrisonburg, VA a DUKE grad and then some. He sent me for a discogram or as I call it "what should be done to OSAMA BIN LADEN". This re-created my pain to pinpoint the exact problem areas. It was horrible but necessary, shortly thereafter I had the surgery.
It was worth it. I haven't had any pain in my back at all. I even have full flexibility, but I don't push it, I'm still very protective! I feel a little weak in the back sometimes, but no pain. I sometimes have a quick sharp pain where my bone graft was done from my hip, but I can handle that!!!! It's been 2 years and I feel great. I was 31 at the time of surgery. It did take me almost a full year to recover to full health. I am a bit of a wimp though!!!! I was a surgical challenge since at the time of surgery I was 5 foot 5 inches and 95 pounds. I was loosing weight from the pain, medication and overall misery related to my back. There was barely enough room for the hardware!!!!
It was a tough recovery as I am the mother of 3 and at the time my youngest was 6 months old. I hope that you are as lucky as I am and that you have a full recovery. I would highly recommend the surgery especially by my doctor. I was up and walking the next morning!!!! It's going to be a tough road but I know you can do it! I will be thinking of you, good luck!
Thank you for all the replies! They been most helpful, and encouraging. I can't wait to get rid of the pain.
Hi, I have serious lower back problems, too, and my doctor wants to do a discogram, but I'm just scared to death of that test. I've had myelograms before, but the discogram just sounds so barbaric that I don't know if I'll ever have surgery. I'm on fentanyl, oxycodone and Indocin for pain and it's a fact that all these meds do change a person's personality. Another reason I am dreading surgery is I had spine fusion at S1-L5 level in 1986 and even though the surgery was successful, I contracted (osteomyelitis) a staph infection in the bone (starting at the bone graph site in my right upper hip that migrated down through the hip joint and into my femur). I was deathly ill and in severe pain. I had a Hickman catheter in my chest for 1 year so I could administer I.V. antibiotics 3 times a day and still had to take oral antibiotics for months after that. Unfortunately, infection is always a possibility, but, fortunately, it's rare. Good luck to you, bjferge! I'm sure you will do well and I wish you a speedy recovery.
Thanks for the words of support!! If I was you I won't be afraid of the discogram. No it's not a easy test, but it'll be worth it if it shows what's going on. Mine did, and before that they really had no clue what was going on.
I can understand you fear of going through this, but the relief from pain far out ways some bad side effects. Right now, I have numbness in parts of my legs, but that's due to the long compression on the nerves, and how much the nerves had to be moved around. As of right now, I would do it all over again. My pains basically gone, at least the pain my back caused, and my mind, attitude are getting back to normal, which haven't been for over a year.
i hope this helps. If you have anyother questions just ask!
HELP, Need advice... I received a herniated disc about three years ago due to a work injury. About two and 1/2 years ago I had "MICROSCOPIC SURGERY" done to the herniated disk. this is where they go in and shave off part of the disk to give the Siatic Nerve more room to move. After that proceedure I have had absolutly no pain in the infected area I have been doing very well for the past two years or so. Just last week my Siatic nerve started acting up again and the pain is unbearable i can't walk, work, sleep, laydown, sitdown, Nothing I have to be constantly hobbling around in order to deal with the pain. Just yesterday I went to see the surgeon who performed the "Microscopic" Proceedure. He has recommended a Fusion. i am scared. I have heard horror stories relating to this and I have also heard good stuff as well. I don't know what to do I have two small children that I (At this point) can't handle because of pain. Any advice would be highly Appreciated please E-Mail me at ***@**** with any information or exaperiences you may have had or if you know someone who is or who has gone through this please send any and all info My way. Thanks for reading and I hope all works out well for you.