Hi, I am new here (today). Its great that there is a forum like this for people to get info/advice. One thing I have not seen a lot of is people mentioning what kind of job they have with their back problems, so here is what I'm going through. I'm a 38 year old male and I have bulging discs at L4/L5 and L5/L1 with severe pain mostly in my back and sometimes in my left leg . I work at a Public Works in the Chicago area and my job consits of a good deal of heavy lifting. I have been on and off work for about two months now and I have tried just about everything from two epidurals (maybe having a 3rd next Tuesday), chiropractor, and PT but nothing has worked. The only thing I havent tried is Acupuncture, but I really have not looked into it much. I have seen two surgeons, a neurosurgeon and an orthopedic surgeon. The neurosurgeon said he could do two different surgeries, a Microdiscectomy for my leg pain or a Fusion for both. I guess I was leaning toward the fusion surgery until I talked to the orthopedic surgeon which I saw today. The first thing out of the orthosurgeons mouth was "So, what else are you going to do with your life? Your are not going to be able to do what you're doing now after fusion surgery." When I heard that, it hit me like a ton of bricks. The neurosurgeon pretty much said the same thing, which is a big bummer. One thing that bugs me is I have talked to alot of people about this and most of them have said their surgery has worked great, but they don't have a physical job like I do (one did, he is a plumber).
I guess my main concerns is if I get the fusion surgery is will I even be able to go back to a normal work load and will it get rid of most of my pain? What are the percentages of the surgery working and getting rid of my pain?
Does anyone out there have any stories of getting fusion surgery and still not being able to work because of ongoing pain or not having as good of mobility to do your job right.
Thanks in advance for anyones advice and stories!