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Longtime Lurker, recently joined

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,731
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:25 AM in New Member Introductions
I have lurked in this forum for over a year now and just recently joined to get a question answered. As I suspected, my question was addressed in a matter of minutes and I just want to say thank you to the community.

I am a 35 year old Navy Vet. I was landing on and aircraft carrier and my shoulder harness failed when we hit the wire I kissed my knees and blew out my L5-S1. Was medically retired from the Navy after refusing surgery within two years.

It is now 3 years after my discharge and I am still fighting the sugery. I don't know all the technical terms that you guys quote. I have almost Zero disk left at L5-S1, L4-S5 has started to degenerate. I have been through years of physical therapy, I have seen 7 different chiropracters, I have had 4 nerve blocks, steriod therapy, spinal decompresion and a host of medication.

I know eventually I will have to have the sugery, it just scares me to let someone cut me open with a 50% success rate. I could get better, I could get worse, flip a coin. Thats what bothers me. With an absolute saint of a Docter I have found a combination of medication and stretching that allows me to function and get through the day at work. Some days are better than others, some weeks are better than others, but I am coping and I guess thats as much as I can ask for.

I really find comfort in this forum and just reading that other people are going through the same and understand what I am going through. It is difficult with back pain because you are doubted so much. Throughout my treatment I have had horrible docters and even worse nurses, I have felt like people snicker behind my back and have been made to feel like a lowlife drug addict. I am blessed to have found a wonderful Docter who has had a spinal fusion and understands what I am going through and a patient Neuro who allows me all my doubts about surgery.

So once again thank you to you all for your posts, hopefully I can become a productive member.
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Comments

  • You are in the same boat that I am in if you are speaking of avoiding fusion surgery. I am hoping that if I make it long enough, a new procedure with a much better success rate will come along. It is good that you have a good doc helping you to manage your pain. Some of us go through years in search of the doc that can help us. Good luck to you and I will look forward to seeing you around the forum.
  • understand the blessing of a good Doctor. He is at times the best advocate I could ask for.

    I totally understand your point of view. I have been putting this sugery off in the hopes that another alternative will show up. I can just keep praying for some sort of breakthrough while I manage the pain.
  • I understand the hesitancy. I was very ambivalent for my 3rd surgery. However, I had over-rotation and shearing at the joint, and was one wrong move from a wheelchair.

    When I finally did have the 360 (secured 360 degrees around, not as common a surgery) PLIF (posterior (through the back) lumbar interbody fusion), I could tell instantly that my back was stable. I'm a fusion success story, but darn it, this S1 nerve damage keeps me reclined all day as sitting triggers massive nerve flares. (I'm waiting for the date for the SCS - spinal cord stimulator - permanent implant surgery).

    I'm so glad you have compassionate doctors, a program that works for you, AND you can work, which is helping you keep your sanity! That's awesome.

    I also hope someday soon something will be invented that will be a much higher success solution. Until then, just make sure you have the best doctor possible and enjoy this wonderful, supportive forum full of a bunch of people who know just how you feel. So awesome!

    Welcome!

    Cheri

  • I am glad that you have joined >:D< and even better than you have great ortho and neuro. It's very important and means a lot when you have a doc understand how you feel and not look at you as drug seeking.

    I was hesitant as well to have the surgery because I never had surgery let alone broke anything before. I was pushing for the artificial disc replacement as my doc is very experienced in this and I beleive it has a higher success rate as well as better outcome longterm. I've heard that a fusion just puts pressure on the discs above the fusion and will eventually wear down and need to be fixed within 5-15 years. Unfortunately my insurance wouldn't pay for ADR so after months of appealling them, I finally gave in and had the fusion. I am hoping that if the other discs go bad that by that time some other new great technology will have come out and the insurances will be more reluctant to pay.

    I think you hear mostly negative outcomes or people still suffering on here because most of those that did have a great success are out living their lives while we are stuck here in pain still searching for answers, understanding, compassion and just being able to talk to people who know how we feel.

    With so many people suffering from chronic back pain, you would think there would be some new technology to fix us by now that has as higher success rate.
  • for your success. I really love to hear about surgery that worked for people. It is a difficult thing. I hope to one day be able to face it, just not yet. If it was up to my neuro it would have been done already. I got as close as scheduling the surgery once and my insurance company hiccuped and gave me the excuse I needed to back out.

    I am sure most of it is an irrational fear, but as bad as it is now, I just can't get this gut feeling out of me that after the surgery it will be worse. I am in a position now where I can make it through a day of work, it is a struggle, but I can do it, if it is worse...
  • Neuro recommended was disk replacement. That is the above insurance hiccup.
  • :) hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. thank you for your service in our military. =D> you are still paying for it with chronic pain now. taking your time and trying other treatments has proven to be a wise decision. you now have a doctor you trust and alot of your questions answered. i am glad you decided to drop in, please make yourself at home. it will be great to have you around the forum and i look forward to reading your posts. Jenny :)


  • I think you hear mostly negative outcomes or people still suffering on here because most of those that did have a great success are out living their lives while we are stuck here in pain still searching for answers, understanding, compassion and just being able to talk to people who know how we feel.

    With so many people suffering from chronic back pain, you would think there would be some new technology to fix us by now that has as higher success rate.

    Very well spoken words. I hope there's something better out there one day. We can't give up hope. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • It's nice to have you onboard here and hope we can answer any questions or give advice that's helpful to you. I'm so sorry you had to cut your career short knowing how much you sacrificed.
    I can certainly understand your apprehension about surgery. The concern is always preventing permanent nerve damage. I had a 2 level fusion (it was the 2nd back surgery) and it hasn't helped my pain unfortunately. I too have to take a host of medication and feel sad about my lost capacity. I will do whatever is reasonable to attain a better quality of life. I think if you are up to fighting the insurance, maybe they will proceed in allowing a disc replacement. Whatever you chose to do, we are behind you. Take care
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