I have had three laminectomys (1989,1990,1991) and had L4/5/SI fused in 1993 in the UK (living there at the time). Previous to the surgery, I was bedridden and unable to move hardly at all for almost 1 year.
It took me nearly two years to get over that surgery (had a lot of complications - was in hospital for 2 months) but since then until about 1 year ago I have been pretty pain free.
Over the past year, my left leg has been getting very painful whenever I try to sustain movement for 1 to 2 hours. I had to sell my retail store in October, because it was becoming to painful to stand day after day and by the end of the day, once I stopped my movement, I couldn't get back up again the pain was so bad. A lot of 'squezzing pain' in the lower leg and foot. Since I stopped working and am just having some amounts of movement mixed with rest, the pain has eased a little. I have some back pain but to be honest I have always had some degree of back pain so its not horrendous and am quite used to it.
I have been for 4 opinions which are all slightly different. My rods are broken and I have a screw loose (literally) and my EMG says my nerves are pretty good with a chronic abnormality in the l4/l5 nerve root, but otherwise normal. I also have some stenosis, herniated disc material and one of the screws MAY have been placed through the neural forament (?)
The Ortho surgeon (local smalltown NJ) said I need to take out the broken rods and screws,
NS 1 (new only practicing two months) - says he can take out the rods and screws but doesn't know if I will get relief - suggest stimulator,
NS2 (bigger town NJ) says leave the rods and screws in and go straight for the stimulator and
NS3 (NYU - spine specialist) says that he thinks that if he takes out the rods and screws, cleans out the area and puts in new hardware I may get a result. He said that if my EMG had shown my nerves were messed up he would have also suggested going straight for the stimulator.
So this is my dilemma - I am booked for surgery on Jan 12th at NYU and am very very nervous about having a 5th surgery. Any advice - the problem is I have help available to me now to have the surgery which I won't have next month but am getting very scared!also concerned that it will take so long to recover that I will run out of service for like 6 months and the financial implication of that.
Thank you so much for any advice you can give!!!