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"Agressive" Spinal Decompression - Anyone had a similar op ?

edited 06/11/2012 - 8:28 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi everyone :H

I've just had surgery scheduled for the 14th of next month. I had a ALIF of L5-S1 last year in February 08. I've had persistant S1 nerve pain with all the trimmings that go with that lol pins and needle, leg cramps, pain etc. I've had 3 ESI's that have proven that that's the nerve in trouble. Seeing as I have had the fusion that had a cage, 2 plates and 4 screws implanted and has taken well according to my surgeon, he has said he can be much more aggressive with removing bone that he thinks is causing my nerve problems. They are planning to remove the right hand side of my L5 facet joint plus more bone from the S1 level.
They will also be cleaning as much scar tissue from the nerve and releasing it from where its tethered. Has anyone else gone through this decompression ?? He has warned me that it is more painful post op that my fusion (which is something to look forward too lol :''( )
Anyway, I look forward to hearing from anyone.

Sue :SS


  • That's rough Sue that you'll need more surgery. Have you received facet joint injections? They've helped me with the pain and swelling. I wish didn't have to have surgery again. Wishing you healing thoughts. 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
  • Hi Charry,

    Thank you so much for your kind thoughts. Unfortunately I have given the facet joint injections a go to and the most relief I got from any of them was a one whole week of being comfortable then the pain was back with a vengence. My surgeon (who did the fusion) said that he can't send me to have them every week for the rest of my life (I'm 43 and hopefully have a few more years in me lol) and as the MRI has shown encasement and some tethering of the nerve, he has said that this is my best shot at recovery from this problem. So I decided that if I do this and it works thats awesome, but then if it doesn't work, well I'll know I've tried every option available to me where I live, so pain managment will be the last option I'll have basically and I'd prefer not to have to go down that road if possible.
    Your thoughts and prayers mean alot and this site has been a god send thats for sure :)
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