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pain since 96 "long read sorry"

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:29 AM in Chronic Pain
Hi all,

I am new.
After reading through the forum I feel lucky and sad at the same time.

My story and questions.

I was diagnosed with a herniated disc (8 mm ) between L4 & L5 in 1996. My doctor at the time suggested spinal fusion.

I was only 27 at the time and felt like most 20 something year olds, that I was invincible and could beat this the old fashion way and work through it. I was in physical therapy for a little over a year. I got to the point that I wasn't on any pain meds and I could pretty much do my day to day stuff no probllem. Don't get me wrong I know everyday that It's there and it zaps me to remind me all the time.

I lived around my injury and only had a few instances when the injury reared it's ugly head and put me down for days at a time.

I am now creeping up on 40 years old. Call it a mid life crisis but I am now feeling that I have not lived my life to the fullest due to this injury. I am not physically active anymore like I used to be. I generally feel weak and useless some times. I have two beautifull daughters and a great wife. I feel that my injury has stopped us from doing things that I would have normally done if I was better. I am so angry over the decision I made back then not to have surgery. It has really affected my quality of life in the long term.

So ..... My questions would be.
What has changed since 1996 technology wise???
Any input on my decision to pursue surgery???? Pros / Cons

Thank for your time and sorry for length of my post.




  • A lot has changed since 96. Advancements in spine surgery have been incredible. More non-invasive procedures have been developed, better materials, more materials, newer hardware designs, better pain management devices, different attitudes towards spine surgery ... A LOT has changed.

    How long has it been since you have been to see anyone in regards to your back? Even imaging technology has made tremendous advances in the last few years. Getting someone to evaluate you now could provide you with better insight as to what is the root of all your problems.

    If you have the opportunity to check things out, what have you got to lose?

  • like you i have been in pain since 96 but unlike you i had an operation L4/L5 laminectomy now on reflection i had a good out come {i was still in pain and restricted to what i could do} but Nov 07 whilst getting out of bed S1 went and within 48 hours i was on the operating table once more this time it was not just the S1 bilateral discectomy but a redo of the original operation.ever since that operation i have been in hell.i have gone from a 14 stone healthy fit man to a 17 stone recliner ridden wreck! i have since been diagnosed with facet joint hypertrophy and 2 more bulging disc and they want to do a fusion operation {i am not going for it}.like you i feel that i have missed out on so much the first operation robbed me of a 12 year marriage and my house daughter car and all the usual things that go with a divorce {the x wife could not cope with an ill person} she was fine whilst i was building the family home and working my arse off and looking after our daughter but when i needed some help she was off with her fancy man!,anyway i found a lovely girl and we have been married for 11 years now so i guess things worked out .but i am unable to work i am in pain all the time and my life is not much fun.if you can avoid an operation i would if you want to PM me at any time feel free,just remember back surgery is a life changing operation and even if you have a good result you wont be the same man afterwards and there is a big risk of more disc going in years to come and the nasty scar tissue is almost a defiant and that can give you hell.if you dont have any leg pain .then keep away from operating theaters!
  • As "C" has said so many things have changed since 1996 in the way of imaging technology that not getting reevaluated is really cheating yourself. You have no way of knowing what is even wrong without getting a good look see done.

    You may have developed somehting completly unrelated to the injury in 96 and help is readily available. Surgery should not be ruled out till you know what is wrong.

    Don't jump into anything, start by getting examined and don't do anything until you are comfortable with your choice. Sometimes surgery is indeed the best answer, sometimes not. There is ont one hard rule to any of this, we all are different and heal different.

    Take care and don't be afraid to ask questions, lots of questions!
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