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Thoughts and ideas?

abenakiaabenaki Posts: 76
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:29 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I have tried to post this three times now. I have DDD, et. al. Did the steroid shots several times both back and facet joints. Did physical therapy. Visited the Chiropracter regularly. Went through the drug therapy (still using this option a bit). Now after several years of this am considering surgery for a fusion of L5-S1. Tests show all discs there are shot. I am very active and am not excited about this but feel like I am at my wits end. Would like to sleep and be able to sit down without the pain. My doc is leaving the decision with me. I had an ACDF last summer and that made such a world of difference. I am open to some thoughts or ideas!


  • You came to the right forum for thoughts and ideas! Before I had my surgeries I joined this forum and I learned so much which really helped me get thru my surgery and recover from it. :< I am so grateful to the members here who gave me their thoughts and ideas. I do understand that no one in this forum is a doctor so I always spoke with mine before doing anything. I wish you good luck and no more suffering ever again!! O:)

    Take care and God bless.

    Evelyn :H
    Had PLIF in 2008 and a Laminectomy. One level fusion, L4-L5.
  • Would you mind going into a bit of detail about your symptoms? Do you have pain in your back or in your legs?
  • Sure I can give you more of an update on the symptoms. Mainly I have severe back pain in my lower spine. When I rise from sitting it is as if some was pulling my pelvis forward and it won't go back into place for several minutes. While it feels tilted forward the pain is so severe that it makes me sick to my stomach. Then the rest of the time while sitting standing or lying down the pain I would say sits at a mid grade level about 5 or 6. When I roll over in bed it jumps to a 7-9 depending on the day. Then there are some days that I just can't get out of bed. I have to slowly get on my hands and knees and crawl to the bathroom and then force myself to get up. I am on 300mg of Tramadol a day with 900 mg of Gabapentin at night to help me sleep. Without these I just can't get through the day. After several test, such as a disc o gram it was diagnosed that my discs are shot from L1-S1. (I think I have my numbers right, it is five discs anyway). They only held at most 17 PSI instead of 70 and on the MRI they are all black and flat. So that is where I am. Just wondering everyones thoughts on surgery and how the recovery has been.
  • Just wondering if anyone has any ideas on treatments...
  • What is your Dr recommending? Is the Dr a neuro or ortho? What did they give you for options? I had 2 discs with annular tears and still have one with tears. I had fusion done in Dec on two levels. My Dr would not do three because the more levels you do at once, the greater risk you have of failure. I am recooperating from my surgery and most people will tell you it is a long process. I feel that I will have a year before I will be hopefully back to normal.
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    Sorry you're having so much trouble. I can't help you because I've never had the surgery. I hope you can get some answers because I do understand your pain. It's so frustrating. Good luck in whatever you do.
  • Thanks for the thoughts, support and ideas. My doc is not recommending anything as he is letting me decide. Both he and I have talked with Physiatrists, Chiropractors, Physical Therapists and Pain management docs as well as other Neuro's (he is one) and of course my ortho doc friends. Bottom line it seems to me is to have surgery to fuse at least three areas. yes everyone has had their ups and downs but after having had so much input, been through so many other therapies it just seems that there is nothing left. Fortunately I have a doc that is open to all these specialities and allowing me to help guide the path. My mom had the same issue but had nothing done. She is now later 70's and she has more bad days than good ones. I have watched her go through so much over the years that I don't want to be that way but I also don't want to rush in. So, if anyone has other thoughts, I am certainly open.

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,856
    going into details regarding your medical situation, I would be very uncertain about any medical professional, your doctor that would leave it up to you!
    That person is the one that has the degrees and experience in dealing with so many different situations. I am quite amazed, I have to say, that a doctor would leave the decision in your hands.

    I know this is an extreme example, but

    You walk into your doctors office with a compound fracture of your leg. The doctor asks you if you are having a lot of pain , and you answer, no not really.
    So their response then would be, Ok, you tell me if you think you need to have splint or something!

    That sorta of sums things up
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • What options has he given you? If fusion, how many levels and all at one time or a couple different surgeries? That many levels at once I think is unheard of. Did they give you any option of disk replacment? They had to tell you what they would do? How else could you make your mind up? Or am I missing something?
  • Robin from Iowa, you ask a lot of questions but I love it because you are helping me focus. I decided today what to do after all the input. I am having a three level fusion L3-S1. My doctor gave me a ton of options from doing nothing to doing L1-S1. After talking to many we both agreed on going with a partial plan and see how it goes. This way I maintain some mobility and get more stability. As it stands now, my back shits out of place when it wants to but the discogram showed that it was mainly from L3-S1. So now we shall see...I will also put a post out there for anyone who may have had a three level fusion to see how they did...it will be so nice if all goes well and the pain can be relieved.
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