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Severe Lower Back Pain with possible surgery -- what to do?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,670
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:32 AM in Lower Back Pain
I have had lower back pain for about 2 years now. I have had two MRI's done. The last one was almost a year ago. I am in severe pain in my lower back, right hip and down my leg. I had a spinal nerve block injection put in there about 2 months ago. It only took the edge off (not complete relief) for about 3 weeks. I have taken Celebrex for months and have had Neurontin and have recently change that to Lyrica. If the Lyrica doesn't work they are talking about back surgery to fuse two vertebrae together. I am getting worse. I just went to the ER the night before last because I took my regular daily dose of Celebrex and Lyrica was still in bad pain so they gave me a prescription for Oxocodone and Flexaril. I don't need the Flexaril because its not muscle pain -- its my nerve because I have femenoral narrowing -- on the nerve. I got up this morning and was in so much pain I could hardly move. I made it to a kitchen chair at my dads and was crying I was in such severe pain. I took one of the oxicodone pills and told my husband that if it didn't help he was going to have to take me back to the ER. I could hardly move and couldn't get out of the chair and just sat there crying in pain with sharp pains shooting from my back to my hip and down my leg. It finally took the edge off the pain so I could move without yelling and crying in pain. However, my leg and foot sort of went numb a little bit. I'm scared to death to let them do the fusion on my spine! I think this is major surgery, isn't it? I worry about recovery time! Will it be worse than my hysterectomy? I am scared to death! I am always scared of the unknown -- and this scares me to death! I am looking at having it done the last week in July. We go back to school (where I work) the 3rd week in August. I guess I'll be out of work a while, huh? Someone give me some advice, please?!?! Should I be scared?


  • How come only 1 injection? They should've tried more than that. If you don't feel ready make sure you ask the Surgeon why you need surgery and write it down or have someone else come with you. Try to get a 2nd opinion to put you more at ease. Best wishes. 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 and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. there is a lot of info here to help you sort through your questions. :? getting more than one opinion is always valuable to a successful surgery.. =D> be sure an check out the "Back and Neck surgery" forum for what you might be needing.. :D good luck and keep us informed! :D Jenny :)
  • been going through it for 5 or 7 yrs,don`t even remember anymore,tons of x rays and 3 MRI`s,the physical therapy and all the epidural and nerve blocks,one doctor wanted to solder all the nerves dead,looks like the 3 stage fusion is about my only choice,and i will mess that up within a year,no doubt,,,so if you come up withe something better PLEASE let me know
  • but you you havnt said what was wrong. Have they done any other tests besides the MRI? I like the others would definently get another opinion. It is a much bigger surgery than hysterectomey. My fusion was on tow levels and a discetomey. No one can tell you how long reocvery is because everyone is different. But it is a major surgery and my surgeon told me six months to a year. My surgery was Dec 11 and my last ck up he told me it will probably take a year. My friend had a one level fusion in Sept of last year, same Dr and same symptoms as you. She had been taking morphine for pain for 4 years. Well she is off all meds and golfing. So like I say, depends on the person. But please, get another opinion before you let someone operate. Its something that is very serious and cant be undone. Good Luck.
  • Hello and thanks to everyone!

    I'm sorry I may have been a little vague earlier. I have had a second opinion and am going for a third next week. I think there was only one injection because you can only have three per year and mine didn't last very long. I can't imagine living like this for years and taking such strong meds all that time. Today the only thing that even touched it was Tylox/Oxycodone and I don't want to take that for years. It sounds like that one level fusion for one person worked pretty well. One more thing -- I am very over weight and I know that don't help. I am and have been doing PT for a while but I can't do many exercises because she is always trying to help me alleviate the pain. I have a personal portable TNS unit. It has stopped helping like it did before. The pain is much worse than when I had my last MRI so I wonder if they shouldn't do another one. I think maybe this new doctor I'm going to next weeek will hopefully work out better. I just want relief!! I just want to have no pain without all the drugs! If surgery is the only way I can do that then OK, but it scares me to death. I had a robotic surgery with my hysterectomy and was home in a day so I know this will be a much bigger deal. I found a place on line in FL that does spine surgery via laser but they clean out around the nerve and I'm afraid I'd end up with the fusion anyway. Should I try the laser thing first or just go right into the fusion if that is what the next doctor says? I just want to be pain free with no drugs. I take enough meds for other things like HBP. Oh I almost forgot, in the MRI report there was a lot of "stuff" but mainly I have arthropathy, some disc degeneration and feminoral narrowing, which is what is causing my pain and it's all one sided -- all on my right side. Pain shoots from my back to my hip and pelvic area and down my leg. Sometimes it will feel like theres a bug on my lower leg crawling but I've learned its just my nerve endings tingling. My leg and foot started getting numb feeling today. Today was one of the worst days I've had with it in a LONG time. I was ready for them to call an ambulance because I knew I'd never be able to get in the car but the Tylox worked -- at least it took the edge off so I could move. I can NOT live like this for another year... I don't want to even for another month. But if I do the fusion what kind of pain after surgery and recovery time am I looking at?
    Thanks so much for the support and prompt replies!
  • Hi and welcome. Pain sucks, plain and simple. :''( I agree that getting more than one opinion is key, but if they all tell you the same thing, you must prepare yourself. Consider talking to a counselor to discuss your fears. Some doctors won't even do the surgery until you've been cleared by a psychiatrist. 8}

    If you do need to have surgery, ask your surgeon a lot of questions: there are several excellent threads on what to ask before surgery. If it would be an "elective" surgery, be absolutely sure you understand what the outcome can be in your case. Only you can weigh the pros/cons of an elective procedure as big as this. :?

    Once you have all the information, research, research, research! When you understand everything they say they need to work on, you will be better informed and probably have even more questions. :O

    Make sure you are "zen" with it all and that you know what to expect before/during/after, it will make your recovery much easier if you are prepared. <:P

    I wish you all the best!

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