I'm discouraged about my own condition and have been reading the many posts here, which have helped me to cope. But I'm just wondering: is anyone getting better? Did the surgery help? Did the physical therapy help? Did acupuncture, meditation, painkillers, chiropractic treatment, antidepressants -- whatever it is we are taking to help ease the pain -- actually work?
This may be a naive question. I know that back pain is a chronic condition. There's no cure. But my neurosurgeon told me six weeks after my two-level instrumented fusion (L4-S1) in January that I could expect an overall pain reduction of 75 percent, with 90 percent of that decrease occurring in the first six months after surgery. Well, it's now nearly eight months later and my pain is no better. It's probably worse than before surgery. At best it's the same. I'm not knocking any of the treatments (I've tried most of them, including epidural shots). I just wonder if the medical establishment really has a handle on pain, especially back pain. Is surgery the answer? Is prayer the answer?
-2-level ALIF October 2008; posterior instrumentation in January. Fusion progressing well, no instrumentation breakage or loosening. X-rays look good. But the pain persists.