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Update - Blown Away!

SlancastvaSSlancastva Posts: 43
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:34 AM in Lower Back Pain
Yesterday, was my doctor's appointment at 10:30 am. I went to work. My employers knew about my appointment. At
9:15 am, supervisor call me into her office with
director of department. Bascially my supervisor did not say anything, but the director stated they were very concerned about by pain level and it was effecting my work performance and to mention this to the doctor. I told her I would and went to the bathroom and cried. Did I mention I work for the state and right now is time for budget cuts? I went to the doctor. He stated he does not believe the 3 small disc protusion are causing me pain. He stated I have re herniation at L5 and it might be pressing on the nerve root some, but the disc is very bad and is colapsing. He believes my pain is coming from the colapsing and pressing from the vetabras/disc. I also have severe facet joint disease in both L4 and L5 and are very swollen and arthritic. He did not state if any of my pain was coming from this, but I believe it is a combination of both the herniated disc and facet joint disease. He suggested a Axial Lumber Interbody Fusion. He stated it was the only thing that would help me. He stated this would take care of the herniated disc and facet joints at L5. I asked about the joints at L4, but he did not answer. I asked him how many of these Axialif he has done and he stated 20. I was in so much shock, pain, and stress, I was speechless. By the time I got home, I was in some much pain. I forced myself to watch this surgery on the computer. I tried to stand up and could not. Second attempt and made it. I shuffled (like I was 100) to the bedroom, took 1 endocet, laid down, started to cry and asked Jesus to please help me with the pain. He told me to curl up into a ball. I did and it ease some of the pain. This morning I did some reseach on facet joint disease and I see I have all the symptons and how there are flare ups sometimes 2 times a month sometimes more. Now I am starting to understand why my pain level is a 4 or 5 somedays and managementable with 2 pain pills a day and other days a 10 plus and 4 pain pills a day does nothing.
There are only 3 surgons who do this type of surgery in Virginia. I need a second opionion before I go this route. I have called an made an appointment with one (2 hours away for 09/03 and left a message for the other one 90 minutes away. I forget. My current doctor has taken me out of work for 3 months. I believe because of consideration of Axialif. I thank the lord my pain level is at 4/5 today.

I would like to thank everyone for all the support and advice. If you have more advise, send it my way.

Everyone, have a blessed day.


Micro discectomy/hemi laminectommy March 09, 2 MRIs, Epidersal Steroid Shots, Gabapentin 3 (300), Enocet 7.5/325,
Lortab 7.5/500


  • Hi sharon,

    Wow that would have scared the tar out of me being called on the carpet like that. If i understand this correctly the doctor took you off work following the appointment? If so you can rest a bit easier and re group as you do have the FMLA now on your side and no worries of loosing your job due to lack of performance. I was thinking that you may want to schedule the third opinion now and you can use it or not. My concern is that you may see the second opinion doctor and he/she suggest something different and your more confused. If that would happen you would have the other appointment set and not waiting for it to come up. Typically the waiting time for those surgeons is quit a long wait. If you end up not needing it you can cancel. But it may also give you the opportunity to interview another surgeon. Research is key at this point and time. I see more people spend more time researching a car than they do researching a surgeon who is going to operate on their back/spine.

    Contact your primary doctors and ask them who they would want to operate on them. If you have a local chronic support group get involved as there are more than likely others in the group who have had surgery. Go to the hospital and ask the nurses who they would use. Nurses have great insight on who they know to be a good surgeon. They may dislike a surgeon for his attitude but they know who is good at what they do. I do hope they can get your pain under control so you can get this much need research in. Good luck and keep us posted.
  • I ALIF surgery on June 10th and I'm doing fine. It's the best decision I ever made. At my first post-op appointment my surgeon said, "You could at least walk like you've had back surgery". Except for the bending, lifting, twisting restrictions, I'm better than new. I wish you good luck in making your decision, and I hope that soon, you too, will be having pain-free days.

  • well you have plenty of time now to spend looking for a surgeon. i'm surprised there are so few to choose from.
    tamtam has given you some excellent advice. i found talking with physical therapists can also produce good recommendations in locating a good surgeon. i hope relief for you is near....pete
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