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Finally, some answers...

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:34 AM in Lower Back Pain
I met with the ortho today regarding Monday's MRI. I was very nervous, because while I didn't want there to be anything wrong, at the same time I wanted--needed--to know there was a reason for my pain. It turns out that I have a very herniated L5-S1 disc. Surgery is an option, but having had the L4-L5 surgery years ago, there isn't a lot of disc left. Doc cautioned that any surgery might end up in a fusion. With me being a teacher and school just getting started, I really can't afford to take time off for surgery and the appropriate therapy post-surgery. So, we are going to try an epidural. I know there is about a 50-50 chance of it working, but at the same time, at least we are doing *something.* The only catch is that the anesthesiologists around here are slammed--totally booked. As of right now, I don't even meet with one until October 9. Ugh. Doc gave me some samples of Ultram 200 ER...I haven't had luck in the past with Ultram, but I'll give it another try.

I am also composing a letter to my former primary care doc regarding taking my back problem so lightly and refusing to order an MRI in the first place. I know nothing will probably come of it and that's okay...she needs to know that treating people like she treated me will end up with her having an empty waiting room.

That's the update...


  • gwennie17gwennie17 Posts: 2,957
    edited 06/17/2016 - 2:04 PM
    There is a relatively new procedure that can be done at the L5-S1 level called AxialIF, made by Trans 1. I don't know if you would be a candidate for this procedure, but you might want to look into it. It is less invasive than an open fusion and they seem to be getting good results. I don't believe most people have found the recovery to be as easy and quick as the stories on the website would have you believe.

    In the meantime, remember to use ice for pain when you get home from teaching. I waited about three years before having fusion, and found that quite helpful.
  • My L5/S1 on June 10th was ALIF. The incision is made in the lower abdomen, rather than cutting through the back muscles. My neighbor had the PLIF and warned me of how horrible it was and that it was 4 months before she felt like doing anything. She was out of work for 8 weeks, and had I not been retired, I could've returned in 2 weeks. At my first post-op checkup, the surgeon said, "You could at least walk like you've had back surgery!" And, I had already begun to fuse. I'm still not suppose to bend, lift, or twist, and I can't do yard work, but I can do almost everything else that I did before.

  • i have had the same sort of problems as you {the /L4/L5} then the S1/ L5 a fusion was suggested to me too but talks with various people {medical} decided that it would not be for me ..a fusion is not to be undertake lightly ,i urge you to think very hard and do your research talk to as many health professionals as you can befor committing .my last operation has put me on my backside for the last 2 years and i am in constant pain .there as so many risk with a fusion my doctor reckoned that it would put me in a wheel chair and i would still be in pain .#
  • thanks for the axialif revelation, gwennie. i have ordered the informational packet and verified the surgeons in my area are covered by my insurance...of course, just in case.

    like i said, gonna try to beat this conservatively, but after 10 months, it is vexing...not futile yet, but vexing.
  • Hi there,
    My husband had this surgery in Jan 09. He was so much worse. This procdure had a very poor result rating and they need stop this procdure.

    My husband and I have had the worst year of our life. We found a dr who was willing to do a re-do on him. He finaly is doing better.

    the Axialif is not a good way to go. If you read through peoples resutls, overall they are not good.

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