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Today, I've decided to post some information about my spinal fusion surgery called a MAST-TLIF. I choose to do so in effort to put some encouraging information out there for any fellow DDD people.
Please visit: http://mrdjw.spaces.live.com/blog to follow my complete blog as I will post the other parts there. I don't have time to update both locations, but wanted to share this with you all and humbly hope I can be of help.
Note: It's my hope this information will encourage persons who need help. The experience I've been through has been such a big one, that I feel sharing this will allow me to collect thoughts as well. This is informal and not intended for professional reference. Please excuse any misspelling or other grammer mistakes as I don't intend to slow down for that stuff.
***I will be uploading more information in the days to come, but to start, I would like to give some basic details to outline the condition and procedure.
- Condition leading to surgery: Degenerative Disk Disease - Severe Spinal Disk Pain, low back instability causing upper back stress and muscle spasm. 2 Disks ruptured - L4- to -S1.
- Tests used to diagnose: MRI, CT, and Diskogram (Diskogram was solid proof of disk specific pain)
- Injury: Mild scoliosis since childhood seemed to be the cause of premature DDD. Back kept "going out" and then one day....never came back while mowing lawn.
- Time from initial injury to surgery: About 2 years of suffering and trial including a minor Diskectomy
- Surgical Date: 8/18/09
- Surgical procedure: MAST-TLIF 2-level. (Minimally invasive double fusion surgery from the back- two small incisions. screws, rods, cages)
- Today's status: At 3 weeks and 3 days post surgery, I can happily report that ALL of the disk pain is gone. I have muscular pain and surgical healing pain, but my chronic pain seems to be completely gone. -When I lay in bed, abter the muscles relax in a few minutes and movement is stopped.... pain is gone! I can walk around the block at nearly the rate I used to, but still feel pain when "Jiggled" in a car and so-on. I'm told it's mostly the muscles that were stretched during the procedure.
- Personal Feelings: This was the best thing for me. Although I am only 32, and am aware of the need for caution over the years, we have young children, and I do not want to miss out on these important years. The incisions are so small and the recovery time much better than I was freaked out about. 90% of the professionals I worked with didn't even understand the concept of actual disk pain. Injections don't solve it - only removing the disk does. TRIA orthopedics diagnosed this and I have been all over trying to find help and they are the only ones who understood. This procedure should only be done when the pain is too much to live with. I've been through training in pain management and everything and this was the last straw. -I should have done it a year ago!
PS> As a person who works behind a computer, I am already in front of one (to point out the obvious), and this should never interfere with my ability to work! yahoo! I can live a normal life and can already say I am not disabled beyond recovery period.
END OF POST