After suffering with my latest back injury and the horrible nerve pain caused by it for 2 years now I am finally scheduled for a 2-level interbody fusion at L4/L5/S1. I have had three operations already on L5/S1 and one on L4/L5 in my lifetime. I have had one operation at L5/S1 and one at L4/L5 since this injury which failed. My MRI still shows a herniation at L5/S1 and bulge at L4/L5. Most of my pain is caused from L5/S1 and my S1 nerve root which is extremely swollen and needs to have space to heal. I also have scar tissue which I believe is a problem.
Ive tried everything to avoid a fusion but I have not gotten anywhere. In the 2 years since I felt the pop in my back and had to battle this horrible pain the only place Ive gained ground in is with my medications. I can now keep my pain from sending me to the hospital but it is only at taking unbelievably high levels of tegretol and opioids which causes too many side effects to be realistic to take my whole life. Ive tried conservative methods, ten's units, every medication known to man, other surgery, and am still where I was when it first happened.
After waiting to see my new surgeon and then having to get a new EMG and then a discogram I am glad to have a surgery date because Ive been waiting to get one since May.