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Hey everyone

sc7891ssc7891 Posts: 11
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:40 AM in New Member Introductions

I'm new to the forum so here's my story-

Started suffering from lower back pain 6 years ago (Dec 2003)after numerous visits to the GP I was instructed to have physiotherapy which made no difference whatsoever. 8 months on from that had an MRI scan which revealed that I had a tear in the disc L4-L5. Decided to have IDET, followed by physio.

My back pain only worsened following this, the pain became daily including sciatica. A year on from that I had the Wallis Stablilization Implant at L4-L5 (Oct 2005), this initially helped making the pain milder and completely stopping the sciatica.

However over the next four years I still had pain daily ranging from mild to pain where I was unable to roll over in bed. The sciatica returned in both legs. A trip back to my surgeon earlier this year resulted in an MRI scan showing problems with the disc below (L5-S1), so I waited to have a discogram to see which disc was causing the most problems. The discogram revealed that it was L5-S1 and my doctor said that I could be a candidate for Artifical Disc Replacement (charite) at this level. I decided to go ahead with it as I wanted a solution to the chronic pain as it was severly restricting so many aspects of my life.

I am now 10 weeks post-op. In some terms my recovery has been good, I managed to leave hospital earlier than expected and began walking around/ going up and downstairs etc quite quickly. However, I am still in constant pain that feels no better, in fact worse than pre-op. I have a very low tolerance to sitting or walking too far. I am trying not to let it get me down, but as many of you know (from looking over some of the forum posts) this can be very difficult.

Hope you are all doing well.
Thanks for all the advice offered on these pages!



  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support answer what questions we can. sorry to hear that your pain level is not any better, that is very disappointing.. ~X( as for moving around, that is good to be able to do. please continue with your exercises and i hope your pain level gets better. :D please continue on with the forum. we are always here to lend a helping hand as you well know. good luck in the coming days. :D Jenny :)
  • Did you have flexion/extension X-rays prior to having the disc replacement surgery? I would be concerned that that L4-5 segment might still be a source of pain generation for you.

    I have no personal experience with disc replacement so I really don't know how quickly one can recover. If you had had fusion, I would tell you that you are still early in recovery and that it is normal to still be experiencing a lot of discomfort, stiffness, etc. at this point.

    You might want to make another post on the Back and Neck Surgery section of the forum. More people are likely to read it and respond.

    One thing I can tell you is to be sure to walk several times each day. Regardless of the type of back surgery, that is the most important activity for any of us in recovery.

  • I am sorry to hear that you have had some failed surgeries.

    You speak of pain especially walking and sitting which makes me wonder if the pain that you have now may be in your facet joints?

    Evidentally facet pain is quite common after surgery in the low back. So much so that my doc automatically does nerve blocks and nerve burns after lumbar surgery.

    Do you get a burning pain when you sit?

    Do you find yourself hunched over when you walk?

    I am not a doc so I am not sure if this has anything at all to do with your situation but I know how desperate that we can get for answers so I thought that I would throw that out there.

    I have multiple annular tears and have had surgery for one. I do know how painful they can be.

    Good luck and keep us posted.
  • Hi,

    Thanks for your responses.
    Gwennie- Yes I did have the xrays before, also the discography, but I think that some of the pain may come from L4-L5 as they do say that operations never 100% stop the pain.
    Thanks for the walking tip as well, I've been pretty good to keep up the walking and I agree it helps as if I don't walk often then I do feel the pain getting worse.

    J.J- Yes to burning pain when sitting, and hunched over when I walk to far. However I also get other pains when sitting- sometimes just a dull ache, sometimes a stabbing pain etc. I don't know much about facet joints but I'm in the process of looking it up. So thanks! Also will be something to ask my doctor about when I go back in Jan.

    Also I'm hoping that it is because it is (relatively) early days in the recovery, so I'll keep my fingers crossed and keep doing the physio and hope for improvement.

  • Hi,

    I went back to my doctor in January and again in March. We decided to go ahead with facet joint injections, however they don't seem to have made any difference except for as expected worsening the pain for the few days following the procedure. I am still in constant pain, and getting pain that wasn't there before the surgery such as a numbness to the foot, and the tail bone pain. I am mobile though, and working part time and do have some 'good days'. However it does feel like such an uphill struggle dealing with the pain as I was really hoping that this operation would at least relieve some of it.

    Not sure where I'm headed from here, continuing with exercising and listening to my back as best I can and hoping to improve, fingers crossed.

    Any advice welcome :)
  • Numbness in your foot that was not there pre op doesn't sound too good to me. Did the doc have any suggestions? Possible nerve inflammation that may go away? I also get pain in my tailbone when sitting. Usually it lessens in severity after having my yearly rhizotomy. If your pain is not caused by the facet joints the rhizotomy will most likely not help you though. Good luck and keep us posted.
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