Hi, I am new to the forum and would appreciate any advice. I have suffered from lower back pain (and sometimes neck pain) for years. I live in a small town and every doctor that I went to dismissed my pain/symptoms and sent me home with pain pills. I finally forced my way into a specialists office in July 09 and have been trying non surgical treatments since. The epidurals last only 3 weeks and the pain is getting much more severe and chronic. I used to have good days inbetween flair ups, but not anymore.
I am unable to do most everything and can hardly even walk on most days. I am 38 and have always been a very active person, so this is very hard for me to deal with.
The spinal specialist said that he felt that I had to many painful disks so I would only be a candidate for a 3 level fusion if I resorted to surgery. The discogram confirmed that I have level V degeneration in 3 discs and they are all producing pain, not just the one with herniation.
The doctor that performed the discogram (and is in the same practice as the surgeon) said that he didn't think that the surgeon would do "that extensive of a surgery" on me. I am seeing a Neurosurgeon on Monday to get a second opinion and am waiting to go back into the spinal surgeon for his opinion after the discogram.
I am feeling very scared of the possibility of surgery (if they can do it)or the possibility of living like this... Does anyone have information about disc replacment on a multi levels instead of fusion? I know it is not approved in the US currently, but I wonder if it will be anytime soon.
Thanks for the help.