My name is Niki. I am 35 years old and have been dealing with back pain since I was 17. Until recently,I would have "bouts" of back pain every couple months, but they would generally resolve with PT, rest, muscle relaxants, and basic pain releivers (Tylenol, Motrin). However, in the last couple years I have found that these "bouts" are lasting longer and more intense. Currently, over the past 7-8 months, the "bout" is just not getting better. I have tried several different avenues for pain relief and intervention. Since about November 2009, I have had severe back pain, leg pain, numbness, tingling, weakness, etc., all of which is not being relieved by any form of interventions (PT, epidural injections, pain medications starting with the basic Tylenol and Motrin and now up to 2 Percocet every 6 hours, muscle relaxants, and on and on).
Finally, my PCP and orthopedic doctors have given up and referred me to neurosurgery. My diagnosis: Degenerative disk disease L5-S1. I had my second MRI in less than a year yesterday and then went to see the neurosurgeon. Although there has been no change to the amount of degeneration, they have reccommended surgery. He is reccommending disk replacement surgery with a Anterior approach ProDisc-L Total Disc Replacement, with a 50/50 of it helping. My goal this entire time was to just get enough pain relief in the hope that i could get some exercise and lose weight (have gained 40 pounds since my ACDF at C3-4, in the hopes that this would greatly reduce the amount of pain I am currently in. I am terrified about even the idea of yet another surgery.
I would appreciate any advice or information regarding this surgery any of you may have to offer. Of course, I have the basic questions...How did the surgery go, how was your recovery, how long did it take you to recover, did it resolve your symptoms, etc.
Thank you in advance!