Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Bout to break down and do surgery...

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,670
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:42 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
So I have been dieting for my last BB'ing show...don't think I will be able to compete much longer.

I have been on pain management for over a year, and I don't think I can take it any longer. Living from dose to dose, planning out every move I make and how much will it hurt. My dosages are thru the roof, and the pain is getting worse.

I might have to break down and do the 2 level axialif. basicly he wants to put a rod up the center of my back, with 2 pedicle screws and 2 facet screws with a double fusion.

Just don't know what to do, and its no fair to my wife.......


  • Hi Mavrick-Is that Broncbusting? It is so hard for us spineys that are active to have back problems.I am so sorry you are going through this-can you tell us a bit more?Jeannie
  • Hi Mavrick..unsure if that's BodyBuilding or some other profession but sounds like it's rough on your body. Can you share more about your situation? What's hurting? What levels?

    If you stop competing does your doctor think your symptoms will subside to a manageable amount? I know you don't want to put your wife through the recovery support but I'm sure she's worried about you in your current state.

  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    I can tell it's very tough for you. You are clearly very active and take pride in BB. That makes it harder as surgery may involve some life changes.

    For me it was quality of life. I just had my 3rd lumbar surgery (I have lax ligaments, appears to be a genetic problem, so my spine joints go out of whack more easily than most people so don't let that scare you). I had to decide, each time, was I okay waking up this way every day? was the pain controllable? was it interrupting the rest of my life? For a long time I did fine. For me, last Spring, I was in Pain Management and doing well. Over time it got worse. First I'd make it through a long work day and go home to take the meds and lay down. Then I'd go home early to do so. Then I'd take meds at work mid-day. Then I was in agony at work most of the day. That's when I realized I wasn't living any more. I was just surviving.

    I've always been the kind of person "deal with it and move forward". I may actually need an additional neck surgery. I have Long Term Disability through my employer so I have some decent money coming in. I decided that if indeed my C4 is in trouble it's time to do that too. So that, ideally, I can go out and get a job and be in good shape for many years. (I was laid off while out on disability which I expected as my office and my employer were not doing well and I anticipated being laid off).

    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • Can see that this will be a hard decision for you and as SpineAZ said, it may involve some life changes.

    I'm much older than you and not into body building, but I've had to make some changes in the way I do things. I'd got to the point where the pain was so bad that I didn't want the rest of my life to be like this and having very little social life. I had to retire earlier than I'd planned. You sound like you can't take much more of the excruciating pain.

    Recovery is slow and there are lifting, bending, twisting restrictions, and I'd encourage you to do as much research as you can. One thing in your favour is that you're fit and eat well and this will help you during the recovery time.

    Keep in touch and we'll support you as much as we can.


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
  • Thanks for everyones replies...sorry yes BB stands for bodybuilding. oops..

    anyhow..I feel like I am at the point (like someone said)..I am not longer living, just surviving.

    As of my last MRI my L5/S1 and L4/L5 are completely degenerated only with 4mm of space left between them (down from roughly 17-18mm). My L5 vertebre has also shifted out of position by a few mm.

    At first when I started pain management I thought I could do this, the meds worked enough to live...fast forward a year later.
    I am on:

    40mg vicodin a day
    80mg opana er a day
    4 doses of robaxin a day
    100mg hydroxyzine a day
    20mg of ambien just so I can sleep 4 hours at night
    1mg alpha blocker in order to reduce blood pressure
    100mg imitrix as needed for headached from meds

    and I am a guy who rarely took a asprin before. And after all theese meds I am at a point now where I can move around for a few hours a day without to much bending or repetitive motion.

    This is just no way to live anymore, I have one of the best neuro surgeons in the nation if I do the surgery, but everytime I plan on doing it my pain management doc reminds me 80% of his patients are failed back surgerys....

    even if it was a 50% reduction in pain, I think I would do it. nobody can give me any garuntee's... just don't know what to do.

    on top of that looking forward to withdrawl from the meds...woo hooo
  • The decision to have surgery is a very personal one and like it was said above, it's a matter of whether you can continue to live like you're living now (or just surviving, not living).

    I'm two months out from a one level TLIF and I'm feeling so much better than before my surgery. The recovery was very difficult the first two weeks, but after that it wasn't unbearable and the motivation to recover as quick as I can is so my hubby doesn't have to be taking care of me all the time. I adhere to the restrictions still and have a back brace, but there are ways to get things done with squating, using the grabber, etc.

    Of course 80% of your PM's patients are failed back surgeries - that's why they're there. That certainly doesn't mean that 80% of all lumbar surgeries fail. Please keep that in mind. If you have a great surgeon, chances are high that you'll have a successful outcome, so don't let your PM scare you out of making a decision that's really best for you. I'd listen a lot more carefully to my surgeon than my PM.

    I was also on your level of vicodin and have started tapering off and if you do it correctly, you'll feel relatively no effects from getting off the meds. My surgeon didn't ask me to taper off, I chose to at this point to see where I am with my pain levels. I've had cervical surgery as well, and continue to have pain in that area and I need to see where that is at this point as well as my lumbar pain. But I'm finding that the pain in my lumbar area now is just from having surgery, not from any of the issues I had before the surgery.

    Take care Mavrick, and I wish you luck on making the right choice for you.
Sign In or Register to comment.