Hello to everyone,
The first thing I want to say is "thanks!" Thanks for all the encouragement that you give to each other. Thanks for all the honesty and thanks for all the advice. For those of us who are lurkers--it is truly helpful!
My story will be short so I don't bore anyone. My first fusion was at 19 years old. I had a L4/L5-S1 fusion with screws and rods. The corrected DDD, herniation, spondylolisthesis, curvature corrected to 24 degrees, and probably some other things that I don't remember!
4 sweet boys later (ages 11-2 1/2 right now), and I needed a cervical fusion at C5/C6. The pain in the arms and shoulders was excrutiating and I had begun to lose the use of my right arm from the nerve damage--difficult to take care of a newborn. So when the youngest was 8 months old, I had the cervical fusion and just like my doctor said woke up with NO arm pain! And I continued breast feeding through the experience--don't worry, I pumped out the pain meds--but thats a different story!
Last June, I was broadsided. Within several hours of the accident, my back was not right. After doing 3 epidural steroid injections, physical therapy, etc...my previous neurosurgeon decided I need to see a spinal deformity neurosurgeon. The level (L3) above the fusion has deformed. Practically no disc left, arthritis, etc... Pain in back, hips, buttocks and crazy pain going down the leg.
I am looking at surgery tentatively set for June 11, 2010--I need advance notice trying to arrange everything. The surgery will be from side and back. Replace L3 disc and possibly the level above. Remove hardware from L4/L5/S1 and fuse from S1 to L3 from back.
Yikes! I am scared out of my mind. The first fusion was in 1991--I was 19 and had no responsibilities other than myself. The Cervical fusion was not that difficult for me and I had such immediate relief. But for some reason, I am really freaked out about this one. Anyway, thanks again for everyone. I really have gained alot of knowledge on this site.
Although I hate that so many people are in pain, its nice to know that I'm not alone.
PS: Sorry it wasn't very short