Hi fellow spineys,
I am trying really hard to stay positive about my ALIF fusion L4-5 (8 weeks ago today). I do feel better then week one, my mobility is better, but leaves much to be desired. I am in constant pain! My case was complicated, and after long research of NS, procedures & even hospitals I opted for a one level fusion (alif, as I was told would be quicker recovery for fusion)
I now fear that I should have not been so conservative. Two other NS's told me I needed two levels (or at least one level fusion and could possibly get away with a foramanotmy at other... and should be done posteriorly as no matter how tall a cage the ALIF would allow, it could not fully address my foraminal stenosis.....
Prior to surgery I struggled and worked (as much as possible - lost lots of time, epidurals, trigger points, discogram, pain days, melt downs....) you all know how we all suffer while working and pretending to be normal!
Prior to surgery I was taking two vicodin 10 mg within my 9 hour work day, I would also take a flexeril 10 mg & valium 5 mg....this just till I got home. Bedtime was 10 mg oxy & 350 soma, this was my pre operative meds, which started with my last flare up on 12/22/09. I have been suffering for 7 years holding off on surgery doing every alternative treatment out there.
Post op pain has been horrendous! My meds now consist of 30 mg oxy every 4 hours, I try to stretch it to 5 or 6 hours (but its rare that I can handle it) I take 2-3 somas a day and 1-2 valium, to sleep I have to take 30 mg of restoril (which buys ne 4-5 hours). I just finished a 6 pack medrol, for inflammation. Just typing this makes me want to throw up, I thought the surgery would stop the need for all the meds in my life.... I guess I am frustrated, disappointed and confused.
My NS can not understand why I am in so much pain, my pain mgmt doc, ordered MRI and at fusion level I have bulging disc...?? And foraminal narrowing bilateral with stenosis. Not to mention my L1-2 huge herniation which has been relentless for 5 years and extends to next level. But is stable...no change every MRI over the past 5 years shows the same, so I have ignored it. Always focusing on L3-5 for treatment.
I have had several issues post op, nothing tragic but has added to pain, discomfort and I think delaying my recovery.
What do I do now?? Please has any one had similar experience or can provide some advise.... I am just at a loss, sick of being in pain. I cant even sit for more then 15-20 minutes without pain. My leg symptoms are so much worse compared to pre op.
Thanks for letting me vent, felt good to get it out and you guys are really the only ones who can relate. I look forward to your replies.
I wish you all pain free days!