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

Considering Surgery and terrified

ohmybackoohmyback Posts: 39
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:49 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi all...I have been living with various levels of back pain since a car accident at 16. I am now nearly 29, and since having my pregnancy and having my now 16 month old daughter, my pain has significantly increased. I have had 5 series of injections in my back in the last year, which have helped some but this last series have given me only minimal relief.

According to my doctor, I need a double disk fusion. Unfortunately, doing my due diligence has led me to some pretty terrifying stories and I am less than thrilled with the idea. I am also struggling with the thought that it is possible to go through it all with no relief. While reading some other people's stories about their pain levels, I feel that maybe I should just live with it. My pain mostly comes from overdoing it, and I get to where my leg sort of goes out from underneath me and my specific problem is that I can't lay down when in pain. (i.e. it gets worse) It is very painful but I am reading stories about people who can't even stand for 30 seconds so maybe mine is not so bad?

I also need to consider my daughter. As I understand it, recovery is long and painful and although I don't work and have a supportive husband, I worry about not being able to care for her.

I don't really understand my diagnoses...but I will try to copy what is on the report and maybe someone else can decipher it:

L2: Mild facet degeneration

L3: Partial desiccation of the intervertebral disk. Posterior central disk protrusion measuring 5mm AP which indents the ventral aspect of the thecal sac and mildly contacts the descending left L4 nerve root.

L4: Partial desiccation of the intervertebral disk. Posterior annular disk bulging which flattens the ventral aspect of the thecal sac.

All my pain is on the low left side. My main goals are to have my life back, not to worry about being miserable if I workout or walk around the mall...and above all to eventually be able to have another child.

Thanks for reading my book. Any insights would be helpful!



  • Hi, I had a 3 level fusion on Dec 30th. I feel so much better after the surgery. The only thing I am using right now to control my pain is extra strenght Tylenol. Right after the surgery the pain and weakness in my arms was gone which suprised even my Doctor. He thought it would take about six weeks to get my strenght back. I'm getting stronger every day. I'm sure there are other people out there who are glad they had the surgery. Hopefully, they will reply to your post.
  • I have never regretted my surgery and thank god every day that my neuro was able to give me back any quality of life. With 4 levels fused I have lost range of motion but the lessened pain is worth the price.
    4 level posterolateral fusion L2-S1 with rods and screws and cadaver bone. Spondylolisthesis, spinal stenosis, scoliosis, sciatica, DDD, facet disease and arthritis. September 2002
  • It's never a bad thing to get a second opinion :)

    Did you ask your doctor why a fusion is necessary vs less invasive surgical treatments?

    A double fusion *is* a major surgery. It's something to be considered carefully, once you're sure that it's what you need to improve your life, and after you've exhausted conservative treatments.

    I didn't see physical therapy mentioned, have you tried PT?
  • Your daughter is the biggest concern right now. I had one level fusion with the rods and screws last April. Doing great. Because yours is from a car accident there could be complications in recovery if not all spine problems have been identified. I would as mentioned get a second opinion and ask a lot of questions about exactly what they are going to do, recovery, and PT. 80% of these surgeries are successful and on these boards you will see a high percentage of unsuccessful ones because this is where people come for help. Sounds like one of the discs is impinging a nerve and is probably the cause of the pain. I would try to find out the consequences of delaying surgery till your daughter is older. Most people will say no surgery if you can deal with the pain thru other means, so ask for those options.

    I only bring up the delay because you will not be able to do housework or childcare for 3-4 months. That may be high or low for you. Recovery is painful for the first two months, then gradually improves. I would not hesitate to do it again.

    I did start on minor things around the house after one month. Very light and no bending, twisting. Just squatting down a little. But lifting your daughter would be out of the question for 3 months, probably.

    So, if you do this, you will need daily care for you and your daughter for a few months. Again, that can very on your recovery progress and figure PT time. I did not stay with PT cause they wanted more than I thought safe for me at the time. So, I did things myself as I felt comfortable. Being a clean freak, I think that was enough to substitute for PT.

    Good luck on your decision, only you know if you are ready. But, don't let the horror stories scare you. They are not the norm. You are young and will heal more quickly than I did. I have seen people back to work in 6 weeks and running 5k's at 6 months.

    The child care is the thing you have to work out.

Sign In or Register to comment.