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

Surgery-Next step HELP!!!

HeidiLynnMHHeidiLynnM Posts: 445
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:50 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hello everyone :H .

I am writing with a few things that are going on with me. First off, my back is getting worse even after the microdiscetomy. I had a mri, and I am severely inflamed in the area in the middle of my lower back. My disk is also gone for the most part. A lot of things going on.

I have been having the worst pain of my life lately ~X( . It hurts so much that I almost cry. I can't do half of what I used to do. The pain has never been so bad.

I am having a epi injection done on tuesday. My surgeon said only one. He said he wants to see if it works at all, if not, surgery is my only option now :S . He said that he would never tell me that if I didn't need it. He wants to do a artifical disk replacement. I am scared to DEATH. I wasn't scared at all when I had the micro.

I am afraid of the pain, I am afraid of so many things. I hurt so bad now. I live with my heating pad. I take some meds, but they don't touch the pain. They make me feel drunk. Anyhow, any ideas, tips here? :? .

Thanks for reading!!!!


  • Anyone out there????????????
  • Heidi,

    Sorry to hear your back is getting worse - I can relate somewhat to that with my upper lumbar. You mentioned pain medications, are you on any nerve pain medications?

    I am guessing your surgeon(s) are wanting to have you undergo an ADR on you if the shot doesn't work? What levels? Have you searched on here or the net to see what the ADR is all about, and too the statistics for ADR surgery? I think they can only do one level in the states?

    I fully understand being scared to death, was there on my first cervical surgery. I put off surgery as long as I could, then when I woke up, I was so happy!! I'm sure someone will come along soon that has had lumbar surgery that can be of more help. Please let us know how the shot goes, and what the plan is. Gentle support *HUGZ* to ya!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Brenda,
    I am not on any nerve meds. I take tramadol, and hydro 7.5/500 when I can't take it anymore. I do put up with a lot of pain. I guess it would be one level, l5s1. I will be getting the injection tuesday, I am keeping my fingers crossed.

    Thank you so much for replying!!!!! You are also in my thoughts :)
  • Hi Hiedi,

    Sorry to hear that your having more pain and in need of more surgery. But as we all know there just isn't a easy fix with spine issues. You should do your research on the ADR's and understand all about them. One thing I am always curious about when they put anything in my body if it fails can they get it out? I might further add I would get a second opinion just for my minds sake.

    Look around at the threads there are members here whom have had successful adr's while others have not. I myself can't say much about them sense I am not a surgical candidate for them.

    Hopefully they can give you something to ease the pain for you till they figure something out, and or the injections gives you some relief. Keep us posted on how you do. Take care.
  • Is the adr not a good thing? I did watch a video about it. My surgeon is wonderful. I will talk to him about it also after I have the injection follow up. Is there not a lot of success after the adr?

    This was my fith surgeon that I have seen. I stuck with him. He told me at first that a fusion wasnt needed. We did a micro first, that didnt work. The pain is so bad, yes. Sitting lately has become my worst enemy. #:S I don't handle meds well at all either. That is a downfall.

    I wonder if there is anything else to do besides a fusion? Wishful thinking, lol.
  • Heidi,

    Wanted to say welcome and glad you found Spine Health, it's such a good place to meet and receive support of those who understand and most who are experiencing the same or even more complex spine issues/injuries/conditions.

    I fully understand what you are experiencing and the phase of having long term degen, chronic pain episodes thru out several years and it going into more advanced pain and dysfunction and having to look more seriously at surgery as being the only option.

    About ADR what I understand from my neurosurgeon who was the most experienced in Cervical Spine ADR, being the first of five surgeons awarded the initial surgeries to be done in US, who unfortunately retired this past year - - he was doing some excellent surgeries for complex spine conditions and in doing the ADR's was doing for one-level candidates only and with advancement of more improvements of procedure and the AD implants themselves looking at doing two-levels in C-Spine (his field) although that was only some surgeons beginning to do them.

    From conversations with him (not me as a candidate) he commented that there is still much to improve and the prognosis of success and symptoms alleviated is still "challenging" and they are hoping to get better with post-op success. I understood it is still a "new territory" and not as clear of prognosis and recovery of spinal anatomy and body with ADR as bone implant fusion and hardware implementation and especially so when the candidate must not have complex issues and other spine levels to tolerate the ADR challenge.

    That is what I understood from reading and conversation with this retired neurosurgeon here in FL.

    Heidi, I am chronic advanced in C-Spine and pending surgery for nerve compression and have now shifted into long term degeneration in my Lumbar Spine the past month. Like you I have now gone into a chronic further phase after having successful 2005 and 2007 nerve block and rhizotomies on 2 levels with advanced degen disc bulges and spurs.

    I am unfortunately facing the same option, unless I can get relief from yet another 2-level right and left side of facet nerve blocks L-4/5, L-2/3, and an updated MRI for most probably yet further advancement of "moderate right side, severe left side disc bulging on L-4/5" - - it means surgery.
    I know I am not a candidate for ADR 3 levels of degen in lumbar, I am hoping for minimally invasive 2 level surgery only, but affter what is now been 32 years (OMG that's been a lot of years) I'm 62 yrs young of degen. 12 years chronic and major pain disability, it is not only most likely only option surgery and with hardware.

    But, one step at-a-time, see neurosurgeon on Wed. new MRI update since 2007, and we go from there.

    Wishing you well with you learning more about ADR, successful outcomes, best candidates, most experienced ADR surgeon consulted.

  • sorry just noticed you're a seasoned member of Spine
    Health! ....I am just getting acquainted with you :) !

    Nice to connect!

  • Hi there,

    yes, surgery is scary and honestly, I've learned back issues in the lumbar areas are a pain (literally and figuratively).

    Why ADR vs. Fusion?
    are you in the USA?

    I am asking because I have issues at L5/S1.
    My surgeon told me that he will not do an ADR on me b/c I'm 40 (ok, now 41) and that I'm 'too young'. He agrees they are a more 'natural' solution than fusion but the reason he wouldn't do one is because there is not enough information/stats on what to do if they fail. From what he told me and what I read, they can try to remove OR try to fuse around but there isn't enough data for him to do them. They have an expected 'life' (average) of 20 years. The other reason he didn't want to do one is because they are a big surgery. They do go in through the front which means you need a vascular surgeon as well. He did tell me that he believes in the next few years, the data will come around and it could be an option.

    I opted for revision Microdiscectomy. I have DDD at L5/S1 on what little disc is remaining and DDD at L4/5 which is showing some bulging.

    If I have more problems, my surgeon will likely do a Minimally invasive TLIF (fusion which is still a big surgery but using the MI techniques so he doesn't need as big an incision or to cut through my back muscles). So far I've held off.

    I don't think either is good or bad. I just think you need to understand the alternatives. Why ADR? What not fusion? What happens if ADR fails? What about a revision MicroDiscectomy.

    For my own personal opinion...it seems ADR is a much better option from trying to mimic the natural body mechanics. It gives you back the shock absorber v.s. removing it and fusing the bones (vertabrae) but I also understand the downside. There are some really good ADR surgeons in the states...I know we can't mention them but I would ask him if he has any patients that you can talk to as reference just so you can get an understanding of what the recovery was like.

    Good luck...I hope the ESI works some!
  • I am going to do some research on ADR. I know that when speaking with my surgeon he said that when he does fusions also, he doesn't take bone from the hip. I am not sure why he mentioned ADR? I have one level that is very bad. I know that l4 is starting to go slowly (very), but l5 is horrible.

    I know that my nerves are so bad, pinched right off. I am hoping that the epi helps a bit also. I am for sure down right scared. As for surgeons, I really like this one. I had went to 4 other surgeons that just wanted to do fusion, no ifs, ands or buts!!! I didn't go for that. Mine I have now wanted to try the least invasive first. I liked that idea much better.

    As for the pain, it is getting bad. I am getting to the point where sitting is getting so bad. I feel for each, and every one of you. I have a work related injury. I got hurt in 2006. I have tried so many things, my pm doctor tried his best. He has been pushing the SCS on me. I told him no, not yet. Anyhow, is there anyone here that has had the ADR? I will also ask my surgeon how many of these surgeries he has done! :?
  • Joydancer said:
    sorry just noticed you're a seasoned member of Spine
    Health! ....I am just getting acquainted with you :) !

    Nice to connect!


    Thanks Janelle!!!! Been here for awhile :) Nice to meet you too!!!
  • I have a question, for all of you lumbars! Do you ever get stabbing pain so bad in your back that it takes your breath away, and bring you to tears???? ~X(

    I am also getting the same down the side of my thigh, it is so bad. My thigh feels like the same but on fire too. It takes my breath away. The pain is getting so bad. :T
Sign In or Register to comment.