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I am in serious pain!!!

kristian1201kkristian1201 Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:50 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I am a 33 year old Army veteran that has a history of re-occuring back problems. The VA in Nashville always blew me off and gave me crappy treatment...but I now live in Fargo, and the VA here took the time to give me an MRI as well as a bone scan. I have problems (huge buldging disks) with my L4,L5,S1 disks, as well as arthritis in that area on the right side. It's gotten to the point that I am in terrible pain...and all I want to do is feel normal again! My neuroroligist and ortho back specialist are starting to talk about surgery...and I'm worried! What are the best corrective surgeries for this? Do they perform that type of corrections (disk replacement VS. fusion)? I've heard horror stories about back surgeries...I'm really worried about making the right decision...and pushing for the right one if they don't offer it to me! I'm too young to be in this much pain! Any suggestions or info would be GREAT!!!!!


  • Have you had all the spinal injections and Physiotherapy first to see if that would help and what are your symptoms? I would also get a second opinion from another Orthopedic Surgeon or Neurosurgeon. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I'm so sorry for your pain. I really hope you get some help and relief, you deserve it.

    I think you should have a second opinion, and listening to people on here and other sites is also a good idea. Like others have told me, people often tell stories of bad back surgeries--but not often about their good results. That's because if you're healthy and happy, you wouldn't really feel quite the need to be posting about it as you would if you're in pain from a poor surgery result. Basically, most of the news we get is just the bad news by nature. But there are plenty of people who have had great results. :)
  • 1st of all, thank you for your service to our country.

    Now, MRIs are great but not definitive. Have you had a discogram? Have you exhausted all conservative treatment protocols?

    As far as surgical solutions, there are many. Microdiscectomies (there quite a few different versions of this procedure alone); there are fusions (also many different versions); there are these devices called ADRs (Artificial Disc Replacements) (many different versions of those too) that they can put in place of your original disc.

    As you can see, you are now going to need to become informed of spine care and it's one calculated step at a time.
    It's going to require a lot of research on your behalf so you can make informed choices.

    This is heavy duty stuff now. But it will be worth it and you are already on the right path.

    Yes, you hear lots of horror stories, but there are far more successful stories that you don't hear about because those people have gone on to lead normal happy lives.
    On the sunny and mild Central Coast of California

    L4-L5 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy June, 2007
    L5-S1 endoscopic transforaminal microdiscectomy May, 2008
  • Welcome to spineys :)
    There are a lot of things that you can do to delay surgery for a bit. There are injections, and also pain meds. Pain meds stink though. Another thing is have you had a discogram to see which disks are bad? I know that the mri shows a lot but the discogram proves it.
    Thanks for fighting for our country also =D>

    There are a lot of steps in this madness we call pain. I hope that things can get figured out for you!!!
  • The most important thing - is don't let them treat just your abnormal films or imaging - anything short of finding the exact pain generator is likely to results in either the wrong surgery or prolonged symptoms. They need to find the source of your pain and if there is nerve or disc damage (EMG, myelogram, discogram) treat that. And thank you for your service.
  • I went through 6 months of pain management treatments in 2006 before they decided to fuse my L3-L4-L5-S1. They wanted to exhaust all other possibilities of the cause of my pain before they would even touch me. I had the epidural injections, Facet nerve burn-back procedure, Myelogram, Discogram, MRI, ETC. They finally decided that a Fusion was best for me. What I am trying to say is: Don't jump right into the middle of something unless the Doctors know exactly what the issues are and where they are. Ask your Doctors about some of these procedures They might help reduce some of the pain and/or locate your problem areas.
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