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Hello from Louisiana

krispy1121kkrispy1121 Posts: 11
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:52 AM in New Member Introductions
Hi my name is Kristy, but I go by Krispy online. I'm 37 y.o. RN, and have been suffering with an L5-S1 herniation for about 3 years now (but first occured due to a wreck in 1998.) In December 2010, I had an MRI that showed a 9mm extrusion at L5-S1, a bulge at L4-L5 with an "annular tear" and a slight bulge of L3-L4. I was relieved to know WHY my back was hurting so bad, but also realized that surgery would end up being the only solution, which made me nervous. Sitting down causes the most discomfort, so I stand...A LOT. I'm currently on month 3 of PT and I take Tramadol ER for pain relief and Neurontin/Gabapentin for nerve pain on the left side, but only when I need it (isn't always.)

My neurosurgeon has recommended an ALIF & after extensive conversation with his PA, I realize this is probably the best way to go for me. I will probably have a discogram first to make sure they get all the right stuff the first time around. I hope & pray that I don't end up being a chronic back pain/surgery patient. I think I'm most afraid of that. I'm also a Type 2 Diabetic and as most people know, we have a decreased tendency for prompt healing, so that has me a bit concerned. I'm wondering how many diabetics there are here that have had this type of surgery and how things went post-op. I know it's different for everybody, but I like to read about the good & the bad. I also want to know how soon after an ALIF should I expect to be up trying to walk around (in-hospital.) I was under the impression that I wouldn't be allowed to get up for quite some time, but after reading things here on the forum, I realize I'm probably wrong in my thinking, and glad. I already have issues with constipation, so I guess I'm going to attempt to get a handle on that as best as possible before going through surgery.

Thanks for having this forum for us!



  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,732
    I think the 2 most important considerations would be: Are you doing permanent nerve damage by not having surgery, and if you have surgery and you end up in chronic pain, or can't go back to work. Can you get by financially with early retirement and SSDI?
    Good luck,Jim
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • Permanent nerve damage ranks way up there in 1 of my concerns, and I do believe that I could survive on a disability retirement, but I surely hope that it doesn't come down to that! Thanks for the input, Jim. :)
  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. so glad you dropped in! i hope as well that you do not end up on the surgeons table more than once and not at all at that!!! please be sure and get a second opinion when it comes to surgery.. the more verification you have, the better for you! have a good look around the different forums and make yourself at home.. you might try "psysillium" for your bathroom problems.. i use it in a fresh fruit shake each morning and have no problems at all.. of course walking and lots of water help as well!! good luck to you! stop by anytime... Jenny :) p.s. i was born in Louisiana
  • New here myself. I had a decompressiom/fusion of L4-L5 performed 3/21/11. Spent 4 days at Opelousas General and recieved excellent care. My Dr. is a rising star in his field. I wish you and everyone else here a long and happy healthy life.

    Post Edited to remove specific Doctor reference. This is not permitted at Spine-Health. Please refer to Forum Rules

    Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Administrator 03/30/11
  • Thanks Lulu. I actually did get a 2nd opinion and that doctor was opposed to surgery at my age, but wanted to run more diagnostics, i.e. an epidural steroid injection (possibly a series of them) to determine where exactly my pain was coming from and if the injections would help. That scared me because I don't ever really want anybody injecting anything into my epidural space. My current physician's PA told me they can do a discogram for diagnostics, which is a painful procedure, but it determines where the pain is according to when you say OUCH to the dye injections in your discs. That seems a bit more diagnostic to me. I declined to make the appt. when that other office called to schedule the injection. I'm no expert, but I hear loads of stories of people who get those and they don't help or it makes it worse, or they keep going back & getting more and more, AND I'm diabetic and steroids spike my blood sugar. No thanks.

    Weirdly enough, I'm working nights this weekend and for 2 nights straight I've had NO BACK PAIN. There's usually SOMETHING hurting at some point or another despite me taking my pain med, but not this time. lol It's just so weird!

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