I am a new member but a long time reader. I was diagnosed with DDD and herniated disk left side protrusion about two years ago, after PT and epidural's with no help and a progressive radial pain all the way to my left toe I had a TLIF fusion L5/S1 in Sept. 2010. When my NS did the procedure he discovered I also had a cinovial cyst build up on the right side of my vertebra that had attached to my right cyatic nerve. During the procedure, my NS had to remove the cycst which has caused pain and numbness from my hip all the way down to my right toes.
Since the surgery, the radial pain in my left leg is gone although the pain in my lower back is unbearable and the numbness in my right leg is constant. I had xray's at 4 weeks and then again at 5 months I had another xray and MRI along with a nerve test which was very painful. My NS said everything looked good, and was healing correctly and I had some nerve damage which was caused by the removal from the cycst. He told me this would heal over time along with my back pain.
I am 44 and in fairly decent health, not overweight although I am a smoker. I have had to deal with the depression and the medication from that was nearly suicidal so I stopped it right away, I was able to return to work but with my job I can not take narcotics (which is the only thing that works for my pain) and continue to live in pain everyday. This has been a tradgic life changing event for me and I dont know what to do. I know I need to stop the smoking but I my NS continue's to tell me I need to give it more time. I am tired of hurting and don't know if he is just telling me this because he has failed or if he is being honest. I have talked with people who said they had healed in several months and some say longer. The only meds I am taking is Mobic and Darvocet/acetamenphine, I am not sure I need to be taking the NSAID because the healing process of the fusion but I am confused, in so much pain and don't know if it's time to get another opinion or keep listening to my NS. He is a well respected Dr. and has a high rating.
Any advice or info would help.