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

Any advice would be greatly appreciated

idk53iidk53 Posts: 21
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:53 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I am new to this forum and would like to start off by saying hello to everyone.

I'm a 20 year old male and almost exactly one year ago I was doing squats in the gym when suddenly I felt an enormous amount of pain in my lower back. Ok fast forward to today. I now know that I have two bulging disc in the lower lumbar region and one herniated disc in the upper sacrum. As well as my doctors suspect I may have a bulging disc in the cervical area(pending X-rays). All of this is compounded by the fact that I have a genetic defect in that my spinal canal is naturally smaller than it should be.

I've been doing chiropractic for quite some time as well as i've had three epidural injections with minimal affect. I've always been a very active person, a bit of a fitness nut really, and not being able to play sports or exercise even moderately is extremely demoralizing. It's not just physical activity though, even daily life and work is becoming increasingly difficult. Because of these things I am really starting to consider surgery, specifically disc replacement.

Will this surgery not only allow me to get through the daily grind more easily, but also allow me to start exercising consistently again? Any help, info and past experiences is greatly appreciated. Thank you.



  • I would like to welcome you here to the forum, although sorry that you have spine trouble and need to be here.
    I am unable to answer you question regarding surgery as I am currently awaiting surgery as well.

    Although I am much older than you (40) I can totally relate to your thoughts on losing your activity level. Before my back injury, I was incredibly active in sports and excercise, and now I even have trouble walking.I too hope that surgery will help me to regain some of my previous activity level.

    Wishing you all the best, and please let us know how things go for you with your decisions regarding surgery.

    >:D< Karen
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
  • Hi! I can only tell you of my experience, but I'm 35 and when I was 33, I had artificial disc replacements at C6-7 and C5-6 (6 months apart due to insurance) and I'm very happy with them! I'm an athletic trainer, so I understand your need to be active. I'll be having a L4-S1 fusion this week and hope that will be it for my spine injuries! Hoping to get back on my bike at some point, even if it is only for an hour or two at a time.

    Good luck!
  • How come your doing the fusion over disc replacement in your lower back?
  • I let them go too long and they have already started fusing on their own. Disc replacement is not an option or I would do it.
  • I had an ACDF C6-7 w/cadaver bone-plate-screws and ACDR C5-6 with Neuro Monitoring on 4/18/11...

    First lets start by saying this was the best thing I ever did...I had constant pain(8/10)/burning/spasms that went down from the L side of my

    neck...down my L arm and basically made the arm useless...As soon as I woke up from surgery I could tell things were better already...sure there

    was a little pain(4/10)/mild burning/few spasms but was WAY better than before surgery...I was in constant agony that started in 12/09
    and continued to get worse over the next 16 months until I was basically useless...not able to be active as before...I am a 33 yr old active female

    who is not use to be down for long periods of time:(
    I've heard that Cervical surgeries are a little less painful than other spine surgeries but this is just my surgery story:)

    The first two weeks are the worst(as I was told by my Surgeon)...I felt really tired...had no appetite...and my throat hurt like you wouldn't

    believe from the esophagus be pulled over during surgery to reach my spine(Anterior Incision)...the incision was slightly sore...and it took me

    forever to get around the house as I was toodling not walking like normal:)

    I had a soft collar for the first two weeks that I had to keep on unless I was in the shower...just FYI I needed my Hubby to was my hair...I had

    to hold my head to make sure my neck didn't move while he scrubbed:)

    I was in the recliner for most of the first 2wks...I could get the most comfy in it...I had a table next to me with all my necessities...we had

    walkie talkies by us...one for me...one for the hubby...he took it with him every where he went in case I needed him...

    At my 2 wk check up most of my restrictions were lifted...I still have to wear my collar when in the car...sleeping...and while exercising which

    for now involves a mild 1 mile walk around the neighborhood...but I'm just ecstatic to be out of the house!!!

    I have to admit I still tire easily like my surgeon said I would but he said I should perk up here in the next couple of weeks and to just sleep

    when my body wants to...it is healing...I did have lab work just to make sure I wasn't anemic...I wasn't...HAPPY HAPPY JOY JOY:):) No blood

    transfusion needed!!!

    Everyone chat away if your up to it...as long as I get my daily walk in...I have free time on my hands that I'm not use to and since I am able to

    hear myself think again I would be happy to chat about upcoming surgeries or other peoples experiences...I knew alot about the surgery

    (Cervical) going into it since I'm in the medical field...but was surprised at some of the "new" aches and "new" pains that came with the surgery

    even though my Surgeon did an awesome job not only talking to me and getting me mentally prepared but also talking with my Hubby about what

    to expect when I come home and some side effects of the surgery that I may not notice but for my Hubby to keep an eye out for...take care!!!
  • oh I see.

    Now does the disc replacement greatly reduce pain and discomfort but you still have to live a very careful, inactive life or will i be be able to exercise like i use to before hurting my back?
  • When the Surgeon and I first started this journey we thought that I was only going to need an ADR...but had to add a fusion on to that in the end...

    When we were speaking of the the ADR I was told I would be able to get up the next morning and have at it. He said I should expect little to no pain...just a little bit of incision pain...Two week recovery and then PT to strengthen the L arm and back to work(nurse) and ALL my activities within 2 months or so pending NO unexpected mishaps...hope this helps:)
  • It definitely helps a lot and i really do appreciate everyone's input.

    Unfortunately because I'm only 20 I sincerely doubt my insurance company will cover the surgery (I guess the logic is that I have to suffer for the next 20 years and then get surgery when my prime physically active years are all but over any way), so I will more than likely have to pay out of pocket. Does anyone have an idea of what this may cost me? As far as internet searches go I've seen numbers ranging from $35,000 to $60,000. Is that accurate?

    Also my pain management doctor did suggest an endoscopic surgery where they simply cut off the part of the disc that is bulging. Supposedly this is less invasive and much, much cheaper. but the downside is that its not a permanent fix. Has any one had any experiences with this surgery?
  • In talking to many people I have found that more often than not having surgery has enabled most of us to return to an active lifestyle. As with any kind of surgery though you need to make sure you can give yourself the time to recouperate properly. Getting to a place where you can do physical activity will take time. It may be worth looking at ergonomic chairs for back pain to use during your recovery... heck, it'd be good to have an ergonomic chair at any time. As for insurance not covering it, you may need a letter from your doctor(s) indicating that surgery is necessary to be able to keep working etc. Good luck!
Sign In or Register to comment.