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I wonder how long I can last?

nowwhat44nnowwhat44 Posts: 47
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:53 AM in Spinal Stenosis
I have a fusion at the L5/S1 level (2007) that was done after 2 recurrent disk herniations. I was fine until about 2 months ago when I started getting pain in my left foot and shin. So upon a image study it turns out I now have severe arthritic stenosis at the l3-l5 levels, obviously from having the fusion previous.

Despite the level of severity my pan is manageable with stretching and motrin 800s. Doc says I am a candidate for surgery now but he said wait till pain is at a level that it completely interferes with life and your ability to function. No where near that now (knock on wood). He told me it would likely be a 2 level fusion next and the domino effect. Possibly a laminectomy Depressing considering I am 36 years old.

But the interesting thing is he said he has seen people with worse stenosis than me with no symptoms or pain or little, like me. Makes me wonder, how long can I hold out? Anyone out there with similar situation or heard of one like it where someone goes on for a long time? I am sure it will get me eventually, but I really wonder how long I can go. Like I said, pain is quite manageable right now.


  • I really do feel your pain. I have had within a 16 month period; C2/C7 disk removel anterior, 6 level fusion, plate and cage, 10 inch rods and screws, 6 level posterior, hip reconstruction, and shoulder reconstruction. For about the last year, I have had right leg pain, non-controlled by meds. Had ESI, L2/L3, calmed down the disk bulge. Have had left leg severe pain, from L5/S1, which is classified as lumbar radiculopathy. Have had CT, MRI, and yesterday, CT Myelogram. Results all the same: Fragmented disk, causing pain. I have had facet injections, trigger point injections, and ESI's for this area, all to no avail. I believe the next step is to get this disk out, and move on. I am on Percocet 10/325 x-8 daily, Neurontin, and Soma. NOTHING relieves this leg pain! The Percocet relieves chronic neck pain, hip, and shoulder pain, and is managed by a Pain Mgt. center. They control all meds. I pray every day and night that I will be healed, and I know the Lord can heal me, but not in my time. I work as a Director of Food Service/Executive Chef at a very busy Retreat and Conference center, and my 35 years in the culinary field has taken it's toll on my body. I do not know how much more surgery my body can take, but I have to support my family, and pay our bills. Awaiting my neurosurgeons advice today. I was out for a only 6 days after the first fusion, 1 month for second, 12 weeks for hip, and 1 month for shoulder. But by the grace of God, my salary was never interrupted. Now I ask you this, I wonder how long I can last?
  • I can relate to anyone with spine disorders and nerve damage. I had a C5, C6 &C7 fusion on 1/21/11 and a lumber laminectomy & discectomy for L4-L5 on 5/15/11. I worry about my support for my family in paying bills. It looks I'll never get back to work. I worked at a catholic mission center as a warehouse manager and used all my sick and personal days and now my ins is terminated. I pray to my Father daily and so far he has came through with our bills and healing me from my harley wreck last year. My prayers go out to you all, please remember me in your prayers also. I do have more surgeries in the future I'll know more in a few weeks after my neurosurgeon appointment.
    Thanks God Bless, Larry
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