Hello, I'm new here and need some advice.
I'm 29 yo and have bulging discs at L4/L5 & L5/S1, lumbar spondylosis, cervical DDD, one small bulging disc at C3/C4 & bony spurs in my neck. I have been on Vicodin for 1 year now and it's no longer giving me complete pain relief. I did 8 sessions of PT in January - March and began injections in February. I've had 4 facet joint injections (2 on each side) on both levels, 2 epidurals, and RF and yet my pain continues to get worse. I began having leg numbness and tingling back in March and now my left leg is literally always numb and tingling and sometimes my right leg is numb and tingling at the same time which feels really weird. I'm seeing my PM again this coming Thursday and he told me at my last appt that he plans to do a discogram and IDET and refer me to a spine surgeon, but he keeps saying that I'm not a good candidate for back surgery but he doesn't say why. I asked him about other options and he said there are no more options. I'm tired of being in pain, but I'm terrified of surgery and everything I've read about discograms basically says not many dr's do it anymore and it's a very painful procedure. I'm tired of going through painful procedures. Are there any other options than the discogram, IDET, and eventually surgery? I don't even know what type of surgery they would be doing on me.
Also, I read several posts here and read several people mention a front incision. Does this mean abdominal entrance for back surgery? I'm confused by what the front entrance means. I've had abdominal surgery 4 times and 3 laparoscopy surgeries and my GYN said that if I'm re-opened again the skin might have to be grafted to actually stay shut next time because the skin keeps getting thinner with each surgery.
I have 3 small children and want to be able to run and play with my kids again. Instead I hobble slowly around like I'm 80, I can't sit, stand, or walk for long, and I'm tired of people looking at me funny because of my age and wearing a back brace and having handicap license plates. This whole thing sucks. Any help greatly appreciated, particularly with if there are any other options than what my PM is currently telling me and if I should avoid the discogram he's scheduling me to do this coming Thursday.
Bulging discs at L4/L5, L5/S1, C3/C4, Lumbar Spondylosis, Cervical DDD, Cervical Bony Growth Spurs