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New & need advice

katmisonkkatmison Posts: 10
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:54 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
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


  • Hi,

    I have had several front incisions. My first fusion was a 360 - front and back, the 2nd was back and the 3rd was front. Should have had zippers put in!! My surgeon prefers going in the front (he did all 3) because it is easier. No big back muscles to go thru. Going in the front does get your intestines moved which causes a little distress during recovery.

    My right leg would get numb and tingling, even my big toe and I would have weakness in it. This was the case with fusion #1 L4/5 and fusion #3 L5/S1. Fusion #2 was L1 to L5 due to my spine collapsing in on itself. All the fusions fixed the problems. Of course nothing is ever 100% after a surgery but I am so happy I did it.

    I would want to know why your doctor says you are not a good candidate for surgery. If he won't tell you find another doctor. Talk to the spine surgeon you are being refered to. Its your body and you need to be informed so you can make the right decision.

    Please let us know what you find out and what you wil be doing. I have had 4 surgeries thru my abdominal area and all I have for it is a lot of scar tissue. Just the opposite of you. Its too thick for them to get thru!!

    Good luck and keep us posted.


    Spinal stenosis, spondolysis, spondolythesis, L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion with instrumentation and bone graft from hip, L1/S1 fusion with replacement disc put in and a nice bolt from my spine to my pelvis; PT, accupuncture, prolotherapy, many cortisone injections, 4 rhizotomies. Currently on tramadol.

    L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion, L5/S1 fusion w/ disc replacement, left and right SI joints fused.
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