I am having a Laminectomy L2-L4 on Tuesday 1/24. I've been putting this off for a long time. I had a L5-S1 fusion about 5 years ago. I've been in horrible pain and pretty much bedridden for several months. Took a long time to find a new PCP I could trust. The previous Orthopedic Surgeon clearly does not want to treat me. I had to find a new surgeon as well. The lumbar MRI shows herniated and ruptured discs L2 and L3 with stenosis at both levels and sides. There is also nerve impingement at both levels and sides. There is scar tissue on the exiting L5 nerve root. The Surgeon feels that a fusion with the Laminectomy is not necessary. My feeling is that I don't want to be back next year for the fusion. Pcp and new Nuerologist feel I should just go along with the plan and be quiet. Who knows what will happen when he gets in there. He has made it very clear to not expect any relief from the back pain. He says it will only help the leg pain. I can't stand it anymore and have no other choice but to do it.
Meanwhile, 3 years ago I had a C3-C7 fusion with rods and screws. Been noticing more and more neck pain. Now I have pain down both arms (right is worse) and pain through back of shoulders. Wicked headaches. Starting to get that snap, crackle pop sound. I spoke to my PCP and told her I felt something was going on and that I wanted a Neurologic work up.
I met the new Neurologist and liked him. That day my balance was very bad. I started using a cane over a year ago due to poor balance and pain. I noticed the balance had gotten much worse. The Nuerologist sent me for a Brain and Cervical MRI and got the results on Wednesday.
First bomb: He told me that I have had a Stroke that I was not aware of that's probably affecting balance. I have early signs vascular disease in my brain. I also have Hydrocephaly and that too is affecting balance and headaches. The only way he would treat it is to do something like a Spinal Tap on my brain. I also need to start taking an aspirin to prevent another stroke after the surgery. I have to go back in 6 months for another MRI. He told me there are many risks with surgery and they would have to outweigh the risk of not doing it.
Second Bomb: There is a 4mm Anterolistheses at C7-T1 and isn't affecting Spinal cord. However, there is significant loss of disc height. There are osteophytes on right C4-C6. Moderate right foraminal stenosis C4-C6 with potential irritation of the nerve roots. C7 there is an uncovering of the disc secondary to listhesis. There is also a super-imposed right paracentral herniated disc with moderate foraminal narrowing greater on right also with potential nerve root impingement.
Now I have pain going down both arms, numbness and tingling, neck and shoulder pain. The scar where the fusion is painful to touch and getting vicious headaches.
I have been holding all of this for a long time. My quality of life has been on a steady decline I can't do anything or go anywhere without being in a lot of pain. Pain has changed me into a person I don't recognize in the mirror. I'm a former competitive female powerlifter and bodybuilder. I need to lose weight and want to exercise but it causes even more pain.
My husband is disabled and depending on me to get back up on my feet because he has needed a total knee replacement for years. He also has many other serious and chronic life-threatening illnesses.
The thought of my future totally overwhelms me right now. I do believe that I will eventually need another neck surgery, if the surgeon is willing to touch me.
I need to hear from someone who has had anything like what I am dealing with. I am just so scared and hope is slipping further away. Sorry for such a long post but, my situation is extremely complicated. Please Help, Lorraine ~X(