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Shocked over new MRI Results

ldavis2333lldavis2333 Posts: 108
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:59 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
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(


  • i had a microdisectomy in november l5 s1 i am recovering ok but still suffer from nerve pain, as the disc was herniated for a long time,how long did your recovery take?but i know a fusion is much more complexed and rehab is a lot longer.i sm very sorry on your diagnosis,if you feel your life is unbearable and you can have a neurologist willing to do the surgery,i would personally go for it as it sounds your quality of life is very poor,butthat is my personnal opinion,i was terrified just for my microdisectomy. I wish you more fortunate outcome
  • Just wanted to wish you well in your upcoming surgery. Have you spoken to the NS about the rest of your spine?

    I do see your side of things...not wanting to have to go through, yet another surgery, in a year or 2.

    But at the same time...a good NS will try to treat you successfully with the least invasive and least permanent surgery so I have to give him credit for that.

    If you are nervous, call them on Monday. It is not uncommon for them to hear from you. Tell them what you are worried about and just ask once more if the surgeon thinks YOU, the patient, are making the right decision.

  • Thank You both for your kind words of encouragement. I think I am ready to at least get the ball rolling and do the best I can to get back on my feet.

    The L5-S1 fusion took a good six months before I really started to feel better. Walking helped the most. I will have to see what happens this time.

    My head is still spinning over the stroke and Hydrocephalus. The condition of my neck is also becoming an issue. Now that I know what the problem is, it's harder to ignore it.

    All I can do is get through this surgery and then take it as it comes.

    Thanks for your support.

  • Best to you tomorrow! Glad to hear that you liked your new neurologist. They will be able to help you with your other issues after your surgery.

    Please keep us updated on how you are doing.I am also having surgery(adr in two weeks)

    >: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
  • I should be home in a few days and will let you know how it goes. I need my life back.

    Talk Soon,

  • good luck, wish you well!
  • Hi Friends, my surgery went well last week. Surgeon said he had to shave off a lot of bone. The bone spurs at L4/5 were pretty bad. Can tell by the pain he did a lot of work. He said he freed up all of the nerves. Somehow, there was spinal fluid leaking. When I woke up, they told me I could not move for 48hours due to the leak. Pain was very bad the longer I laid there. I didn't seem to have any other complications while I was in the hospital. Blood pressure was very low 80/55 and gradually came up. Been sleeping a lot with the meds. Coming home was very hard because of pain and 2 days later was having a nightmare and fell out of bed. Luckily, I fell forward and the table broke my fall. I don't think I did any damage. Seeing the surgeon on Friday. Not allowed to do anything now. I think the worst of the pain should be over now. Very relieved.
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