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More surgery, yay.

ChristineGCChristineG Posts: 15
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:00 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Ok, the thing is, I'm 23 years old and I'm facing a few surgeries ahead of me it seems. (At least I've been recommended by my current specialist to do it). I have two screws fusing me together currently, and am worried about getting any form of surgery done.

My doctor has told me that despite being screwed together 4 years ago, my bone never fully fused and he recommends taking my screws out and putting in something that will hold my bone together. I'm a bit skeptical about it considering, why do I want to go through another surgery? I feel that it's too much for someone my age and I've already been through enough.

Another thing is, that my doctor wants to do a spinal cage as well for me; and remove my L5 disk (It leaks, and is rotten). Is this too much for someone my age? I feel that it is, and it isn't even 100% that this surgery will work on me. Of course, there are risks involved too from what I hear it's 50/50 and I can become paralyzed (as with any other spine surgery).

Also, the reasoning about taking the screws out was because apparently my nerve is rubbing against a screw, which is causing a lot of my nerve pain, again this is just an assumption though; And the only way to find out if it's a fact is to do the procedure. This is such bs, and I'm so tired of all this. I just want to be done with being abnormal.


  • I would get a second or third opinion from another Orthopedic Surgeon or Neurosurgeon before any major spine surgery.

    I'm sorry you need all this surgery from someone who is so young but it's unfortunate about the accident you were in.
    My brother shattered his lumbar spine and needed fusion surgery with hardware 25 years ago when he was your age and is doing well and hasn't had any further surgery.

    I hope they can get your spine stabilized.

    Do a search in the blue box at the top of the page of what questions to ask the Surgeon. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Hi Christine,

    I'm so sorry you're going through all this. I agree with Charry -- get a second opinion and maybe even a third one if possible. It sucks that you're dealing with all this.

    I have some other health issues as well as my back problems. Last year I started taking a small dose of Cymbalta, both to help with my back pain and because I needed the antidepressant help. It really made a difference for me, in terms of my mood. Instead of feeling depressed and crying all the time because of my issues, it helped me feel like I could deal with them. I'm not trying to diagnose you at all, I'm just sharing that when things got worse for me, a tiny dose of the antidepressant really helped me. (I know everyone's different and it may not work for you, I just wanted to share what helped me when I got more bad health news.)

    My sister and I have a tradition that when we get bad health news (we both have a lot of issues!), we give ourselves a small, decadent treat. My favorite treat is Krispy Kreme donuts. :) It doesn't make the problem go away but I sure do love the donuts.

  • I'm sorry that you are having such problems so early in life. I would agree with the comments to get a second and/or third opinion. Docs are used to doing this so don't feel shy about going for another opinion. Actually, I think your doc would suggest that you get another opinion for he/she would want you to be well informed and certain of your decisions. My did. I would also encourage you to find a doc that is a spine expert. Docs sometimes try to do several different kinds of surgery and the spine is a speciality and not, in my opinion, general surgery.

    I had pain and a CT scan showed loose screws. The doc removed the screws and it made a big difference in how I felt. There was no guess work for the CT scan and the xrays identified the problem.

    For spine stability when I had several discs removed I did get cages and extra bone. No problem with them and fusions are solid.

    Ask enough questions so that you know what is going to happen. You need to be able to feel confident in your choice of doc. It is scarey but if there is a chance that the surgery will help you, go for it.

    And the recovery is, I think, always much longer that what they say.
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