I have had back pain/problems for about 40 years. Initially, at age 17 I was given the choice of surgery, traction, or exercises. I opted for exercises and was able to sustain for quite some time before things progressed to where the pain was significant and continual. A MRI, CT Scan and Myleogram was done in 2001 which showed DDD, buldging/ruptured discs, spinal stenosis, facet hypertrophy, foraminal stenosis and other things I can't remember at L3 through L5. After many appointments with Orthodox and Neuro's I opted for the least invasive surgery which was a laminectomy at L3-L5. I went in the hospital for an early Monday morning surgery which ended up being late in the afternoon and went home Thursday afternoon. I was encouraged to walk as much as possible and within two weeks was walking 6 miles a day. The pain took awhile to decrease but by the end of a year or so I felt pretty good. Within 2 years the darn shooting pain down the leg returned and I have been battling it ever since.
In July 2011 went back into surgery for a discectomy at L4. Woke up in recovery with my left side numb. Turned out the disc had ruptured again and there was also a hematoma. Back into surgery 2 days later for another discectomy and to remove the hematoma. Unfortunately, the disc ruptured again. Have had to wait for some healing to occur and for insurance to approve a fusion L3 -S1, both anterior and posterior. Surgery is this next Wednesday, the 21st of March, and I am so scared. Scared to wake up in worse pain than I have been in the past 2 years or worse yet, what if it is permanent pain! Scared of the recovery, not as strong and in shape as I was for the surgery this past July.
Any tips or words of wisdom from any of you that have braved the anterior/posterior fusions? Looking for all the success stories I can get to bolster my confidence going into this surgery but also want the truth for what I am about to face and endure.
Thanks in advance for your help.