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Ready for Surgery. Need Opinions

karlsdkkarlsd Posts: 9
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:02 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
L4 and L5 bone on bone, callus forming.

here is a pic from an MRI i had a few months ago. Mine is on the left:


Pain is centralized at my lower back only. I have had epidural shots, that have not helped. the last one i had made me worse. I have tried PT, Chiro, Elec Stim, massage Therapy with very limited success.

I'm 41, weight 185. Been into weight lifting for 20 years. I have cut back on the weight I lift significantly. I'm tired of living in pain and not being able to do the things I used to do. If I am going to opt for surgery, I should do it now while im still young and can recovery quicker.

I saw a Ortho who specialized in Disk Replacement. I live on LI, NY. the doctor I saw was:

Doctor's name deleted. Forum rules prohibit specifying doctors names or medical locations Spine-Health Moderator Team 05/08/12

From what I have read, spinal fusion is old school and not always successful. They also go in through the back which equates to longer recovery time; whereas disk replacement, they go in through the front. I have also read into Microdiscectom, which doesn't appear to be for me since my pain does NOT run down my legs and I do not have much of a disk to repair.

I'd love to hear all opinions but would truly value those who have had my exact issue (low back L4/L5 bone on bone with pain isolated to that area only) and how they handled it.

I should also state that I am looking for more than just pain relief. I am looking to get back into sports and competitive weight lifting.

After speaking with the doc it seems disk replacement is the way to go, but still looking to get a 2nd opinion.



  • i am also on LI, and i would seriously recommend you see someone at hospital for special surgery in the city. they specialize in orthopedics. i had my 1st two surgeries at LIJ, 3rd at HSS ,and i won't go back to the island for my back anymore.

    I'd also be asking the docs how long they think an ADR will last, since once its in, it can't come out. you need alot of years on it, if you get it done.

    Microdisectomy / hemi-laminectomy 6/2010 and revision 10/2010
    Cervical fusion C4-5 and C5-6 9/2011
    Lumbar Fusion L5-S1 6/2012
  • Do a search on this forum for your ADR surgery. Lots have been very unhappy at the end results and I don't think you will ever be able to get back to weight lifting without causing further damage to your spine. Your spine is telling you that you have done, or are doing more then it can tolerate. Keep in mind that most, meaning just about all, Dr.'s will tell you that you can go back to what you were doing. I would listen to those comments very, very lightly as it is a business and if they tell you that you won't be able to go back to what you were doing most will just go to someone who gives them the answer they want. JMO.

    Either you or the mods are going to remove the Dr name you have posted as names are not allowed here. Good luck in whatever you decide to do.
  • Well fusion might be old school but works for many who need it,

    Artificial disc replacement might be new school but that can go wrong just the same,

    I would not be so concerned if you can go back to weight lifting, I would be just concerned of surgery helping to live a normal life without pain and be able to work,

    I had my artificial disc replacement in 2004 and not been able to work another day after,
    L4l5 where adr was implanted caused nerve damage and pain has been worse then before surgery,

    Ended up fusing the adr level leaving the artificial disc in, to see if it would help nerve heal, At this point adr caused nerve damage that for life long in my case,

    I went for the adr cause i thought same about cool i can get back to golf and my construction jobs, But risk with surgery is a big risk i guess and it can either make you or break you,

    Best of luck on which ever surgery you decide on,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
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