* Final back injury (prior to surgery) was due to twisting (job-related)
* I'm 29 yrs post-surgery
* L4/L5 graft & stainless steel rods
* Considered permanent, partial disability as far as physical limitations.
* Excellent results with no pain unless push way past my restricted limits.
My hope is that one of my experiences that I had may be of help to someone else.....if they are undecided if surgery is their next step & whether or not it would give them pain relief. Hope this post isn't too long, but feel I have to set the scene leading up to the temporary body cast idea.
In the last 29 years of meeting people who have had back surgery I have never heard anyone having this suggested to them before deciding on surgery to relieve their pain. Luckily I had two different physicians that I consider their input to have a major impact on my outcome.
One was my general physician that suggested I would have better outcome of successful pain relief if I didn't wait months or years to see if the pain would improve on it's own which influenced my decision for surgery sooner rather than later (His reasoning was to do it before nerve pain patterns would become established.)
My first surgery (laminectomy) was done by a local, small-town surgeon (recommended by another physician)& was unsuccessful at relieving the pain--my symptoms later were determined by other surgeons that particular surgery wasn't what my situation required. At that point, we got smart & went to nearest major city (Seattle) and got two different surgeon's opinions for the next step.
The second physician had what I considered an excellent idea. I'm not sure why it isn't recommended by physicians to other patients that have no idea whether a fusion (graft/rods) surgery would give them pain relief. Since my additional surgery was at L4/L5 level, he put me in a body cast for a very short period of time (it's been so long I don't remember how long.) His reasoning was that if the immobilization with the body cast helped relieve or evenn substantially reduce the pain, then the odds were that the surgery would do the same. As difficult as it was sleeping in a body cast, that first night in it was the first pain relief I'd had in several months!! #:S
If this post should be in a different forum, could you please advise me which one & whether I would need to re-write it all.....or could you transfer it to a different one? Would like to feel that perhaps my experience might be helpful to others.