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Hello from Illinois

Hello, I am Peggy. I am 56 years old. When I was 29, I had a chymopapain injection into my L5/S1 disc. My disc was bulging and this enzyme was supposed to reduce the size of the nucleus. It did that and more. The disc was almost flattened. After 4 months the sciatica was gone and I returned to work as an ICU nurse.

35 years later I had spondylolethesis at L5 and L4. I was sick of not being able to go for long walks, cook a meal, get ready for work without stopping to sit and wait for the pain to leave. I saw so my doctors that told me to loose weight and exercise. I lost weight and excercised and it didn't help. Finally, I found a doctor that really listened to me. I had a spine x-ray standing up. Now I had a real diagnosis. This past year I had physical therapy 3 times, an epidural, and nerve blocks. These interventions did help temporarily. In April my doctor said, “It is time to talk about more pain medication or surgery”. I opted for surgery. I wanted to walk without pain. I had L4/S1, posterior laminectomy with fusion and instrumentation on May 24th.

This board has been a blessing. I learned so much and have felt less lonely knowing that there are people who understand. Thank you for reading my lengthy introduction.


  • hi Peggy! welcome to the forum!! we are here to offer support and answer what questions we can.. you have been down a long road to get to your surgery and the chance to live life pain free!! please follow the doctor's orders to the letter and be easy on yourself!! be sure and drop by the forum during your recovery, it can make a long day go by a lot faster!! good luck on your recovery!! it is good to know you have found the forum to have helped you already!! stop by anytime! Jenny
  • bookcatbbookcat United States Posts: 66
    I'm glad you've found us and hope you'll continue to post as you recover from your recent surgery. Please be patient with yourself during this post-op period. After my first lumbar fusion (L4-5), I measured my progress in multiple week chunks. After the first 6 months, things were greatly improved and my life became more normal.

    Everybody's different though and your recovery may be much more rapid. Be sure and do your PT when you get to that point. Best of luck for a smooth recovery.

    3 PLIF s: 2003, 2005, 2008
    2-level ACDF (C5-7) being scheduled
    PLIF L1-3 6/13
    ACDF (C5-7) 8/12
    PLIF (L2-5) 2003/05/08
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