I have stalked this site for a couple of days now and finally decided to join. I haven’t set up all the information in my profile yet but I will eventually. I’m not sure how many people frequent the “Newbie” forum but I figured I would properly introduce myself. I am usually long winded so I will TRY and cut things short.
I am currently residing in Italy for work but I am originally from Florida. I was an avid cross country runner, Italy makes it very easy to get addicted to trail running, I almost tripled my mileage running my first year here. I believe there is no other feeling like it in the world, it amazes me how passionate I am about it. I am also a very active outdoors type of person, I climb, I hike, I bike you name it I’m doing it.
Then tragedy struck. September 2011 I was a PASSANGER in two car accidents over a span of three days. It was like the world as I knew it stopped. I had severe back pain and sciatica. I was X-rayed but never MRId, even though I continually pushed for it. I was pushed into Physical Therapy and Pain Management. PT lasted about 3 months and my pain seemed to continually get worse. I also received several local injections and a BLIND epidural! Talk about pain, I had no medication and only about half of the numbing agent actually was injected, I know now why Italians are tough! Lol oh yeah and I am 25.
After 109 days I finally received an MRI on 17 Jan 2012. The results were worse than I imagined. I was told my L5/S1 was massively herniated and was completely compressing my sciatic nerve on the left and partially on the right. Also my L4/L5 was showing bulging and deterioration as well as my L3/L4 was showing signs of degeneration. The Neurosurgeons exact words “You have a VERY bad spine”, she also told me that my back would not support my running obsession. That was the last thing I wanted to hear. It was determined that surgery was the only option to get the disc off my nerve. I had a bilateral L5/S1 Discectomy on the 5th of April.
Fast forward, 6 weeks went by with slight improvement and greatly increased back pain. My primary doctor put in for another consult. I was then seen up in Germany were I found out that the problem was greater than I was initially informed. Addition to the above mentioned injuries my spinal space was severally compromised, I developed Spinal Stenosis as well as Degenerative Disc Disorder, right L5/S1 Radiculpathy, My L5/1 also had a retrolisthesis (My S1 was pushed forward out of line and the tip of my L5 kind of curled a little around it), My L5/S1 Disc had actually been crushed not just herniated, so he would need to put my spine back where it belonged lol. It was determined that the Discectomy had failed and the next step was an L5/S1 Fusion/PLIF. There was one positive with all the resting my L4/L5 bulging had slightly gone down. Because my age it was decided that we would give my L4/L5 time to figure itself out and only move forward with the single fusion.
I went in for my PLIF on 12 June 12. The surgery went well, I didn’t have enough space between my vertebrae to put in the little disc however so I don’t have anything between my vertebrae. My discharge paper says – L5/1 Revision Bilateral Decompression/Discectomy + Instrumented PSF with Medtronic Legacy 5.5 + BMP. I only know what the first and last parts mean.
I opted for the BMP rather than using my hip bone crest. My body had some issues after surgery so I ended up staying 8 days in the hospital. Ok this is getting LONG!
I am post op 6 weeks and 2 days or 44days
. Today is my 3rd day back at work and I have to say it is getting difficult. I don’t often have bad days and I’ve been pretty optimistic about the whole situation, I think my age is actually in my favor because my body has more time to adapt. But I have been on my own schedule since my first surgery in April so the sitting most of the day and then only having the option to sit or stand is getting to me pain wise. I brought a yoga mat in so I can maybe lay but it’s uncomfortable. I am starting to get very distraught by it. I literally cried last night I was in so much pain, not only is it a weird uncomfortable thing but I swear I can feel the metal it’s like my body is just realizing something is in there that shouldn’t be. I also feel I may have been rushed a little to come back to work. During my 6 week post op (it was really at my 5 week) they did an injection as well, I’ll have to look up the name of it. Mainly because I am now having sharp/stabbing/electric left leg pain and had weird swelling above the incision. Ok if I don’t stop now I will go on forever! Sorry for the length, I am looking forward to participating in these forums. If you did read this whole thing, thank you for taking the time.