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hello from mew member

I am just introducing myself and not necessarily asking any questions at the moment. I have a lot of reading to do. I have been dealing with back pain for years and have had many epidurals (some successful, some not) and a few radiofrequency ablations of facet nerves. Some things tend to work for a period of time and then then pain comes back with a vengeance. I am to the point with the spondylolisthesis (see my signature) and arthritis that I am willing to consider surgery. My feeling /asssumption has always been that successful outcome from back surgery is rare. This is not based on studies but on personal experience of listening to people complain. It is time for me to now really take a hard look at the data. I have come to the point, after 5+ years of taking narcotics, that I think the benefit of surgery might outweigh the risks. I need to find out if there's a chance I could get off the narcotics. If not I am not sure of the point of having surgery. The other thing I want to know is the prognosis/life expectancy of patients who decide to just stay on narcotics. Can one take fentanyl and percocet for many years? That is a hypothetical question (unless, of course, you want to voice an opinion).
So here I am. I am a 47 year old mother of 3 (19, 17 and 11 years old). I work part time at a local yarn shop. I have set up a signature which lists the issues so hope that works and shows up at the end here. I have had MRIs and CT scans (as well as xrays od course, to document the conditions) . I look forward to reading about the wealth of experience and knowledge here so that I can make the best decision possible.
Moderate (+50%) spondylolisthesis L5-S1(due to pars fractures from old injury), degenerative disease L5, L4, bulging discs L5, L4, L3, also have generalized erosive osteoarthritis in back, feet, hands, knees. Osteopenia. 47 years old female.


  • You will find tons of info on this site. There are many people that can offer advice and share their experiences with you. I, myself, have had 5 back surgeries, so far. I have had two discectomies, two fusions, and a surgery to clean out a staph infection out of my incision. I am having a MRI on Friday to check on my herniated disc. I have a neurosurgeon appt next week to discuss another fusion. Anyway, I don't want bury you in my problems. This website is very supportive and i am sure you the wealth of info that you are looking for. Glad you could join us. Keep us posted on your situation.

    Discectomies 05/08 and 04/11, fusions L4-5 Feb 9,2012 and L3-L4 June 28,2012, Staph infection washout 3/2/2012, Bulged L5-S1. SCS trial on January 17th, 2014, which was a success! Permanent SCS on February 20th.
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