29yo female, recurring back pain since age 15
11 epidurals, 2 RF procedures
No surgery history involving back pain
Intense pain for six months, last RF in sept. 2012. Three weeks ago unable to walk without cane. The worst nerve pain I've ever felt exclusively in my right leg. Numbness and excruciating nerve pain. Three days ago I began leaking urine.
Had my MRI 12 hours ago. Got home, looked at film on my computer and L5-S1 is blown out, only a small part of my spinal canal can be seen. It suddenly dawned on me the leaking urine was related. I have been in so much pain my common sense has gone out the window. My pain doctor said to go to the ER immediately after viewing my films.
I have never seen a Neurosurgeon in all the years I've had back pain. My mom had a very unsuccessful back surgery in the 90's so it wasn't an option in my mind. Leaking urine is a game changer.
I got to the hospital and was seen immediately, and admitted by a neuro who viewed my MRI remotely. After reading his bio and patient reviews, it seems he is a good surgeon in our big city with lots of disc replacement experience as well. I have previously been told I have facet joint issues, DDD, and stenosis. From my limited knowledge, it seems unlikely I am a good candidate for replacement? Is this true or has anyone had success?
My med history includes everything from Lyrica (put on 50lbs in SIX WEEKS!), to years of gabapentin on and off with nerve pain relief of 70%. I am currently on Gralise with less crashing than gabapentin as gab wears off often and quickly. I am also on Vicodin which does not touch the pain I'm having, it just takes the edge off so I can sleep. I am on 2400 gabapentin and hydrocodone 3x per day, 7.5-500.
The surgeon will be here within a few hours and I am scrambling to get all the information I can. It appears to be an emergency situation? I've never known a doctor to admit a patient with the intention of sending them home the next day. They put me on a pre-op dietary and liquid restriction, and did pre-op labs.
I am only 29, I have one child who I've never been able to reliably pick up or have much activity with due to my pain. My options are running out and if surgery will prevent long-term and far reaching complications that impact my quality of life, then I want the surgery. I am not afraid of the inevitable, as fear does nothing productive. I want to be healthy and I'd love to be able to run one day, pick up my daughter, and be active and living life. I haven't left the house in three weeks because of my pain. This is unacceptable.
I am down to the wire. Any insight is much appreciated. I understand many more factors go into such a decision and I am not expecting medical opinions. What I would appreciate is receiving feedback and sharing of any information you may have about your personal situation or other situations you know of that may help me make an informed decision for my continuing medical care.