Hi all ! 37 yr old teacher here dealing with chronic back pain and radiating leg pain. I can't recall any trigger event, but I know my back went "out" when my daughter was a baby and she's nearly 9. I've been a healthy weight & athletic my whole life & have done as well as I could since the back pain set in,but it's been limiting and I always "pay for it" for days after. In the past two years, it's gotten bad enough that it hurts daily and every daily function is affected. I finally sought out other options . I had done PT and injections to no avail. Then I sawy orthopedic surgeon and he recommended fusion of my L4/L5 (as MRI showed virtually no disk left, vertebrae slippage & likely nerve impingement). His suggestion was a 180/ALIF & PLIF approach. This seemed very invasive to me so I researched top fusion doctors in the nation & came up with my neurosurgeon Dr. in Green Bay, WI. This was closest to me. We decided on a minimally invasive PLIF. 2 small incisions, no muscle cutting and back to "normal" (mostly) in6-8 wks of course the time for the graft to fully heal remains 6-12 months, but I'm on 10 days post op and am doing well. I still have some incisional pain, some nerve pain and lots of itching..but otherwise am better that I expected. Anyway looking to share stories and advice!
37-HS Science Teacher, Mother of 2 (8 and 11)
L4/L5 Disc compression with spondylosis and severe arthritis in both discs
PLIF on 6/11/13 (minimally invasive technique)