Hi there. Been lurking here for a bit reading some very informative and at times opinionated posts about stenosis and lumbar fusion. First of all thanks for all of that. Secondly I'd like a few views from those who have gone through the same situations that I have instead of the few people I know that have had the procedure done or the Dr's I'm seeing.
Got in a work related car accident in mid December of 2012 and initially had the normal post accident issues like overall soreness and the daily pain issues. I was sideswiped by a bus while we were each driving about 30mph and there was a sudden jolting impact. I was in a work vehicle which wasn't a great fit for me because of my size.
Since this was a workers comp injury I was ok'd to see a Ortho and get an X-Ray. X-Ray didn't show much and Ortho didn't think there was much going on besides soreness. He sent me for some land based therapy and asked for an ok from work for an MRI.
After the holidays I started therapy and after 2 months and no improvement was sent for an MRI. That MRI showed a small l4-l5 herniation along with some foranimal narrowing and retrolithisis. The ortho, who is a spine guy didn't think there was much going on here and that I'd get better in time. I had been between being off work and doing some light work until this point.
Since no one seemed to have any major concerns, myself included, I decided to go back to my regular routine at work. A lot fo sitting in cars, standing, some carrying items, but nothing like roofing or construction. I did have a bit of leg tingling at this point but certainly nothing that I thought was too bad not to work as normal.
Almost immediately after returning to work I started having major issues. After sitting for more than 10-15 minutes Id' have really bad tingling and numbness in my legs as well as the feeling of having my feet in ice baths. Back pain was still there but nothing I thought was as concerning as these leg issues. I stayed working and then I started to really get worried when I'd get out of the car and have to grab something to stop me from falling or loosing my balance. The weakness in the legs was scary.
I went back to office work only and the spine Dr. I'd been seeing sent me to a PM dr. He gave me 2 Epidural Injections in about a 3 month period with zero relief.
I decide to see another Dr. as recommended by a friend. I go to a board cert Nuero who has good credentials. He gives me an exam, this is September now, and immediately thinks there's a lot more going on here. He sends me to a sitting MRI where I also lean forward and backward. I get the call a few days later that I need a fusion due to severe stenosis. Here's exactly what the new MRI said...."L4-L5 herniation with annular tear with retrolithisis producing moderately severe stenosis".
So here I am at 36 years old looking at this surgery. I've started to try and lose some weight since at 6'6 and 330lbs I could use it either way. Not being active the past 10 months has certainly made the weight issue worse. I have 2 kids already and 2 more on the way so a long recovery that would case any issues for the wife or endanger the pregnancy is not gonna work.
IF you've read this far I appreciate it more than you know. I am going to see a Dr. xyz who is a top Dr so I've been told for another opinion. I have yet to be back to the first Ortho I saw. I'm stressed for a number of reasons here but would love to get some insight from those who've gone through this and decided to have or not have the surgery and their experience.
Best of health to you all....Z
Forum rules prohibit the naming of specific doctors and facilities
Post Edited by Liz (moderator)
Alif with percutaneous screws L4-L5 scheduled for 12/17. Can't wait to start getting better,