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Support needed

hi
I'm new to this blog. I just need some support really. I'm finding it hard to cope with my pain! Thirty three years ago I had a judo accident, a 10 stone girl landed on my head /neck, causing me pain for 33 years.
This started with constant headaches and pressure, which I still have to this day! It varies in intensity. Over the last 20 plus years, the damage has spread to my lower back. I have seen dozens of specialists, surgeons, etc with no joy, apart from an anaesthetist who has given me cortisone injections in my neck and back for 22 years. Unfortunately for me, he retired last year, just before I got an infection in L3/l4, This collapsed my disc, causing me a massive amount of pain. Walking is so difficult now. I am taking 25 painkillers every day, with Oramorph. A further year down the line, my lumbar spine was causing me dreadful pain. I asked my GP to put me in touch with my specialist, yet again!
When I saw him, he offered me surgery, I couldn't believe it! He is going to fuse L3/L4 with a cage and pin and plate it. He was trying to put me off it, because he only does this op about 5 times a year. This is the first time that anyone has offered me treatment apart from cortisone injections every 3 months for 22 years..
I am so pleased to have this operation as my pain is really bad. It has been non stop for 33 years, It gets me down so much! The thought of just easing the pain is amazing for me. Obviously I'm really scared of the op, but to me, it is worth the pain in recovery.
I'm a brown belt in judo, a 4th Dan in karate, but because Of my back, I can't do either now. This is so frustrating for me, I hate being disabled like this? I have never given up, trying to get pain relief. Is there anyone else feeling this way?

Cally
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  • LizLiz Posts: 7,910
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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • please think about a fusion long and hard ....many will tell you that a fusion is a mechanical device don't to stabilise the spine and any pain relief is a BONUS AND NOT A GUARANTEE .PLEASE don't think that a fusion will take your pain away there is a very good chance that it wont ..my consultant was very honest with me and told me that a fusion is done to stabilise its not a pain relief operation .so many people think this its done for pain relief .and are very disappointed when they wake in agony and are still in pain and with other complications later on in life .....since my ALIF that where they go in through your stomach area I have a scar from my belly button to my pubic bone and if you count the ones on my back that are also 7/8 inches long my body don't look so good !! .please read up on ALIF/PLIF they are massive operations and recovery takes a very long time ..and if you have had more than one spinal operation before your fusion there is a chance of complications mainly with your legs and feet {my legs and feet were fine even nice to look at for a 47 year old man !!] but now they are painful my feet swell and are red hot all the time I can't stand anything on my legs due to nerve damage and now ...after a fall out of a hotel bed whilst visiting a family member I may have damaged my back again ..my consultant want to do a fresh MRI as he is worried about the state of my legs and the fact that I am still in so much pain ...I can give you my experience of a fusion and laminectomy and discectomy if you want it ..with warts and all !! but I think I have said
    enough right now
    tony{UK}
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • LizLiz Posts: 7,910

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Hi backache99
    Thanks for your reply. I know everyone is different and have various experiences. I've been told today that I'm having a triple fusion, L2 - L5 with hardware…on Friday this week!!! If he stabilises my spine, I will be happy because it is in a terrible state. If I get any pain relief it will be a bonus.
    I hope your pain subsides soon.

    CallDG

  • Carol, namely to stabilize your spine. This is exactly why I had my second fusion, on six level (T12-S1) just four months ago. I don' t regret my decision, as my life took a positive turn, I can stand, an walk much longer than before. Other than getting tired fast, I am doing well. But then I got tired easily befor the surgery,maybe due to my age. Good luck with your surgery, let us know how yo are doing aftrwards.
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