Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Big deal out of nothing?

I am scheduled for ALIF/PLIF on June 2nd. I have spondylolisthesis and foraminal stenosis of L3/L4. I get by pretty well, but I have significant discomfort off and on most days. I'm a teacher and I cannot comfortably walk to the end of the hall at school without limping or having difficulty using my left leg. I get some cramping, but mostly tingling and numbness and weakness.
I teach kindergarten so I am afraid I will trip over them each day, and struggle not to. It's hard to be still and sit down when I need to at work. I can't lift much, can't shop at more than one place for a quick trip and not by myself, and I sit a lot.:(

I have the summer off, I have double insurance coverage this year only, and I'm trying to decide if my symptoms are bad enough to take the surgery risk or cancel. Getting second opinion in April. I usually hike and fish and camp and go shrimping all summer and am very active. I can't do that, now.The ESI benefit lasted five days, so I'm not sure that would help if I did it again. I am in the middle of 12 weeks of PT. I have had this problem worsening progressively over the past 5+ years. Both of my parents had lumbar fusion, but my dad had cervical fusion, too.
I have DISH arthritis, too, and incidentally, I am PHOBIC OF SURGERY.

Age 44
Elementary Teacher
ESI 2/28/14, PT, chiro, etc.
L3/4 PLIF and extensive laminectomy 6/4/14


  • pickle
    i also teach albeit special ed high school, rep and i am aware of issues with kids etc. i am supposed to go to teachers' rooms and help them with the sp ed kids. i have to use a cane to get around but i have a list of accommodations that are at HR and have been there for years. i got them from my ortho and pain drs. maybe sit down with your admin and HR and tell them your issues and get a list of accommodations with you and give them a copy. i had a person in HR who oversaw my accommodations and now she is head of HR and we have a great relationship and any issues with teachers or admin's she tells them to knock it off. the kids are very supportive, getting out of my way, opening doors for me etc. i know you have little ones, i did K when i was student teaching but kids can be supportive and understanding. i have never had an issue with a student just other teachers and admins.
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • Your symptoms sound very similar to what mine were. I started everyday with 800 mg of ibuprofen (not that it helped all that much), couldn't walk any distance, wasn't able to do my favorite thing - shopping!, sitting and lying down were the only things I could do comfortably. I have a 5 year old grandson and I couldn't get down on the floor to play with him or play in the yard like he would ask me to do when he came over. I finally couldn't take it anymore and I didn't want him to grow up remembering how his grandpa ran and played with him while his grandma just sat in the chair. I went thru the ESI's without even a tiny bit of relief, never was prescribed PT, had the MRI and went back to the neurosurgeon that I used in 2008 for a synovial cyst. He told me I could have the surgery now or risk damaging the nerves forever and make things worse. I opted for the surgery and haven't regretted it. Sure, the recovery was tough, I have bad days here and there, but I was able to take a long walk with my grandson last weekend and that made it totally worth it!

    I can't advise you whether or not you should have the surgery, I'm just telling you my story. Good luck with whatever you decide! :-)
    Synovial cyst removal in 2008. L4-L5 facet joint.
    Lumbar fusion at L4-L5 in December 2013. TLIF posterior entry
  • sandisandi Posts: 6,342
    edited 03/21/2014 - 9:12 AM
    can only be made by the patient. If your symptoms are causing you pain and limiting your ability to function as you need to, then only you can decide if you can live as you currently are, or if the pain is going to continue to disrupt your life.
    A second surgical consult is always a good idea, myself I prefer to consult with at least one ortho and one neuro spine surgeon to see if they agree on what needs to be done and why.
  • Thank you! I am scheduled with an orthopedic spine specialist for the surgery, and I am going to get a second opinion from a neurosurgeon. I have sent my records and I'm waiting for a call. I've been told I could wait, and when it becomes an emergency have the surgery, but that seems ridiculous. The surgeon also said it could get better on its own, but he can't predict since I've had it for so many years. That just seems silly to wait for improvement. I'm just really scared to have the surgery. Thanks for the input. It's a tough decision!
    Age 44
    Elementary Teacher
    ESI 2/28/14, PT, chiro, etc.
    L3/4 PLIF and extensive laminectomy 6/4/14
Sign In or Register to comment.