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Referral for 2nd lumbar surgery consult 1 yr later?!

Hello all! Sorry this is all somewhat run together, long, and probably somewhat confusing...I apologize in advance for my seemingly obvious lack of coherence!!! I am usually more articulate, but my anxiety is through the roof right now... lol

I had an MD (microdiscectomy?) performed on Aug 12, 2013...relief was quite short lived. Since then, the pain has been getting worse and worse, to where I cannot function even close to normally without my pain medication. Even with the medicine, it only takes the edge off, to where I can get out of bed and take care of my family in short bursts and then return to alternately laying/sitting. After the last surgery, for herniated discs, the Doc said he couldn't "scrape it all, there was just too much",arthritis, among several other things I cannot remember now...lol

My FNP (Family nurse practitioner) finally agreed a new MRI was in order, since nothing else is seeming to help (PT, exercise, steroids, etc...). I had to get one with contrast, due to the previous surgery. So, on May 15th, I got that done. The MRI tech, as I was getting ready to leave, said "You have a crappy back, but I guess I don't have to tell you that" and chuckled. All I could think at this point, was wow...at least NOW my FNP will understand me better about the pain I've been in!! Having transportation issues, I asked my FNP's office to just give me the results over the phone, since my appt was scheduled just to discuss the results. The head office nurse said that could not happen, because, after speaking to my FNP, they would need to meet with me in person to discuss the results and discuss surgery, because the results were pretty bad (sounds pleasant, huh? lol).

Fast forward to today, my appt I finally made it to - My FNP came in, who is usually quite chipper, and asked me how I felt about another surgery in my near future. She listed off all the things that were in my new MRI, which included: L4/L5 protrusions pressing on the left and L5/S1 protrusions pressing on the right, which is why I have severe sciatica in both legs...and then something to do with root exit nerves (?) and why that could be a negative thing if left unattended.? I cannot remember everything she said, but we then discussed what she recommended. She said she obviously recommends surgery at this point, most likely a fusion; but all she could do for that is refer me back to those that performed my last one and see what they say.
The hospital is over 8 hours away, and I guess we will be going there for a consult soon to find out if surgery is an option again or not. What is everyone elses experience/opinions with this? I know I am not completely clear on what my issues are, because I cannot clearly remember what she said (I also have bad anxiety, so at that point I was kind of upset), but for the most part the protruding (same as herniated?) discs. In your opinions, is that "surgery" material or would I be wasting my time even going down there for the consult? I know it's ultimately up to the surgical team, but helpful advice would be, well, helpful :) Thanks all!


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