where to start ... my name is Willi and I've scanned through this site a bit, seems like much info.
but then I understand that there is much to back pain, mine is likely one of 100 different types.
so many folks have tried to compare their or their relatives pain to mine ... of course I don't agree.
let me just give you my take on things, but first my history, it's long but i'll be brief:
I've had back problems for about 15 years, much because I always tried to do everything myself.
I'm only 5'6" and shrinking, but have enjoyed life and all the nice things I built for my family.
now I'm paying ... bad ... started hydro back then, the first pill made me feel like a kid again.
my military time was also part of my problem, did things I shouldn't have, but also moved a lot.
my company moved me around, Germany, Michigan, and now back in Texas, always much work.
12 years ago I tried shoe inserts, some light injections, and then saw a surgeon ... he said YES.
was going to fuse L4 / L5 and I chose not to ... wisely; kept going with a couple of hydos per day.
10 years ago in Michigan I lived on Bayer back pills, saw another surgeon, he said NO!
then I knew I couldn't trust them; but the pain got worse, now I can't do anything, no light lifting.
came back to Texas 7 years ago in bad shape and started seeing a pain manager; went to 8 pill a day.
went through 15 or so injections, three rhizotomies, the L4 got better, now L5 / S1 is the worst;
had several MRI's, I now have arthritis, the pain level is about 5 to 7 with the meds and up to 9 in a.m.
it's been a long road, so I saw another surgeon here, and he said YES to fusing it L4 / L5 / S1
he said to go to the pain manager to get a discogram ... my pm declined and went to another round of injections.
I really feel like the two compete ( I've already had a second opinion with pain management ) and are in it for the $
I know I don't really want the metal in my back but the pain is just ridiculous ... I don't have a single minute without it.
I also know that I have to make the decision ... I wish there was another answer ... I'm waiting for a cure for arthritis
the last mri report was very critical of the L5 / S1 and I also have tarlov cysts; I know how to read mri's completely.
for sure want to get of the hydrocodone, tried oxy also, did not help any more so went back to hydro.
but I'm getting real close to the surgery decision as I just can't go on like this; I'm three years from retirement.