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L5 S1

craigjs1982ccraigjs1982 Posts: 5
edited 09/30/2014 - 9:25 AM in Lower Back Pain
Hello ive just seen a specialist who looked over my mri scan and said I have too options to have an injection or too have L5 S1 fusion surgery. What do you guys think shouldn't I take the injection first before surgery and see how that goes as he said theres a 70% chance of improvement with the injection and 80% with the surgery, so im thinking the injection is a much easier option plus not being layed up for months after as I would like to get back to my life and job. Should I take the injection then if nothing go for the surgery. Also since this all started in december my left arm and leg are numb and weak day in day out thanks you


  • Hi, I totally understand. I am scheduled for the first of a series of lumbar steroid injections in a couple of days. From what I read, the injections are scheduled 2 weeks apart. If the pain goes away, one can cancel the next appointment. The steroid injections are intended to reduce inflammation and pain, that's all. It does not fix the underlying problem which caused the pressure on the nerves, but sometimes the problem goes away by itself.
    In my case, the neurosurgeon has prescribed the series of steroid pain injections. I tried about 2 weeks ago with a local anesthetic. But when the needle went into the spinal space, I started screaming in pain, so the doctor is rescheduling me to return for a session WITH SEDATION. However, the neurosurgeon feels that the pain may not help me in the long term because of my vertebrae are instable and the misalignment is too pronounced.
    Everyone's case is specific and you should do what you think is best. In my case, I am choosing the pain injections as a starter, to buy time and to feel better. I am using the time to research and learn everything I can about the surgery, so I can choose that option with reasonable confidence.
    Lumbar fusion TLIF L4-5 Jan 12, 2015
  • livingforwardsllivingforwards Posts: 29
    edited 10/01/2014 - 11:00 AM
    If it were me, I'd try the injection first. I'd try everything else before surgery as it's a bit like falling dominoes once you start on the surgical remedies (I'm waiting for my third surgery).
    Good luck!!
  • craigjs1982ccraigjs1982 Posts: 5
    edited 10/01/2014 - 11:05 AM
    livingforwards said:
    If it were me, I'd try the injection first. I'd try everything else before surgery as it's a bit like falling dominoes once you start on the surgical remedies (I'm waiting for my third surgery).
    Good luck!!
    Oh really thank you for your opinion.
  • Yes take the injection, I had one in the same area and it worked great, albeit in my case for only a short amount of time. It could buy you anwhere from a few weeks to a few years possibly longer. It's amlost painless and definitely worth a try.
  • Owie_999OOwie_999 Posts: 176
    edited 10/01/2014 - 10:37 PM
    It's a hard decision to make but I'd try all of the 'conservative' treatments first before surgery. Things to consider do include the recovery time from surgery but also your quality of life now.

    Microdiscectomy L5S1 January 2014
    Microdiscectomy L5S1 March 2014
    Fusion L5S1 11th August 2014
  • Injections 1st. Back in April 2013, did physical therapy first, then between this time had 4 level cervical fusion C3 to C7. Proceeded to later in Nov to Dec have 3 injections. Helped for about 3 months, did 3 rounds of trigger point injections, which also helped. After my neck surgery I did not want anymore spine surgery so I am doing anything to avoid. Recently I had bilateral facet injections with relief but that's just a diagnostic tool for the RFA, which is burning the nerves. I shall consider this but something has left me with bathroom issues which I shall discuss with my PM. I am on 6 to 8 norco a day with 2 zanaflex 4mg but probably ineffective since been taking since 1year ago June. My own opinion is for now no L5/S1 fusion. Hopefully I am making the right choice. Have seen people with good and bad results from this surgery.
  • If you are having new, sudden bathroom issues you need to contact your doctors sooner, rather than later. Are you also experiencing more pain, or increased nerve symptoms or in new areas?
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