Greetings to all my fellow Spineys.
This is my first post here, but not my first experience with back surgery.
My history is as follows:
2001: L3/L4 Laminectomy w/o fusion
2002: C4/5/6/7 ACDF w/ fusion
2004: L4/5 Microdiscetomy w/o fusion
I've also had some expelled disc material at L4/5 that has been kept in check by ESI shots (lasted until last month).
During the last weekend of September, 2014, I was sitting on the couch reading,and all of a sudden, I felt like I got shot in the lower back. The pain was intense and I could barely walk. It took a couple of days before I could maneuver with a cane. The pain finally dropped to about 20% of it's original value, but I still have almost total foot drop on my left foot. My left leg was my strong leg before this herniation.
Here's what's happened since.
1. Visited a new, reputable NS. Did not get off to a good start. He suggested that I use an orthotic device and use a cane and pain meds for the rest of my life. Said I would not recover from foot drop with surgery.
2. Saw the NS that did my original L4/5 micro. He feels that surgery would restore my foot to normal. Both L4 and L5 are compressed, causing the foot drop, so he suggests a 2 level laminectomy with out fusion. Any further surgery would require fusion.
For my health situation, I underwent heart bypass surgery in July 2013. As soon as I could I got with a trainer and started working out. With lower back issues, we've concentrated on upper body work. I'm actually more in shape than I have been in 20 years. I'm currently 50 years old.
So I'm sitting here, scared to pull the trigger on surgery. I just got hired into a new company, starting October 1st. Health insurance is not an issue.
I'm dealing with a lot of emotions right now, trying to decide the right thing to do. Since this foot drop occurred, I've been unable to play tennis or bowl any more.
I'm wondering if anyone has been in my situation, and how it worked out for them. I would also like to know what recovery was like for anyone else with a 2 level lumbar procedure.
Any ideas would be appreciated.