I have a bunch of long term painful conditions with my back. Don't we all? Grade 1 (or 2 according to x-ray) Spondylolithesis, spondylolysis, active bone marrow edema at the pars defect, a severe scoliosis to my lumbar spine, a severely degenerated disc at L5-S1. I have severe foraminal narrowing at the L5-S1 level, and flattening of the thecal sac.
I have been fighting pain and attempting to manage it conservatively for almost 2 years now. I have done PT twice, had 3 series of spinal injections, will be getting fitted for a brace next week.
Pain - currently in the midst of an awful flair. was told it was due to the bone marrow edema at the pars defect pressing on the nerves / and thecal sac. Radicular pain is my norm. I've been falling - 3 times in the last month my legs have just given out on me. Numbness and tingling are the norm in my lower extremities. It used to just be on the right, but recently it has developed on the left. My legs feel so heavy at times. Difficult to walk. Can't stand for longer than 10 minutes, and can't sit for longer than 20. sleeping maybe 4-5 hours a night. (if i'm lucky)
Meds: currently on a 6 day course of prednisone to get the inflammation down. taking a mild pain reliever. I do not want to take narcotics, as I feel it's a slippery slope. I will take them under two conditions: once surgery is scheduled, and there is an end date in site, and once the pain gets excruciating (I've been very close recently). I have addiction in my family, and that is something I am upfront with all medical personnel about.
So, back to the question I need answers to... with all of these problems, and the continuation and worsening of symptoms, is it wrong to ask my pain management doctor at my appointment on monday to FIX my back? I've tried most of the conservative treatments, and seem to be getting worse with time. I am fully aware that back surgery (probably fusion) is not anything to take lightly.. I just can't go on like this. I worry every day all day that something ridiculous, like bending down to pick up a pen i dropped the wrong way, will potentially put me in a really bad emergency situation.
I am under the care of a fellowship trained board certified orthopedic spinal surgeon. currently, i have to wait for the PM dr. to discharge me before i can go back to see him. I have a second opinion scheduled with a neurosurgeon on 1/8/15. My PCP is ready to make the call to get me in to an alternate Dr. with recommendations for fusion surgery, I have her on hold temporarily to see what the PM dr. recommends. I've landed in 3 appointments recently in tears due to the pain. that's embarrassing, as i don't cry often at all.
Has anyone asked their dr. , or begged, to just stop the conservative, and fix the problem? is that way off base? will i be looked at as if i'm crazy?
Thanks for any advice, experience or stories.