Hi, I'm new to this forum. I have just scheduled my second surgery on my back. I have questions, but let me explain my situation first so you can answer better. My first back surgery was done last January and it was a microdiscetomy of l5s1 due to a herniated disc. MRI showed that I had a large bulge on both sides, right side greater than left. My pain has always been on the left side, radiating down my leg and into my foot. I feel it in my back as well but mostly in my leg. I can't sit for more than 5-10 mins without throbbing pain in my left buttocks, thigh & leg as well as my legs going numb. If I stand for too long than I feel the same pain in my left leg plus both my legs and feet get really achy & tired like I just ran a marathon. Laying down seems to be the only comfort as long as I'm on my right side until my back aches from laying down. A lot of times I just push myself to do what I need, then deal with the consequences later....I'm a mom & I run a daycare so I don't have time to be hurt!
My pain did seem to go away for a little while after surgery, but then came back. When I talked to my orthopedic doctor he said nerves take a long time to heal so give it time. In October I was still in pain, and didn't feel right about things was so I requested an MRI be done. The MRI was done with contrast and showed that I still have a bulge on my left side, minor fibrosis on the right side due to the surgery and conjoined nerves on the left side. What I thought had been cleaned out was not. When I asked my doctor why the left side was not cleaned out he said the he would have had to fuse my back had he cleaned out both sides. He knew my pain was always on the left side, but didn't seem to know about the conjoined nerves until I mentioned it to him. It would of been nice to have all my options laid out on the table so I can make the best decision for my health, instead I trusted the doctor to know what was best since he was the expert...oh well water under the bridge now!
Since October I've had a nerve test done to see if there was any nerve damage done & that came back with no damage. I've had 2 epidural injections & that only seemed to make the pain worse! I've been in physical therapy off and on since November of 2012. I've talked with my therapist, pain doctor and first surgeon and they all say I need another surgery. I've consulted with another orthopedic surgeon and he's also agreed, so I'm on the schedule now, waiting for insurance to approve. This surgery will be a discetomy of the left side & fusion of l5 with a rod & screws. Doc says he can go in from my first incision at an angle to clean things out & get the cages in with out complication of the conjoined nerves. He feels that the conjoined nerves are probably only on the one side so it shouldn't be too much of a problem, at least thats what's he's seen! If he's wrong then he'd have to close up reschedule & go in from the front. I'm crossing my fingers he's right. I don't know if any of you can relate to my saga!
So here are my questions:
Because I have conjoined nerves am I going to have more issues after this surgery, am I always gonna have pain and be in discomfort?
Have any of you had conjoined nerves on both sides of l5?
If any of you have had multiple lumbar surgeries, did that make your recovery worse?
My doctor said that having the rod will help me recover quicker, I'm wondering if that's true?
I also feel a bulge in my lower back just above where my first incision was, when I asked the doc about it he said he doesn't know, it could be scar tissue but MRI shows nothing so he's not sure. Do any of you have this feeling?
I'm sorry if this is really long winded. I'm hoping that by sharing this someone can relate, make suggestions or just put my nerves at ease over the decision I've made to have another surgery. Thanks ahead for any input.