I had surgery to stabilize my lumbar spine to my pelvis called a pelvic fixation. I fractured a bone at the base of my spine. I am a failed back surgery to correct spondylolothesis. I have lost almost 4 inches in my height. My entire lumbar spine has been fused since 2005.
The surgery I had was done in April of 2014. I also had a decompression of bony spurs and scar tissue that were compressing the nerves at the facet joints at 2 levels, L4-L5 and L5-S1. I sustained a nerve injury that caused a second dropped foot on my left side and severe sciatica.
My pain was very severe for almost 4 months. I am just giving a brief history of my issues that have been on going with my neck and lower back for a long time. About 2 months from the surgery I was able to walk with my walker to the community pool. I had always swam before the surgery, breast stroke and side stroke but found out I was unable to swim. The only movement I could do was march in place very slowly with a noodle. I progressed to doing different exercises in the pool that strengthened my core muscles. Doing a crunch motion with the noodle under my arms to support me and then going into a pelvic tilt. It hurt like hek to do this for months but then I began to improve.
My message is to anyone that fails PT with severe sciatica which I did. No one could touch me without causing a severe bout of spasms. My message is get into a pool! About 5 months from surgery my pain doc began to do epideral steroid injections at the site of my nerve injury which we determined was the L5-S1. I responded! I have never responded to these injections when I was going through herniated discs before I had surgery. I just had my 3rd injection and I can have one every 3 months. The 3rd one was not as beneficial. I think I am getting scar tissue back. I will not have scar tissue removed again! I will find other ways to deal with it. I do a lot of stretching for this nerve injury.
I am 59 years old and all of this started when I was 46. I wish I had held out and endured the pain from herniated multiple discs at the same time but off to surgery I went and yes I did get relief. It is down the road you do start a cycle of bone spurring and scar tissue compressing nerves at the facet joints. If I develop a bone spur then surgery would be helpful but at this stage of game for me peeling away scar tissue is more risk for nerve injury.
I traded my cane in for a walker. My walker can hold almost 6 bags of groceries. All I can say is move it or lose it. My independence is very important to me as I am widowed and do not want to depend on my daughter who now has 3 children 4, 2 and 6 months. Just this month I found out I can swim again but with the aid of a noodle!