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Hi, I'm new here

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:19 AM in New Member Introductions
Hi, my name is Alma. Like so many of you, I too am dealing with daily chronic low back and leg pain [thigh and bi-lateral]. I had a spinal fusion in 2004 and it's been an up and down experience. I've actually had more back pain than I've ever had in my entire life; I'm 61 yrs old. But, I'll have to say that at times my left leg pain improved a great deal. Now, I'm facing the decision whether to have another fusion on level L 3; L 4 is my previous fusion. I've been in a great deal of pain since missing a step coming down off of a ladder, in Feb.. L 3 is now bulged [maybe ruptured], worn, and leaking. My MRI was done a few in Feb. and since then I felt something move in my back after it popped when I leaned over only slightly.

I had 2 steroid spinal injections; but got no relief!

I's really like to hear from someone with similar problems.


  • Alma and welcome to the forum. I don't know much about lumbar , I am a cervical member but I atleast wanted to pop in and welcome you. You will find so much support and understand from our amazing members. Please keep us posted as to how you are doing. Take care....Miki
  • Welcome to spine-health Alma....
  • Hello Alma,
    I'm sorry for the pain you're going through. Have you seen your dr since your fall yet? What has he adviced you with? Did he feel the need to have another MRI to see what's happening after the fall?

    Keep posting and let's know how you're doing..

  • First, I'd like to thank eveyone for their welcome here!

    Lotus, I didn't exactly fall, I missed a step on the ladder coming down very hard of my feet, first one and then the other. It was a few fdays later after shopping that I began to have horrible left leg thigh, front part of my leg pain; like I had before my 2004 fusion on No.4. I stayed in bed off and on for 3 days. Then my back locked up not allowing me to hardly move either leg. This was when I gave my DR. a call and he ordered the MRI. This revealed a badly bulged disk [L 3]. This was just above my L 4 fusion. I had 2 steriod epidural injections, Mar. and Apr. I didn't get any relief. Had the discogram in June, found the 3rd L disk is in a really bad shape, worn, bulged [might be ruptured], and is leaking. My Dr. is giving me 2 mos to make up my mind about having another fusion. I'm nervous and undecided about going through another horrible fusion! And I'm sick and tired of hurting and not being able to do much of anything!!
  • Thanks for your kind welcome and I want to wish you the very best luck with your medical probems!

    Chronic pain really can get to you can't it? I try very hard not to let it get me down, depressed...seems to serve no purpose except make the pains hurt worse. But, at the same time, sometimes you just have to let it out, although, I hate to cry. I don't want to feel sorry forself.

    There's others that are in worse condition. I know one lady that scoots around all day in an office chair to do her chores. She's had numerous sugeries, acouple of so on her back. She's a real trooper and quite an encouragement to me!
  • :) hi and welcome to the forum! we are here to offer you support and answer what quesstions we can. i have a good question for you? have you gotten a second opinion? or even a third if need be. it is unwise to proceed with surgery without atleast a second opinion. you sound unsure yourelf and may not be having all your questions answered. this is reason in itself to seek a second opinion. the more you know, the more successful your surgery,if need be,will become. please think seriously about a second opinion. good luck and see you around the forum! Jenny :)
  • Hi Cherry,
    Thanks for your warm welcome. Wow you've had lots of surgeries! But, you seem like very up individual, always cheerful and trying to be encouraging to others!
    Also I love your tag. I'm also a Christian and don't know how I'd deal with all my medical problems over a number of years, if I weren't. I went into my bid sugery [fusion L 4] in 2004, feeling at last someone is going to improve my life. I'd suffered for nearly the last 30 ys, I'm 61.
    My left leg pain began when I was pregnant with my now 33yr old son. He re-arranged my female organs sometime either during or at birth. I was in constant pain during this pregnancy, feeling pressure. Not many yrs later, my exploratory hysterectomy revealed that my ovaries surrounded with varicoe veins were located at the end of my tailbone. Although, I was in hopes that this would take away my leg pain, it didn't. I continued to hurt and have nerve damage. But it took the pressure off of my bladder, where my uterus was lying after falling into this position.
    Have a great day!
  • Hi Jenny,

    Actually, I hadn't given that much thought; but, you are probably right...just not sure who I should try and see?
    Reading your tag, what exactly did you have done to your back, laminectomy L4-5?

    My L4 is fused at level 3&4. He wants to take out this hardware if my L4 is good and move it up 1 level. I have no idea what all may be going on; don't think the Dr. does either. My back pooped and I felt something move a few mos. after my MRI in Feb.
    In Feb., he said, "don't worry, your fusion is okay; after the MRI, also in Feb., he said, "Well, I don't think your fusion took." Now in June after my discogram and he says I'm in need of getting the 3rd one fused; he said, after looking at an old bone scan done in 2005... "I think your fusion is okay."
    Also in Feb. after looking at the MRI he told me there were no tests that he could do to know for sure if my previous fusion took! He said that he'd have to open me up and he didn't want to have to do this. He sounds a bit like a politician, doesn't he? [Grin]
  • :) anorman, hi! well you don't state what kind of doctor you are seeing now. most likely an orthopedic surgeon or a neurosurgeon. whatever the case you would want to find a doctor in one of those fields and have them start with your current mri and go from there. if you are having trouble after that Feb. mri perhaps you need a new one. new symptoms often mean a new mri. and definitely a new bone scan, especially for a woman your age! that is a good idea just of itself! please don't just get "opened up" without a sound basis for it! a second opinion could give you that. Jenny :)
  • Hi, Thanks for your welcoming to this forum.
    I read your tag and noticed that you had an
    annaular tear fixed...was this on L 3-4?
  • Oh yes, my all means, I know that you are right, I should get a second opinion. My Dr. is an orthopedic surgeon and was highly reccomended. And since my MRI on first part of Feb., my pain has gotten worse and he knows this. I did 2 steriod injections, neither one helped. I told him about my back popping and I felt something move, he replied, "well, an MRI is expensive and you are still hurting." And this is true and just don't know for sure if L 3 is ruptured? My discogram revealed it to be leaking and it's giving me the same pain as a herinated disk.
    Oh, don't think for a minue that I want someone to open me up just to see what's going on! Lol.
  • Hi Alma,

    First, I would like to say it's SO nice to meet another "YOUNG" 61 year old gal, so welcome [lol]!! I think I'm the only other female here that age! Anyway, sorry to hear about all that you are going thru. I do know pain and the older I get, (I will speak for myself) the worse it is, and I really don't have time for it.

    I agree a 2nd opinion certainly might be in order, sure wouldn't hurt. It sounds like your doctor is even confused as to what to do.[lol].

    I am very interested in ADR and while I admit, I don't know much about this type of surgery, it certainly is interesting. I watched a video of a one level ADR being done at Beth-Israel Hospital in New York, {I think it was), and it was just amazing! It didn't bother me to watch it at all.

    I've just been reading about ADR's, they sure look and sound like a great way to go if a person would be a candidate for one, rather than having to go thru a Fusion?

    I do hope you find another doctor soon for a 2nd opinion. I know orthopedic surgeons are good too, but maybe try a Neurosurgeon this time and see what he has to say.

    Great to have you here, of course, sorry for your pain. I'm rather new here myself, I've learned so much, the people are very knowledgeable, but more importantly, they are all so very kind, thoughtful, sweet and gracious. :)


    p.s. I will edit this to say I know Medicare and some insurance companies will not pay for ADR for people over 60, so we that are 60 and over, may be out of luck for being candidates for ADR, but for others, it sure looks great! It might be the manufacturer of the ADR also, can't remember.....DUH!!!
  • Hi Sandy, It's so nice to know you too! Yeah, I have felt a little out of place here; seems like most all the people here are so young. Lol. But, my troubles all started back when I was young too--with my 2nd and last pregnancy which is still a bit of a mystery after all these yrs. This son is now almost 34. I've never talked to anyone that experienced what I did.
    My first trouble began with the feeling of ice water running down my leg. Then it changes with a feeling like a big run in a panty hose; but the pain with this was horrible. Then my whole pregnancy consisted of lots of pressure in my pelvic area. I had my tubes clipped 2 days after the birth of my second son. Thought maybe my leg pain would be over; no, it continued until almost 30 more yrs; but, the pain changed to a burning sensation and like a knife cutting into my leg. But even a ruptured disk that I had with L 5 which healed on it's own hasn't compared with this ongoing leg pain.
    My hysterectomy about 28 yrs ago got complicated; I was cut in the bikini are and to my belly button in search of my ovaries. The Dr. then cuts down into my body to my tailbone; there he finds my ovaries. Dr. says the misplaced ovaries happened either during my pregnancy or during delivery...I think both. I had high hopes once more that my leg pain would be gone. Wrong again...got some relief after a yr and a half, maybe, following my 2004 fusion. But, I'll have to say that I'd really not known how bad back pain could be until I had my fusion. It has been a daily thing almost ever since combined with a numb feeling left leg in the thigh and frontal part of my leg.
    Sorry, this was a bit long. And thanks for listening!
  • in jan of 07 i had a microdicstomy at the l4 l5 area and had a disc bulge at l5 s1 that they never touch and after a full year of physcal therypy i had to have another l5-s1 micro disctomy and i have sever degntrive disc and joint desase with alot of ostioarthise that gows from l1-s1 i have alot of trouble sleeping the pain from the surgru i had 2 weeks ago is gone but it hurts so bad woundring if anyone has any ideas about getting the sriffness and pain gone kinda of desprite tired of pills shoved down my throat the last three years and know they dont work
  • welcome to spine-health gerrell....
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