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Finally time for surgery?

Danielle2193DDanielle2193 Posts: 1
edited 09/25/2015 - 10:30 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
So my name is Danielle, I am 22 years old and I have been dealing with back pain for 10 years now. I injured my back in 7th grade and did not catch the fractured vertebra and slipped disc in time to fix it with your traditional physical therapy AND hard plastic back brace. The doctor I was seeing at the time said "next step is surgery". Of course as a freshman in high school, there mere thought of BACK SURGERY scared the hell out of me. So I've waited and waited and now we're here, 10 years later and the pain has done nothing but get worse (keep in mind I've been dealing with pain on a daily basis pretty much since the actual incident). It's gotten to the point where I can't sleep through the night without tramadol AND meloxicam.
Today I went and saw a spine specialist for the first time in I don't even know how long and after reviewing the MRI I had gotten done, we jumped right into the topic of surgery. Now I knew this was what this appointment would be about, in a sense it's what I wanted to hear because I don't want to mask the pain with meds or cortisone shots...I want it to GO AWAY. But hearing someone talk about cutting into you and putting screws and rods and cages....is not so relieving!
He diagnosed me with spondylolisthesis..stress cracks on both sides of L5 and obviously with 10 years of it being all screwed up, the curve of my spine has changed by a "few degrees".
Doctor said the best and most effective treatment would be to do an anterior lumbar fusion and percutaneous screws.
The reason I'm making this forum is to get feedback...I'm suppose to be starting cosmetology school in a couple weeks and this surgery is obviously something that will interfere as he said I would need at least 3 weeks to kinda just lay around..I guess I'm just looking to hear about other people's success stories and PLEASE don't be afraid to tell me any bad experiences as these are all things I'm looking to hear about before I jump on the appointment!

Thanks in advance for any support! (Or not so supportive haha)
-A long time back pain sufferer ready for relief

Welcome to Spine-Health

One of the most important things that members can do is to provide the rest of the community with as much information about themselves as possible. It is so very difficult for anyone to respond when we do not have enough information to go on. This is not meant to indicate that you are doing anything wrong or violated any rule, we are just trying to be pro-active and get the information upfront so that people can start responding and your thread is more effective.

So many times we read about members who have different tests and they all come back negative. The more clues and information you provide, the better chances in finding out what is wrong, The fact that your test results are negative does not mean that you are fine and without any concerns. Many times it takes several diagnostic tests and procedures to isolate a specific condition.

Here are some questions that you should answer:

  • - When did this first start?

    . Year, Your age, etc
- Was it the result of an accident or trauma?
- Are there others in your family with similar medication conditions?
- What doctors have you seen? (Orthopedic, Neurosurgeon, Spine Specialist, etc)

  • . Which doctor did you start with? Ie Primary Care Physician
    . Who are you currently seeing?
- What Conservative treatments have you had? Which ones?

  • . Physical Therapy
    . Ultrasound / Tens unit
    . Spinal Injections
    . Acupuncture
    . Massage Therapy
- What diagnostic tests have you had? And their results (MRI, CTScan, XRay, EMG, etc)

  • . Summarize the results, please do not post all details, we cannot analyze them
    . How many different tests have you had over the years? Similar results?
- What medications are you currently using? (details, dosage, frequency, etc)

  • . Name of Medication
    . How long have you been using this?
    . Results
- Has surgery been discussed as an option? (If so, what kind)
- Is there any nerve pain/damage associated?
- What is your doctor’s action plan for treating you?

Providing answers to questions like this will give the member community here a better understanding
of your situation and make it easier to respond.

Please take a look at our forum rules: Forum Rules

I also strongly suggest that you take a look at our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) which can be found at the top of the forum menu tab or by going to FAQ There you will find much information that will

  • - Help you better utilize the Spine-Health system
    - Provide pointers on how to make your threads / posts
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    - General pieces of valuable information

Please remember that no one at Spine-Health is a formally trained medical professional.
Everything that is posted here is based on personal experiences and perhaps additional research.
As such, no member is permitted to provide

  • - Analysis or interpretation of any diagnostic test (ie MRI, CTscan, Xray, etc)
    - Medical advice of any kind
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What could be good for someone could spell disaster for another.
You should also consult your doctor to better understand your condition and the do’s and don’t’s.

It is very important that new members (or even seasoned members) provide others with details about their condition(s). It is virtually impossible to help another member when all the details we have are

I’ve had this for years, it hurts, I cant move my shoulder – what could this be, what treatment should I get?

Diagnosing spinal problems can be very difficult. In many ways it’s like a game of clue. Especially, when the diagnostic tests come back negative – no trouble found! Then it’s up to the patient and the doctor to start digging deeper. The doctor is like a detective. They need clues to help them move along. So, you as the patient need to provide the doctor with all sorts of clues. That is like it is here. Without having information about a condition, its impossible for anyone here to try to help.

Specific comments :

Personal Opinion, not medical advice :

--- Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Moderator : 09/25/15 16:30est

Danielle Christopherson


  • hvillshhvills Suzhou, ChinaPosts: 723
    Dear Danille

    Full recovery from fusion surgery is MONTHS not weeks. You are young which will help a lot... but even so it takes time for the bones to grow and fuse together... something like when you break your arm... it doesn't heal in a few weeks. Recovery from fusion sugery is a marthon... not a sprint. Good luck... and I hope your surgery gives you a good result.
    Harry - 63 year old male...
    PLIF L4-L5-S1 due to disc degeneration... May 23, 2013
    PLIF L5-S1 due to failed fusion and broken screw... Jan 19, 2015
    Microdiscectomy, decompression L3-L4 due to herniated disc... Jan 19, 2015
  • lorijo3llorijo3 Posts: 112
    edited 09/27/2015 - 3:33 AM
    I wish you much luck and success with both resolving your back issues and with school! I am 54 years old and having surgery C3-6 tomorrow. Your post caught my eye because I am fairly certain my "train wreck" of a spine (the doctor's description!) is the result of an injury in gym class in 7th grade. But back then...in the 70's...they did't do MRI's or investigate injuries like they do now. You are SO lucky you know....at a young age...that you have a problem and are young and ston for whatever treatment you choose for your back. I have had neck issues on and off...sometimes severe...since 7th grade but no one really looked into it to see what may have happened. My gym teacher gave me a D for the quarter because she did not believe my neck was in so much pain. If I knew where she was now I would send her my MRI lol. Good luck. It is so good you are young and strong!
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