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What are they doing to me?


A brief history, I am 37 and In 2009 had a microdiscectomy at L4/5 which worked fantastic for 5 years. Early last summer 2014, I started going into acute lumbar shift which told me the disc was acting up again and by the end of July I could hardly walk. An MRI confirmed the L4/5 disc had reherniated. In August 2014 I had 2 ESI but did not receive any relief from these. By October 2014, pain started to slowly get better and although I continued to have leg pain from sciatica, it wasn't enough to even take ibprophin for and I though I was on the mend. Fast forward to July 2015 and everything started all over again, although this time much worse. Current MRI shows ruptured L4/5 larger than last years scan and I can no longer walk or stand. I'm lucky that my employer is allowing me to work from home. My OS and I agreed fusion would take care of this bad disc once and for all and I scheduled surgery for October 21

Here is what I need help with. I asked him to write down the surgery I was having done so that I could research it. It says "ALIF
L 4-5 with allograft. L 4-5 revision discectomy posterior fusion with instrumentation " I understand the ALIF but should I be looking into ALIF/PLIF fusions (is this what I'm having done?) or is that something else?
Jacki - Age 37
L4-L5 Discectomy April 2, 2009 (Felt Great for 5 years)
2014-Reherniation of L4-L5 disc
ESI #1 - August 4, 2014 - No Relief
ESI #2 - August 18, 2014 - No Relief
360 Lumbar Fusion L4/5 - scheduled for October 21, 2015


  • this is a question that should be answered by your surgeon, not a forum! I could say anything on here and be totally inaccurate. Probably the surgery scheduler can answer all the questions you have, give the office a call on monday! Best wishes on your surgery, I am able to have something very similar in November, because I'm too chicken to be ready by October!
  • hvillshhvills Suzhou, ChinaPosts: 724
    As RunnerHKT said your surgeon should answer this... but prior to that discussion you can research on this site the types of surgery your doctor wrote down... there's tons of info here. Additionally you can find lots of good info on Wikipedia... it's been very helpful to me in my search for understanding of the various back issues and procedures/treatments. The site gives well organized and clear and concise inputs on the different subjects. Just enter the different terms like... "Fusion Surgery" and or "Discectomy" and this can give you lots of explanations for the terms your surgeon wrote down that can help with your understanding and reduce your fear regarding what the surgeon has proposed for you. Good luck...
    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
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