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Clashing thoughts on maintenance

Anyone else struggle to WANT to stick with a good maintenance method after surgery? I know I might get some negative responses to this- I'm not saying I am not being safe- let me explain.

I have had 4 surgeries in 5 years. I'm 3 weeks post op now. Besides the fact that my surgeon and I don't want to have to do a 2 level fusion at the age of 24, the reality is that I'll probably have one in the next 3 years. I have never lasted more than 2 years between microdiscectomies. Some of that because I was young and not so safe, but the last couple I have been safe.

Right now I have a herniated disc at L4-L5 that my surgeon chose not to repair 3 weeks ago when he worked on L5-S1. He said because it wasn't the primary cause of pain (I had some symptoms) and because he's worked on it twice already he doesn't want to touch it until it's really bad and then he'd do the fusion. I know he is trying to be conservative- part of me agrees.

I am young, afraid to move away because I'd need my family to care for me when I have the fusion, afraid to buy a house in another location, afraid to change jobs to something I like for risk of losing it when I have a fusion, afraid to meet a man and fall in love because what if he left when I had to have a fusion? The list goes on and on.

So I'm being safe, but is it so bad that I don't want to walk on egg shells because I know I'll need the fusion soon anyway? If I get the fusion then I could go decades without needing more surgery. That thought sounds amazing. Yes, fusions are messy and I'm not looking forward to it.

BUT I could move on and not fear another surgery the way I do now. I could MOVE on. Be someone and not just the person who has had surgery every year.

I 'm really just venting. Like I said- I will be safe.
25 years old: Herniated L4-L5, L5-S1 December 2008. L4-L5 microdiscectomy Sept 2010. L5-S1 microdiscectomy March 2012. Redo L4-L5 microdiscectomy Sept 2013. Redo microdiscectomy Oct 2015.


  • Your post really touched a nerve in me. I have a job I'm terrified of losing as at the moment, until next September when I'll have been there two years, I'm on a temporary contract. Which means I drag myself into work no matter what...driving one armed as one arm is numb, not able to move my neck, migraine etc etc!
    I have a husband and we have a great marriage but I'm so scared of having the surgery and it not working out great as I don't want my hubby to have a disabled wife!! I'm 36 by the way. I also don't want my kids to have or continue to have, a mum who just wants to sleep!!!
    However saying all that, I know they love me whatever and that mostly the worries are overblown. My job has been great, I'm down to working 3 days now, they've bent over backwards for me.
    I want so much to move on but part of moving on is accepting yourself too.
    Kirsti x
  • SpineyKD23SSpineyKD23 IllinoisPosts: 89

    Thanks for your message. I definitely understand dragging yourself into work and it just plain sucks! I am glad for you- that you have a husband to support you and also your kids- they push you to stay positive and be better. Knowing that you need surgery, but not knowing the outcome is the hardest.

    Your ending statement really hit a nerve with me too. The fact that if I continue to wish and focus on "starting" life after the fusion then I am not truly accepting myself right now. And that's no place to live. I am here now and I shouldn't short change myself or say that it doesn't count.
    25 years old: Herniated L4-L5, L5-S1 December 2008. L4-L5 microdiscectomy Sept 2010. L5-S1 microdiscectomy March 2012. Redo L4-L5 microdiscectomy Sept 2013. Redo microdiscectomy Oct 2015.
  • Kirstij79KKirstij79 UKPosts: 158
    edited 01/07/2016 - 10:09 AM
    Just wanted to check in...
    How are you now a few weeks further on in your recovery?
    Kirsti x
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