Lets see, 33, Finished my time in the Marines with minor issues related to DDD (decreased disc height at L5/S1, and L5/L4). syptoms at the time were, minimal LBP, but severe leg pain after prolonged standing with out activity. Funny I could run a half marathon with out hurting too bad, but couldn't stand in formation for 30 min. Over the past 10 years that has translated into somewhat more severe LBP, and lately severe leg pain, numbness loss of use primarily the right leg. So onto what the NS had to say, MRI shows severe degeneration at L/3 to S1, (its funny how good, L2/L3 looks along with everything up from there). There are two herniations at L3/L4 and L4/L5, one is displacing the right nerve the other the left. Limited physical activity and bed rest has lessened the leg pain issues, to an extent. Lower back pain is a constant 4, to maybe a 6 by the end of the day if I take it very easy. I am done with the large aamounts of pain meds they have put me on, it got to the point where yes the pain was diminished , but so was my interest in the things I love in life, Wife, Kids, outdoor activities.
So on to my questions..... I know someone can help answer with their experiences
1. NS is recomending imediate discectomy to remove the material that is causing the problems with the legs. He claims this will do nothing for the LBP, But will prevent further nerve damage. Has anyone had any relief in LBP with this procedure ?
2. NS also states that in 5 years I will be required to have a multi level fusion (atleast 2 levels) to deal with the poor condition of the discs. I am not totally thrilled with the idea of tieing that much of my spine together with hardware. I met a person that had a total disc replacment done at Stenum Hospital in Germany, He was a canidate for spinal fusion and decided to go this route and is overly happy with the result. ( this individual was not a specimen of ideal physical health, somewhat overweight, not physically active, poor muscle tone in spineand abdomen would be an understatment). I have contacted the Hospital and they reviewed my case and provided the costs involved in a two level replacment.
I guess what I am trying to determine here is , can I get any relief from LBP with the min invasive surgery in question 1?
This type of surgery will not prevent me from having the total disc replacment in the future, and is covered by my insurance.
A multi level spinal fusion makes a mess for total disc replacment, it can be done, but thats more trauma to an already unhappy part of my body.
I am almost sold on if I have to go the other route to just figure a way to come up with the costs involved and go to germany
Anyones thoughts would be appreciated.