I hope you are all well.
I am a 24 year old male, previously very active and had been a competitive swimmer for 11 years up until 20 years old.
I also spent allot of time in the gym weightlifting and playing other sports like football and basket ball. Then all of a sudden about a year and a half ago when I was lifting weights in the gym I felt my back pop and immediately felt pain down my left leg.
4 months later I had an MRI scan which showed a bulging L4/5 disk and the 2 levels above had become black and degenerated. I tried to cope with it for a year but couldn't take it any more. I went to see my surgeon who recommended a three level disk replacement. I was scared of such a big surgery so my surgeon suggested I try some physio to see if we can resolve the pain. I went back to see him but the leg pain was still there, the back pain had reduced significantly so we decided to go for a microdiscectomy on L4/5. 2 weeks after the surgery I went back for an MRI scan as the pain came back and it seems that the disk has re-bulged and is still pressing on the nerves. Even worse the two levels above seem to have bulged also.
Now 4 weeks after microdiscectomy I finally plucked up the courage to tell my surgeon I want the three level disk replacement. He is now telling me that because I have had microdiscectomy on the L4/5 disk it cannot be replaced only fused. This is not an option for me as I cant live my life with a fused back due to the work I do and the fear of causing degeneration on other leves below. Has anyone heard such a thing before or has anyone had a disk replacement after having discectomy or microd? If yes what was the outcome?
I thank you in advance for your time.