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Likely facing fusion

anjuanaanjuan Posts: 236
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:23 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi all-

I posted in the newbie area, but I thought I would post here as well since it looks like I am even closer to being a fusion candidate. I currently have severe DDD at L5-S1 (basically bone on bone) and a larger herniated disk at L4-L5. This was shown through an MRI, discography, and CT scan. I just saw my PM Dr. yesterday for my discography follow-up and he is referring me to a neurosurgeon because he believes that I need fusion surgery. I have an appointment with this neurosurgeon on October 2, and another appointment with an orthosurgeon on September 29 for another opinion.

I am currently taking 400 mg Gabaphentin, 400mg Celbrex, Tramadol as needed when my pain is less, and my PM physician just put me on norco (previously on 5mg hydrocone, but it hadn't been controling my stronger pain). This year I have had an SI joint injection and 3 caudal epidurals, done PT, accupunture, and nothing has helped. I had a laminectomy at L5-S1 in 2003 and ended up with an infection after the procedure which was treated by Zyvox (they couldn't get a pic line in because I have bad veins). I also had a uterine myomectomy in 2006 for fibroids and sinus surgery in 2006.

I have lived with the chronic pain for a long time, but in August I stood up and felt something go very wrong which I believe caused my back to get worse. Since then my pain has really increased. I am still working full time, but my productivity has gone way down but I can barely make it through the whole day at work without crying from the pain. When I get home from work all I feel like doing is laying down. I have a 3yr daughter who I know misses playing with her mommy. I will be turning 37 in just over a week. My husband has been wonderful, but I feel back that he has had to take up so much of the slack at home.

I wanted to let you know that I am learning a lot from all of you and I am getting my history and questions ready for my upcoming appointments. I am really scared at the thought of having fusion done, especially with the infection I had after my last back surgery. But my quality of life is going downhill really fast. My current PM Dr. has said that if I end up using the Neuro that he is referring me to that he will take care of my pain management at the hospital and I will have nothing to worry about in this area (he is the head of PM at the hospital).

I do have a question, how do you post information in a signature? I have tried to review the stickys, etc but can't find this anywhere.




  • Click on "my account", the "edit", then go down to the signature are and complete that, then "submit".

    Sounds like you are doing everything you need to do! I felt much more comfortable scheduling surgery after a second opinion. Its a big descision at any age, I put it off for many years and regret the time I lost. Now I am working to get back the things I wanted to do with my kids before but never could before.

    Good Luck,
  • Welcome Julie,

    You have some stuff going on. My problems were very similar. I also feel guilty because my husband has had to pick up the slack.

    I hope that you get some options when you visit the NS & OS. I know how I was sick of suffering and gladly underwent a fusion.

    It is a very long recovery- but well worth it for me.

    Good luck,

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