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Help? Fear of having surgery on my L-4, L-5 and S-1

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:24 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hello I'm a 30 yr old woman and I had hurt my back at work unloading a pallet of produce while I herinated L-4 through S-1 and boy I'm in pain! I had ESI's Facet injections, SI injections pain blocks, nerve blocks, and any other blocks I could get. I do have sereve pain down my left leg but now is going down my right leg. I have problems getting up in mornings due to being so stiff and hurting all the time. I'm on Neurtion 3 pills 300mgs 3 times a day, Vicodin 3 times 500mgs a day and Tramadol 4 times 50mgs a day. Doc said he couldn't do anything else oh Also on Mobic twice a day. So WC doc stated me as MMI. My lawyer said he don't think so and is getting me another doc to treat me.

Anyway, the wc doc said all their is left is surgery and he doesn't really want me to have it but I'm in so much pain why not?

Will it cure me or will it make me worse?

My question is what will they do to my L-4 L-5 and S-1 area in my back? Anything is better than being in pain all the time 24/7 days a week? I think Neurotion is messing with my brain, at times I forget to spell out a word or type all the letters but in wrong order!! WoW! But he also told me that I can't up my dose for Neurotion that's all I can have. Why is that? 2700 mgs a day write? 3x9=27 Well it isn't doing any good is their anyone taking more than that does it help?

Well I gotta go,


  • I am 38 yrs old and just had a 360 fusion surgery on L4-L5-S1 on Oct. 6th. For the past two years plus i have been dealing with severe lower back pain and finally decided that was enough. It got to the point where it was controlling my life. Of course, i am still early in the recovery phase but i am doing well. the majority of my pain is postop pain and not nerve pain anymore. I had a microdiscectomy and 2006 and but the disc reherniated again shortly after. i also have had 6-7 injections but they were only temporary fixes. I did try Mobic several different times but it didn't help. Since surgery, i am only taking Lortab in the morning and at night. I take 400 mg of Neurontin in the evenings to help me relax and sleep. I would try all the conservative methods before you decide on surgery. Those only helped me temporarily so that is why i decided on surgery in the end.
  • i was injured over a year ago i tried everything from injections and pt to just sucking it up. The pain was finall just too intense i first saw a NS who was ver into me having the surgery as the only option left. Im not a surgery fan way too much fear of that so i saw an OS for a second opinion he too was very much about surger being m only option because of the damage. I was so scared i didnt want surgery cause i also knew that my career in the infantry would be over so i procrastinated like no other until finally the pain was so severe it was flaring up m PTSD to the point noone even my family wanted to be around me, now that ive had the surgery (2 weeks post op) im still in pain but have a good outlook on the future. I guess what im trying to say is take a long look at how the pain is affecting your life or lack there of and the people around you. If the pros of the surgery outweigh the cons then go for it if your at the bottom of the spiral already the only place to go from there is up! I hope this helped a little. Good luck and keep us posted.
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  • How long have you had your injury? I've been off work since February and getting a second opinion in January from ortho. I wanted surgery at first but hope to heal on my own if possible. I take lyrica for sciatica and it causes some forgetfulness at first. I've decreased my dose and used to the side effects now. Take care Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Misty,

    YES, Do get another opinion.
    It is best to get at least 2 point of views to see where the DRs agreee in what is the best path for you. Sometimes they see different issues.

    Me, my brother, my son, and my daughter are at some stage of what we are all going through...I have seen some of the things that work or just postone things.

    It is always best to go the conservative route for herniated discs...what you probably don't want to hear again..is PT. When you hurt, we all know its difficult to motivate your self to do more exercise. Here I am, guilty as the rest...I fear the excercise as well but do know I do feel better as a result.

    If the herination is serious ( and the only problem) they may sugest a microdisectomy to releive the pressure. But make sure they identify all other possible problems in the area.

    Look up online books on exercises ..McKenzie "Treat your own back", Everson "Back in Shape" If your dedicated enough...this will avert the PT trips.

    If you only had a MRI, ask for a CAT scan of the lumbar.
    I myself suffered for many years and almost made a bad surgery choice because the first Dr never noticed my PARS defect. The 2nd Dr ordered the CAT scan and it all became more clearer of the complete problem.

    I'm going in for a 2 level TLIF/fusion of S1/L4/L5 on Nov 10. It took me a long time to beleive I was making the right choice for me and my family. Now I can wait to fell better and get active again.

    Take Care

  • Hey yall,
    I've tried all the conservative treatments and had all of my shots I can get. All I know is that I'm always in pain and seem not to get any better. I thought if I had surgery it would in the long run help me. Now since my work made me resign or forced me into resigning I can't get unemployment now I'm trying to get food stamps because I can't by my own food. That's pretty bad and I can't help it. I had asked if I could get an handicap sticker doc told me that it would be very diffcuilt and hard to get so he did't fill out my paper. I had a hard time walking and standing in long lines and trying to tell others they think yeah right!
    Almost need to carry my doc report around with me to show folks. Anyway, I will look at the pros and cons of surgery but just sitting here typing I have shooting pains running down my legs and my back. My lawyer is getting another doc for me due to my wc doc stating me as MMI. My court date is Dec 11th my mother's birthday I pray my hearing will be early in the moring and not late in the evening so I don't have to sit that long on those hard benches without padding. I'll be druged up! lol

    Anyway, thanks and if their are others with their experiences with surgery please let me know.

    How long did yall stay in the hospital and how long was the surgery itself?

    Has anyone drop their meds or cut them in half?

    What all did they do to your back? Like rods or screws or what I'm meaning is how did they fix the problem?

    WC doc said that having surgery on the L-4, L-5 and S-1 is tricky? How is that? What do they do?

    Please tell me,
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  • I also have a work injury and going through workmans comp. I go for my Independent Medical Evaluation(I.M.E)tomorrow with a Workmans comp doctor to see if everything is as bad as what the two surgeons I saw said it is. I know I shouldn't be worried but in the back of my mind I feel like this I.M.E Doc is just working for the insurance company and will say "Oh, you aren't that bad, you don't need surgery." If only he could see me at home laying in bed, praying to God my surgery comes soon. God i hope I don't have too go to trial, I don't know if I can wait that long.

    I have also tried everything (rest, shots, P.T, Acupuncture, meds) and nothing has worked. Definitely get a second opinion, it will only help your case.

    Here is a video on fusion surgery.

  • my hospital stay was only suppost to be 4 days but due to complications i ended up in there for almost 2 weeks but if in your surgery everything goes fine 3-4 days is what youd probably expect.

  • Hi Misty,
    I copied and pasted your questions so that mabye I could help ya just a little. There is a ton of recovery stories on here that you may want to read through.
    As for your dr not thinking surgery is good. I was given a 60 percent chance of feeling better and I took it!!! It worked the first time believe me. Surgery is always a last option for all drs. But it seems you have tried everything else. And of course you do not want any perm nerve damage . Which I have seen to often with people.
    If your not comfortable with this dr. And WC approves to see another dr GO FOR IT. Those 2 opinions make all the difference in the world. They are either both going to say the same thing OR they will say something totally different.

    How long did yall stay in the hospital and how long was the surgery itself?

    ANSWER: First surgery I was in Mon-Thurs due to having high doses of pain meds and not knowing what to expect. Surgery took a 1 1/2. Second revisions surgery for non fusion due to other medical issues going on now. Wed-Fri 2 hr surgery.

    Has anyone drop their meds or cut them in half?
    ANSWER: First surgery I was on 7.5mg percocets 7 a day, plus muscle relaxers. down to 2 pills plus a muscle relaxer in 4 months. I was on 7.5 lortabs before surgery.
    Second surgery I was on 5 mg lortabs 7 a day. I am only 6wks out with other issues so I am on 8- 5mg percocets, 1 muscle relaxer and valium as needed. I usually have to take 10mg.

    What all did they do to your back? Like rods or screws or what I'm meaning is how did they fix the problem?
    ANSWER: All drs will suggest different things. I have my own bone graft taken from the top of my iliac crest . I have screws, rods and a cage.

    WC doc said that having surgery on the L-4, L-5 and S-1 is tricky? How is that? What do they do?
    ANSWER: Any spinal surgery is tricky. But I'v never heard a dr saying that to a patient. They went through just the back with mine. Much easier (in my mind) then going through the front and back. Which some do. Which is called a 360 fusion. Them going through the front to they have to move all your organs out of the way. With your back they have access right there. But again the drs and patients choice.

    Please tell me,

    Hang in there!!! Alot of people have been where you are now. So your not alone as you can see.

    Take care hope all goes well.
    Terri :)
  • Hi

    After talking to all these good people on the SH board, I realise that there are differences in how the op is carried out in the UK to the US, but I've just had 360 3 level fusion at exactly the same levels as you. I was in hospital for 11 days but that was the docs choice, as he likes to to the front and back surgeries at different times (his opinion is there is less risk in 2 x 3 hour surgeries than 1 x 6 hour)

    But your surgeon will do the operation in whichever way he feels most comfortable

    I've been home a week - but the day after the rods and screws were put in my back the shooting pains and leg aches I had were GONE The bones are now back in their natural place, not rubbing and banging and crushing nerves, so hopefully once the surgical aches and pains have gone I'll Be Free.....

    Get the second opinion - but if you trust the surgeon (and I'm sure they only operate on cases that they think they can really help) then put your trust in them.

    Keep us informed

  • Have the Drs said what type of surgery he would suggest. It may be a simple MicroD, a laminectomy, discectomy or a fusion.
    Each surgery is quite different with differening recovery periods.
    For a hernieated disc (or 2) it is quite likely that you may only need a microD, so please dont get worked up over something that may not happen. MicroD is where they shave off the part of the disc that has hernieated and pressing on the nerves.

    Even with WC, you can insist on a second opinion.

    Sparky- good luck with the IME tomorrow. I had to see 2 WC drs who said there was nothing wrong with me and I was making it all up, then 2 independant Drs who just about dug my grave for me then 1 Dr commissioned from Work cover who was on neither side :))(
    They should have saved all that money and sent me to Dr no 5 first. LOL

    Blessings Sara O:)

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