Hello, everyone. I've been lurking for a few months on here and decided to ask for advice.
I had a microdisc at L5-S1 in May 06. Nov 07 xray, MRI and CT scan revealed additional herniation at L4-L5 however discogram revealed recurring pain only L5-S1. Proceeded with ALIF fusion at L5-S1 in Jan 08--had titanium cage with bone morphogenic protein (bmp) put into place; was supposed to have two, however spine surgeon said too many blood vessels, too risky, so no second cage and no hardware. Wore monstrous brace for 5 months, then smaller brace for the summer. No therapy yet due to ongoing pain. August 08 returned with severe pain, repeated xrays, MRI and CT scan to find both levels still herniated but fusion healed well. Discogram on 10/22 revealed extreme pain L5-S1 (fused with one cage) with moderate to severe pain in L4-L5. Spine surgeon now recommending PLIF, both levels. I love my doc and believe that my situation is just as unique as anyone else's...I think a 2nd opinion would be pointless because of the amount of diagnostics tests leading up to PLIF proposal. What do you think? Anyone had similar experience, i.e., healed single fusion but still pain, so repeat double fusion?
Aside from all this, before I have surgery, I need to see Hematologist tomorrow for a blood clot that hemorrhaged in my eye the night after surgery gallbladder removal/gyn adhesions removal (these issues resolved); I have what's called a Central Retinal Vein Occlusion (CRVO) in my right eye which was supposedly precipitated by surgery but caused by inherited blook clotting disorder. Thus, consult with Hematologist for managing this condition plus clearance to proceed with PLIF. Hopefully just blood thinners for surgery and not on a regular basis.
Sorry for the lengthy intro. Would appreciate any and all commentary and/or advice--I like to hear the TRUTH!! and appreciate directness. Thx in advance.
Kathy (Mae--not last name, just my middle name)
Injury hx: mult falls in snow; most severe in Dec 05 / Microdisc in May 06 due to L5-S1 herniation, L foot drop and sciatic pain / New herniation diagnosed on MRI and CT scan at L4-L5 in Oct. 07 / Discogram in Nov 07 showed + for L5-S1 and - for L4-L5 / L5-S1 fusion in Jan 08 with enormous brace for five months, then smaller brace for summer; pain slowly resolved and fusion healed / October 08 presented with severe pain in butt, legs and hips--xrays, MRI and CT scan revealed herniations continue at both levels despite one level fusion healed / Discogram on 10/22/08 proved severe :''( pain at both levels; spine surgeon recommending PLIF at both levels ASAP (waiting for clearnance from Hematologist for blood clotting disorder)