Good afternoon everyone,
I found this forum by accident, and I'm glad I did. Maybe a few people who have either gone through what I am currently going through or have experience in the field can further aid me on my road to recovery...
While conducting traffic control in my patrol car (in a construction zone), I was struck by a drunk driver at approximately 45 mph. This was back in November of 2008. I was taken to the hospital in an ambulance and they concluded that I had no broken bones. I resumed work in about 2 or 3 days.
I continued to work, but the pain in my lower back grew progressively worse. Finally, I had to stay home in February and have not gone to work since.
After an MRI, it was concluded that I suffered a herniation in my L1/L2, herniation in my L5/S1 and disc bulging in my L5/S1 and L4/L5. Every time I sit down for more than a few moments, I feel as if I'm sitting on a very hot plate. There are times when this shooting pain goes down my buttock and left leg and sometimes my foot will fall asleep. It's quite annoying and often times excruciatingly painful. Sitting makes everything worse.
Under the care of a pain management specialist, I've received 2 epidural injections to my L1/L2 with little effect. I also received an epidural injection to my L5/S1 with very little relief. Before this, I received a cortisone injection to my SI joint (which they thought was the problem)....and of course it did nothing.
I've tried physical therapy for 3 months, a chiropractor for 3 months, and my pain has not subsided.
Last week I consulted with a neurosurgeon and as soon as he saw my MRI, he knew what needed to be done. He recommended I undergo a newer procedure called Dynesys : Dynamic Stabilization. He stated to me that he would place a Dynesys device comprised of titanium alloy screws and external spacers to stabilize my joints allowing the herniated discs to heal themselves and avoiding any type of unnecessary fusion/s at my age (23).
Has anyone heard of this procedure? Has anyone *had* this procedure done? I've never had a back surgery, and the prospect of going through this is frightening....
The surgery is 2 hours long and requires 3 days in the hospital. The recovery period is 4-8 weeks depending on how I do in physical therapy. The neurosurgeon stated that most athletes who come to him and have this procedure done are back on the field in no time feeling better than before with a new back.
Any suggestions to help quell my fear of the unknown?