When I was 16 I injured myself playing badminton. A year later an MRI showed a bulging disk at l4 l5. I lived with the back and leg pain for seven years before the pain became pretty unbearable. At 23 I had a discectomy/laminectomy and was discharged from the hospital in 5 days. I felt fine ...
I went for a short walk the next day (felt really good to be walking without the usual leg pain) and while walking, felt a strange pain in my back very close to the surgery site. I knew something was wrong and that night the pain increased to a point where I was moaning. I went back to the hospital the next day and was admitted for 3 weeks while they tried to figure out what happened.
The doc who operated me ruled out diskitis because my ESR was not elevated. All MRI's showed "normal post operative changes". So they called it a wound sprain and waited for it to get better. By this time I had scoliosis and was tilted to one side, and was pretty much screaming in pain when I coughed or rolled over. All symptoms were consistent with diskitis, but nothing on the tests proved it.
I was discharged from the hospital after 3 weeks without any real diagnosis and I slept in bed at home for about 4 months. Then it seemed to get slightly better, the tilt got better and I could walk again, though that was pretty much all I could do. Any bending or running was impossible, and if I bent I would bend tilted to the side, bending straight was impossible. At this point I was just glad to be up and walking, so I didnt dare expect anything more.
8 months like this and I relapsed with the same symptoms, a forward tilt and horrible shooting pains radiating all over the pelvic girdle. I went to sleep again, telling my parents that it would take 4 months again like last time and then I would start walking again. The doc who operated me had basically disappeared and wouldnt answer the phone !
Other doctors who examined me decided that it was post operative diskitis even though the ESR remained normal, and I was treated with antibiotics (IV) for 3 months. I wasnt sure if they helped, but after 4 months of sleeping it off, I was able to walk, the pain reduced to some extent. I got on with life again, not daring to expect anything more.
Its been 5 years since then, and I've led a pretty normal life since then, been working a job, been out on picnics, travelled and even lived alone a while. It's been allright except that I have had trouble sitting on the floor, and havent been able to run or jump. There is also pain when I make particular movements of the back, like bending a particular angle. The pain increases at night, and though often during the day I am pain free, sometimes, especially when I lie down after being up the whole day, it pains enough to make me groan.
I'm not sure what I should set my expectations to after all this. Am pretty sure that my life would be better without the pain, and that it has affected me and continues to affect me. Just wondering whether I should reconcile to this and give up the idea of being able to run/jump/sit on floor and just be glad that I am not bedridden ? I'm 30 now and while it still pains quite a lot, I'm not bedridden or screaming in pain, and sometimes that seems like a blessing.
I went to a spine surgeon last week with the most recent MRI's and he suggested that the infection remains there, and that the only way to get rid of it would be to clean out the area and fuse the l4 l5 disks. He said I would benefit from a spinal fusion surgery.
That is where I am today. Any thoughts/words would be appreciated. Needless to say, I'm very scared of spinal fusion surgery.