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My name is Jenifer and Iam 51. Inbetween 1991-1996 I had 5 laminectomies on discs L3-4 and L4-5.
The success of the surgeries was brief and I am in constant pain. I have had over 25 MRI's, 1 discogram, epidural injections, PT, pain managment, 1 ortopedic surgeon who did not do surgery, but sent me to the first NS who did the 5 surgeries. I then had a second opinon at Mass Gen and he concurred with 1st surgeon. During all of this I was put on every pain medication and none of it worked. Went to get a third opinion 2 years ago and he recomended a spinal fusion. I said no. Went for 4th opinion and he also recommended a fusion, but stated to me that it would have to be "not one fusion, but two and did the other doctor tell you that?". Once again I said no to a fusion of any kind. We decide for me to try the Spinal Cord Stimulator Device. I had the trial and it did not go well, did not have it implanted.
3 months ago the pain was steadly increasing and my PCP says he can give me more drugs, but he says he knows that is not what I want and that I need to go back to the neurosurgeon. (I wear a 100 mcg Fentanyl patch and take dilaudid for breakthrough pain).
Well, that NS moved to TX ( I live in RI) and his practice has been taken over by someone else. This NS is highly recommended and I go and see him 2 weeks ago. He agrees with the other 2 NS's, that I need a 2 level fusion. He spends over an hour with me and shows me the MRI from 06. He says I have to have another MRI, of course, and I do, but in so much pain they have to take me out and I go get a prescription for Adavan and take additional Dialudid. I take that and go back that night to redo the MRI.
His nurse called and said that he said the MRI was "worse", but not anything that would affect the type of surgery that he and I had talked about (so it would still be 2 levels).
I told her I would have to talk to my husband and work and call back.
I am a big "fraidy cat" right about now. I don't want to be worse off, but I understand that this is probably my only choice left. I have been reading your forum here and you all seem so helpful I thought I would write and see what you say.
Sorry it is so long, but figured you would want the details before you give me advice.
I know in the end it is my decision, but I am terrified that I will regret it. The big problem is the pain is getting worse and my quality of life right along with it, but I'm still standing and I do work part time ( I am a leader for Weight Watchers, so usually work 2/3 hours at a time and can go home and rest in between meetings sometimes.) I'm in horrible pain during the night, so much so, my husband want me to go to the ER every night!
I had been active up to this point and have 5 grandchildren that I want to be able to play with and I'm worried that this will make me worse.
Any advise you can give me will be greatly appreciated and if you have any questions for me, please ask.