I finally had my appointment with the NS today. He reviewed my films, listened to my history and did a pretty thorough exam. He is offering me two options: we can do another discectomy or just skip that to a 3 level fusion from L3-S1. He feels that I have some significant changes on my MRI compared to the last one (it was actually in Dec '07 3 weeks post-op). Along with that I am continuing to have back pain as well as my obvious reherniation...he feels that I have enough instability to warrant the fusion.
He is however leaving the choice to me. He encouraged me to do my research (I've been doing nothing but that for two months LOL) and even to seek a 2nd opinion if I want to.
I felt pretty dumb when I got home because I really was just expecting him to want to do a repeat discectomy. I wasn't prepared to ask him any questions regarding fusion! I did ask him about recovery times & my concerns regarding my job.
I'm thinking I need to gather my thoughts & my questions and make another appointment just to get my info straight before I can make a decision.
I talked to my parents and my boyfriend (he was at the appt with me) and all three think I should throw in the towel and go for the fusion. I honestly have been dealing with back pain issues since I was 16 years old (my disc issues started at 24); I am getting ready to turn 33 in March.
I think I'm in shock right now, I never thought I would be faced with this decision even though he told me this would be coming down the pike two years ago when I had my Micro-D. I know something needs to happen, my pain relief was short-lived from the combo of the 2nd ESI & Medrol dosepak...its been creeping back up since Thanksgiving.
How did you decide? Would you go for a second opinion?
I feel completely dumb-founded. I can't even cry.
Thanks for reading,
P.S. Any thoughts on stem-cell therapy? My dad was asking me about this too...