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Hello All..Back with New Sign In

angelanicaangelanic Posts: 256
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:46 AM in New Member Introductions
Hi. I guess it is a good thing that I haven't been on in awhile and seems my old signin and password are gone. So I am back again in new form with similiar issues.

Couple things: Can't remember where to change my password and add a sign on? Help?

I had laminectomy in December 2005 on L5-S1 (at 35 years old). This was after years of physical therapy, epidurals, chiropractic care. Was good for a couple of years after the residual siactica went away. Then in early 2008 I fell on ice and the pain specialist told me I re-herniated a disc. Went for a year of shots and physical therapy and at the end of 2008 had laser disectomy. The relief was good for quite ahwhile but never perfect. Then in later 2009 I got a abdominoplasty hoping it would help support my core and make me look better (it did the second only it seems). In April my back went out for several days, pain like I never felt, and I got an epidural which gave me relief and he sent me home with a steroid pack just in case. Ended up taking that a right after July 4th..did nothing. Called and asked him to send me for MRI a week ago after a month of nonstop naproxen, muscle relaxants for about a week which did nothing, and every night taking percocet to be able to fall asleep and ignore the pain. I have aches in back of thigh and along side my calf. I have numbness and tingling periodically in whole leg and foot. My back gets achy. If I lay down it is the worst possible position but sitting doesn't feel so hot either. Finally, I am always worse before I take the naproxen in the morning and when it wears off at the end of the day. Clearly it is masking something.

So..the MRI shows a blown out disc at L4 and L5 is not looking so hot either. Now my guy is pretty conservative..as you can see by all the shots...but he is sending me to the surgeon. He thinks the microdisectomy didn't work for me (it is new and a conservative surgery method) and thinks I need to look at possible open back and he mentioned fusion. I am really not looking forward to having to take disability from work (AGAIN) or back surgery at ALL for that matter. Fusion scares the hell out of me.

Is there any thought that I could just live with this? What could happen if I do nothing (besides becoming addicted to pain med...and no I am not joking or making fun)?



  • Hi Angela

    Good to have you back but sorry you're in a lot of pain again.

    After all the conservative treatments you've been through and the micro-d, you've got nothing to lose by seeing a surgeon. He will give you his opinion and then you can make an informed decision on how you want to handle your pain. You don't have to make a decision at the time of seeing him. Some of us get more than one opinion and some go ahead with surgery, but others don't.

    Fusion worked for me after 6 years of severe back and leg pain, but I went with the third neurosurgeon that I saw. I had an open decompression in 08 which didn't help.

    As you would know from this forum, not all fusions work and we need to do lots of research prior to coming to any decision. I was at the end of my tether and knew I couldn't live with the pain and non-participation in normal activities, and that was the deciding factor for me.

    I would recommend gathering as much information as you can on fusion, including the long recovery period, and after seeing the surgeon, carefully consider the issues that personally affect you. You don't have to make a quick decision. Our pain issues and bodies are all different, and I can't say whether you could live with your pain or whether your spine will deteriorate further.

    In the meantime, are you able to go to a hydrotherapy pool and do some gentle exercises with a physio to help strengthen your core?


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
  • "Is there any thought that I could just live with this? What could happen if I do nothing"

    Here is my thoughts Angela (and Welcome back!!!), since you where recommended to a surgeon, go to the appointment and see what the surgeon says. Unless he already answers your (see quote in bold above), I would bring that up for sure. Nerve damage is a biggy, so you want to be sure that *if* you put it off, at least you might know 'yes/no' on further damage. If you are told you can wait, the pain and other symptoms are....are they something you can live with will be your other question to yourself. Surgery short of an emergency is elective, and as such a very personal decision.

    Sorry to hear that you might be going down this road again. I hope you receive answers soon so you can decide what is best for you. Please keep us posted. *HUG*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
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  • hi and welcome back to the forum! :H we are still here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. sorry you are back under these circumstances one more time.. atleast you are familiar with the routine and the way the system works.. i hope you find some answers soon.. good luck and keep us posted! Jenny :)
  • Thank you to everyone for the welcomes. i will post in surgery section after my appt on Thursday.

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