Hi, my neurosurgeon has warned me that I am very likely to require a lumbar spine fusion for l4/l5 and possibly l5/s1. I have been told that they are going to insert a needle into each disc to test if it is them or the nerves that are causing my issues.
I'm looking to find out peoples experiences of fusion at these levels - I know nothing about it except that the surgeon has said that it will be operated from the back, and that it will involve articial bone instead of grafts. What type of fusion is it? Here's a little bit of background info about my situation...Both discs have DDD, and in sept 2010 I had emergency laminectomy/discectomy of l4/l5 as it prolapsed into the spinal canal causing me to end up with cauda equina syndrome - loss of bowel continence and sensation. Since the operation I have continued to have bad back/sciatica issues and bowel disturbances which are making my life a misery. I have had 3 MRI scans in total at my second MRI I was told that I was left with foramina narrowing at the l5/S1 which means that the sciatic nerve is being pinched continually. This means I have chronic daily leg/foot pain and tire very easily after even short walks/periods of standing. (Not great as I am a 36 Year old secondary school teacher - teaching a practical/design subject, with a young child of 2.)I had spinal nerve block injections to help with the bilateral leg pain on the 3rd March - but just 6 weeks in and the pain has returned and was so bad again that I was sure something was happening all over again. Anyway, my last MRI was yesterday and I managed to get a cancellation appt. to see my consultant today to go over the results. It turns out that the portion of the l4/l5 disc that was left in my spine at the last surgery has now started to move into the space in the spinal canal again - hence compressing the nerves yet again - hence I am having contincence issues etc all over again.
I feel so down about my health lately and appreciate any of you taking the time to help me by answering. I know that having a fusion done is a matter of personal choice in the end but I'm pretty sure that I'm going to end up having this done because my life feels like it is on hold at the moment. What are your experiences?.... Good /Bad, what to expect, advice you can give etc.