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New to board/preparing for surgery

mjbanyaimmjbanyai Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:57 AM in Degenerative Disc Disease
Hi everyone..i am new to these boards and thought i would post. I have had back pain for many years..was diagnosed with DDD about 9 years ago. I am now 38 and the last few years have become extremely painful. We have tried the Epidurals, physical therapy, and many other things. I was on a list as a candidate to be in a trial for a disc replacement since insurances would not cover it. Well it seems we waited to long.

My vertebrates have now pushed out my disc at the L5-S1 level, and my vertebrates are now fusing themselves together. In the last six months there are times that I feel like I am one step away from a wheel chair. I still work, but miss a lot of work due to the pain. There are times my husband and kids have to help me get dressed...as it goes with housework, i can hardly do any..thank God for my husband. I have been seeing a top neuro surgeon where I live..the last appointment i went to he told me I would just be in pain the rest of my life. That is not something i needed to hear after living in pain for so long. He decided to send me to a top surgeon in the same hospital that does a majority of fusions. I was told many years ago, i should do a fusion..back at that time i thought I was to young and was to scared of what i had heard about the fusions..so i wanted to wait in hope I would get the disc replacement.

I swear, if the doc offered to do the surgery at that moment, I would scream yes. It is amazing what pain can do to the moral of someone..I cannot imagine living like this for much longer without some kind of surgery..it seems if it is fusing together, why not go in and finish it off..to save me some years of pain..

Thanks for letting me vent...it is tough..my husband is supportive but he has no clue how i physically feel not to mention mentally. I have two very active children..I have always been very active..I have become a person I do not know.

Look forward to hearing from people who can relate to what I am going through!!



  • I am glad you found the site and decided to post. You might find the answer here to your issues you will find a lot of information and people who can empathize. Have you been seen by a rheumatologist? Maybe there could be other issues to be addressed or potential to decrease further issues. I understand that once something is fused it is less painful than fusing? Don't think that you're "too young" to go to a rheumatologist. They have children's rheumatologists. My daughter went to one starting when she was 14.

    At least your surgeon "punted" you to a surgeon who works with fusion issues regularly.

    Let us know how you're doing.
    4 level ACDF C4-C7 5-2-11, laminectomy & discectomy L4-L5 1/26/12, ALIF L4-5, L5-S1 12/10/12.
  • MJ What did the 2nd surgeon say or did you not see him yet? My story is similar for the pain. I herniated l4/l5 in june 2010. The pain was horrible in the beginning but I refused to let it slow me down having 2 children. I did the PT, the injections etc yet would have good days and then have days when I couldn't get out of bed. The doctor shook my hand and told me I needed to get a better pain tolerance as there was nothing else to do. I went to another dr who MRI'd me again and dound the disk had torn which was why I was having so much pain. Also dx me with DDD. I had a spinal fusion Sept 27. So far so good, the pain for the 1st two weeks was unbearable. I thought I would never make it even on the pain killers. I am 17 days out and now feeling much better. My original back pain is gone, definately have alot of surgical pain but at this point I am glad I did it.( Trust me for the 1st 2 weeks I swore I made a horrible mistake.)
    As far as your hubby, I know exactly what your saying. Mine is better than I could ask for yet I always felt so bad after a long day I would end up on the couch and my back would hurt so bad I couldn't get back up. Felt useless, starting getting so depressed as he would work all day and have to come home to make lunches for the kids, vacuum etc. Sometimes that made me feel worse than my back. Or when the kids would go hiking, movies etc with him and I was stuck home due to my back. I needed my life back.
    SO if they offer the fusion I would do it. I wish you the best of luck, hang in there, we have all been there.
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  • Welcome!! Having had 3 fusions and being fused from L1-S1 (for various reasons) I would say go for it. It is a long recovery and some days you feel you will never get better, but you do. Regardless of the cause of needing fusions they fixed the pain.

    Good luck and keep us posted.

    L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion, L5/S1 fusion w/ disc replacement, left and right SI joints fused.
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