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Hi from sunny Lancashire UK

my name is bill and i am 46 i have suffered with chronic lower back pain for years since an accident at my place of work when i was 29 years old.
i am a motor mechanic by trade, and i ended up buying the garage we started as fast fit and ended up doing all aspects of mechanical repairs. i was just finishing a tyre stock check when one of the lads asked a question over my right shoulder as i lifted i turned to answer him and in that instant two of my lumbar discs prolapsed...i can only say the pain is vivid in my memory and i thought i had been knifed in my back i fell to the ground....in pain i will never forget

after many tests and scans and one minor surgery called chemonucleolysis - a disc injection that is supposed to make the herniation fall away....it did not work and has in fact made life much worse.....since i have managed the pain with arthrotec and temgesic medication (morphine) this has varying results and to get things done i overdose - this of late has needed to stop and i have come to a crossroads.

i have opted after finding a new neurosurgeon to have disc fusion on two levels - so here i am, not sure why but i read this post by accident https://www.spine-health.com/forum/treatment/back-surgery-and-neck-surgery/there-hope-through-fusion-back-surgery-–-a-lumbar-fusi and felt compelled to sign up and maybe an account of my experience may help another poor soul in despair as i have been.

the main reason for opting for surgery now, i have a 6 year old son who is full of life and energy and i am desperate to be more active with him....

i lost my business as a result of this accident and i have not had gainful employment since! i have aspirations to be a photographer one day and hope and pray the solution is going to be spinal fusion surgery.

thanks - bill



  • Welcome to Spine-Health. You'll find a lot of great members here that are full of suggestions and experiences.

    I've had a 1-lvl TLIF because all other treatments failed and like you, was in too much pain to live with it. I couldn't even stand or walk for longer than 5-10 minutes so I really needed help.

    One important thing is to have complete confidence in your surgeon. That's very important. Also know that recovery will take quite a long time - it's been said six months before you feel better and a year before you feel near normal. For me, that was the case. It takes patience, but you'll get there. I think we all know when it's time for surgery and when it's time to try conservative measures, so I'm glad you're confident in your decision.

    Do you have it scheduled yet? What levels are you having done?

    Take care and please keep us posted. We'll be here to help you along the way.
  • lulusheartllulusheart Posts: 4,164
    edited 06/23/2012 - 7:52 AM
    hi and welcome to the forum! we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. you must follow your heart!! you have come to a great place to get the support for such a thing as surgery!! i know that whatever your decision you will have thought it out throughly!! please stop by anytime! there is always a spiney around! let us know how you are doing?? be sure and stop by the "Back and Neck Surgery" forum for more input!! this surgery might just be the starting point of your new business as a photographer!! good luck! Jenny
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  • and i had a ALIF fusion last dec .L4/5 and S1 and am 46 and married to a nurse {very handy!!} unfortunately my operation has failed and i am back to square one .in loads of pain and not able to sleep .this was my third operation .i wont go on there are many posts regarding my fusion on spine health .should you wish to read them feel free .should you wish to chat on the phone with me again i will give you my home number {there are a few of us in the UK that chat to each other } i hope all goes well and you recover well .like i said if you want to chat please send me a PM
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • Hi Bill, i am a neck case rather than back case (my hubby thinks i am a nut case but thats another story :-) ) i am in Notts uk. i cant pretend to know anything about what you are going through, but although only 7 weeks post op i do know that this site has been of enormous help and support to me. the wealth of knowledge seems incredible.

    i echo the concern that i was told that without my op i would become paralysed from neck down as there was only one way it could go and that the surgery wasnt to make it better but to prevent it getting worse, so please check that delays in agreeing to surgery are not going to put you in an even more perilous situation!

    good luck with your back health and also with your photography!

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