I am a "newbie" to this forum and I am very happy that it is here and available.
I have had a cervical fusion and then a discectomy L4-L5, due to an accident 20 months ago. After returning to work full duty for a few months, I had ruptured the same disc L4-L5 lifting a 100lbs + item at work (we lift this item often w/o any lifts or equipment). Pain is horrific (again) and lost some strength in my left foot/ankle and big toe. After PT, prednisone and painkillers, my Dr is suggesting another discectomy or a fusion with plate and screws and removing the disc.
I was told that once you herniate a disc, it is likely that it will herniate again following a discectomy. I have also heard that the fusion will make the disc above and below more apt to degenerate, but the pain will be alleviated and will never herniate again (bye, bye disc). I need to mention that my job entails moving 'patient like' simulators in and out of beds, turning them, putting them in wheelchairs (one of them is approx 100lbs, taking him out of a wheel chair and into a patient bed - is what cause my disc to herniate again. I love my work and do not want to loose my position, but I don't want to cripple myself and/or live with chronic pain.
Any thoughts, suggestions, concerns - anything is welcome!