Hi guys, I hope this is the right area to put this.
A little background: I'm 23 years old. I had been seeing a spine surgeon who told me to wait and that he wouldn't recommend fusion surgery unless I had no other options. I've tried physical therapy and medication, neither worked very well.
My pain is getting worse. I can't stand for 5 minutes without needing to lean on something. I can barely walk a block or two and, if I do, I need to stop several times. I work a physical job. I groom dogs; I have to lift them, restrain them, and I'm normally hunched over doing haircuts/baths all day. I dread going to work every day and after work I can't do anything else; I have to go home and lie down because I'm in too much pain. I can't really afford to switch jobs. Since I have a trade I make significantly more than I would at any other job because I don't have a college degree(I'm going back to school this fall).
SO, anyway, my spine doctor recently moved away and I'll be consulting with a new one soon. I want to tentatively ask about disability, but at my age doctors can be a bit judgmental about certain things. I had to fight for medication and then was required to go in for an office visit for every refill. When you a have a high deductible insurance plan, that many visits is really expensive.
I'd also be interested to hear if anyone with similar back problems to me has had a successful spinal fusion. It's hard for me to decipher how similar other patients' problems are to mine as this stuff is all new to me.
Here are my MRI results for background:
Grade I anterolisthesis of L5 upon S1 is noted with an exaggeration of the lumbar lordotic curvature. This appears to be related to bilateral spondylolysis at L5.
There is severe facet hypertrophy at L5-S1, less at L4-5 with bilateral neural foraminal encroachment. At L5-S1 there is bilateral foraminal stenosis.
No spinal canal stenosis is noted.
Loss of T2 brightness at L5-S1 disc is seen with a posterior disc bulge. The other discs are normal in outline.
The tip of the spinal cord lies at the level of the L1 vertebral body and the conus medullaris is normal as seen.
CONCLUSION: Bilateral spondylolysis at L5 with Grade I anterolisthesis, bilateral foraminal stenosis as well as disc bulge at L5-S1.
Thanks in advance for any insight/advice on switching doctors. I really just need to talk to anyone who can relate.http://www.spine-health.com/forum/announcements/spine-health-announcements/mri-reports-why-we-cant-advise