I was wondering if anyone can help as I am a bit worried, and there seems to be a huge amount of experience and knowledge on this site.
In 2006 I was diagnosed with having degeneration of the discs S1, L5, L4, L3, L2 after a car accident, I had an operation on L3, L4, & L5 which removed L4 and a bone graft and titanium cage was inserted in the disc space and the area L3, L4, L5 was bound together with 2 plates and 4 bolts. S1 was left as it was assessed that to do a disc replacement was too dangerous and I was too young, as at the time I was 28 and to do so would leave me in a wheel chair by the age of 40 due to the life expectancy of disc replacements and the problems with the disc above.
I have recently had an MRI as have more problems with pain and muscle weakness in my arms and legs and loss of bowel movements and it has shown I have compression between S1 and L5. I am having a filtration MRI next week with cortisone to show the exact level of problem and I have been told it will either be surgery or a steroid injection and then surgery.
I am very worried. My questions are has anyone else had this problem? The steroid injections (3) I had last time didn't work, so will they work this time? Will I need disc replacement or is it not possible to have the problem disc fused with L3, L4 & L5 above? And is there really a 10 year life expectancy once I have this operation? I am only 38 and have 3 young children (the youngest being 7 months old), and the thought of being in a wheelchair before I am 50 scares me, but also the thought of being in this level of pain and unable to pick my baby up or do things with them also scares me.
Any help, advice, experience, reassurance, experiences greatly received as quite frankly I am terrified and do not know what to expect.