First time posting here so hope I get some good responses from all of you.
I've been having back problems since early age, mostly radiating pains in my legs that doctors wrote off as the restless leg syndrom as they now call it but then it was just growing pains.
3 years ago (age 22, I'm now 25) I had a protrusion between L4 and L5 at which the doctor told me that surgery was necessary to keep me from danger of ending in a wheelchair.
Reason was that L5 was not in one piece, never was apparently and was causing damage over time.
If I am telling it correctly, this should be called spondylolisthesis.
After my first fusion which was L5 - S1, I felt so much better but it was only for a short while.
The protrusion ended op being a hernia and so the doctor added L4 to the construction.
Half a year later I felt and heard a really loud cracking sound coming from my back, immediatly after I started having more pain and so I got an X-ray and the results where quite clear: Broken fixation bolts in disc S1.
To reduce the pain, the doctor told me it was better to not have surgery but go for facet denervation on both sides at levels L4 / L5 / S1. Though no results at all where noticed after these procedures.
After all this, I decided to find a different surgeon and so I went to Leuven (I'm from Belgium btw).
The neurosurgeon decided that it was better to have a multidisciplinar session with an orthopedic surgeon as well and he has found something totally different.
The reason why my bolts are broken is because I have Lordosis or what I just call it "a hollow back" which causes enormous stress on the bolts and ending up breaking them.
Changing the construction would not fix this issue and would probably break the bolts again so the surgeon has proposed me a different idea:
An 8 hour operation where they perform the ALIF / PLIF procedure at the same time correcting the curve that my spine follows and redoing the entire fusion.
After this surgery, I would have to wear a brace around my back and also a brace around my legs / hips to stop any movement possible for a certain amount of time.
The risks involved are:
- 10% chance to lose the feeling in my legs (1 or 2)
- 10% chance in power loss in one or two legs
- 1 or 2% chance of erectile disfunction
- 5% chance of retrograde ejaculation
Anybody has experience with this kind of surgery?
He told me that this kind of surgery was 'famous' in France and the US / Canada but not in Belgium.
Thanks in advance and sorry for the long text :-)