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2 Weeks Post Surgery

Chupacabra313CChupacabra313 Posts: 1
edited 12/17/2015 - 9:10 AM in Recovering from Surgery
Hello all. I've been using this website as sort of a "ghost" always reading and thinking, but never commenting. Long story short, I have been dealing with back pain for about 8+ years. About 2 years ago, it got to a point where I couldn't take it anymore. My wife and I had just had our first child, and it was to the point that I couldn't even hold my newborn son for more than a few minutes. I had just turned 28. I headed into my family doctor, who in turn sent me in to have an MRI. The results showed that I had two broad herniated discs (L4-L5, L5-S1). I never had any type of trauma or injury to my back to cause this. I was also diagnosed with DDD. Also, I'm a pretty big guy, 6' 3" 340lbs. I was sent to a PM Doctor who instantly wanted to start cortisone injections. I had 3 rounds of shots in the matter of 2 months. That had no affect, and I felt actually made the pain worse. I was now having severe pain down BOTH legs. After this doctor put me on Oxycodone, he basically said that there was nothing more he could do besides PT and said surgery was out of the question because of my age. I did about 4 months of PT and, again, no relief whatsoever. I was referred to another PM who was totally against any type of pain medication and wanted to try different types of shots. With this doctor, over a course of about 7 months, I went through 3 rounds of medial branch blocks, which provided zero relief and an "RFA" where they use radio frequency waves to kill the nerves going down into my legs. I was told that this would last 8-14 months. Well, it lasted about 5-6 weeks. I finally got to my breaking point and took myself to my local ER. I was assigned to meet with a well known Neurosurgeon. We had more MRI and CT scans, and realized that after all of these treatments, the problem was only getting worse. The latest CT scan report said that I had Severe Central Stenosis meaning the discs were now pressing on my spinal cord. I was losing feeling in my feet with constant numbness from the ankles down. I was dragging my feet when I walked and had no quality of life at all. My son is now going on 2. I could not play with him. I could not pick him up. He couldn't chase me or climb on me. I felt like a complete failure as a father and husband. A few weeks after my 30th birthday, my wife and I met with my surgeon and we all decided on going through with a MIS TLIF as the condition was only getting worse. My surgery was December 4, 2015. Tomorrow will be two weeks post-op. I have to say that this was the BEST decision I have ever made in my life. I already have my life back. I have zero leg pain and can feel my feet. I can stand up straight. It's going to be a long recovery, but I can tell you already, I am a totally different person. To anyone on the wall about having this surgery done, I would highly recommend it. I can say it saved my life. I know I am now a few weeks away from my son having a father who will be able to teach him how to play sports, hunt, fish and enjoy the outdoors. My wife and I have out life back together. This, by far, was the best decision I have ever made in my 30 years on this planet. Feel free to DM me for any personal questions regarding the surgery and my specific case. And to everyone going through a rough time. Please hang in there. It does get better. As hard as it is, think of the positive future you have ahead of you. It's so worth it.

Welcome to Spine-Health

One of the most important things that members can do is to provide the rest of the community with as much information about themselves as possible. It is so very difficult for anyone to respond when we do not have enough information to go on. This is not meant to indicate that you are doing anything wrong or violated any rule, we are just trying to be pro-active and get the information upfront so that people can start responding and your thread is more effective.

So many times we read about members who have different tests and they all come back negative. The more clues and information you provide, the better chances in finding out what is wrong, The fact that your test results are negative does not mean that you are fine and without any concerns. Many times it takes several diagnostic tests and procedures to isolate a specific condition.

Here are some questions that you should answer:
  • - When did this first start? . Year, Your age, etc
- Was it the result of an accident or trauma?
- Are there others in your family with similar medication conditions?
- What doctors have you seen? (Orthopedic, Neurosurgeon, Spine Specialist, etc)
  • . Which doctor did you start with? Ie Primary Care Physician . Who are you currently seeing?
- What Conservative treatments have you had? Which ones?
  • . Physical Therapy . Ultrasound / Tens unit . Spinal Injections . Acupuncture . Massage Therapy
- What diagnostic tests have you had? And their results (MRI, CTScan, XRay, EMG, etc)
  • . Summarize the results, please do not post all details, we cannot analyze them . How many different tests have you had over the years? Similar results?
- What medications are you currently using? (details, dosage, frequency, etc)
  • . Name of Medication . How long have you been using this? . Results
- Has surgery been discussed as an option? (If so, what kind)
- Is there any nerve pain/damage associated?
- What is your doctor’s action plan for treating you?

Providing answers to questions like this will give the member community here a better understanding
of your situation and make it easier to respond.

Please take a look at our forum rules: Forum Rules

I also strongly suggest that you take a look at our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) which can be found at the top of the forum menu tab or by going to FAQ There you will find much information that will
  • - Help you better utilize the Spine-Health system- Provide pointers on how to make your threads / posts- Tips on how to create your avatar (your picture), posting images, etc- General pieces of valuable information

Please remember that no one at Spine-Health is a formally trained medical professional.
Everything that is posted here is based on personal experiences and perhaps additional research.
As such, no member is permitted to provide
  • - Analysis or interpretation of any diagnostic test (ie MRI, CTscan, Xray, etc)- Medical advice of any kind- Recommendations in terms of Medications, Treatments, Exercises, etc

What could be good for someone could spell disaster for another.
You should also consult your doctor to better understand your condition and the do’s and don’t’s.

It is very important that new members (or even seasoned members) provide others with details about their condition(s). It is virtually impossible to help another member when all the details we have are

I’ve had this for years, it hurts, I cant move my shoulder – what could this be, what treatment should I get?

Diagnosing spinal problems can be very difficult. In many ways it’s like a game of clue. Especially, when the diagnostic tests come back negative – no trouble found! Then it’s up to the patient and the doctor to start digging deeper. The doctor is like a detective. They need clues to help them move along. So, you as the patient need to provide the doctor with all sorts of clues. That is like it is here. Without having information about a condition, its impossible for anyone here to try to help.

Specific comments :

Personal Opinion, not medical advice :

--- Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Moderator : 12/17/15 15:10 est



  • hvillshhvills Suzhou, ChinaPosts: 971
    WOW... that's super good for you!!!! I also had a two level fusion (PLIF L4-L5-S1) in May of 2013 and like you I was on cloud nine with the almost instant elimination of the nerve pain. The complete fusion/healing took almost 12 months but it was no problem considering what I had been through before the surgery. However that's when I made my mistake and "over did it" somewhere around month 15-16 and I broke one of the screws and L5-S1 fusion slipped. I had have a complete new fusion surgery at L5-S1 in January 2015 and I'm still recovering.

    So I guess my shared "lesson learned" is that even though the surgery fixes your nerve pain it doesn't cure you. Your back will never be 100% again and you MUST be "kind to your back" for the rest of your life or you will end up like me back on the surgeons table. for a second time. Be VERY careful or even eliminate actions that may jarr or stress your back... i.e. aggressive sports, lifting heavy boxes, chopping wood, etc... even picking your son. I know it may sound harsh... but some lifestyle changes are just a fact of life with back surgery.
    Harry - 65 year old male...
    PLIF L4-L5-S1 due to disc degeneration... May 23, 2013
    PLIF L5-S1 due to failed fusion and broken screw... Jan 19, 2015
    Microdiscectomy, decompression L3-L4 due to herniated disc... Jan 19, 2015
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