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Scared and searching for support

Hi!  My name is Julie and I am 52 years old.  I have DDD and in the past year, have had 2 micros on my L5-S1 disc.  I recently had a f/u MRI because I just felt like something was not right.  The images show that the same disc has re-herniated again and the neurosurgeon says he thinks we need to go ahead and fuse it.  The procedure is a R TLIF with 360 Luna.  I came home and read about this surgery and just freaked.  It was not a day surgery.  I am looking to hear other stories out there.  My biggest problem is the pain down my right leg to the bottom of my foot.  I have a hour commute to work each day and then sit at a computer for 8 hours.  I am frustrated, scared, angry, depressed...just everything.  Hoping to hear from others about where they have been and if they have this surgery.  What can I expect?  I want honest feedback.  Please share!!


  • Ellen625EEllen625 New Jersey, USPosts: 757
    Hi Julie
    Sorry to hear about your issue. You will find that the emotions you are feeling are very normal. I had a microdiscectomy after experiencing severe sciatic pain. Fortunately,  it relieved my symptoms. I am almost 4 months post op. There are many folks here who have had the same surgery you are facing and will soon comment on their experiences. Feel free to vent. This is a great site for information and commiseration!
    Best of luck!
  • Bruce EitmanBruce Eitman Akron, OH, USAPosts: 1,510

    Welcome to the Spine-Health forums.

    I am sorry that you have had a rough time of it.  My fusion was in my neck, so the experience is different.  Hopefully others will join in.

    While you wait, do you have any specific concerns about fusion?

    Please click on the following link for some helpful information to get you started Welcome to Spine-Health


    Read my story at Bruce - My Story
    ACDF C4-C5-C6-C7, and getting better every day
    It has been a process of healing, learning, exercising, and resting - and figuring out when to do which.

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  • Thank you Bruce!  I have had 2 neck fusions are to me, they were a walk in the park compared to back issues.  I am so glad you have been getting better every day!  I just hope to gain as much info as possible before I see the dr again on the 31st of the month so I will have all my questions ready to ask. 
  • Ellen, I am so glad your procedure has done well for your.  I just keep reherniating the disc although I tried very hard to do everything right.  I just am trying to prepare myself mentally for the recovery and all that I will be limited from doing for a while.  I am hoping I can hold off until the first of the year since I have a trip planned that has been scheduled for 18 months but at this moment, I am so uncomfortable, I feel like the trip would be miserable.  I am considering applying for medical retirement.  My job and the constant sitting has just caused me more pain.  But I have to keep the faith and have hope!
  • Ellen625EEllen625 New Jersey, USPosts: 757
    Hi Julie
    I have an hour commute and an 8 hour desk job as well. I get up and walk around a lot! When my sciatica was really bad, I  couldn't sit,  drive or work. What are you doing to control your pain? 
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  • I get up and walk every hour also! I wear my brace and use a lumbar support device that P.T. recommended. But there are days that the pain and discomfort is so bad I have a very hard time focusing on my work and I have to make very critical decisions about assigning people to details. If I make mistakes, I get in a lot of trouble. My boss told me that my doctor was NOT going to dictate to her what I could or could not do. This additional stress is so overwhelming.
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