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Hi from the UK

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:21 AM in New Member Introductions
Hello, I am 25 year old who has struggled with my back since I was 13 (1996)! I had an accident whilst doing gymnastics. I was diagnosed with Spondylilothesis at L5 S1 and told to avoid high impact sport. I suffered with pain occasionally over the next 7 years but after a few days rest would feel better. In December 2003 I fell and slipped knocking the base of my spine. Following a root nerve epidural to help control the pain I had a PLIF at L5 S1 in January 2005. The surgery did not go to plan and the surgeon was only able to put in one rod and two screws. He put in the other screws and rod but had to take them out during the surgery as they were misplaced. The surgery did help although i still needed accupuncture and physiotherapy. In December 2006 my back pain finally got worse and worse and I was told that I had not fused. I consulted a second opinion and was told there was enough scar tissue and with exercise I would be ok. By March 2008 I was unable to work - with severe pain in my lumbar spine and leg all the way down to my toe. I saw another surgeon who did a new x-ray and a discogram. He confirmed that I was not fused at L5-S1 and that my disc at L4-L5 was damaged. On 1 July 2008 I had a revision fusion (ALIF) and a total disc replacement (Charite). The surgeon confirmed that the disc at L4-L5 had a big tear in it and that my origial cage at L5-S1 was not attached - i.e. no fusion! I am now 4 weeks post surgery and practically pain free. I can't sit for long periods of time. I am going walking everyday and gradually building up my strength. I have to wear a Zimmer corset when im mobilising and sitting. The surgeon was very pleased with my x-ray post surgery.

I am totally petrified that I wont fuse this time and can't wait for my x-ray at 6 weeks.
I have phobias of going busy places and I get panic attacks if I go to the supermarket as I am scared that I am going to get bumped into and that my spine wont fuse this time! Is this normal? How do others overcome this?

Sorry for writing this all at once, its just a great relief to read about others who have similar troubles.



  • :) hi and welcome to the forum! we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. how joyful that you are almost pain free and your recovery is going so well. please keep us posted as you progress. i hope you find your way around the forum ok.. there is more input available in the "Back and Neck surgery" section. good luck. i use breathing techniques to help me with anxiety and even severe pain. Yoga has helped me with this. good luck and with time i am sure your anxiety will go down. Jenny :)
  • It sounds like the first surgeon was not a very good one. Try not to be too stressed as that will not help your health at all. If the panic attacks get too inbearable you may want to talk to your doc about it and maybe he can give you something mild for anxiety. All you can really do is make sure that you follow your docs orders and hope for the best. It really does sound like you had a better surgeon this time around. Try not to worry about it too much and please keep us posted on your progress.
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  • Hi Luby and welcome to the forum! I know what you mean about fear of being bumped, though for me it's fear of doing anything that leads me into the inevitable, surgery. You have found the right place, we can understand in a way only other spineys can.

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