If your doc has said you need the surgery, do it. It is probably time. I had my first surgery 12 years ago, I was 26. I had foot drop and had PT for 2 years afterwards learning to walk again. At that time my kids were 3 and 9 months. It was rough going, but I was a better mom, I think, because I wasn't in pain all the time. That affects the way you behave more than you think. Or at least more than I want to admit most of the time. Then in 2004 I had three surgeries, 2 on my back (both L4-5-S1) and one the removal of the gallbladder. That was a rough year. Then last year I had my most recent, also L4-5-S1. I went to a different doc this time and he told me there was cartilage floating around from the previous 3 surgeries that had gotten into my spinal collum. Nice! But if it is time, it is time. After each of the surgeries, I felt like a new person. It was almost automatic when I woke up that I didn't think I needed the meds. I cannot take percocet, but I take vicodin or phentonal. I didn't feel like I needed them. I have been doing good, except for a little set back a few weeks ago. I am rebounding now and feel better. But sometimes you just need the surgery.
It's hard to say what you can expect. Everyone is different, and sometimes (like with me) they have to do more than they thought. I was in a hospital bed for three months (in my living room) after the first one. I was in my own bed after my second surgery. I was in a turtle shell brace after both. If you need one of those, I suggest a fall or winter surgery, since it's utterly miserable in the summer (my first surgery was in June 2000 and the second in March 2002).
Good luck, and you have my thoughts for an ease to all your pain. I didn't have any disc in my L-5/S-1, so I know a lot of your pain. The surgery did help the pain tremendously!!
Thanks for all the experiences. I am trying to stay positive but it's very hard at times. My disc between my L4 & L5 is completely gone due to what the doctors are saying is "a birth defect" in which my spine moves 50% in "BOTH" directions. (My 1st pregnancy is to blame...all the extra weight) With that being unstable it has made my disc between my L5 & S1 50% gone. He said that it is rare to have it move both directions but if I only do the one fusion I will be back in 5 to 10m years to get the other done. "NO THANK YOU" And just my luck I'd be so special. The pain isn't hard to explain. It starts in my left hip (sometimes travels across to my right hip) and goes down into my left calf totally by passing my thigh, until it reaches my left foot. My foot will go numb and it feels like someone is stabbing me in the hip & calf with a sharp, burning, stabbing & twisting knife or metal object. I can't carry my girls for longer than a few minutes not even when they were babies. I can't stand still for longer than 5 to 10 minutes. I try to walk for exercise, but I'm usually hurting within the first mile. Some days are good ("good" is short for bearable) while others are depressing. I can't take "Lora tap" I get so sick and it never works. I'm now on "Percocit", I don't feel sick all the time and it sometimes dulls the pain. I usually don't take the pain meds, my doctor told me that is all he'll give me after surgery, I'm afraid I'll become addicted to it and when I need it, it won't work. I was told when the pain first started that I would have to have surgery but later like 20 to 30 years from then. I did PT, special exercises, pain management & injections (had 3 in one year). They either didn't work or last. My primary doctor said enough is enough and sent me to a Nero specialist. I almost got a stimulator but my surgeon said it was a good thing I didn't get it. I could of hurt my back worse and would of never known. But regardless I'm finding out next week when I'll be scheduled for surgery. Wish me luck. Can anyone give me some advice on what to expect?
Wow, that is terrible! I can relate to that kind of pain. I found out after my last surgery that most of the pain was associated to small pieces of cartilage that had been left over from the last 2 surgeries. It is difficult when you have to suffer because of a doctor's incompetence, or just laziness. Glad to hear you are on the mend!
My two surgeons had an ego war. I saw the first one in November 1999. They had their war, one dropped out and I didn't get my surgery until June 2000. I was in drop to my knees in tears pain during this whole time. I had a vertabrea snap off my spine that was free floating. That was agony!! I'm finally off pain meds every day, but I've been through a lot to get here. I wish you the best! Leila
It seems to take forever for the doctor's to make up their minds what is going on. One doc says one thing and one says another. One thing I do know is I won't be taking the neuroblockers again. Those made me feel so stupid and numb all over - including my brain - that I was like a mummy. I would much rather feel some pain and be myself instead of a lump on a log!
I am unable to have the fusion, I am allergic to all metals so they can't put any around my spine. I am unsure where I will go from here, but the pain isn't bad enough for surgery yet. I want to try to get around this without taking to many meds too. I think I am going to start with getting back to some exercise and yoga.
I can relate to you. I had two fusions L-4/L-5 and L-5/S-1 in 2000. It depends on all you will have done as to how you will recover. I had a bit more than that done (three laminectomies and over a foot of nerve decompression). I spent three months in a hospital bed in my living room. I also wore a hard plastic 'turtle shell' brace for six months. Today the pain is much better, and I'm glad I did it.
I had a 2 level spinal fusion L4,L5(6 screws 2 rods) and a laminectomy 10 months ago. I was treated for backpain for 2 1/2 years before having surgery. I did land therapy, aqua therapy, nerve blocks and epidurals. Some in my SI joint. Surgery was a last resort. When I could no longer feel my legs and had constant stabbing and burning pain, I caved. The surgeon told me that I had one of the worst backs he had ever seen and he had alot of experience. I can feel my legs now and I would say that the surgery was a success, my recovery has not been typical. It's taking much longer than anticipated, a surprise to both my surgeon and me. I am now undergoing testing for auto-immune diseases. I can only tell you... I feel your pain. My surgery is a result of degenerative disc disease. Hang in there and be realistic... you are going to feel worse before you feel better. Just be patient with yourself.
I am 33 years old. I am trying to lose weight but as you can image it is easier said than done. I have suffered from chronic back pain since 2000. I am going to have a double lumbar fusion between my L4 to my L5 and L5 to my S1. I am very nervous but am in high hopes everything will go as expected. If anyone can give me some in sight or comforting words it would be greatly appreciated. I am looking for anyone who can support me through this experience. And in hopes to find new friends that can truly relate. Hope to hear from someone soon.
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