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Back Problems Message Board

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I have no advice, but my husband already has a microdiskectomy at L4-5, and is getting at fusion at L4-5 and possibly L5-S1 in December. He's always in pain, so hopefully this will help.
Have you gotten 2nd opinions on the necessity of this surgery? I, too, have degenerative disc disease involving the same discs for 15 years. I was actually pregnant with my first daughter at the time. My neurologist said that surgery shouldn't be done unless I were to loose control of bowel/bladder function. I am on disability and live a pretty normal life but take care to not do things that will worsten my condition. I am in tolerable pain that I can handle but have developed osteoarthritis of my knees and ankles over the years as well. When my back chronically goes out usually 3-4 times/year I take celebrex and use hot packs & a TENS unit and I cannot do anything for about 3-4 days. My lifestyle has completely changed...I know what will make my back worse (go out) and I make sure to not do these things. I get alot of help from my husband & daughters to do the things I cannot.

I have heard that the surgery can cause even more problems & that it shouldn't be done unless absolutely necessary. I was 27 when I was first diagnosed. They did Physical Therapy with hydroculator packs and TENS unit treatments which I do at home as needed. Please be sure to have a second opinion...and like the other post said, you should seriously consider non-invasive treatments before jumping into surgery...Goody :wave:
Hi Everyone

Thank you so much for all your responses, it is very nice to know that there are people out there who understand how terrible back pain is!

I have undergone physical therepy, hot and cold packs, traction, otc med's, as well as prescribed meds. I even had an epidural shot... needless to say, I am still in pain.
I am unable to take a car trip longer then 20-30 minitues. I even have a very hard time picking my daughter up out of her crib and highchair.
My back pain has definetly made my daily life harder then it has to be. I wake up 7 days a week in pain. I do not get a break... Grant it, somes days it is a 5 or a 6, other days a 9 or a 10. I feel as though I am on fire.....

At any rate, I am leaning more towards the surgery at this point. (Please feel free to give me advice) Now I am confused about having just the laminectomy or having the fusion.

My surgeon advised that if he goes in and trims the herniations there is a 50-50 chance of my symptoms subsiding. He also advised that not only is this surgery much safer but he told me that there is a possibility of my discs herniating again becasue they are degenerative. If that was to happen he said he would have to go back in and do the fusion anyhow.

So here's my diliema, do I say go ahead and do the major operation, since I think it is silly to have to go back under the kninfe again, or do I go ahead with the easier operation and hope for the best?

Please help!!!
Sorry this is SO long!
[COLOR=DarkOrchid][SIZE=2][FONT=Comic Sans MS]Mlacowicz,

Most important thing..... this is what everyone is trying to pound in my head....... POSITIVE ATTITUDE!!!!!!!!! :cool:

I think it's good for you to go with what your doctor says.... and remember there is a good chance that this will be the only surgery you will need. You gotta keep thinking that way, and not let the fact that other's have had re-herniations deter you at all. Of course, it's a concern, but we're not even gonna think that now, ok? :D I'm sure you'll be fine with just the discectomy/lamanectomy (sp?). WE gotta have faith, right?????????

I'm sure there have been more successful discectomys as opposed to unsuccessful ones.

Thanks for the well wishes for in the morning.......... I'm gonna need em! :eek:

Misty [/FONT] [/SIZE] [/COLOR]

You are 100% correct. I have to go into this with a positive attitude! Who knows what the future holds! Either way, at least I have my family and friends, and of corse all of you to help me thru it!

Keep us posted on your progress, and be sure that you will be in my thoughts and prayers!


PS: Should be getting my surgery date tomorrow... will let everyone know!
Hi There Monas!

1stly, I would like everyone to keep Misty in there thoughts today, as she is undergoing surgery. I am positive that our well wishes and support combined will make her recovery much easier! :angel:

Having that said,
My Dr. who is a nuerosurgeon specializing in the spine and brain, is right now leaning more towards the lami/discetomy. I agreed to it, based on my promise to myself earlier yesterday. I was getting myself so stressed out over this situation that I was literally having aniexty attacks. I finally told myself that I have complete faith in Dr. and whatever he feels is best for me at this time is what I will do. One of my very good friends had a discetomy is 1998, (preformed by same Dr.) and she is WONDERFUL! However, her discs were not degenerative. I am trying to be positive and push all my negative thoughts away, but there is still that peice of me that is not completely sure.

Dr said I will be in the hospital for 1-2 days as opposed to 3-4 with fusion.
There was no mention of rehab, however, my mom is off from work all summer so she will be here to assist with caring for my daughter. My husband will also be here to help, however, owns a business so is obligated to keep that up and running.
I am actually already in therpy, I see both a physio and a theripist, as I was diagnosed with OCD a year ago. I am currently on Zoloft, which I must say is helping me thru a lot of the ups and downs.
I have not thought about tools... please advise?

Thanks again for all your support and advice
HI Everyone!

Just a quick question... since I have decided on going thru with the discetomy and not the fusion, do I still need the post-op recommendations that you have listed?
If anyone out there has gone thru this surgery, please give me your comments and advice. How did you feel before, and after surgery. What was recovery like? How long until you were feeling better and so on.
Please be as honest as possible, as I have a small child that needs to be taken care of and I must get some sort of schedule together so I know what I can and can not do.

Isn't amazing how many different emotions can go thru your body all at one?!

Thanks again!
G'day mlachowicz,

so you have a date set, thats great! one step closer to pain relief hopefully! when i got my date set i had a million emotions running through me! i was excited, scared, relieved, stressed all at once. i remember i had to go into hospital on the sunday and my op was on the monday, so being 19 i decided to go out and have one last bender with my mates as i new i was not going to be able to drink for a year. i was having the night of my life cos i was excited to get it all over with but once the alcohol levels rose i became quite scared and emotional! man i wish i could go out now!!!!

in your post you said you will be in hospital for 1-2 days, thats pretty good, i found it odd that you would be only in for 3-4 if you had of had the fusion, i spent ten days in hospital and then 2 weeks in a rehab hospital after my fusion, everyone's surgeons are so different!
sounds as though you are going to have a lot of supoort post op which is a must!

i would suggest you do still get a reaching aid as it is so hand, especially when you drop the soap!!!! i have a raised toiloet seat and a shower stool which i am still using to this day, mainly as a pre-caution now as i dont want to get rid of them until i've had my 1st post op xray to see if i have fused. im not too familiar with the restrictions you will have post op, as i am still not allowed to bend/twist/reach etc. your suregon should advise you as to what you will need.


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