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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

Hello All,

This is my first post and I hope I can get as much feed back as possible. Let me preface this with a bit of history. I was in a car wreck when i was 22 years old. I did not have any broken bones but about 3 days after the wreck I started having pain and numbness in my right leg. I just ignored it for a few weeks and it became unbearable. I went back to the hospital and they advised it was sciatica and there was nothing to worry about it would go away. This was not true and I went to a spine specialist and did a round of injections and it was better and they released me from care. Then it started again a about a year later, later but I just dealt with it. It became worse and I went to another spine specialist who ordered a MRI. The next day, the day of my MRI, I woke up and was in so much pain and could not walk, I mean my legs literally did not work. I went to my MRI appt by being carried by my two roommates. I went home and it just got worse. I ended up calling an ambulance and they admitted me to the hospital and started IV pain meds. Luckily I went to that MRI appt because they would have sent me home if I didn't have the films with me. They gave the MRI results and films to the Ortho on call in the Hospital. He said that he had never seen so much herniated disc matter protruding and I needed surgery to repair the disc. so I had a microdiscectomy on L5/S1. I was fine instantly. I was not in any pain. I thought I was going to be fine from there. About 2 years later the pain started all over again, but in both legs this time. It was all there; the pain, the numbness and weakness. I was referred to a pain management Dr about 3-4 years ago. Started pain meds and I am now taking about 6 Oxycodone(10/325) per day. I have done about 5 sets of ESI's and still I am in so much pain. More leg pain than back, but don't get me wrong, my back hurts pretty bad. I had another MRI done recently and it shows 3 discs that are degenerating and 2 that are protruding. One is protruding on the nerves that control bladder function. I went to one surgeon who told me that he didn't think surgery was an option and that I would wake up one morning and I would be fine. He also advised me to stop taking all pain meds and ignore the pain. He even gave me an analogy, quote from Dr "Think of it as me tapping you arm, at first you are thinking why is this person tapping my arm? Then after about 20 minutes, you forget that I am tapping you." He said that when I quit the meds I will go through severe with draw and it will make me a stronger person! And my pain management Dr should not be allowed to practice medicine for prescribing narcotic pain meds to patients. This surgeon is another Dr in the same practice as my pain management Dr. Does this sound wierd to anyone else? I told my PM Dr about this and he said under no circumstances should I just stop taking the meds. He said that in some cases the with draw can be lethal or patients would react so badly, they commit suicide. He said when it is time he will gradually reduce my meds to get me off of them. So I went to another surgeon for a second opinion and he advised that any Spine Specialist would see that I needed surgery if no other treatment was working, plus the severity if my herniation's and loss of disc height all point to surgery is necessary and would probably be the only thing that will give me any quality of life. At this point my life sucks because of this. My boyfriend of 5 years broke up with me because he could handle watching me be in the amount of pain I am in and was fearful he would end up being my caregiver and not my boyfriend, I can sit or walk for more than 20 mins at a time, I don't sleep anymore because the pins and needles in my legs and I don't go out any where, except to the Dr and grocery store, because I am afraid to be gone too long and then start hurting and not be able to continue with the activity and be that person that causes his friends and family to resent him for making them go home early all the time. So I am at the point where I am about to have the PLIF procedure done. it will be the tradition one, not the minimally invasive one. My Dr said I don't qualify for the minimally invasive one and that's fine. I want this nightmare end or at least just be a bad dream! LOL. So, my questions are: Has anyone out there had this surgery? How long were you in the hospital? How much pain were you in after you went home? How long did you hurt after the surgery? How long were you off work? Did the surgery work? Are you still on pain meds after the recovery? Do I need someone to be with me while I recover? Is it a hard recovery? SO this is so long, i just want to be informed as much as possible. I am having this surgery regardless of the responses, but I welcome all info that can be passed to me. i just cannot be in this much pain anymore and I feel this is my only option left. Thank you in advance for any info or questions answered

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