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Back Problems Message Board

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[QUOTE=Sundedo;4805799]After reviewing the MRI's, CT, and discogram we determined that expectations are that a 2 level fusion of the L4-S1 discs would offer me the best chance at being pain free or greatly reduced pain. When asked about doing a discectomy on just the S1 disc, he said it wouldn't treat the majority of my pain.
Time to talk to the wife and finalize the decision...[/QUOTE]

That is exactly what my surgeon said: Discectomy will relieve leg pain, fusion will take care of both leg and bacvk pain. As I've said before, if the pain is interfering with your life to the extent you feel it's time to take the big step, then go ahead with the fusion. When you're discussing it, please make certain that your wife knows that your family is in for a minimun of 3 months worth of major changes in life around the house (especially for the first 2 weeks and less so the four weeks after that). Also, I can't stress enough to be prepared for the unexpected and don't be surprised if your recovery isn't textbook. After talking with folks here and other places, I don't think there is really a perfect recovery from a fusion, especially when more than one level is involved. It will be tough. There will be highs and lows. You'll be pain free in one area for a week and then you'll find that, for some reason, that area hurts again for a day or two. That is natural.

I hope you don't have scary problems afterwards. My foot drop is one of two cases that were posted here at the same time. The other fellow had his drop before I had surgery, so I figured that my odds would be pretty low of getting it, too. After all, it's not the usual thing to have after fusion surgery -- but it happened. Be prepared mentally for something that tests your willpower and your inner strength. This is not a tonsillectomy. I had emergency abdominal surgery back in February. That surgery and recovery were a breeze compared to what is going on now. Don't underestimate it.

I'm not trying to talk you out of this. I just what to let you know what you might expect. If my foot drop and nreve problems go away, I think five months from now I'll be a happy person. My back pain is beginning (not the incisional stuff, the REAL pain) is beginning to change for the better. If both my peroneal nerves heal like the surgeon says, my legs will feel great for the first time in years. I hope you get through your surgery and feel the exact same way (minus the complications, of course).

Please keep posting here and let us know how things are going. It's great to hear positive results. On the other hand, there are caring people here who can offer long distance support and advice. If you've never suffered back and leg pain for years, there's no way to know what it's like. This communtiy can offer true empathy. Best of luck to you! I hope you have the best possible recovery.:)

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