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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

Hi all. Well I am not sure where to begin in all this but let me summarise my story so far to save me writing a book!! lol

Back pain since May 2009, tried everything from physio, accupuncture, chiro, facet joint injections, root nerve block. Nothing worked, pain in lower back persisted throughout all of this - in different degrees of severity but NEVER went away. Eventually my back just seemed to snap altogether and I was bend sideways. The pain was unbelieveable. Long story short had to have an emergency L4/5 disectomy for a massively herniated disc which was severely compressing my nerves.

Now just over 4 months since this surgery and after a period of making some progress (gradually walking better, less pain) I am now almost back where I was before surgery. I have not been able to work for two years now, my life is on hold and I go through every negative emotion there is every day from anger that this has happened to me, to sorrow I am missing out on life, to depression because of the constant pain.

Anyway the lastest news is .. . . after being discharged from one hospital because (to use the orthopaedic surgeon's words) my spine is now "tickety-boo" I went for a MRI scan and standing Xray and had a private consultation with a spine surgeon to get a second opinion.

The private surgeon's verdict was that the surgery I undertook was botched and I will need further surgery to correct it. According to him the operating surgeon took away a crucial part of my bone and disc without putting anything in its place and this has compromised the stability of my whole spine, to the extent that it is now curving inwards. Left uncorrected, over time my spine will start to crumble and I will end up not being able to walk. The surgery to correct this involves fusing my lumbar spine and inserting metal rods to make it stable again. This is, of course, very major surgery and may even have to be done as a series of operations (he said this type of surgery can take 9 hours in theatre). He said if I want to go ahead he is prepared to take me as a NHS patient so there is no financial motive for him having this opinion.

I am still reeling from all of this news! But on the other hand it is not a complete out-of-the-blue shock for me because I knew something was seriously wrong from the pain I am in. Either way, I have been left with a lot to think about. I have gone from one orthopaedic surgeon that my spine was now “tickety-boo” and discharging me, to another telling me my spine will crumble and I will end up in a wheelchair if I don’t have major surgery!! Who to believe?? Well I am more inclined to believe the latter, simply because I am in so much pain still, but do I have that kind of surgery so I am fixed in an upright position and basically never be able to bend again? Hmmm I am not sure if this is the surgeon for me – he was very approachable but this may sound a bit hypocritical but in a way him being so openly critical of another surgeon puts me off him a bit. It is hard to get doctors to be negative about each other and although I think my surgeon was a butcher (I woke up screaming from that surgery which surely cannot be normal???) for him to say it out loud without me even prompting him – I wonder if it is in part because he wanted to promote himself in some way?? He is a top surgeon by all accounts and specialises in the kind of surgery he says I need, and he has no financial motive as far as I know. But he was a bit boastful of the work he does and I did not like that about him. He is so used to dealing with major spine deformities that maybe he is “in the mode” of treating problems with an extreme surgical solution – and he is “cracking a nut with a sledgehammer” by suggesting such extreme surgery for me??? I have so many questions!!

ANYONE who has any advice please feel free to tell me your views/experience. I just want to tap into any other sources of advice I can before anyone else cuts me open!!! Thanks for reading and I wish you all well x

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