my father fell through a 20' hole with a concrete bottom. for 20 years or so, after initial recovery, he had severe neck and back problems. These included, leg cramps, testical pains, sciatica problems, back pain, neck pain, and excruciating headaches. anyway the moral to the story is, he had spinal fusion surgery and other than the testical problems, he is worse off now than before the surgery. i'm sorry for your terrible troubles and pains, but be wary of surgery, my deddy can't tie his own shoes sometimes, therefore he never unties them. long story short, do your research, learn your doc., and good luck to you.
i had a spinal fusion in july for L4/L5 it is the best thing i did. I feel 90% better.. and i can do the things now that i couldn't without pain.
I had 4 herniated discs (L1-L2, L2-L3, L4-L5, and L5-S1). I had a car accident when I was 17. I am a registered nurse, and decided not to change my major when the pain started. I worked for about 5 years in pain, and I was having pain radiating down to my foot. I too underwent PT, pain management, epidural and nerve blocks, and lost about 40 lbs. My pain increased and my back got worse. I finally found a doctor who listened to me, and I had my lumbar fusion L4-S1 on 1/25/08. That was the best day of my life, thus far. My pain is about 95% gone. I still have tinges here and there, but not at all like the pain I was having. I still take Tylenol as a precaution, but not the strong stuff that I was living on. I definitely recommend looking into all of your options first, and getting a second opinion. It took me 4 second opinions until I found the doctor who would listen, and give me options. If you do have surgery, of any type, I recommend land and water therapy for PT after surgery.
Has anyone mentioned the Dynamic Stabilization surgery? Or if you are a candidate for it? I also have a herniated disc at L4/L5 with bulging discs above and below. My neurosurgeon said I am a candidate for this procedure and that this procedure still allows normal spinal movement (compared to a fusion), is reversible and doesn't put stress on neighboring discs. The recovery time is a lot less than a fusion also.
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