Advice please!

Posted , 3 users are following.

Hi, I'm 25 years old, in 2013 at the age of 21 I had a microdisceptomy on my l4/5 as the disc had buldged. In June 2016 the disc had moved again, I was oeprated on in November 2016 a disceptomy which after an MRI later in the month showed it hadn't worked and the disc moved back. I was then operation on again in December 2016. In January I was sent for another MRI as I was still suffering with horrendous back and leg pain and unable to walk for longer than 10 minutes, the results came back that the disc again has moved back. My surgeon gave me the option of having the operation again or going straight for a spinal fusion. I have opted for the operation again on the hope it will work. This is due to take place on the 21st of March. I'm now doubting wether this was the right option to go for, or if I should of gone straight for the fusion. Has anyone had a fusion and can tell me exactly what it entails? Recovery time etc. Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated as at the age of 25 this is pretty much making my life unbearable.

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  • Posted

    Hi Sally

    sorry to hear about the tough time you are having. From what I have read so many discectomy ops is unusual. I thought surgeons usually gave up after 3 at most and went to fusion. But I a, not a surgeon so I am sure yours has his/her reasons. All I would say is that there are alternates to fill fusions that you might want to ask about. They can but in more flexible supports at the back of the spine with screws into the pedicles in the side of the spine that take load off the disc but leave some motion. I understand that this can be a better approach as it reduces overload on neighbouring discs that fusion can sometimes lead to and also leaves you a bit more flexibility in the lower spine. For an example, google Dynesis. There are lots of systems a bit like this now. The downside is that while fusions have been done for decades, these systems have really only been in use for about 20 years so there are fewer long term followup studies.

    its also probably worth mentioning that you don't want to have too many surgeries if you can help it as each one leaves scar tissue and that can itself be a problem if it fixes to the nerve (as mine seems to have done)

    HTH and the very best of luck.


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  • Posted

    Two years ago I had a spinal fusion at L2-3, L3-4, and L4-5.  This was after 12 months of severe burning pain into my leg.  Couldn't get comfortable I tried chiropractor, PT, acupuncture,a back brace, narcotic pain meds, gabapenton, a nerve stimulator unit, nothing helped.  I had MRI early in the pain course and again at 10 months:  spinal stenosis, herniated discs, lots wrong, and was offered spinal fusion.  No other choice.  Recovery wasn't easy, but I was in my 60s, not young like you.  I needed help at home initially , used a walker, then a cane, had home PT then outpatient PT, later pool exercise.  Today I can walk a mile or more, sit for a movie, work at a computerm basically live again.  I'm thankful every day.  Good luck in your recovery.  

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  • Posted

    Look up wallis ligament rather than fusion. Iam having the wallis ligament s done in April. I know a few who's had this and never looked bCk it's less invasive and quicker recovery time

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