done my homework!

Posted , 6 users are following.

Hi Guys,

Well after I wrote my post yesterday, I checked out what \"severe L4 compression\" means. If it is a disc problem then it is L3/L4. I know that the guy I saw yesterday wasn't a neurosurgeon (the muscleoskeletal consultant) and when he pointed out the \"bulge at L3/L4\" on the screen I thought at the time that it looked big for a bulge. Now it all makes sense.

To say I'm p***ed off is an understatement. Having had a microdiscectomy at L5/S1 and a discectomy at L4/L5 within 4 weeks, now to find out that in a few short weeks L3/L4 now has these problems is devastating. I know that I need to get the results formally from the new neurosurgeon, this year, next year, sometime never, to confirm and that the worse thing I can do is to torture myself being my own doctor, but I'm horrified. What happens now? Presumably surgery wouldn't just be another discectomy, there must be a limit to how many of those you can have?? Even if you could, what next?? Two months later and L2/L3 goes and they just work their way up my whole spine?? Maybe I could get a block booking for surgery every 4 months. Maybe they'll even let me have my favorite bed. I've already been in that hell hole three times. I'm guessing that if I have another op, next time it will be much bigger like Jess or Angela had. A while back I had new pain in my leg, but it was across my leg just above my knee and across the top of my ankle. I thought that whatever disc was affected the pain went down the leg, so I was a bit confused. But apparently the L4 nerve compression pain is distributed across the leg in these areas. I told the neurosurgeon when I saw her in February and I guess she must have known then what the problem was. All that I wanted was for her to tell me that my symptoms back then was just normal progression from the surgeries in December, but she didn't. I got sent for a new MRI and sent/being sent to three other Consultants too. Added to which all my muscles in my lower back, buttocks and thighs are so tight they are beyond normal physiotherapy exercises. It just gets better and better. I don't want electrotherapy or accupuncture. And now my whole leg is numb. At least with pain there is a good chance of recovery, there is virtually none with numbness. And it probably seems really selfish saying that, when others are suffering so much from pain. If the level of my numbness was replaced with the same level of pain, I wouldn't be able to work so I should be thankful, but right now it is hard to be thankful for anything. I'm still plagued with the PTSD symptoms relating to the CSF leak and how ill that made me.

My question I guess is \"does anybody know if you can have three discectomies, or what else is likely to be lined up for me?\" The fact that three discs have gone in succession in such a short period of time has got to be worse than it happening over say, ten years. I guess I'm just panicked. And the PTSD stuff doesn't help. The thought of more surgery scares the life out of me. I guess I can always say no and just live with what I have. Letting the so called experts near me, just seems to make things worse!!!

Oh well, that's my moan for today!! ave a good wekend everyone!!

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8 Replies

  • Posted

    My god TFU, I can't believe this has happened. I wished I had all the answers for you, hell I wished I was good friends with a neurosurgeon who could give you honest answers instead of what seems, no answers at all.

    I'm just so sorry, for what that's worth, probably not much. I really for feel for you, feel for all of you sufferers out there. It's so hard to stay positive when something else comes along to knock you down.

    When do you have to wait for the results 'officially'? Can you pester them in any way?

    Lots of big gentle hugs

    Jude xxx

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  • Posted

    Oh my G-d TFU, I so wish I could help in any way I really do.....

    I know nothing i can do or say will help but just know we are here to listen and I know thats not going to help u but its really hard to know what to say as sometimes even we dont have the answers :shock: but just to let u know, on here, u r not alone.

    No matter how much u read up on the problem and diagnose it yourself, it will inevitably come down to your consultant who may have a complete different answer and two different people could have two different answers.

    Do keep us informed, and if I find that magic wand to cure ALL ailments, I will wave it.... ( great, now Im a fairy :evil: )

    Russ x

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  • Posted

    hi folks

    not posted for a while but like some i do browse, but sometimes im not sure if ive any imput, but felt i had to say something you guys really are suffering ,tfu, remember a long time ago before i had my surgery i mentioned about once having suffered with disc/spine problems then we,ll probebly always suffer, but me being the ever optomist felt that cos my surgery went ok that hey i was wrong we can recover WRONG!!! i had to pay a visit to my gp (i had put it off for over a week) ive been suffering with severe back/buttock pain with the pain/ache going right to my ankle felt so weird and painful, i thought maybe it would ease and that i had strained myself (god knows how im ever so careful these days) but there was no messing around this time my gp examined me and took the pain seriously(which i didnt) she said straight away that she wants me to have a bone scan as she thinks i may have osteoporsis in my hips! and shes arranging for me to have the scan as urgent(ok where have i heard that before eh lol) im in denial really as when i had the disc problem things took so long to sort out , and to me this pain is not as severe as the nerve pain, but saying that she(my gp) explained that due to an early menopause and the fact i have disc problems the scan can pick up any problems early, so maybe worth thinking about ladys! i do hope you all find some relief from the pain but at least we have the site eh, best of wishes all, gail

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  • Posted

    Hi guys,

    Thanks Jude. I hope all this doesn't put you off your op. I was pleased to hear you have had the pre-op tests now. Hopefully those will come back okay and you'll get a date for surgery soon. Really you shouldn't worry that you are in any way likely to go through the same as me. The odds are thousands to one. But I'm guessing you have probably learned more here from this site than what you have ever learned from the NHS and that has to be a good thing. It may be a warts and all experience for you, but I think that has to be better than the limited information you get from the NHS. Certainly it will give you a much more rounded picture. The glossy brochures they give you about the surgery are very one dimensional. In no time you will have had your op and be back on here sharing your recovery and helping along all the newbies to the site. Remember Jude, everybody has different experiences.

    As to when I get the results \"officially\" that is hard to say. They have to respond to my fomal complaint by 25 April, but they can extend that. If they try I will go straight to the Health Commission. There first official response is likely to be little more than a cover up, so it will need to be drilled down further. I asked for a new surgeon about three weeks ago. I wanted an early appointment or a report of the scan results in writing. The fact I haven't had either suggests that there could be some correlation between the latest scan results and my complaint about the previous surgeries. But whatever the reasons for the delay, the new surgeon issue will be linked into the formal reply due at the end of next week. Knowing how these things work, they would have carried out their internal enquiry by now and will now be putting together their response in terms of apology (completely meaningless by the way), explanation for what happened and finally the way forward. So the first I may hear about being allocated a new surgeon or receiving the results will be in that letter. It all takes ages and as I say I know from experience it will be like getting mature from a rocking horse trying to get to the truth. Then the next stage is two fold, deciding how best to proceed with my complaint and secondly making sure I get appropriate medical treatment now. As you can imagine I need all this like a hole in the head. Or should that be a hole in the dura :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

    Gail, I was so sorry to hear about your new pain problems. When you were writing about it being in your back/buttock/leg, my heart sank bcause I thought you were going to say that you had a prolapsed a disc in your lumbar spine. Thank God you haven't, but possible osteoporosis isn't good either. Hopefully you will get the scan soon and it won't be as bad as you think. I do remember you saying that us \"spine problem people\" were always going to be prone to new connected issues and I guess you never know what is going to happen in future. This is why I sort of worry when I hear of people overdoing it, I was in fact worried about you going back to the type of work that you do because I know just how easy it is to get stuck in at work. But I guess you didn't see this one coming???? How will it affect your job??? I don't know what the treatment is for osteoporosis.

    Thanks Russ. This site is a bit of a lifeline for me. This is all with me 24-7, as it is with you probably, but the medical profession just leave us to get on with it. Sure they chuck us the odd bone here and there to placate us, in the form of medical appointments, but nothing positive ever seems to happen and then we are just left counting the days until the next ime we thing someone is actually going to do something to help us!!

    I truely am hoping that when I finally get to see another neurosurgeon they come up with a completely different answer to the one I am expecting. I have been trying not to think about it all, partly because of the fact that I really

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  • Posted

    Hi Tfu,

    I really can't believe the luck you're having :o , it does make you wonder though if you have more than 1 Operation does this weaken the other discs it sounds as though it might. I wish I could wave a wand and for everyone to be back to normal.

    I think that we have to keep ringing the Doc, Consultants etc every day if need be until we get something done to help us with our pain and worries.

    Try to keep your chin up, I know it's really hard to do, big hugs from me.


    [b:abea301ad2]Hi Gail[/b:abea301ad2]

    Good to hear from you again, I'm so sorry to hear you're having more pain sad , I thought you were well on the road to recovery. Have you been overdoing things, sometimes we feel ok to do certain things but once we've done them we realise it was a big mistake. Our heads tell us one thing but our body tell us that we can't do even the most simplest of tasks.

    Keep us posted as to the cause of your pain.


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  • Posted

    Hi TFU

    sorry for the late ness of my reply to your 1st posting.

    I had 2 microdisectomies to start with, then when I had my 3rd op, he performed 4 mirodisectomies, then did compression, the did dynesis.

    You can have far more than 1 miscrodisectomy, but if they are all in the same region, i.e lumbar region, then the next best thing to do is dynesis to stabalise those discs. If that doesn't work somewhere down the line they may have to do a fusion. This is what I am now facing.

    I know its hard, but try not to worry too much as if they have to perform dynesis, it could well sort you out. It stops the discs from prolapsing or something. I really feel for you TFU. You are going through pure hell.

    By the way, my consultant told me that having 1 operation on a disc can usually have a knock omn effect to the surrounding discs causing them problems too. That is why they try to prolong operations by giving injections, or physio and chiropracty.

    Can you do me a favour? Ask your GP to refer you to your local Chronic Pain Team. If she says no, then tell her you have the right to request as you have suffered from pain longer than 3 months.

    love jess


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  • Posted


    I am an Indian lady who has recently been diagnosed with L4L5 mild prolapse. I came across your post when I was browsing about disc prolapses. I consulted a spine specialist, a colleague of my Mom (a doctor herself) and has been advised physiotherapy and usage of lumbar belt. I also consulted an Ayurvedic doctor in my native place. For those who are not familiar with this branch of medicine, Ayurveda is an ancient system and philosophy of health care native to India. It is a widely used branch of medicine in India and is widely known as the oldest continously practiced system of medicine on the planet. Ayurveda has very good treatment for prolapses, compression of spine etc. In my case, the Ayurvedic doctor prescribed treatment (mostly massage using various medicated oils) for 32 days at a stretch. He said I would be able to run around like a kid after the treatment! smile I will be undergoing the treatment next month.

    TFU, would you like to try Ayurveda? You can check it up in the internet itself. Look for aryavaidyasala in Google. This is a very famous hospital in the state of Kerala in South India, my native place.

    I am sure that other than recovering from your disc problems, you will also enjoy your stay in Kerala, \"God's own country\".

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  • Posted

    Hi Trulyfedup.

    After over 2-years, how is your situation now?

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