I am so heart broken I don't know what to do with my life

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I had a back operation 8 months ago. And even though most of it was a success I still have some nerve pain and me leg feels so tight .

I had another mri scan 2 weeks ago and got results yesterday . Now this is were am heartbroken , I have another disc out which is T1 consultant said he be very weary to operate as this can lead to me being paralysed. Am so upset I don't know what to do with my life as I don't want it get to a stage were this is a option or my quality if life is non exsited. I have a job which is physical do I give that up ? And what job could I do . For the last week I been getting tingling and like pins and needles in my fingers and pain in my arm which had for awhile I thought was tennis elbow. When I looked last nite it's the disc..... so now I gather the nerve pain I get in me leg will probably never get better .

I don't know we're to turn or who to do am devastated

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  • Posted

    Hi Donna

    sorry to hear your news. Don’t give up yet though.

    first, I would get a second opinion. For both issues. Individual surgeons have heir own experiences and views on what can be done to help in individual cases.

    It the T1 disc is bulging then it will affect nerves in your hands and arms but they are often operable AFAIK. I have a neighbour with a similar problem and she keeps it under control by seeing an osteopath. It is not right but she says she can manage and do normal activities. I also have a work colleague who had a fusion in C6 (above T1) and he says that although recovery took about 6 months, it was successful. He now does martial arts.

    Re the lower back and leg pain, did you find physio was helpful?

    There are additional surgeries you can have to help with an unstable lumbar dis. If it has herniated again, you can have a simple revision microdiscectomy. If not and you have a stability issue then either a dynamic stabilisation which usually involves pins into the vertebrae and flexible rods between them, or a full fusion. The dynamic stabilisation takes load off the disc and reduces motion to make the joint more stable. Fusion takes the disc out altogether and while you lose motion in that segment, it can help nerve root irritation as the area where the nerve exits the spine is static. The downside to fusion is that it can cause the neighbouring discs to suffer in the long term in a minority of patients. Your age will have something to do with which is the best option. Surgeons try to avoid fusions in young people ie early 40s as they do compromise activity.


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    • Posted

      Thanks Michael , my back operation was a success only problem is am still having nerve problems and he said it can take awhile to get better .

      He looked on the mri scan and said it went very well I had a very bad decompression so guess the nerves take awhile. As for physio I felt nothing worked to be honest. I am going back to doctors and have chat with them and go back on right medication and go back to physio.

      I need to know more about this T1 the only problem am having which I know is linked is pain in me arm and the tingling awkind pins and needles in my fingers.

      I guess I have to realise mybe I always have trouble with back and mybe be in pain . Am just scared of this T1 getting worse not stopped crying

      Thank you for your advice it really helps , also need to know if I can carry on working

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    • Posted

      I can fully sympathise. I had a second about having a fusion today and the second surgeon said can he was not sure it would be any use as the pain i get when i lie on my back (since August) could be nerve damage. He said that can’t take up to 2 years or even longer to heal, and in some unfortunate cases it doesn’t, in which case I guess it’s onto spinal cord stimulators or Lyrica or something I suppose.

      Plus he found a small herniation on my L3L4 which my first surgeon had not noticed. He asked me if it was symptomatic (pain in the front of the thigh) and I guess it is sometimes, but nothing I really notice compared to all the stuff at the back, but it makes me nervous about knock on consequences from fusion and my future prognosis. I can’t see if it was there before this second bigger op as the older MRIs don’t go up that far. 

      He did offer an alternative explanation which is that my L5S1 facet joint is screwed in which case fusion would help... I will have a diagnostic steroid injection to see.

      But not before I have an inguinal hernia repaired in an op on Monday! So that will be another month of rest and recuperation before I can really get back to my fixing my back.

      I am also wondering if this will ever end. What can you do. Keep doing the right things. Don’t do the wrong things.  Keep moving. Keep doing core exercises even if they don’t improve anything. We need those muscles more than any others in our situation! I bought a balance board thing with an app to train you on balance, and, my god, I am rubbish at it! But I can feel it working muscles that I had forgot I had so it must be doing some good...

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  • Posted

    So sorry to hear donna wish i had some encouraging news i have followed you from before you back op but as michael has said dont give up there may be options out there .my back hasnt changed i chose not to have op last year i still get nerve pain but managable and i know when i over do it take care 
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    • Posted

      Hiya , I thought I was near the end of the road with this . I had no option but to have a back operation due to me not being able walk properly, then again I feel like I been kicked in the teeth with the lastest out come .

      Am glad you seem to be managing on not going for a back operation never a easy discussion to make .

      I just hope and pray I don't need to make a choice on this one .

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