L4/L5 Disc prolapse - 2 failed ops

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New to this site but summary of my condition

Suffered from back problem for 5 years.  Various treatments - Physio, acupuncture, epidurals, etc didn't relieve the pain.  MRI scan showed a bulging disc at L4 / L5.

I was offered do a disectomy which I took.  Didn't relieve the symptoms so was then offered a revision.  I had some quite heavy scar tissue from the 1st op but my symptoms were still no relieved.

Referred to another consultant who told me that in his opinion I wasn't bad enough to have had surgery and that over time my symptoms would be relived.  Spent the next 6 months managing the pain and trying to strengthen core. I started to go to the gym at work but mainly to do stretching - not weights.  About 8 weeks ago after having a few sessions at the gym I started getting severe pain around my hip area. 3 weeks ago I insisted that my private health company refer me to a specialist and had another MRI scan.  Disc is prolapsed and the nerves are being squashed by the bones and disc.

Consultant believes I should have another disectomy to remove more io the disc AND bone to give the the nerves room.  He is going to discuss with colleagues to see whether they agree with his diagnosis.

i have been continuing to go to work and have taken cocodamol and ibuprofen.  In constan pain (around 7) but occasionally I get an attack and it goes to a 9. This morning it's finally besten me and I couldn't get out of bed.

has anyone else had 3 ops for the same issue? I'm frustrated that I've had 2 failed attempts and I'm concerned that having more surgery will just make things worse - although it  doesn't feel like it can get much worse.  Thoughts??

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  • Posted

    Hi Dean

    Sorry to hear of your painful journey.

    I'm waiting for a microdiscectomy and feeling very sceptical!!

    I am managing with an epidural and co codomol and waiting for a surgery date. I am immobile otherwise and then have to take oramorph which does not agree with me.

    I totally understand how you must feel about decisions you are having to make.

    Take care

    Keep us posted on your decision and progress.

    Sazzie42

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    • Posted

      Hi Sazzie42,

      just heard back back from my consultant and he has referred me to a colleague who seems to specialise in minimally invasive spinal surgery. Reading his profile, he was the first surgeon to perform the procedure in the UK and it has a 93% success rate.  I've watched some YouTube videos on how they do it and if that is what I'm offered, I will have the operation.  Will update at the end of the week when I meet with him.

      thanks 

      Dean

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    • Posted

      Hi Dean

      Hope your meeting goes well.

      Can I be cheeky and ask his name?

      Keep well.

      What surgery will you be offered?

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    • Posted

      Hi,

      His name is Dr Irfan Malik.  I haven't met with him yet so not sure what he will recommended but reading about him on the internet he seems to specialise in endoscopic microdisectomy.  Will have to wait until Friday to see what he recommends - I will let you know.

      cheers

      Dean

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    • Posted

      Hi Dean

      Just wondered how your appointment went today?

      Hope all is good with you.

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    • Posted

      To say I was disappointed is an understatement. Consultant is confused about where my pain in compared to the where my disc is prolapsed. He said he is concerned that by performing another disectomy it may reoccur - one options is to remove the disc completely - fusion - but doesn't know if that will relieve pain I am getting in my hip. Next steps are that I have a CT spect scan and an EMG and nerve conduction study. All very frustrating but the pain I have been in this week leads me to think that a fusion is my only choice but I'm scared of the effects of this. Hopefully I will have tests next week but involves another 200 round trip in and out London. Physically I am in a lot of pain but mentally I'm being even more tested and not sure I can take much more of this.
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    • Posted

      Hey Dean

      Not sure what I can say to give you a smile.

      Well done on getting to the appointment.

      Hang on in there I can totally understand the thoughts you have. Do you have someone travelling with you? I find I need someone to help through the jargon. A couple of people I know have had a fusion - one being my Dad many years ago!! I hope the tests you have next week give you some answers.

      Take care Dean

      Your doing amazingly well x

      Sazzie42

      Keep us posted on your well being.

      Your important

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    • Posted

      So now had the tests, the CT SPECT showed an issue with L4/L5 so no surprise there as I have a prolapsed disc :-) hiwever, no issues being shown in the area I'm getting severe pain.  The nerve test was an interesting (probably would use another word but I would have to swear).  They basically out needles in my legs and sent electric shocks into them.  The purpose of the test is to see whether my L5 nerve is damaged - it isn't which I guess is good.

      i then see the consultant the yesterday to discuss results and he is still confused as to why if my L4/L5 disc is compressing my nerve why I have no pain in my leg or foot.  The pain I get is in my right abominable muscle and then shoots across to the lower back. If feels like nerve pain and when it happens it is the worse pain I have ever experienced in my life.  I had a couple earlier today and I must confess for the first time I was in tears just as my wife walked in the room. I think the tears were out of frustration as emotionally I am at an all time low.

      Next step is I go back to the consultant next week where he will inject cortisone and pain killers into the area where I am actually getting the pain. The result of this will determine next steps but I think the disc will have to be removed whatever the outcome - consultants concern is that he removes the disc and I still have the pain in the same area.

      Its weird I always feel better writing down what is going on and what has happened to me, so im glad I found this site :-) I'm at the stage where I don't  want to talk to family and friends about it, as they are no doubt sick of hearing my whinging :-). It's probably frustrating for them as there is nothing they can do to help.

      cheers 

      Dean

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  • Posted

    Hi

    sorry to hear of your problem. I have had my third disectomy L5/S1 and revision of L4/L5 in Mar h this year and I think it has just prolapsed again this last week as the sciatic pain is getting worse with increasing numbness .i. Just thought I'd tell you what my consultant said which was they do a max of three microdisectomys and then a fusion is offered . He was willing to do a fusion in March but I as hoping I would get a couple of years from the third disectomy but looks like I was wrong . Just a word of warning please do not go down opiate pain killers route , if you can manage without I am in a right mess with high doses of oxycodone and I was struggling to get off them when I had my third op and now I'm back with pain  , the side effects are horrendous and trying to go 'cold turkey ' is not nice. I hope things improve for you but I think I have to accept my problem isn't going away , I see consultant at the end of this month , if you are interested I will let you know what he suggests

    regards Julie 

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    • Posted

      So far I'm on ibuprofen, Tramadol. Diazepam and amytripiline. Don't want to take anything stronger than that :-) had my CT SPECT earlier today, just off for a EMG and Nerve conduction and then will discuss results with consultant on Thursday.
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    • Posted

      Evening Dean

      How did your day go yesterday with all the testing you had?

      Are you feeling ready for tomorrow?

      Hope it goes well and you get the answer you would like.

      Sazzie

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    • Posted

      I have had the fusion...3 discs...3 rods in place but the screws in lower rod haven't fused so I am now permanently on crutches. .cannot walk without them..I am in constant pain and am on a ridiculous amount of pain relief but nothing touches the sciatic pain...I hope you have better luck with yr fusion if you choose to have it...
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    • Posted

      Hi 

      just an update, saw my consultant on Thursday and I am having Meri on 30th June to see what's going on. He said it could just be inflamed or part of disc has come away and that will dissolve into my system or its prolapsed again and I will need a fusion. I was rather worried about fusion so I asks about success rates and apparently he tells me 85% success to get rid of leg pain but not back pain but to be honest I can manage back  pain if I can get rid of sciatic pain. I feel a lot calmer now , hope you are doing a bit better Dean.

      regards

      julie

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