Spinal lumbar surgery.

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I had a prolapsed disc L5/S1 i n 2012 and had a microdisceptomy.Everything was fine and I went back to work but towards the end of the year I started to get pains at the bottom of my back and down my left leg.With me being a hgv. tanker driver this just got worse.I was taking tramadol which helped for a while but I ended up collapsing one day after getting out of my cab.My gp sent me for another mri scan which showed another prolapsed disc L5/S1 the same as last time. So I had another operation everything went fine, I was do my exercises and physio.Then 2 weeks later everything started to get worse than ever.I was getting pains in my left leg and back which got worse the more tried to walk.Now 10 months later I spend most of my time in bed as now I get pain in both legs.My gp sent me for another mri and says he's not sure if I need time or another operation. My worry now is although I am suffering with chronic pain.He has put me on paracetamol, diclofenic, gabapentin and tramadol.If I do have another operation and it gets worse I don't think I could cope with any more pain.Has anyone else had this problem?.Sorry for the long post.

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  • Posted

    You may need a fusion to stabilize the disc . Otherwise it can continue to move and recur . I am a truckdriver too and it is like a jack hammer on your spine .Sometimes less isn't more .
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  • Posted

    Ask about spinal injections.  I found that they worked, although some people don't find that they help.  It's got to be better than the nuclear option of even more surgery.  The problem with surgery (sometimes) is that when you start, you may never stop and you end up with 'failed back syndrome'.  Some people have the same disc pop out a second time, other people find the pressure on the disc above or below following surgery is too much and another disc pops out the second time.  

    At least try the injections and see if they and time heal things.  It is difficult when you work, especially if you have a more manual type of job where there's even more physical activity.  Good Luck.  

     

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    • Posted

      Hi there, thanks for your reply but I have steroid injections, Facit injections, epidurals you name it and none have made the slightest difference. So that is why I had a disceptomy and then a revision one 12 months later.They say I have ddd and 3 of my disc are worn probably all the years lorry driving won't have helped.
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  • Posted

    Forgive my direct words but when your back is knackered, it's knackered!

    I had your surgery then a year later it popped again but on the other side, this time I said no way to surgery. Another year later I've knocked it out again but still I'm not backing down for more surgery as my only option would be a fusion. My discs have popped in and out so many times, I now have three degenerative discs and work with the chronic pain management team. My story goes back much further than yours (about 24 years of back trouble) but I've saved you all the rubbish boring stuff. I have three DD, a prolapsed disc, SI joint disjunction, arthritis, chronic neuropathic pain..... but I won't be beaten, I'm only 41. I know it hurts you big style, don't let it beat you, moving gives you a higher chance of helping recovery. Seriously, don't throw the towel in, if I can get up and about with my conditions, you can, don't give up on yourself!

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    • Posted

      So are you saying don't have any more surgery? Just keep trying to move about.I have read some bad reports on spinal fusion and is very painful. I can go downstairs and sit down but after 5-10 minutes I have to lay down on my right side.I was left with nerve damage and when I put weight on my left leg it shoots straight to my spine. But can't walk far because I have now started getting pains in my right leg.I try to drive my car once a week which is automatic with my scooter in the back to local shops but when I get home it has knocked the hell out of me and I have to lay down for the rest of the day . Sometimes even 2 days depending on how long I was out for.I only bought the car at the end of last year as I was able to get my son on as my carer.I couldn't manage without him.We tried it but I can't get too far.But hey anywhere is better than no where. Hope I can have a bit better summer than last one.
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    • Posted

      Ah, I've been there! Pain bouncing from one side then onto the other etc.

      I only had my initial surgery as I had foot drop, or I wouldn't have done to be honest. I looked at it as an absolute last option as I believe it should be. I would have to get a fusion over three discs and have heard very mixed reports, more bad than good BUT, every case is different and if it gets so bad for you, speak with your consultant to discuss options. Try everything you can, but honestly, my back is a right mess and moving gradually more and more has helped me loads. I too have had the days crippled with pain but as soon as I could I was up again. Ive spent some daft money on all the fancy alternative stuff and for me it didn't work, I've also tried all medical options too so I'm with the PM team now.

      Keep your spirits up is the key and try anything you can, I have a monkey bar that cost £3.99 and it does me great on those lovely shooting stabbing freezer pain days.....it's not for everyone but after a year of traction, I find it does the same thing! 

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    • Posted

      I have a bed bar that goes under the mattress which helps pull me up.My doctor said he is not sure whether I need time or another operation. I have phoned imaging department and they said for £10 I can have a cd with my scan and previous scans on it.So that is what I am going to do.I was wondering if I could get a consultant to have a look.Even if I had to pay for it before I had another operation. Because to be honest I have lost faith in the hospital where I had my last 2 operations.
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    • Posted

      You sound just like me, I roll out of bed but only after an hour of exercises! I'm fairly lucky as my consultant also works in our local Bupa hospital and so my work etc. is carried out there......how the other half live, one day you need a scan and the next morning you're in the MRI room!! I visit under the nhs not as a private paying patient. If I had not been sent to the place, I would have paid to go this time round.

      It's hard when you have tried all the daft stuff plus the medical stuff and you think to yourself this lot are just stringing me along. The NHS has a way of putting you in that standard group when you are an individual with your own issues.

      You can pay to see a private consultant in our local Bupa hospital and having had treatment in the place, I'm all up for recommending that, especially if you have access to your images. 

      I did the taking time option again rather than jumping into more surgery and I'm back at work, it really hurts sitting but it gave me a life back. You end up not living your life and folk and family run around to help you, makes me feel guilty when I think about it.

      You get those pictures and see what they say at a private appointment, mention the PM team too if you have not already tried them.

      Keep positive

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  • Posted

    Hi Dean, it sounds like fusion for you now mate, after 2 bites of the discectomy cherry it's your only viable option. Dont be scared though, go for it if the second disectomy has failed, good luck.
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    • Posted

      I have got to see doctor on Monday to talk over my results and have a long hard think this time since it cost me my job last time.Thanks Joe.
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    • Posted

      Hi mate, just so you know, there may also be the option of artificial disc replacement, ask your Doc. If it's only one level it may be an option in your case. If he don't mention it, it maybe down to cost-(it's a fair bit dearer than fusion). So make sure you DO bring it up, good luck and keep us posted dean.
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    • Posted

      I have read it's about £20,000 so I can't see that happening. Also with it being L5/S1 I have read they have problems with rotating .
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    • Posted

      Don't matter what it costs, they have to treat you with your best interests in mind.
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  • Posted

    Dean hi. I got the same problems as you do. One private specialist offered to remove part of one disc only at first and hope the best.

    Second private specialist raccomended a fusion to support 3 discs as my back is in a mess and will collapse with the years as i am only 50 at present (use to work at ANC and shift thousands of huge computer boxes every night for 5.5 years).

    I went to see a third Italian specialist and friend of my family and he raccomended to loose 30kg to solve few back problems as i am now 90kg: He said you will always have a weak back with an operation or not and loosing 30 kg will help you in both cases. I did go on a diet and I am feeling much better as I am loosing weight but the problems have not totally gone. I have good days and bad days but i am still working full times with some kind of sensitivity in one leg or both legs.

    I seen lots of videos of the fusion operation and some people are worst off than they were before the operationl. I am a positive person and gratefull I am not partially paralaized.

    take care of yourself mate

    Carlo Riondino

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    • Posted

      Dean I forgot to add that i have a batmobile ( that is how my son calls it) which i use and it does help me tremendously. Its called inversion table machine and you can get it from amazon for around 80 pounds. Then i do swimming and biking as much as i can after a full time job. all the best carlo
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    • Posted

      Hi Carlo, Not to be rude or anything but if you had same as me you would not be working , cycling and swimming which I would love to do . Nothing would keep me away from my job which I am going to loose this week.Do you think I would loose a job as a tanker job with a dangerous goods licence working for Biffa with wages of at least £500 pound a week.As for loosing weight how am I supposed to loose weight when soon as I try to go out like the other day it felt like a knife was being thrust in my back.Before driving I used to be a hgv fitter for ten years ripping wheels and brake drums off all by hand that's why my disc are worn away.
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    • Posted

      Hey Dean, you're right, no cycling or jogging for me either-ouch. If your up to it buddy just walk and stretch where you can, something is better than nowt-all the best with the doc mate.
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      Thanks Joe,Managed to go downstairs today but 10 mins max before going back upstairs. I am hoping Doc says they can do something. I have been looking at a sight in America and for £200. A Professor in research on the spine and qualified chiropractor who has published papers for last 25years.You get a copy of your mri scan on cd from hospital which I have just sent off for.Then you email him and pay by paypal.You then upload your images and he examines them and you have 45 minute consultation with him to discuss it and get his professional advice and your options. So do you think that would be any good for me to actually find out what is really wrong with me in ENGLISH?
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    • Posted

      Lol Dean,if they're trying yo confuse you i'd definitely go for a disc replacement, they have to offer it you if you condition is suitable for it, plus it's only one procedure. Remember for fusion it's at least two, bars and screws in-then bars and screws out 12 months' later. If your unlucky the screws or bars can irritate muscle 24/7 as it did for me, this kind of pain will drive you out of you mind. Pressure you Doc, don't leave until you get what you want and need. Oh by the way. forget paying money out for a remote consultation, it's only because your mind is in a desperate place that you'll try most anything. We have some great UK Consultants, just speak in plain English and tell them you expect answers that you can understand.
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    • Posted

      Just seen Doc and he says he will make appointment for neurosurgeon. Mri says L4/L5 There is a diffused disc bulging and it is seen indenting the theca.Disc bulge in combination with the facetal hypertrophy and laxity of ligamentum flavum.is causing moderate central canal stenosis. Doesn't sound good does it Joe.Maybe I need to get my bike out.Lol.
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    • Posted

      Ha hahhahaha, lol. Seriously though just concentrate on yer disc pain, as for the rest, it really has no consequence, we've all got crappy back ligaments so dont worry about that. Sounds like you have only three options-fusion, micro-discectomy or total disc replacement, it's all up to you mate. you're gonna be out of action for a good while so maybe now is the time to start thinking about a desk-based job. When you're up and around again how about asking yer boss for something part-time and desk based, don't sound like yer gonna be fit enough to drive tankers for a long time, if ever, sorry mate.
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    • Posted

      Hi Dean

      You are your own person and knocking out lengths in the pool and cycling is something for those who are very much on the path to recovery, we are all over the moon for those in this position.......it's just not us!

      I've had back trouble in one way shape or form for 24 years, I've got the DD's and all the fancy gear they attach with it around the disc bulge hitting one thing and another, SI joint bla, bla, bla - you have heard it all yourself. I'm in a position now where I've been able to go to work for two - three hours a day, my thirty plus tablets I take daily assist with that. I'm lucky with my employer but appreciate that others are not.

      Ive also put on weight because I've been sat around for over nine months, not exercising plays a part and when you're in pain like we are, you find its the bloody last thing you think of doing. I was told not to swim which I found strange, I could lie out in a pool but any form of swimming would hurt one of the many things on my list, jumping on a bike, the same thing, totally mental. Concentrate on getting from a to b for now and each day will come and go, hopefully with a little improvement. 

      If money was no object, yes, we could all do everything but back in our real world, just pulling out a little may help a lot, I think that's fair enough to say. I've pulled out money for some really daft stuff, people have had miracle cures etc. etc. but for me it's never worked, something alternative may help you though (don't hold out much hope!).

      Never forget Dean, your case is your case, don't allow the NHS net to grab you and take away your fighting spirit too. I hope you get sorted, I have the option of two surgical cures, none of which I intend to do but that's just me at this time. My thing is to maintain my level as I have seen improvements, you do what is right for you, no balancing on your head just yet :0)

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    • Posted

      Sorry about what's happening with your job, I would tell you what I really think of them if not on this site!!

      Class news about you managing a trip downstairs, I used to be the same, a five minute move around before that knife really drove into your body! I was chuffed to read that, great news. I built up on that and a good few months later, a few hours at work. 

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your comments. I can only wait till I get an appointment with a neuro surgeon.
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      Thanks for your comments. I can only wait till I get an appointment with a neuro surgeon.
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    • Posted

      Hopefully not a long wait for you, but knowing its due should lift you a bit eh?

      You get on the phone chasing them too, don't feel embarrassed to call them and push. I've spoken to secretaries, department heads etc. I was like a bad smell, but it got me quicker appointments until I bothered them to the point where they passed me to the private clinic to get rid of me! Haha

      A very sincere good luck Dean, and keep those little wanders in the house up, that is a massive boost to your sanity levels. Even just being able to throw a couple of slices of bread in the toaster is a massive achievement when your body hurts!

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    • Posted

      Cheers, it's true though. Mither the consultants' secretary, find out the number off your GP for now, the more you whinge the quicker you'll get seen.
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