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  #1  
Old 11-11-2009, 04:13 PM
mom2jj mom2jj is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 6
Default Another Newbie

Hi All,
I have been nervously and anxiously reading the forums. I am a 44 year old female with never a back problem. Used to be very active. 1 year ago in Oct. I was in a car accident (driver going 80 on a 35mph back country road, UGHH!). Since that time I have had low back pain, numbness in legs, sciatica issues, you name it. I have tried medications, PT (twice), 3 pain injections and one facet injection, Chiropractic (decompression therapy) and now I am at a loss. I am going for a discogram on Tuesday (can we say SCARED! - I'm not a fan of pain). I have seen a neurosurgeon for a consult after the orthopedic doc was out of ideas. THis was 3 months ago. He told me to go get the discogram when I couldn't stand the pain anymore. So this is where we are at. I have two bulging discs L4/L5 and L5/S1. Thing is both are not out that much but the pain I am having is really bad at times. Usually activity sets it off. For instance, 2 weeks ago the chiropractor and I thought we were making headway with a whole week without numbness. Then I went grocery shopping and pushed a partially full cart and wiped down 2 bathrooms in my house. Wham! by Sat. night I was in so much pain and it hasn't stopped since then - pain and lots of numbness down my legs. The neurosurgeon said I was a candidate for 2 level ADR. He supposedly brought the procedure to our county and has done many of them, including two levels.

I plan on going to another doc for a second opinion also. I'm confused as to where to go. Do I go to someone who doesn't do ADR surgery? Are there any more treatments out there that can cure me

I am scared that after surgery I'll be in worse shape, although, I can't do much now. My life has been severly effected by this for a year now and greatly so in the last 2 weeks which is prompting me to make a decision here.

Any advice on how to proceed?

Lynne
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  #2  
Old 11-11-2009, 11:26 PM
rhatzy rhatzy is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 112
Default

Lynne,

You have to ask yourself what the options are. You have two bulging discs which are pinching your nerves. After awhile, the discs could shrink and shrivel up and maybe decompress the nerves. But then your disc space collapses and take out your facets and a whole bunch of fun things will happen, or you will just get better. A discectomy will cut out the bulges and probably help for awhile.

For me, I had the bulges and the discectomies, one which helped for about 10 years until the other disc blew out. Had a discectomy on that one and it just went south. I could spend the rest of my life on pain pills and injections with finally having a multi level fusion. That wasn't for me. My only option with any good success was the two level ADR which after almost 2 years now, I am pain free and working.

In my opinion, if all you have is the bad discs and not much else, ADR is the way to go. Carefully weigh your options and make a decision. It won't be easy, but it was the only one for me and the most difficult one to make.

Mark
__________________
L4-5 discectomy 1996
L3-4 discectomy 2007
Maverick L3-4, L4-5 January 08 Stenum
Multiple facet blocks and epidurals
L5-S1 annular tear 8-08 lased with ELD
October 08 back to work
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  #3  
Old 11-12-2009, 12:25 PM
Maddie Maddie is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 138
Default

I have been begging for the past three years to get ADR, but can't find a doctor who can do it here. If I had one that said he could, and had a great reputation, I would have been in there yesterday. Mark said it all. Things only get worse, not better with the spine when you are in this position (usually). How much more of your life do you want to waste, being in pain?

That's just my opinion, after having five years of mine wasted, and getting worse. The pain medications have ruined my health as well. You are dang lucky in my books (with having a doctor who will help) !
__________________
C3/4-5/6- Mod. ant., severe posterior bulging w. nerve root compression. Sev. narrowing of spinal canal with cord compression.

L4/5/S1- Mod. narrowing, bulging disc, significant hypertrophy of flava lig.

Highly allergic to all metals.

NEW: 3/16/2010: Successful surgery in Brazil w. Dr. Pimenta; Nuvasive NeoDisc at C5/6, and XLIF & ALIF at L4/5/S1 w. PEEK cages. No rods, screws, plates. Non-metal lumbar ADR not available at present time, so went with fusion.
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  #4  
Old 11-13-2009, 09:09 AM
mom2jj mom2jj is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 6
Default Thanks Maddie

I guess I didn't look at it that way. Yes, I have a doc (and maybe more) that may do it. The two level really scares me. BUt I am not worth much to anyone now

I appreciate your comments. It puts things in perspective.

Lynne
__________________
44y.o.
Regular exercise/pain-free until Oct. 2008.
Bulging L4/L5 L5/S1
PT, Series of 3 Pain Mangement shots, 1 Facet injection, Massage, heat, ice, TENS, meditation, chiropractic.
Deciding on next option
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  #5  
Old 11-13-2009, 08:42 PM
Harrison's Avatar
Harrison Harrison is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 7,011
Question

Hi Mom,

What state are you in? Also, can you add a signature line at your convenience? Thx!

PS: Ooops, it looks like you did manually. It's "automatic" if you use the user control panel; see the User CP in the upper left link. Call me if you need help.

__________________
"Harrison" - info (at) adrsupport.org
Fell on my ***winter 2003, Canceled fusion April 6 2004
Reborn June 25th, 2004, L5-S1 ADR Charite in Boston
Founder & moderator of ADRSupport - 2004
Founder Arthroplasty Patient Foundation a 501(c)(3) - 2006
Creator & producer, Why Am I Still Sick? - 2012
Donate www.arthropatient.org/about/donate
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  #6  
Old 11-15-2009, 12:54 AM
ans ans is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,596
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Mom: Get at least three opinions from "mavens". Maybe some here can recommend docs in your area. Also, will your insurance cover if you (and are willing) to go out-of-state for this? I would see Dr. Fabian Bitan in NYC and Dr. James Yue at Yale if I were in your state but I"m pretty nuts.

Sorry you're here. I used to work out 5X/week for decades. Hope that you're "just visiting" after this rough patch.
__________________
Severe, extensive DDD, considered inoperable by Dr. Regan, Lauressen, & some guy at UCLA. Severe foraminal stenosis (guess they can't operate!) and some spinal cord compression that Lauryssen would fix if gets outta hand.
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  #7  
Old 11-16-2009, 05:53 PM
mom2jj mom2jj is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 6
Default 3 opinons

Thanks for all the replies. I live in south central PA. As far as insurance is concerned, I don't think it is covered, at least my one doctor said it wasn't. I was in a car accident and will probably have to pursue that avenue if I go with this procedure. I go for my discogram tomorrow. I'm a little nervous about that. I do plan on getting a couple more opinions after the discogram. I would love any suggestions for docs around me.
__________________
44y.o.
Regular exercise/pain-free until Oct. 2008.
Bulging L4/L5 L5/S1
PT, Series of 3 Pain Mangement shots, 1 Facet injection, Massage, heat, ice, TENS, meditation, chiropractic.
Deciding on next option
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  #8  
Old 11-16-2009, 10:45 PM
Jack Jack is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 120
Default

Ask who ever does the discogram to give you something to take the edge off the procedure. The goal is to compare the undamaged disc to the damaged disc. You can't be zonked on meds but there is no reason you can't have a little something. It might take a little longer to do the procedure but it is worth it. Fuss about it if you need to. As the saying goes "the squeaking wheel gets the grease".
__________________
Suffered thru every non-surgical cure known without relief.
Pain management '06 to April '10,
Had minimally invasive PLIF with internal fixation on 12/28/09 for isthmic spondylolisthesis of L5-S1 (TDR contra-indicated) DDD at L3-4 & L4-5, All L-Spine doing well. Episodes of no pain at all. After being relatively pain free for 4 months, C-Spine gave up. MRI due 11-1
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  #9  
Old 11-18-2009, 11:21 AM
mom2jj mom2jj is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 6
Default Discogram Done!

I had my discogram yesterday. It was not as bad as I had imagined it to be. The nurses and doctor were very informative and caring. They did give me light sedation. I remember very little about the procedure. I do know at one time I cried out in pain but yet I dont' remember the pain, if that makes sense. Anyway, the two discs that I knew were causing the problems showed up to be the problems - L4,L5 and L5, S1. At least I now I havent' been imagining it! Next step - get a couple of opinions
__________________
44y.o.
Regular exercise/pain-free until Oct. 2008.
Bulging L4/L5 L5/S1
PT, Series of 3 Pain Mangement shots, 1 Facet injection, Massage, heat, ice, TENS, meditation, chiropractic.
Deciding on next option
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