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Third lumbar surgery

Started by RevelationX on 01/22/2020 3:25pm

I am looking for some advice and or experiences from others who share my “joy “


A quick and dirty run down
2002 I injured my back , in 2003 I had a fusion done on my S1-L5, 6 months later back to work started out ok started to hurt again 2005 same surgeon did the L4-L5. 6 months back to work., still some pain but not quite as bad. Hey I got child support a wife 2 step children and pride pushing me.
Fast forward to 2018 after pain management injections, opioids (no more of those thank you), PT all that jazz at various times. Never any permanent relief.
I go see my PCP Dec 2018 because my left shoulder was really getting bad figured Arthritis.
Nope one MRI later I’m seeing a Neurosurgeon seems at some point I blew up C5-C6 bad enough that a large chunk had migrated to compress my spinal cord down to 4 mm

Dr. said verbatim “ I have seen worse, but usually they don’t walk in to my office “ I had fusion surgery inside of 20 days of MRI.
Almost as soon as I came home I started getting pain and numbness in my legs , can’t stand for long 5-10 min legs get painful tingling and weak. Sit for more than 30 minutes and have to move.
Saw an orthopedic surgeon after the Neuro Doc said everything looked good with my fusion after 3 months and off to work I go. Can’t do it ( Commercial Electrician)
Orthopedic doctor says nothing I can see but mild to moderate herniated discs ( the 3 above my previous 02&05 fusions) PCP Refers me to VCU Neurology Jan 2020. Saw them today. Spinal stenosis L4-L3.(possibility of taking L3-L2 also) So I was given the choice., Schedule surgery or wait until I cannot stand it and schedule surgery. I’m scared of a 3rd. Dr says it”may” help my legs but my back is just going to be my back. It’s going to hurt.
I have bad memories of waking up after the second one and no PCA pump and only whatever pain meds and left over knock-out juice where left ( I uncomfortably know just where 8-9 is on that scale now).
Anyway anyone else gone the trifecta route? Understand that VCU was the fourth specialist group I have seen this year including a Rheumatologist who said it was most likely my pain was from my DDD.

Any advice? Advantages? Thoughts?

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1 Response


Same here worried about 3rd surgery...
First surgery 2015, L3/4-4/5 with hardware
Second 6/2019 L5/S1 anterior (abdominal)
Pain returns 10/2019
Dr suggests pain management
Have injections 11/2019,
December 2019 pain is still there so Pain Dr orders MRI...
Return to spine surgeon 1//7/20 says failed fusion (6/2019) didn’t fuse completely need another surgery to add hardware posterior and additionally remove first hardware leaving it unsupported adding hardware at L2/3 as it is now herniated.
Second option1/20/20
Dr disagrees with type of 3rd surgery
He said #1 need to find out why I need another surgery to fix fusion that didn’t fuse...
ie... is my Thyroid working or vitamin deficiency.
Also ordered dexa scan (bone density)
Thyroid is OK have a vitamin D deficiency bone density scan results today.
In a ton of pain and scared
Second opinion dr wants to remove posterior hardware
Replace from L2-S1 with supportive screws into pelvis
Says painful recovery 6-8 months