Decompression and fusion suggested

Home Forums General Decompression and fusion suggested

This topic contains 68 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  lc 1 month, 1 week ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 69 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #46891

    Joyce
    Participant

    Advice please this surgery has been suggested to me for bad pain L4/5 degenerative with associates stenosis and segment disease at L3/4 lumbosacral transitional abnormality. Whatever all this is it’s agony in my lower back pins and needles in both legs now terrible nerve pain generally feet feel like there burning or freezing and having to stop repeatedly when walking to either sit or-bend over. I have had 2 caudal epidurals last did nothing. So surgery last resort if I choose it. Quite honestly things are deteriorating rapidly regarding pain which is why I’m seriously considering it. I’ve read a lot of stuff on here some good lots genuinely frightening! I go back to surgeon on 24th with decision but everyone keeps saying don’t have back surgery. My GP remains impartial obviously. I’ve tried gabapentin cocodamol and lately naproxen and paracetamol with little relief. It’s suggested I have a Spect CT as I believe he wants to do it through my stomach and I had an ectopic pregnancy 32 years ago which required life saving surgery so he’s worried about blood vessel damage etc. I just don’t know what to do. I’m 65 and otherwise fit and flexible, but this sciatic pain and numbness is really getting me down. I’m generally ok when sitting and sleeping it’s walking!!! Also get a lot of leg and foot cramp at night not sure if this is related feel it’s likely. Please please give me some guidance on what to expect if I go ahead will it work or should I just carry on.

    #46892

    PaulT_99
    Participant

    Hi Joyce,

    Your pain sounds exactly the same as mine which ive had for over 17yrs.
    Mine results from nerve damage at L3, and the pain is horrific.

    Last year i had SCS (Spinal Cord Stimulation) surgery using the Nevro HF10 product.
    It was a success and my pain was greatly reduced down to just 2/10.

    However for what ever reason, my implant is no longer giving pain relief.
    I go back to the hospital in 2 weeks for investigation.
    Meanwhile im back on Tapentadol, which i would really recommend you mention to your GP.
    Far more effective than the drugs you have been taking and designed specifically for nerve pain.

    Most GP’s have not heard of it, since it was only released in 2012. Its also very expensive at £1,200 per box of 50. So some GP’s dont like prescribing it based on cost.
    A years supply for me is £28k !.

    #46893

    Joyce
    Participant

    Hi there
    Thanks for the info, I’ll mention it when I go next week to se my consultant, but as you say unlikely to get it when are offering surgery. Have you never been offered fusion surgery? As you say the back pain is bad enough but the nerve pain which has increased significantly is horrendous, loads of different sensations sometimes I feel like my feet are getting wet, but it’s just the nerve pressure acting up. Other times it’s burning sensation. The worst of it is when walking and I suddenly have to find somewhere to sit or bend over to ease my back and there’s nowhere suitable. My husband and son are very anti surgery, but they just don’t realise how bad it is. I’ve only a week to make some sort of decision, and if I reject it now who knows what will happen. Additionally this Spect CT which he wants to do uses 3 times more radiation which is also a concern, nobody on here seem to have mentioned that they’ve had that. Hope you get a good outcome.

    #46894

    PaulT_99
    Participant

    Yes sorry should have said.
    My L3 is fused. However that does not fix the nerve problem.

    My nerve trunk was damaged when the disk popped out. The nerve got “Grazed” as they put it. And nerves do not repair sadly…
    So SCS is the only answer.

    #46895

    lc
    Participant

    Hi Joice, I have l4/5 s1 fusion it made me a bit better, and less pain that I was in but have nerve damage, mine was emergency surgery. I now have arthritis all around surgery site, as i had fractured/dislocated pelvis and lower back problems for which i was paralised for a while, even after surgery over the years i have deteriorated slowly. been like it for about 23 years . I would say its a 50/50 risk as some come out of surgery as what is known as failed surgery, mainly people on this site, but I also know plenty of people that it has been a success, and have gone back to work.
    The choice is yours at the end of the day, wether you can manage your pain or just had enough of living like the way you are, it is when you lose bladder /bowel control it becomes an emergency. What ever you decide to do, I wish you well and lower pain levels. take care and best wishes. Lee

    #46896

    Joyce
    Participant

    Thanks Lee

    #46897

    Laura
    Participant

    Hi Joyce,

    I was in a similar position to you, back pain in lumbar area for about 20 years but I didn’t have leg pain like you. I had fusion surgery in 2009, 2010 and 2011 and it’s left me in a far worse position. I was quoted a 50-60% chance of a good improvement having the surgery but what I didn’t know was that the chances of being made worse could apply to the other percentage. I suggest you ask your surgeon this question, how many people has he/she operated on who have had a result that was worse than when they started.

    My legs have terrible nerve pain now which is a result of scar tissue.

    Having said all this if you know all the risks (which I didn’t and wasn’t told) then it could be worth a try. I know someone who had the same ops as me and is a new woman and free from a lot of her original pain.

    I wish you well, it’s a difficult decision to make.

    #46898

    Joyce
    Participant

    Hi Laura
    Thanks for coming back and sorry you’ve been in pain for so long. I’ve a week until I see him again and I will indeed ask him the success rate and how many he’s done. As it is NHS and not private there’s nothing to gain by not being transparent I hope. I’m no further forward but the pain and sensations are very debilitating and only those who suffer can relate to it. I wish you well
    Joyce

    #46901

    Joyce
    Participant

    Only a few days to go before I have to decide on whether or not to have surgery. Sciatica now off the rictor scale down both legs feel like they’re buzzing and burning. How long is recovery realistically,?
    I would love to hear from someone who has had a really good outcome, but assume they will not be looking at this forum any more as will be well again.

    #46902

    PaulT_99
    Participant

    I guess my Fusion fixed the “Mechanical” problem in my back, so go mobility back.
    But it didnt cure the pain problem. That was because when the disc failed it scratched / grazed a nerve.
    Which was the main nerve trunk feeding my legs.

    #46903

    Joyce
    Participant

    Hi Paul you see that’s my problem, mechanically I’m ok although there’s a lot of degeneration etc I am very flexible can touch my toes etc etc no problem. It’s the pain radiating down both legs, numbness in my feet and back pain that’s the problem and if I’ve got nerve damage this won’t go and the surgery will all have been in vain to a degree. It’s such a huge decision for me.

    #46904

    PaulT_99
    Participant

    Morning Joyce,

    Have you not had tests yet for Nerve Damage ?.
    I would have thought they would have done this before thinking about surgery.

    I had mine done at St. Thomas hospital.
    They attach electrodes to your body all over, and fire tiny electric shocks all over your body.
    Its a bit unpleasant but not too bad.
    They time how long it takes for a signal to get from point A to point B. Or if it doesnt get there at all.
    The computer then plots a chart and they can see if you have nerve damage.

    It was these tests that ultimately led me to having SCS. Since its the last thing on the list in terms of helping someone with nerve damage and chronic pain.
    Its also the most expensive….

    #46905

    Joyce
    Participant

    No but I will ask as that’s my biggest worry, I’m under Guys and St Thomas’ so hopefully they’ll do it. Thanks Paul I’ll add it to the list of questions. Can’t remember, what’s SCS?

    #46906

    PaulT_99
    Participant

    Spinal cord stimulation. Are you under the care of the pain clinic at Saint Thomas? If not you should be.

    #46907

    Jan Sadler
    Keymaster

    Joyce – you can find plenty of information about the SCS if you do a search in the ‘Search Forums’ box.
    Jan at PainSupport

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 69 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.