Advice needed

Hi I'm new here but hoped I could get some advice. In the last year I have had microdiscectomy's on my back l4/l5. I've recently been back to my neurosurgeon who thinks I have another herniated disc at l3/l4, I'm awaiting an MRI. Apparently this disc was bulging on my first MRI scan too. Has anyone else been in the same position as me. I don't know what to expect next after my MRi. This is ruining my life and I have been off work for a year now.

25 Replies

  • Hi lovey I have C6/7 ~T8/9_l4/5 and S1 trapped nerve surgery no help to me as I have spinal stenosis and degenerative disc disorder.

    Had spinal steroid injections made my pain worse


    Osteoarthritis but Im sure someone will be able to help you with some advice x

  • See what's on your MRI and see what the Doc says . What else can you do except get a second opinion. Are you taking pain meds? You could file for permanent disability . Hope you get your answers. It's such a long hard road. Sorry to hear that you are having such a rough time.

  • Hi ther thanks for your reply. I'm on gabapentin and dihydracodiene for pain, don't want to take anything else as this makes me feel like a zombie, am also on meds for rheumatoid arthritis, depression and high blood pressure, rattle when I walk. Seems there are lots of people on here much worse off than I am, it's terrible. Have my MRI next week so have my fingers crossed. Thanks for you support x

  • Yes, I had L2 / L3, L3 /L4, and L4 / L5 laminectomies and discectomies and a microdiscectomy over a,20 year period. One surgery fixed a herniated disc nerve impingement but the level above it hadn't ruptured s I they left it alone. But like the domino theory - after they fixed the one 6 months later the next level blew out. I now have a SCS to deal with pain at about a 50% decrease.

  • Oh dear sounds like you have much more problems than me. I just want it fixed so I can go back to work, though will need to look for a new job as I've been told I can't do my old one. I'm a nurse and work with disabled children but can't do the moving and handling now. I hope things improve for you soon.

  • I too will have to find a different line of work. My knee gave out while recovering from my last back surgery in 2014 so now I need a partial knee replacement. They gave me a offloader brace and it brought TTT on in my opposite ankle. I don't know how I could handle knee surgery when I cannot put weight on the other leg. Being 6' 8", and less than coordinated is already tough to be agile. Pain sucks.

  • Yeh I know what you mean, and pain killers bring lots of side effects to the party. I'm on gabapentin max dose and friends and family have had to get used to me falling asleep mid conversation and sleeping in for all sorts of appointments. Sometimes wonder if the operations were a good idea or if they have just made everything worse.

  • I had an emergency discectomy on l4/l5 2013 and am due to have another on the same discs plus s1. As well as wallis ligament s . Spacers and straps . Instead of rods In cages . Can't understand why they didn't do both while in there unless they thought it wasn't bulging enough? Good Luck . Once you have surgery on u bck it can be a case of on going issues .

  • Sorry to hear things are so rough for you easy to say but try not to worry just wait see what scan says 😉 sending my best x

  • Thanks for your support, have my MRI scan next Saturday, so not long to wait for find out what is going to happen x

  • You are in bc a difficult position, so sorry your still suffering. In wpp1 I had an emergency disectomy of l5s1 and four months later turned around and went to my old orthopaedic who did both of my shoulders. They brought in a specialist who did a fusion right away. It really helped me many yrs. Physical therapy for a long time, and was able to get disAbility. I'm wishing you get the Help you need and your MRI helps determine the best solution.

  • Thanks so much for your reply. I'm sorry to hear you went through a rough time too. Did the spinal fusion help and what was the recovery like, don't want to make the wrong choice and end up worse than I am now.

  • I had the fusion in 2001 on l5s1, 2 or three nights in hospital, then mainly rest and light walking for 4 months. I had used my own allograft so also had hip pain and a little longer fusing time. That was yrs ago, not sure what protocal they do these days. I then had to do intense pysical therapy for 4 months, two to three times a week. Doing that helped tremendously. My back does have dev. Disc disease so after about five years I started having standing pain but MRI was all ok. Now am having problems being addressed from stenosis and a fall to neck in 2014, with c4_7 fusion a year later. kind of has things mixed up and I'm going for another set of injections next Friday in low back to help with leg weakness since the fall. Please try not to worry too much, it's hard waiting for tests and results but your asking all the right questions. Feel free to ask more questions i know its helpful to talk here. Julie

  • Hi Julie thanks for your reply, I'm sorry to here you are having so many problems too. After your fusion and recovery were you able to have a more active life and work. I'm 53 and feel I really want to go back to work in the near future. I know I can't do my own job as I'm a disability nurse and can't lift or move the kids about at work anymore. X

  • I had quit work right before that all started. I had bilateral shoulder surgery for bursitis and nerve impingment. This ole psoriatic arthritis landed me an injection in my hip today (first time for this problem). Im off topic just venting.

    You didnt mention what type of surgery, another distetomy? Or fusion? I didnt work but my back may have allowed me to for about 4 yrs. I got in a new relationship and wad able to go hiking, play with kids, my animals, and swim. Id say it might be a year in all to fuse and have PT, and then you should find yourself pretty good in the back. Has your Dr. Mentioned degenerative disc illness. If he has then i would say go ahead and apply for disability, youve already been out of work for so long. You can find the criteria on line for the surgery outcomes and ability to work statistics. The gov. probably be more inclined to give it to you since youve been out for so long.

    I know its the hardest decision to make, but if your not able to do much now i would have it done. The pain from it was to unbearable for me when i decided. Julie🌷

  • Hi Julie, I have had two microdicectomies at l4/l5, April and October last year, I had Quada Aquina syndrome. I also have rheumatoid Arthritis diagnosed 8yrs ago, have had my clavicle and both shoulders operated on in that time too, but had a good recovery from these. I hope you get some relief from your injection today, I get them in my knees and find they help a lot. You've given me hope that if I need a fusion that I can have my life back again after recovery. Thanks Susan x

  • Hi, am sad you are in such a confused painful state. I have had 4 disectomies over the course of the past 6 years on L5/S1. At present I am in recovery after having 2 disectomies plus lumber fusion on of L4/5 and L5/S1 all carried out at the same time 4 weeks ago. I know it's early days but my mobility has improved hugely. I have not walked unaided for 20 months. Was in intense pain not controlled by opioids. Had no quality of life at all. Since surgery I have increased my walking up to 715 mts unaided twice a day. Pain levels are not an issue at present. Am on Gabapentin 1,800 mg per day and solpodal 4 a day. My advice is if not happy get a second opinion. I finally did hence fusion my previous consultant refused to do the surgery. As I said previously its early days but for the first time in 2 years I am optimistic

  • Hi there, thanks for your reply. I'm glad to hear you are on the mend and have an optimistict outlook for your future, that's great. I think I've come to realise by reading everyone's posts that once you start back surgery it just seems to go on to cause more problems. I'm just in limbo at the moment waiting for MRI, but having it next Saturday and to phone surgeon after so that he can review it. Did you see a neurosurgeon or an orthopaedic surgeon

  • I seen a neurosurgeon initially and had the first 4 surgeries carried out by him. I then went to an orthopaedic surgeon in Bristol ( I live in Ureland) Mr Ian Harding, an amazing person, competent and compassionate. Through him I met a neurosurgeon in Ireland who performed the final surgery. Going on my own experience with back issues if you can at all avoid having surgery if you can at all. Get proper pain relief and keep as active as possible. Work on the psychological aspect of pain. Get familiar with NEUROPLASTICY. Look it up on line. It's to do with pain pathways in the brain. Look at taking TUMERIC a powerful natural anti inflammatory. I get mine from homeherbs in the UK. If the time comes when you can no longer avoid surgery well then get a competent surgeon to preform the surgery. My final advice to you is to live in the moment. If it's a painful one, well it will pass and you don't know what the next moment will bring. I started practicing MINDFULNESS and it really helped. It's been proven scientifically to work on chronic pain once the source of the pain has been dealt with. I wish you the best of luck. I really do, not sure where you are living but if it's the UK then Mr Ian Harding is definitely worth looking into. All my love and gentle, gentle hugs going your way, Mar

  • Hi there , thanks for the advice. I live in Scotland and see a neurosurgeon in Edinburgh. My daughters say I am very stubborn because I keep pushing through the pain and probably do things I shouldn't but life is for living and we don't get a second chance at it. I have three young grandchildren and like to spend as much time with them as I can, they make me forget what's going on for a while. I have my fingers crossed I don't need more surgery but the pain is getting worse every day and my mobility getting poorer. Maybe I should see physio again. Hope your doing ok. Susan x

  • Hi I had L5/S1 disection last year 31st August 2016. Surgeon said relief would be immediate. It wasn't and it isn't. I'm in more pain now than before the op. I can't walk at all far and now I have pain in the front of my thigh in the other leg. I've been off work for 7 months now awaiting more nerve tests. Like you my life has changed dramatically. I was so very active before and now I just can't do very much at all. I wish I could offer some great advice but I can't but I do 'hear' you. I hope they fix you bless you xx

  • Hi there, I am so sorry to here that your life has been turned upside down and you are in so much pain. I've had two microdicectomies, April 2016 and October 2016. My surgeon now thinks the disc above is causing my continued pain. As well as the nerve pain I now have extreme pain in my lower back and it feels very unstable. Like you I can't walk very far and have now been off work for a year, wth the possibility now of being paid off. I hope you get answers soon and the help you need. Thinking off you xx

  • Thank you Sue and me you. I managed to get PIP which is a big help only lower tier but at least something. My ssp (sick pay) stops next week so I hope I qualify for ESA! X

  • Hi I went through the whole benefits thing just before Christmas when my ssp ran out too. You will be entitled to contributions based ESA which is £74 pounds a week, how we are expected to live of that I dont know. I'm lucky I have a great Dad who keeps my car on the road for me. It can take a wee while to sort out but claim straight away and when you get it, it will be back dated to your claim date. Persevere when phoning them as it can take ages to get through and then you can be on the phone for up to an hour answering questions. Hope this helps Susan x

  • Thank you so very much Susan for your great advice. I know it's such a financial worry on top of feeling so rough! Huge hugs xx

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