I don't know what to do

I had failed microdisectomy for L4-L5 in August 2011. Long story short, I ended up with chronic pain, chronic pain syndrome and chronic fatigue. Since then I have gone from being suicidal to going through a pain management program and really working on improving my mobility. The flare ups have become almost constant this year. There's been a shift. I got results from my MRI scan on Friday to tell me that the whole of my lumbar is crumbling and I have sciatica on both sides. I am now up to the maximum opiates to take the edge off the pain. Between 2011 and now I have had nerve root injections and facet joint injections which actually agitated my spine and I made a decision not to have any more invasive surgery. Now I am trying to get my head around this latest news. What is the best way forward? I don't want my spine all of the lumbar fused and I have heard about an operation called TOPS which looks like it gives you flexibility. What do you think? 



  • Kirst

    Welcome to Spine Health

    There are a lot of us here that understand your situation, but there is nobody here that can make the surgery decision for you, that has to be between you, your family and your doctor, but you have to do something, you can't live in that kind of pain from now on, it's also understandable that you are hesitant to have more surgery after a failed on, but there are also a lot of success stories.

    One word of caution about your MRI report, let your doctor look at it before you get too concerned, he/she may see it totally different than what the report says, after my last scan, I got the report and to me it looked very bad, I even talked to some very knowelageble people about it and we all agreed that it was pretty bad, I went to the doctor, he went over the scans with me and it turned out that it wasn't all that bad anyway, he explained that a radiologist will point out every little thing when it really is not causing any pain.

    Take care and keep us posted


  • Hi Kirst,

    Wait until you see your doctor & see what he suggests. I always have to bring the films into the doctor because reports vary from radiologist to radiologist. They all use different terms. I have had doctors say, they don't even think the radiologist looked at the same MRI because my report & films were so off.

    Let us know what your doctor says. My doctors sent me for the nerve studies after the MRI to see what levels of nerve impingement were present. & how long they had been there. Then, you have more info to make your decision.

    Let us know what your doctor say. Take care!


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