my back problems begin 16 years ago in high school and my back has hurt on and off since...mostly after lifting something too heavy with bad form. I always recovered and never thought it was a big deal. I would take ibuprofen and be on my way... It was normal to me.
about a year ago I hurt my back moving furniture and got severe sciatica in my leg. After 1 round of pt , I was given an mri that revealed a large broad based herniated disc at l4-l5. I was immediately referred to a specific neurosurgeon who told me I needed an emergency alif or else I would lose control of my bladder and bowels. The Mri was in early May, my first apt with him was in late May and we scheduled the surgery for June 8. I was so confused and he didn't explain anything to me. I remember him isn't the words " replace the disc" so for a while I thought I was receiving disc replacement which I preferred over fusion after doing research. I received the paperwork to sign in my email the Friday before surgery (surgery was on a Wednesday). I saw on the paperwork it said "fusion". I called my doctor and asked him why I had to have a fusion and not a tdr or discetomy. He said there was no disc left to do a discetomy and adr is not the "standard procedure". He assured me a fusion would not effect my mobility and not mean I would need more in the future ( lies!) I never thought surgery would be in my future let alone a fusion. I had no idea with a fusion was and he did not explain it to me at all. Everything I learned was from the Internet. At this point, I couldn't stand up straight, I was waking up every morning screaming in agony and taking OxyCodone around the clock and 3600 mg of gabapentin daily. I just wanted to end the pain. I went through with the surgery that Wednesday and immediately woke up with regret. I am now able to stand up straight and my pain is reduced but it is still there and my sciatica is in both legs now. My bladder is WORSE than before the surgery. I have retention issues. I felt I had finally come to terms with everything and my new normal... But then I made an apt with a world renowned spine surgeon to see if there was anything that could be done because my original surgeon was blowing me off. He was baffled that the first surgeon performed a fusion and said my problem would have been solved with a discectomy. This was DEVASTATING to hear because I now know the long term consequences of fusions and I can't help but be depressed thinking of how my quality of life might be different had I only gotten a discectomy. I'm so depressed I'm only 31 years old I want a family someday. I want to be active and do things I shouldn't ... It hurts to know what a horrible mistake I made by trusting the wrong doctor. I never even had any surgery or even injection before the doctor said FUSION. I dread my next fusion because I know it's a domino effect and I already have a hernia toon at t11t12 and l5s1 - who knows about my cervical but the X-ray shows I have no curve in my neck either. I don't know how to move on or enjoy life knowing it all could have been avoided. Im so sad and depressed