PALady, GREAT ideas, and very good thoughts!! You really have me thinking about this, you are SO right about scar tissue, etc. And right, another surgery if I don't like it. Wow, I never really took into consideration most of those things!
See, I do have DDD, but at the sites of my problems, see, I have L3-4 as a problem disc, it's lost its fluid, has a tear, impinging the spinal cord, and DDD, then L4-5 is herniated but never gave me a problem, though there is loss of fluid in that one as well, and that was confirmed (both discs) with the discogram, MRI, etc. I have a cervical herniation and rest are bulging. And funny, my doc never asked for an MRI on my mid back!! LOL! I only get fatigue, as far as I'm aware in my mid back. So, I'm not sure if I'm a candidate for the artificial disc. My doc had me look into it, and in the US, the FDA only approved it for the lower spine, insurance doesn't cover it, and I have a case pending, so the neurologists here won't see me!! I don't know what happened to hipocratic oath there, but they say it takes time from their other patients, which I understand, to a degree. They say that I'm not a candidate for fusion because I'm so young, and was told that the average of the fusion lasting is 10 years, though I also hear that's not always true either. But the fact that the fusion is so permanent, they prefer I try other options first, which obviously makes sense to me. I've gone through the past 5 years of treatment with only getting progressively worse, PT -worse, decompression - worse, the epidurals never really helped too much, I've had more than I can count of those!! And now I'm hearing research saying that the steroid could be breaking some of the structures down!! What help that was (sarcastic)! I am incontinent too, mainly nocturnal, but it's not medication, and I've been to a urologist and he said there was nothing structural, so my PM said then it's nerves if there's nothing structural! So, sorry for going on and on, just trying to give a little bit of history. So, this was an option that my doctor thought because I've been in so much pain and he has been trying everything that he can to help me without being invasive. I think he's at a loss too, and as you mentioned, PALady, he could be emotionally wanting to help, and just doing what he thinks is best, but I do have to ask myself those questions and do more research, I have to go on that site you gave me, which I will do right after this!! Those meds, man, I get so forgetful sometimes!! LOL! Mainly short term, but long term too! I meant to have already gone to the site!!! LOL! But I will now, I need to be much more informed, and though I have the appointment, I still have plenty of time to make a good decision based on education!! And I thank everyone, especially you PALady, you really brought up some great points!! That's why I love my new found family of CP's!! LOL!! Thanks guys!! And please, everyone, if you have something to add, please do!!!