I'm gonna keep it short. Same story as most of you guys. l3/l4, l4/l5, l5/s1 herniations with l5/s1 1.2cm bulged when I was 19. I'm now 24 and I'm pretty much in killer pain all the time that is not resolved by any sort of intervention. Can't sleep, exercise, blah blah blah. The l3/l4 came back together, the l4/l5 mostly came back and the l5/s1 is pretty much ruined. .9cm bulge as of last year. Pain has gotten much worse since then. Pretty significant loss of disc height in the two lower discs. I imagine things are getting worse
Obviously the dilemma is what now? I have done everything non-invasive under the sun minus a cranial branch block (I didn't trust the doctor). I fear surgery for a variety of reasons. Fusion is terrible and at 24? It can't possibly offer a good quality of life (figure 50 years more of this). A back surgeon said my l3/l4 would go in probably 10 years or less. I know a fusion will help that puppy along. disc replacement sounds great, but seems to be pretty awful in practice. Good risk of serious complications, re-surgery, etc. any sort of ___scopy or discectomy promise only a chance of some results and will most likely have future repercussions (cut something out of a system already in decline? Doesn't sound like sound science to me). Plus it could potentially bar me from receiving any sort of stem cell procedure that is not yet available or that exists. Docs won't give me pain meds. They know this scenario breeds addicts. I've done cymbalta and celebrex fexeril and anything else a doctor might suggest for chronic pain with no avail.
So what do I do? I've seen ten different doctors who have said ten different things. I am not an idiot. That generalized disagreement means two things. 1) This field of chronic back pain is a freaking gold mine for predators, and 2) no one has a clue how to treat this because in reality, it is untreatable. I am scared to make any moves. It is apparent that once you embark down that road it does not end until you are dead. End of story. I can't imagine having to get surgery after surgery just to maintain a general level of not good enough. And to compound it all, I used to be a dedicated athlete (running, kung-fu, body building the works). It is killing me that I can no longer do any of that. None of these options offer a good outlook for that stuff either. I need help and it doesn't seem available.
How does one make a sound decision in light of all of that? I do not want my life to become an exercise in pain management and lowered expectations.
I guess what I am saying is that I am terrified. And crazy sad. I don't know how to cope with the impending reality of my life. I don't think I could forgive my self for making the wrong decision.
I have edited your post due to the language content, please note this is a family oriented forum and vulgar language is against forum rules.
Post Edited By Moderator (straydog) : 8/2/2011 4:51:55 AM (GMT-6)