Help! Doc Recommended 360 Fusion
I have already had 4 spine surgeries (T7-8, C5-6, L4-5 & L5-S1, and L4-5). The last surgery I had at L4-5 did not go well. The doc used an Aspen device to fuse L4-5, but it didn't work and I didn't fuse. Now they are telling me that my spine is unstable. My MRI shows that L4-5 is still herniated and I have an annular tear at L5-S1 as well. I also have worsening degeneration, and synovial cysts have developed in my facet joints.
I am in constant pain, and have tried all of the conservative therapies. The only thing that really helps at all is acupuncture. I have seen several surgeons and they all tell me that "clinically" I need to have surgery to remove the hardware, correct the instability, decompress the nerve, and fuse the area. This would require a surgery that would take between 6-8 hours. They say they would start off by opening my back up and removing the existing hardware, then flip me over and do an ALIF and insert cages from the front, then flip me over again and add rods and screws from the back to secure everything. Some of the surgeons say this will help with my pain, while others tell me that the pain may be from permanent nerve damage. I am terrified that the surgery will make me worse and I don't want to do it. Does anyone have any good experiences with revision surgery?
I also have neck and arm pain from a herniated disc at C6-7 that I have been told will most likely require surgery to fix as well. I have not been able to work for over 2 years, and although I tried to file for disability, my application was denied. I cannot sit for very long and I spend most of my day laying on ice in a recliner or I bed. I have tried acupuncture, medication, epidurals, nerve blocks, neuro feedback, meditation, hypnosis, and counseling. I am tired and frustrated, and I just don't know what to do anymore.