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Will the spine fuse itself in time?

From: ilovecoffee - on 04/03/2011 8:11am

I had a discectomy in 2008 for a severe L5S1 Herniation (2 cm), and I did not have any relief after the surgery. I had no clue, I never asked questions, I was so paralyzed from the pain, I figured that surgery was the way to go. I was off work for 3 months and did a lot of walking, water exercise, and stretching. It seemed like it was getting better and better, but after about a year and half, it was not going so good. I have gone to 3 doctors, all telling me 3 different answers. I have read abundant posts, from people that regret additional surgery's.( Little background- I was evaluated for a SCS, I have done many injections, I do my stretches and exercising everyday. As we all know, most of us have been there and done that.) I have leg pain, all the way to the foot, and in the last several months, major lower back pain and desiccation of the disc. I have heard that the spine can fuse itself? Anyone know or heard of such?? I would think it would take a really long time, and what happens to the nerves?, seems like everything would be cramped together and what would that do for the leg pain? Sometimes I feel like I need another surgery to fuse my spine, but I have fear that it may not be the answer.

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on 04/08/2011 1:15am

Hi. I also had a diskectomy in June 2009. My MRI showed a severe herniation at L4-L5, with minor bulges at L5-S1 and L2-L3. My doc gave me the choice of having just a discectomy at L4-L5 or fusing L2 to S1. I chose to have the discectomy, the least invasive. I was feeling good pretty quickly. At 2 months I started PT. I thought I was getting better also. But during therapy, the other bulging disks got worse because I was very unstable. The therapist had me stop therapy after about 12 visits. At this point my doc ordered another MRI. I had ended up herniating the two other disks much worse than the original disk. My doc refused to do more diskectomies because this would cause much worse instability. He said I could try to live with pain through pain management. I said no way. I was sick of being medicated for months at a time. So I decided to have the fusion from L2-S1. Doc removed all the disks, decompressed, added cages with bone matter, and lots of instrumentation. The surgery was 13 hours long. Right now I am three months out of surgery. I feel much better than before the surgery since I could barely walk due to my left leg always giving out. I walk pretty much pain free now, with exceptions of course. I am definitely more stable with the erector set in my back. I still have numbness down my left leg to my toes. Hopefully the nerves find their spot soon. For me, fusion so far has been the right decision. Find a doc you trust and feel comfy with. Hope this helps. Write me if u want more info.

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