L4-S1 fusion in 2005 now L3 herniated disc... And I'm only 26!
I was diagnosed with DDD and an L5 herniated disc when I was 18. Had my first surgery- discectomy at 19. Having been an athlete my whole life I recovered and returned to running track in college only to have a 2 level fusion(L4-L5 and L5- S1) the summer after I graduated in 2005. I recovered well and had significant reduction of pain for almost 3 years. In the summer of 2008 I began having low back and leg pain. After new MRIs and a CT Myelogram the doctors could not figure out what was causing my pain so I was referred to a pain management dr. Muscle relaxers, pain meds, and a tens unit I was able to "manage" my pain. Then on Dec 23rd 2009 I woke up to severe low back/leg pain and spasms. That day I went to my chiropractor and was able to get some relief. Within a few days the pain was back full force and has no gone away since. I went to my neurologist after the holidays and started a medrol dose pack and PT. With yet again no relief an MRI was ordered. The scans showed a very herniated L3 disc. I knew this was a possibilty considering the fusion I had in 2005 but was told that it would be 8-10 years before I had to worry about the possibility. It has only been 4 1/2 years... I tried epidurals again with no relief I am scheduled to see a surgeon on March 31st. I DO NOT WANT TO HAVE SURGERY AGAIN. What are my options?!? Are there any? Are there any other people out there that are dealing with or have dealt with a herniated disc above a fusion?
Any feedback would be greatly appreciated! I would also be interested to find a clinic that has seen cases like mine.... Every doctor I've seen says they have never seen anyone my age with such aggressive degeneration. I wonder if there might be another disease or condition that is being overlooked. I also have a history of knee and hip degeneration.