total disc replacement removed
I've not posted much here, but have been a member for a few years now.
I was one of the study participants for the charitee lumbar disc replacement in 2002. The first few year were pretty good and I took a lot less medication.
I eventually started slipping back and my GP was treating the symptoms with no real concern. He was really limiting any strong pain medication in favor of a different pill for every new symptom. This approach was not working, but he insisted I did not need to go back to the surgeon.
A few months ago I had gotten to the point of not being able to think because the pain was so high. I've not been able to lay down for the past 2 years. Finally he sent me to some specialist to diagnose my pain. This guy never looked at me or any xrays. He came into the room and started yelling at me demanding I go back to work. I've been unable to work from the original injury. After that my gp said I should not try pain management because that would only increase my addiction!
I went against his advice and went to a surgeon. They said my spine had been twisting around the implant for several years. They said I needed to have the artificial disc removed, but I could wait a little while if I could stand the pain. I was referred to pain management, but never actually got there.
A few days later I couldn't even walk because of the pain in my feet. There was absolutely nothing I could do to ease the pain. They sent me to the emergency room for an exam and new films. Next thing I know is I'm in a hospital bed and not allowed out except to use the bathroom. They wheeled me in that bed for more tests and removed the disc the next morning. The surgeon said the bone plates had worked 50% out and they were not touching at all. If one had worked all the way out I would have bleed out before I got to the hospital.
They went in from the front so they could remove the disc, fuse and cage the area, then from the back to clip my spine so it couldn't shift again and finally added screws to make sure nothing could move until the fusion sets. I am now 4 weeks post opt and other than walking and personal care I'm not allowed to do much. I do have to say I was in less pain after surgery that before.
Has anyone had this done? How long will my recovery be?