I'm c3-c6 titanium plates 6 screws and my entire lumbar spine (l1-s1) has been fused over three separate procedures without additional hardware. It
still hurts and is stiff from time to time but my bladder, bowel and other involuntary systems functions normalized so I have to say the operation was
a complete success.
First lumbar procedure was done by a neurosurgeon, it was worthless, he had no alternatives for me. So I ended up being referred to a pain management
program where they tried the injections - only once and with NO relief. I can't recommend a neurosurgeon for anybody with spinal issues. "Their
kung-fu no worky!"
I changed doctors and went to a spinal ortho specialist who fixed me up pretty good - but I've got stenosis, spondyliosis and relatively bad
scoliosis. The doc says my genetics are bad and that eventually I'll probably end up with rods to correct the scoliosis. I've been disabled since
2001 and I'm fighting the rod surgery.
So a few months ago my wife comes down with back problems and lo and behold the pain management folks tryu the epidural - to no effect - then they
want to do three more... So I referred the wife to my ortho spine guy. HIS OPINION is that IF the injections are going to help at all, you'll know
after the first one - if they're effective, get more. If they're NOT effective, it may be time for surgery - but in my wife's case he recommended a
strong anti-inflammatory and physical therapy. Two weeks into it, the combination seems to be working pretty well, so we're definitely NOT getting
her any more injections. Of course, therapy can only do so much, but I was able to avoid surgery for almost 3 years with aggressive therapy,
acupuncture, rolfing, etc.
SO, since you tried the injections and they didn't work for you, fuggedaboudit and get a crackerjack spine guy that really knows theraputics as well
as just cutting. My docs are in Dallas and I usually use the ones with the multimillion dollar football & basketball player patients. Just my two
cents. I feel for you.
ADD: Both the wife and myself were 300-plus pounders for a couple of decades, which is the likely cause of her maladies - I've got a family history of
spine disease, thus the added severity of my conditions. However, my drive-train is falling apart now so it's looking like I'll need a couple of knee
reconstructions as well. But I plan on getting better - you need to plan on it as well!
edit on 4-2-2013 by ganjoa because: add