L5-S1 Disc Fuse

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7/26/2017 3:14 PM
Edited Date/Time: 7/27/2017 12:32 AM

For the past 9 years I’ve had lower back pain, which has been much worse recently. I had to quit my job 2 months ago because the pain is unbearable and also in part waiting for CIGNA to approve my Discograph. I’m having my Discograph done next week. I have a small tear & small bulge in two discs. Over the past 7 years I’ve had 4 epidurals, 2- medial branch blocks with 2- radio-frequency ablasions and an endoscopic rosatomi (also 100+ sessions of PT, Chiropractor, invert therapy, acupuncture, etc…). I am probably going to end up having my L5-S1 fused. I’m 54years old, 6’4”, 190lbs. not bad shape, but just beaten down from the back pain and lack of activity. I do not have any leg pain. I have good R.O.M. it’s just the freaking pain is horrible. I’m currenly on 15mg Oxycodone 8X /day which is not enough.

I grew up in the 70’s racing 250 & open expert towards the end, and having a national caliber MX track outside of my hometown in Missouri we were members of, so I pretty much beat the shit out of my back and am paying for it now.

Has anyone had this disc fused that can share their story? I know back (and neck) surgery is the last thing you want to do because of the unknowns. I’ve had 3 shoulder, 1 knee, & 1 wrist surgery over the years & am fine from those.

Thanks
Dennis

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7/26/2017 4:04 PM

My wife had 3 fused in her lower back about 2 years ago in November. She was miserable and it effected her immensely . 8 months after her surgery she competed in a sprint triathlon and now trains 2-3 times a day, running, swimming and biking. BTW she is 46 and can kick my ass!

Hope it all goes well and you heal up.

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Only 2 things that money can't buy, thats true love and homegrown tomatoes.

7/26/2017 7:16 PM

I suffered from back pain for a number of years. When you have an episode it literally makes you fall to your knees in pain. The last time I had an episode I was doing nothing more then raking leaves. Pain hit me so hard I literally thought I needed to have my wife call 911. Was bed ridden for 2-3 days.

It was at that moment that I knew this is no longer an acceptable way to live life.

Went to a back specialist.

6 weeks of PT. This really did nothing.

Had a nerve block done. Again nothing.

Had a disco gram done to isolate which exact disc was causing pain. They found it.

Had an L5/S1 fusion done.

This December I will be three years post op and have not had a single episode.

Don't get me wrong. My back still hurts from time to time and still have trouble sleeping. But my quality of life has improved exponentially. I can deal with the rest of the uncomfort.

The surgery is a bitch and the first two weeks you will feel like you want to die because the pain from surgery is very intense.

Once you get past that it improves. I went to Disney world 4 months post op and didn't have a single problem.

The great thing is the more active I am the the better my back feels. The more I lay around and watch TV and stuff it gets sore. It actually likes being active.

I had what the doctor describes as a dead and cracked disc. It would no longer hold any fluid. That's what the disco gram showed and they pin pointed the exact disc.

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7/26/2017 8:41 PM
Edited Date/Time: 7/27/2017 12:34 AM

Thanks for the feedback. I'm glad you and your wives are better.

I can get up and around but for the most part bed-ridden. The pain medication works somewhat but is just eating me away. I should have taken care of this last year.

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7/26/2017 8:48 PM
Edited Date/Time: 7/26/2017 11:21 PM

TXDirt wrote:

I suffered from back pain for a number of years. When you have an episode it literally makes you fall to your knees in pain. The last time I had an episode I was doing nothing more then raking leaves. Pain hit me so hard I literally thought I needed to have my wife call 911. Was bed ridden for 2-3 days.

It was at that moment that I knew this is no longer an acceptable way to live life.

Went to a back specialist.

6 weeks of PT. This really did nothing.

Had a nerve block done. Again nothing.

Had a disco gram done to isolate which exact disc was causing pain. They found it.

Had an L5/S1 fusion done.

This December I will be three years post op and have not had a single episode.

Don't get me wrong. My back still hurts from time to time and still have trouble sleeping. But my quality of life has improved exponentially. I can deal with the rest of the uncomfort.

The surgery is a bitch and the first two weeks you will feel like you want to die because the pain from surgery is very intense.

Once you get past that it improves. I went to Disney world 4 months post op and didn't have a single problem.

The great thing is the more active I am the the better my back feels. The more I lay around and watch TV and stuff it gets sore. It actually likes being active.

I had what the doctor describes as a dead and cracked disc. It would no longer hold any fluid. That's what the disco gram showed and they pin pointed the exact disc.

If you don't mind me asking, what's your age, height & weight? What hobbies / tasks do you/can you currently do?

What pain medication were you on and do you take any now?

How painful was your discogram and were you sore after?

Thanks

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7/27/2017 8:17 AM
Edited Date/Time: 7/27/2017 8:30 AM

TXDirt wrote:

I suffered from back pain for a number of years. When you have an episode it literally makes you fall to your knees in pain. The last time I had an episode I was doing nothing more then raking leaves. Pain hit me so hard I literally thought I needed to have my wife call 911. Was bed ridden for 2-3 days.

It was at that moment that I knew this is no longer an acceptable way to live life.

Went to a back specialist.

6 weeks of PT. This really did nothing.

Had a nerve block done. Again nothing.

Had a disco gram done to isolate which exact disc was causing pain. They found it.

Had an L5/S1 fusion done.

This December I will be three years post op and have not had a single episode.

Don't get me wrong. My back still hurts from time to time and still have trouble sleeping. But my quality of life has improved exponentially. I can deal with the rest of the uncomfort.

The surgery is a bitch and the first two weeks you will feel like you want to die because the pain from surgery is very intense.

Once you get past that it improves. I went to Disney world 4 months post op and didn't have a single problem.

The great thing is the more active I am the the better my back feels. The more I lay around and watch TV and stuff it gets sore. It actually likes being active.

I had what the doctor describes as a dead and cracked disc. It would no longer hold any fluid. That's what the disco gram showed and they pin pointed the exact disc.

rpoint116 wrote:

If you don't mind me asking, what's your age, height & weight? What hobbies / tasks do you/can you currently do?

What pain medication were you on and do you take any now?

How painful was your discogram and were you sore after?

Thanks

I'm 37 years old. 6' and 200lbs.

I can do anything I want to do. I have no hesitations if I want to go do something. I run in the mornings, very active in my yard and around the house. We go camping, fishing, hiking, biking, etc. I also have 4 kids all under the age of 8 and they keep me very active.

Pain medication I was on before and after surgery was Hydrocodone. I do not take any now. On occasion a Naproxin and if I feel like I want one I'll take a Hydrocodone but that's maybe 1 every 6 months. If that even.

The disco gram is very painful. It's basically like having an episode. It hurts and they will likely give you Hydrocodone to take home. Hurts for a few days just as if you had thrown your back out. The discogram is to fill the disc up with fluid. They then give you a CT scan to see if the disc held the fluid or did it drain out. They will usually do 2-3 discs to see which ones are damaged.

They put you to sleep, insert a needle into each disc. They wake you up, and they inject the dye and ask you if it hurts. And when they find the disc that wont hold the fluid it hurts like hell. Then they put you back to sleep and take the needles out.You wake up and go get a CT scan and from the CT scan it is obvious which disc(s) don't hold fluid.

To be honest, the Dr knew from the very first MRI what disc was damaged. But you have to go through all of these steps for a few reasons.

1. Is to get insurance to cover everything. Insurance won't cover a surgery until you have had a discogram. Can't get a discogram until you get a nerve block. Can't get a nerve block until you have done several weeks of PT.

2. Back surgery should always be the last option and any good doctor will want you to go through several steps before opening you up.

Having the fusion done has given me my life back. Before I could not even pickup one of my kids. That's no way to live life. And being drugged up all the time isn't any fun either as that only dulls the pain and your senses. Really started to feel like a zombie.

There are lots of horror stories on the internet about back surgery. Just remember that there are more successful surgeries then bad surgeries and the ones who have had great results usually don't go and post about it on the internet. So you need to take anything you read with a grain of salt.

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7/27/2017 11:55 AM

TX I sincerely appreciate your feedback. Glad you're doing good. My doctors office just called and my discogram got pushed out two weeks, figures.

My union switched from Blue Cross Blue Shield to CIGNA January 1 of this year. In previous years, all of my back procedures have been covered by Blue Cross Blue Shield no problem. Never an issue. Not with CIGNA, Just for the discogram it was declined five times. They made me see a psychiatrist for a psych exam, I had to have three sessions of cognitive behavioral therapy... It finally was finally approved on appeal. My union's attorney's got involved late in the game. CIGNA sucks. I wonder how hard my disc fusion surgery will be to get approved?

I feel I'm on the right track as far as getting the other procedures done first. There's really nothing else they can do besides fusion.

Did you spend any time in the hospital or was it outpatient?

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7/27/2017 1:38 PM

rpoint116 wrote:

TX I sincerely appreciate your feedback. Glad you're doing good. My doctors office just called and my discogram got pushed out two weeks, figures.

My union switched from Blue Cross Blue Shield to CIGNA January 1 of this year. In previous years, all of my back procedures have been covered by Blue Cross Blue Shield no problem. Never an issue. Not with CIGNA, Just for the discogram it was declined five times. They made me see a psychiatrist for a psych exam, I had to have three sessions of cognitive behavioral therapy... It finally was finally approved on appeal. My union's attorney's got involved late in the game. CIGNA sucks. I wonder how hard my disc fusion surgery will be to get approved?

I feel I'm on the right track as far as getting the other procedures done first. There's really nothing else they can do besides fusion.

Did you spend any time in the hospital or was it outpatient?

A fusion is a definite hospital stay and not outpatient. I only spent two nights in the hospital though. The day after surgery they had me walking around. The first couple days you will be asking yourself what the hell did you do to yourself. The pain is severe. Not really back pain. That will actually be gone because the disc is gone. You will notice that immediately. It's the pain from the surgery. They went through my abdomen with a large incision and then smaller incisions on the back. This surgery really is pretty major.

So yeah first two weeks suck but then it gets better. It will be 8-12 months by the time you are 100% but I would say by the 6 month mark I was at 70-80%. The more you walk the better you feel.

I was very close to chickening out and not having it done. My wife did not want me to have it done and pretty much everyone I know told me not to do it. Again, all you hear about is the horror stories. But those are few. Most fusions are fully successful.

Hope you are able to find an ultimate solution and get healed up. Back pain is extremely difficult to live with day to day.

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7/27/2017 10:03 PM

rpoint116 wrote:

TX I sincerely appreciate your feedback. Glad you're doing good. My doctors office just called and my discogram got pushed out two weeks, figures.

My union switched from Blue Cross Blue Shield to CIGNA January 1 of this year. In previous years, all of my back procedures have been covered by Blue Cross Blue Shield no problem. Never an issue. Not with CIGNA, Just for the discogram it was declined five times. They made me see a psychiatrist for a psych exam, I had to have three sessions of cognitive behavioral therapy... It finally was finally approved on appeal. My union's attorney's got involved late in the game. CIGNA sucks. I wonder how hard my disc fusion surgery will be to get approved?

I feel I'm on the right track as far as getting the other procedures done first. There's really nothing else they can do besides fusion.

Did you spend any time in the hospital or was it outpatient?

TXDirt wrote:

A fusion is a definite hospital stay and not outpatient. I only spent two nights in the hospital though. The day after surgery they had me walking around. The first couple days you will be asking yourself what the hell did you do to yourself. The pain is severe. Not really back pain. That will actually be gone because the disc is gone. You will notice that immediately. It's the pain from the surgery. They went through my abdomen with a large incision and then smaller incisions on the back. This surgery really is pretty major.

So yeah first two weeks suck but then it gets better. It will be 8-12 months by the time you are 100% but I would say by the 6 month mark I was at 70-80%. The more you walk the better you feel.

I was very close to chickening out and not having it done. My wife did not want me to have it done and pretty much everyone I know told me not to do it. Again, all you hear about is the horror stories. But those are few. Most fusions are fully successful.

Hope you are able to find an ultimate solution and get healed up. Back pain is extremely difficult to live with day to day.

Again much appreciated. I'll be in touch.

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7/28/2017 2:36 AM
Edited Date/Time: 7/28/2017 2:40 AM

Having any fusion with instrumentation may not totally cure you, it is meant to stabilize any further compression on that disc (s) area.
You need to seek out a good neurologist who specializes in spine stabilization.
A good neuro will want a fresh MRI, an MRI is the only way they can see the tunnels where the nerves travel through and looking in vertical view you can look at the narrowing of that tunnel. My neuro took at least 25 mins with me looking over the MRI at each disc level looking at the nerve tunnels showing me what normal one looks like compared to the narrowing ones.

I had over 10 years of lower disc degeneration and went through all the protocol: PT, nerve blocks, radio frequency ablations and on and on and on, and every test available .
I have foot drop on the left leg and my muscle mass on the calf is 2 inches smaller in diameter than the other leg.
Nerve damage is also seen on my left leg.

I had a L5-S1 Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion or TILF in 2015 and it did stabilize the area, the sciatic nerve pain in the left leg went away ( I did not regain lost nerve damage or muscle mass) BUT having any stabilization with DDD in any above discs will be explained to you that future stabilization (s) may be needed.
The stable discs put stress on the above degenerated discs sometimes accelerating their degeneration causing them to fail as well.
Bottom line if you have one level of bad discs in all probability others will follow.

MY advice, DO NOT WAIT, the longer you wait the more nerve damage will happen and nerve damage isnt repairable, stabilization is the only way you can live a relatively pain free life.

As for the operation, lower back op usually you will be in the hospital for 1~3 days, (youll love that catheter)
and for me the recovery was the hardest most painful thing I have ever done in my life. Expect a full year till you are 100% but that was me and everyone is different.
I suggest you join spine-health.com where you can get real patient info from those of us that have gone through lumbar and cervical operations. GREAT SITE great info.

INSIST on brace, PT AND periodic X rays to chart the instrumentation and fusion progress.
Smokers and overweight people will have a rougher road to recovery.

As for taking drugs for pain.........STOP. those of us that know about this sort of pain know that even the most hard core opioids do not cure the massive nerve pain we suffer, dont BS yourself saying it does because it doesnt.
I have been on every pain/muscle pill out there, I have even been taken to the ER for back spasms and had dilaudid / morphine etc IV and that didnt stop the pain.
BEST thing to deal with pain is to be in shape stomach and back muscle wise, not smoke and not be overweight, work with your neuro to find a anti-inflammatory and the pain will be tolerable until stabilization can be done.

I still have massive lower back pain as the discs above the L5-S1 are losing height and narrowing of the nerve tunnel, so another stabilization will be needed, AND as luck would have it I now am scheduled for a level 2 ACDF or anterior cervical discectomy fusion of C5-6 and C6-7 in october.


PS if you are taking that much oxy you need to see someone about addiction. thats waaaay overdoing it bud...
Good luck in your road to recovery.


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7/28/2017 4:05 PM

ohiomotoxer wrote:

Having any fusion with instrumentation may not totally cure you, it is meant to stabilize any further compression on that disc (s) area.
You need to seek out a good neurologist who specializes in spine stabilization.
A good neuro will want a fresh MRI, an MRI is the only way they can see the tunnels where the nerves travel through and looking in vertical view you can look at the narrowing of that tunnel. My neuro took at least 25 mins with me looking over the MRI at each disc level looking at the nerve tunnels showing me what normal one looks like compared to the narrowing ones.

I had over 10 years of lower disc degeneration and went through all the protocol: PT, nerve blocks, radio frequency ablations and on and on and on, and every test available .
I have foot drop on the left leg and my muscle mass on the calf is 2 inches smaller in diameter than the other leg.
Nerve damage is also seen on my left leg.

I had a L5-S1 Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion or TILF in 2015 and it did stabilize the area, the sciatic nerve pain in the left leg went away ( I did not regain lost nerve damage or muscle mass) BUT having any stabilization with DDD in any above discs will be explained to you that future stabilization (s) may be needed.
The stable discs put stress on the above degenerated discs sometimes accelerating their degeneration causing them to fail as well.
Bottom line if you have one level of bad discs in all probability others will follow.

MY advice, DO NOT WAIT, the longer you wait the more nerve damage will happen and nerve damage isnt repairable, stabilization is the only way you can live a relatively pain free life.

As for the operation, lower back op usually you will be in the hospital for 1~3 days, (youll love that catheter)
and for me the recovery was the hardest most painful thing I have ever done in my life. Expect a full year till you are 100% but that was me and everyone is different.
I suggest you join spine-health.com where you can get real patient info from those of us that have gone through lumbar and cervical operations. GREAT SITE great info.

INSIST on brace, PT AND periodic X rays to chart the instrumentation and fusion progress.
Smokers and overweight people will have a rougher road to recovery.

As for taking drugs for pain.........STOP. those of us that know about this sort of pain know that even the most hard core opioids do not cure the massive nerve pain we suffer, dont BS yourself saying it does because it doesnt.
I have been on every pain/muscle pill out there, I have even been taken to the ER for back spasms and had dilaudid / morphine etc IV and that didnt stop the pain.
BEST thing to deal with pain is to be in shape stomach and back muscle wise, not smoke and not be overweight, work with your neuro to find a anti-inflammatory and the pain will be tolerable until stabilization can be done.

I still have massive lower back pain as the discs above the L5-S1 are losing height and narrowing of the nerve tunnel, so another stabilization will be needed, AND as luck would have it I now am scheduled for a level 2 ACDF or anterior cervical discectomy fusion of C5-6 and C6-7 in october.


PS if you are taking that much oxy you need to see someone about addiction. thats waaaay overdoing it bud...
Good luck in your road to recovery.


Thanks.

The biggest mistake I've made is not taking care of this sooner. Extremely foolish on my end.

I am aware of my opiate issue. I spoke with my doctor about this as well, hopefully I can taper off when the time comes. I do monitor the dosage.

Great feedback again. Good luck with your upcoming procedure.

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7/28/2017 6:10 PM

Its appalling that your doc has no clue what he or she is doing by writing you scripts for opioids.
I only had 25 days worth after my first operation.

My doc would not scribe any more, in fact my new neuro doc would not scribe any for me at all, not even synthetic opioids like tramadol.

This is exactly why he or she should refer you to a pain management doc for blocks etc NOT to keep supplying your opioid addiction.

I wish you the best my friend

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7/30/2017 2:51 PM
Edited Date/Time: 7/30/2017 6:30 PM

ohiomotoxer wrote:

Its appalling that your doc has no clue what he or she is doing by writing you scripts for opioids.
I only had 25 days worth after my first operation.

My doc would not scribe any more, in fact my new neuro doc would not scribe any for me at all, not even synthetic opioids like tramadol.

This is exactly why he or she should refer you to a pain management doc for blocks etc NOT to keep supplying your opioid addiction.

I wish you the best my friend

Thanks for the feedback.

Respectfully, I hope he has a clue on what he's doing.

What if blocks don't work??

I made a serious error not getting this done last year. I started this process back in February for my discogram. My union switch insurance from Blue Cross Blue Shield to CIGNA January 1, and CIGNA has a putting up roadblocks. My discogram was declined five times. Ridiculous.

As I mentioned above, once I'm getting once I get my discogram, hopefully I'll get my back fused. My current doctor is managing my pain medication. He is aware of my situation. Our plan is to taper off once I get my surgery. We will see.

Again, good luck with your surgery!

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7/31/2017 8:03 AM

I dont understand why you are wasting your time on a d-gram....

IF you are having the classic symptoms with L5-S1 then an MRI is the only thing needed which your neuro should want asap.
Typically c scans are used but an MRI has the definitive answer. Disco's are at the bottom of the list in diagnostic testing and are usually used to determine disc damage.

You have one of 3 Id guess #2 DDD;

1) https://www.spine-health.com/conditions/herniated-disc/lumbar-herniated-disc

2) https://www.spine-health.com/conditions/degenerative-disc-disease/lumbar-degenerative-disc-disease-ddd

3) https://www.spine-health.com/conditions/spondylolisthesis/isthmic-spondylolisthesis

As for the blocks, they lasted about 2 weeks for me.
IF you have nerve issues which WILL lead to nerve damage blocks are only temporary. Spinal Fusion with Instrumentation is the ONLY way way to stabilize that disc(s)

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7/31/2017 8:31 AM

ohiomotoxer wrote:

I dont understand why you are wasting your time on a d-gram....

IF you are having the classic symptoms with L5-S1 then an MRI is the only thing needed which your neuro should want asap.
Typically c scans are used but an MRI has the definitive answer. Disco's are at the bottom of the list in diagnostic testing and are usually used to determine disc damage.

You have one of 3 Id guess #2 DDD;

1) https://www.spine-health.com/conditions/herniated-disc/lumbar-herniated-disc

2) https://www.spine-health.com/conditions/degenerative-disc-disease/lumbar-degenerative-disc-disease-ddd

3) https://www.spine-health.com/conditions/spondylolisthesis/isthmic-spondylolisthesis

As for the blocks, they lasted about 2 weeks for me.
IF you have nerve issues which WILL lead to nerve damage blocks are only temporary. Spinal Fusion with Instrumentation is the ONLY way way to stabilize that disc(s)

Lots of insurance companies and even doctors require a discogram before doing a fusion. You don't just jump from A to Z in one doctors visit. There are steps in between.

1. Physical Therapy
2. Nerve Block
3. Discogram
4. Disc Fusion

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7/31/2017 6:22 PM

ohiomotoxer wrote:

I dont understand why you are wasting your time on a d-gram....

IF you are having the classic symptoms with L5-S1 then an MRI is the only thing needed which your neuro should want asap.
Typically c scans are used but an MRI has the definitive answer. Disco's are at the bottom of the list in diagnostic testing and are usually used to determine disc damage.

You have one of 3 Id guess #2 DDD;

1) https://www.spine-health.com/conditions/herniated-disc/lumbar-herniated-disc

2) https://www.spine-health.com/conditions/degenerative-disc-disease/lumbar-degenerative-disc-disease-ddd

3) https://www.spine-health.com/conditions/spondylolisthesis/isthmic-spondylolisthesis

As for the blocks, they lasted about 2 weeks for me.
IF you have nerve issues which WILL lead to nerve damage blocks are only temporary. Spinal Fusion with Instrumentation is the ONLY way way to stabilize that disc(s)

TXDirt wrote:

Lots of insurance companies and even doctors require a discogram before doing a fusion. You don't just jump from A to Z in one doctors visit. There are steps in between.

1. Physical Therapy
2. Nerve Block
3. Discogram
4. Disc Fusion

MORE wrong you could not be, but if you say so.

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7/31/2017 6:27 PM

ohiomotoxer wrote:

I dont understand why you are wasting your time on a d-gram....

IF you are having the classic symptoms with L5-S1 then an MRI is the only thing needed which your neuro should want asap.
Typically c scans are used but an MRI has the definitive answer. Disco's are at the bottom of the list in diagnostic testing and are usually used to determine disc damage.

You have one of 3 Id guess #2 DDD;

1) https://www.spine-health.com/conditions/herniated-disc/lumbar-herniated-disc

2) https://www.spine-health.com/conditions/degenerative-disc-disease/lumbar-degenerative-disc-disease-ddd

3) https://www.spine-health.com/conditions/spondylolisthesis/isthmic-spondylolisthesis

As for the blocks, they lasted about 2 weeks for me.
IF you have nerve issues which WILL lead to nerve damage blocks are only temporary. Spinal Fusion with Instrumentation is the ONLY way way to stabilize that disc(s)

TXDirt wrote:

Lots of insurance companies and even doctors require a discogram before doing a fusion. You don't just jump from A to Z in one doctors visit. There are steps in between.

1. Physical Therapy
2. Nerve Block
3. Discogram
4. Disc Fusion

ohiomotoxer wrote:

MORE wrong you could not be, but if you say so.

Okay. Agree to disagree. I'll stick with my doctor who wants to go through steps. You go with yours who will do an MRI and fusion in the same week.

You are wrong but don't think you care. Nor do I.

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7/31/2017 6:47 PM
Edited Date/Time: 7/31/2017 7:52 PM

TXDirt wrote:

Lots of insurance companies and even doctors require a discogram before doing a fusion. You don't just jump from A to Z in one doctors visit. There are steps in between.

1. Physical Therapy
2. Nerve Block
3. Discogram
4. Disc Fusion

ohiomotoxer wrote:

MORE wrong you could not be, but if you say so.

TXDirt wrote:

Okay. Agree to disagree. I'll stick with my doctor who wants to go through steps. You go with yours who will do an MRI and fusion in the same week.

You are wrong but don't think you care. Nor do I.

TXDirt is spot on.

First, insurance requires it.

Secondly, any reputable surgeon would require this as well. The last thing you want to do is fuse a nonproblematic disk. In reference to disc pathology, three people can have the same diagnosis from the CT scan, but have extremely varying presented conditions. A grade 1 bulge on one disc may present more pain than a grade 10 bulge on another disc, while the whole time the larger bulge was being treated.

Third, even if you present suspicious pathology on a CT scan, the pain might not be a disc at all. By doing a discogram or discograph, this will demonstrate you have a disc problem that needs to be resolved.

Lastly, from what I understand, the last thing you want to do is fuse a disc. That's why you do all of your branch blocks, RFA's, epidurals, endoscopic rosotomis, etc...

Once you fuse a disk you can't go back. Also it can go sideways easily. Ask Steve Kerr.

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8/3/2017 6:24 AM
Edited Date/Time: 8/3/2017 6:34 AM

Yes I am fully aware of the protocol of what insurance companies require.
I have had all the blocks , radio frequency ablations, injections, manipulations, pt, chiropractors even a contraption where they pull your head one way and your feet another....
Yes I have been going through these issues for 17 years so this isnt my first rodeo.
I have seen over 10 neuro and ortho docs over that time.

MRI is the best way to diagnose spine issues.....you will see if you get to the point where an operation is needed, you will be getting an MRI

And you just dont get it.....fusion with instrumentation is done to stabilize the damaged area,....period end of story. re read my posts and the links....

IF you read the links I posted about the different spine issues you would see the different tests for each.
I also suggest you look over the forums on spine health, much good info there from those of us that have been through ops.

Sideways eh....thats what instrumentation is for...read my posts.....

By all means do as you see fit, some people dont want an operation, some do.

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