For issues related to specific conditions and disabilities.
Moderators: Myrtle, charles47, Nilla, susieq, rosemary, Brindleboy123, no1mum
My 47 year old husband has herniated discs at L4 / L5 and L5 / L6 and the disc above them was called 'ropey' by his surgeon. He has constant sciatica in his left leg also. and a bulging disc at cervical level.
His surgeon has offered a fusion of the two discs to the 'ropey' one. We asked him why he wouldnt fuse them all and he said 'because we only do a max of 2 here'.
Now I am not a Doc (obviously) but I cannot see that it would be a good thing to fuse to a 'ropey' disc. Surely this would cause more strain on it and cause future problems. ...am I right in thinking this?! It seems to be papering over the cracks to me. He also said it would be at BEST to expect only a 50% improvement in pain and 70% chance of it being worse.
We have not been able to find a surgeon who offers any surgical procedure except this one, and we have seen 4 top consultants in the last 3 years now. My husband feels this isnt the right operation for him but we have not been offered anything else, ever! He feels a disc replacement would be best but the Docs in the UK say more than 1 disc would mean it was too unstable for a multi-disc replacement.
What would you do? It feels like we would be going ahead with this just for the sake of doing something! I dont know, anyone any experience of fusions, disc replacements...or doing nothing even!
We are stuck here, we cannot get on with our lives...is this it?! Just live with it...any ideas?!
PS my husband is also Bipolar II and quite ill, this isnt helping!
- Joined: Tue May 26, 2009 9:19 am
- Location: Bedford
it is actually the vertebrae which are fused, the herniated discs are usually removed, a discectomy, and the vertebrae fused together using one of several methods. I think that whether or not to undergo elective surgery is a very individual choice based on the individual's assessment of the risks versus the benefits, in your husband's case it may be that the pain is sufficiently severe and disabling to make surgery the better option, conversely he may still be able to function sufficiently despite the pain to feel that the risk outweighs the benefit.
My son is 24 years old and had a spinal fusion done when he was 13. I think it was one of the best things he has ever had done. He sits straight in his wheelchair and because his lungs are not so compressed the amount of chest infections he has had have been greatly reduced - but obviously the surgery is not for everyone.
- Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2008 8:41 pm
Are you in the hands of an Orthopedic Surgeon or a Neuro Surgeon? The latter in my opinion is better placed to decide on treatment.
Scans can show 'slipped discs' but surgical intervention can be hazardous due to the nerves in the vicinity.
I'd try pain control first before resorting to surgery.
- Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2011 11:38 pm
- Location: East Sussex
Return to Other specific conditions and disabilities
Who is online
Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest