First surgery was in 99 with the second in 2007 with 2 visits to the ER 3 days apart and then after the MRI, I was secheduled for surgery the next AM. The Dr that done the surgery said the ruptured part was as big as his thumb. He didn't know how I was even able to walk. I have had the epidural injections different times prior to both surgeries, TENS unit, PT many times, Lami partical discectomy L4-5, discogram, DDD, IDET, lami partial discectomy L3-4. Doc has mention that if I have to have another surgery then it may be a fusion or cage ?? Rods and pins may not hold due to DDD and not a good anchor point??
here are my current issues:
Pain in rt side flank going under ribcage.
Rt leg numb for the most part
Sleep..over-rated since the pain is keeping me up
Coughing, laughing, sneezing is a killer.

Here's the kicker..the pain is softened by Flexeril and vicodin and the pain is not a consistant issue, however the leg is numb most of the time.

Anyone have a "cage" ?? The pain from by second op was a killer and I don't want to go thru that again but I think my options have about run out. MRI is being set up. Would you have the cage or fusion or just deal with the pain and go on ?
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replied June 26th, 2009
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Hi there, I'm so sorry to hear about your pain. I am very familiar with what you are going through and more because my husband has his entire spine and hip fused with two rods going up and down his entire spine. He is in chronic pain and for many years and after four surgeries the only thing that helps him is the pain medication. He also gets a lot of numbness in his legs. It's a long story, but we did have a friend that he met at a support group who had the cages put in his back. Let me tell you that he had more problems than ever from those cages. It caused him not only horrible pain but he was left having to wear a horrible looking brace around his body because the cage caused him to slouch otherwise. I would stay away from the cage. I know that fusion is very helpful to many and my husband didn't have the choice. However, he was left in chronic pain and forced to go on disability. We were also told by his doctors that once you have nerve damage which is what causes the numb leg, you can never get that back. My advice to you after dealing with his experience would be to deal with the pain if you are getting some relief with the Flexeril and Vicodin. Just don't overdo it with the Vicodin, it's quite addicting. When it gets to a point where the pain is not being relieved with the meds. you might want to think of the surgery, just stay away from those cages. If you have any questions, please let me know. I'll try to help you the best I can. Stay well!
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replied June 30th, 2009
I had the cage on my 3rd surgery at L5-S1. Don't!!! It failed and has now moved and is pushing on a nerve making my foot paralyzed. If you have to have surgery, do it the old fashion way with fusion. It worked great on my neck in 1992. The cage also makes MRI's and CT's useless. The only way to see what's up in there later is a myelogram. After the 3rd surgery I was diagnosed with FBS and fibromyalgia. FBS is fail back surgery! I am now looking for a Dr. to take the cage out and do a fusion. Sorry and Good luck.
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replied July 4th, 2009
Experienced User
I also have back pain. My pain is caused from a couple of buldging disc's. I have an appointment with a Neurosurgen next week to discuss my options for back surgery but I do not want a cage/ fusion performed after what I have been told about them. A friend of mine had one done and is in serious pain. You might be better off not having one. I have heard that the back patches for pain work well if that is an option for you. I once put out an ad in the paper asking to speak to anyone who has had back surgery because I need to speak to those who have experienced it themselves and spoke to several who had the fusion done. They all told me not to go there unless its the only option. See a pain management Doctor and ask about the back patches. Good luck to you and Im here if you need support!
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replied July 4th, 2009
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I agree with your decision not to have the fusion if you don't have to. My husband has his entire back fused and is always in pain. The patches don't work for him.
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