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fusion versus disc replacement

Hello everyone, I am 32 yrs old and have lower back pain. L4 & L5 are degenerative and bulging, and my upper back and neck area are showing degenerative discs as well, just not as bad as my lower back.

My doctor has done a discogram on my lower back and isolated the problem discs. now I am faced with surgery or not to have surgery. For the most part I function normally everday, alittle pain but liveable. When it gets bad I am down for a week or so with the flare up.

So I need help trying to work through this, I don't know anyone to talk to that has been in my place. I have to decide if surgery is what I need or not. If I want surgery which type, my doctor says that I should not go for disc replacement because I am to young, he says to take fusion. I don't know, I know that disc replacement will not last the rest of my life and he will have to do fusion surgery anyways, but 10 or 15 years down the road no telling what they will be able to do when they do fail. I hate to settle for fusion now and lose mobilty, and cause more stress on the rest of back from the fusion. I'm just looking for experiences that other people have had good or bad and which way they wish they would have went. I am trying to make the best decision for me and my wife and 4 small children.

Thank you to eveyone that has any input on this matter. Bryan
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replied February 15th, 2009
Has anyone had disc replacement before? I need to know if it takes along time for recovery, and if anyone who reads this is still in pain from this surgery. I need to know if anyone could tell me if there's a charity group out there that can help pay for my surgery. Because my DR says my insurance won't pay for it. I have to have my c5, c7 & L4, L5 replaced . I have DDD of the spine the lower dics is torn & leaking fluid. FROM Heart4C
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