I am 35 years old and have been suffering from lower back pain since 1994, the next three years were devoted to three different lower back surgeries; a discectomy of L5, a fusion of L5- S1, and finally rods taken out. After each surgery I had months and months of physical therapy either in a pool setting, underwater treadmill, or the traditional workout equipment setting.
Nothing worked, after each surgery and my physical therapy sessions I had gotten steadily worse with more intense pain; this prompted me to receive a second opinion. After another MRI, referred by the second MD, he found that the original cage system that was used in my second surgery was put in the wrong place in my spine. Instead of the cage being used as a fusion for discs L5-S1 it is currently sitting on my spinal sac. I do not know still to this day whether or not I am leaking spinal fluid; neither do my doctors, knowing that information would mean another surgery.
After my second opinion diagnosis, I took that information along with a fourth surgery consultation to a leading back pain center for yet another opinion on whether or not I should have a fourth surgery. After months of discussion and research I decided to wait for medical technology to improve, which would hopefully provide more options.
16 years later I am considering seeing specialists again to see if my back pain and problems can be fixed. I am not only dealing with the pain and limitations of my back but because of the wrong placement of the cage, I am also dealing with a serious lack of trust for all doctors. Now that I am older and definitely wiser concerning my health, I am hoping for an intelligent and honest conversation with the doctor I have chosen for what I hope is my last consultation dealing with my back.
This is an aspect of my life I do not like to talk about and have suppressed for many years. Writing this is my way of actually coming to terms with my next step concerning my chronic lower back pain and surgery gone wrong. - Kimberly