My first spinal fusion surgery was in December, 2010. Myfamily doctor informed me, after reading an MRI report, that I had bulging, herniated disks that were causing a narrowing of my spinal cord. I had previously taken Motrin for pain. However, my increase of Motrin alarmed my family doctor which prompted the MRI. He sent me to a neurosurgeon who said I was at great risk of paralysis. He performed an Anterior spinal fusion of 4, 5, 6.and used cadaver bone. He said It would take 3-6 months for recovery. I took a medical leave from work. Within the 3 month recovery period I gradually worked myself out of the philadelphia collar and cut back on Vicodin, and under his direction resumed Motrin for pain management. I returned to work at the end of 3 months believing I was on the mend and had to tough it out. However, I could not tolerate the pressure and pain during my work hours. I was inclined to take Vicodin at work. One day, I accidently cut myself and had to go to emergency. Working on these meds is dangerous! I reported to my doctor who wrote a note and I was excused from work another month. When I returned back to work, it was unbearable. I reported to my doctor who advocated my Vicodin intake, and sent me to physical therapy. At the end of this month, I felt worse. I returned to my doctor who was now irritated with me. Apparently, they treat weaker patients as though they want to be disabled and drugged. He told me, "OK, we'll send you to pain management." What will that be, I asked. "They'll give you an epidural, he said.
I wanted to get well. I did not want to mask the pain. I believed there was something wrong at this point. I sought out another neurosurgeon who reviewed my original MRI, and the xray that was performed after my 1st surgery. He informed me that the xray showed I had not fused. He took more xrays and a new catscan to confirm. I was devastated. He said I need additional surgery. In August 2011, I underwent Posterior Spinal Fusion surgery.I have titanium rods and screws from C3-C4-C5-C6-C7-T1. iT WAS HORRENDOUS RECOVERY! Back spasms, 3 weeks in a rehabilitation center, pain medications, limited mobility. It has been 6 months since my 2nd surgery. I am still suffering. My doctor acts bewildered. Anybody out there with advise? Im thinking I just need more time to heal. Between the doctors and insurance companies, you are given as estimated time line for healing. Being new in the disabled category, new in the need for benefits field, and now state assistance is humbling, stressful nervewracking.