After months of being told the damage was soft tissue damage and it would get better with time I thought I was going crazy. I would cry because I felt like what I was feeling wasn’t matching what I was being told, not that I had any faith in the doctor at that point. So when the spinal specialist told me the MRI wasn’t normal I was so happy because finally I felt like someone besides my primary doctor who always listens who referred me to the spinal specialist was listening. So we scheduled me to have a spinal fusion of the L3/L4 which is the lumbar (low back) region. What was problematic for me and the doctors is that my symptoms crossed the L3/L4 and the L4/L5 regions. So when they did the lumbar discogram (for more information on discogram tests here is a link to the Mayo Clinic http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/discogram/basics/definition/prc-20013848 ) they found that my L3 and my L4 discs were torn. This explained why my symptoms crossed both regions. I had more pain on the L3 disc so we decided to remove the L3 disc even though the L4 disc was more badly damaged. The hope was by removing the L3 disc and fusing the L3/L4 region I would be pain free.
The first week of September 2014 I had the spinal fusion of the L3/L4 and the surgery could not have gone any better. My surgeon is known for his minimally invasive spinal surgery technique and by using a side approach he pushed the lower back muscles aside verses cutting them, and I was actually up and walking the halls without a walker the day after surgery. The physical therapist and the occupational therapist were highly impressed at my level of mobility. I was in a lot of pain, but I knew that I needed to use the IV pain meds carefully because the sooner I could wean off the IV pain meds the better. I was able to go home after 2 days in the hospital, which was fantastic because we all know that you heal better at home any way.