Hi all, i was diagnosed with facial neuralgia in '95 then around 2000 I was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease, ulner nerve that was too short and carpal tunnel, first in the right arm followed by the left arm a year or so later. I've had the carpal release and ulner nerve transpo in both arms and L5 laminectomy from 2001 to 2004. A year and a half ago I began having sysmptoms consistent with L4 nerve compression, increased back pain, and increased nerve pain in my arms. The surgeries did help but I've continued to have some pain. I had an mri,myleogram, and nerve conduction test done about a year ago and went to three different surgeons. All three did not see nerve compression and because of my age, thought I should not do a fusion. I continued to work, drugging myself just to get thru the work day. Then last Aug I had an epideral injection at L4 which gave me significant relief. That wore off in early Dec. I went to work and spent the rest of my time in bed until two weeks ago, I just couldn't take the pain and I was taking so many narcotics, it really scared me. So, I decided to take time off work. I had another injection a week and a half ago but no change yet. The doc who does the inj says the surgeons may be more apt to do the fusion now that I'm unable to work. However, with my other "unexplained" nerve problems, I'm scared to do the surgery without proof the nerve is being compressed. What if it's just neuropathic nerve pain and not from the disc? Are there others out there who didn't show nerve compression on their mri but had a fusion which helped or didn't help the pain? Of those who have had a lumbar fusion, was it helpful?
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