I am a 63-year-old British/Italian composer, Professor of Composition at the Conservatorio of Milano Italy. I have a website under my name. In 2010 I had pain in my lower vertebrae and with an X-ray I found out that I had a cyst between L4 and L5. I went to what is still considered the best neurosurgeon in Italy and he told me that if I wasn’t operated I would end up in a wheelchair. He also said I needed an arthrodesis to fuse these two vertebrae. He showed me the reason on the X-ray (to a then ignorant person like me) when I later discovered it was unnecessary. After the operation in 2010 I saw several neurosurgeons in Milan and they all very clearly beat around the bush to protect him until I saw a retired one who during a second visit owned up that it was all a very productive business. The Italian NHS paid for everything. From the first moment I got up the next day I felt pain on the left side of the vertebrae and this pain has never left me and gets worse if I walk a little too much. I can only sleep on my right side. My goal every day has been to reach 3000 steps. Now I can no longer do this and there are some days I cannot go out at all and have to lie down with my legs on two cushions. Year by year I am getting worse and the pain increases from the centre of the vertebrae (a large patch) and goes down the left leg all the way down to the ankle and sometimes the sole of the foot. Recently, this side has improved but has now gone to the right side as well. It also burns just above where I sit. I live very badly because if I sit too much the same thing happens.
I am just waiting till neurosurgeons will start extracting them, above all to those who didn’t need them. However, since I have 4 holes in the vertebrae which hold the two plaques, I am waiting for (and keep on reading about) the invention of new polymers and/or some kind of cement that will fuse into the bones and also strengthen them. Unfortunately, I have some osteoporosis which makes things worse. A British surgeon in London told me that I have been lucky because my 4 screws have eaten up some of the bone and they wobble which has prevented them from breaking. People to whom this has happened, apart from the excruciating pain, have had to be re-operated, four larger screws put in to fill up the holes and two larger plaques added too. I just don’t want to finish up definitely in a wheelchair, though when I am in an airport or in a museum I have always been using one for about 10 years.
Please let me know about the new polymers and cements for bones too.
These words were written quite some time ago but could not find an exact doctor to send them to. I have just read this page about the extraordinary Mr. Yaszemski! I am prepared to come to the Mayo Clinic to be visited and operated. Please let me know if you want me to send you my latest Tomography and Magnetic Resonance.
Please, please help me regain a better life with less pain.
With many thanks and best regards,
Prof. Elisabetta Brusa married in Serembe