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Thread: Anyone ever had spinal surgery?

  1. #1
    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    Anyone ever had spinal surgery?

    Sooo... I'm facing spinal surgery. I have five disks that are in various states of herniation, bulging or compression. To compound that problem I had two mris done that found. Had congenital stenosis and my spinal column is half the width it should be.

    I have a lot of pain and numbness. The pain is in mostly my lower back, the numbs is in both legs and feet. I also have "foot drop" the doc said and a lot of weakness in both legs and feet. I had an epidural and that helped and have to get another in a week, then two more before my insurance will pay for ym surgery. Ivebeen hurt for two months and the doc said I have a month before the risk of permanent nerve damage sets in. He wants to remove the top of one of my vertebrae to relieve pressure on my nerves/spinal column.

    I'm getting a second opinion from a neurosurgeon. I'm taking four 7.5 mg percocet a day, three 300 mg neuronton, and three flexeril a day. I take a couple benadryl with each percocet to stop the itchies. So basically I'm in lala land all day, but the pain is mostly gone. I'd rather not have to take them and have no pain, however.

    I have had to take a semester off school. Has anyone else dealth with this kind of problem? I tried a chiropractor and that didn't do anything, plus. Wasted month of my time and money because he thought it was one little problem he could fix. I'll never go to a chiropractor again.

    All this started when I was pulling up trees (saplings) in the yard, then got a job as a waiter and that was the straw that broke the camels back.

    I am extremely nervous. One neurosurgeon said he wasn't qualified to touch me... I didn't know I was that messed up. We are tryi to get an appointment with some head neurosurgeon at Emory but he's booked fora year. His office says he sees a couple of special cases like me per month so cross your fingers that he will see me.

  2. #2
    rattler's Avatar
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    been living with two compressed disks for a year that are bulged to the point they hit the nerve running down the back of my leg.....the neurosurgeon said after looking at my MRI that my back looks like im in my late 40's....i aint even 30 yet.....

    opiates dont do a damn thing for back pain....the pain is mainly at the nerve roots and opiates work at the nerve endings....there is a reason Rush Limbaugh was taking massive amounts and after this last year i cant blame the man one bit....

    so what have i learned after 1 year, 3 epidural shots of cortisone(didnt work) and enough opiates and NSAIDs to choke a donkey?

    a $300 inversion table and a chiropractor that knows what they are doing has brought me more relief than any drug known to man......hanging for bout 5 minutes a day upside down reduces the bulging big time.....

    but all back injuries are individual and you sound like you have more problems than i do.....give an inversion table a try and see if it works....aint gonna hurt, i found out it worked for me trying it out in the store....relief was immediate......

    as for surgery itself, it depends....a very good friend of mine had surgery for my same injury only slightly worse and he is 100% back to normal but ive heard some ppl havent been happy....the worse off you are the happier you seem to be with the results and dont listen to those that had surgery 20 years ago, alot has changed since then....
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  3. #3
    instigator thez_yo's Avatar
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    Good luck - sorry to hear it, I think chibae just had something done to her back medically so maybe she has some words of wisdom?

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    Av8tor1's Avatar
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    Clint, if you need someone to babysit any plants just hollar mate...

    got that covered for ya if needed

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    I have friends who have had spinal surgery. They said it brought them immediate relief. Sometimes subsequent surgeries are needed if scar tissue builds up affecting the nerve, but all in all they regarded the procedure as a success, and were glad they had it done. I hope the future brings kinder and better days!
    "Grow More, Share More"

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    scottychaos's Avatar
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    Clint,
    wow, sorry to hear your back is in bad shape!
    I havent had spinal surgery myself, but my wife has, so I have a lot of personal second-hand experience..

    She had a buldged lumbar disk..
    spent about 2 years doing all the things you are supposed to try first, before surgery..
    (supposedly if its not too bad, things can mostly heal without surgery)
    but it wasnt getting better..it kept getting worse..
    one morning she tried to get out bed, and collapsed to the floor with unberable sciatica pain..she could barely walk..so she went in for a laminectomy..thats where they snip off the buldging disk, and try to take the pressure off the nerve..(this was about 2 years ago)
    she didnt have the full disk removed, only the buldged portion..and she didnt need any fusing..

    it worked!
    she was instantly 90% better after the surgery..
    although she will probably never be 100%..
    that area is still sore, and has "flare-ups" if she isnt careful (like doing too much weeding in the garden)
    she cant lift much, and her lower back will probably be a weak-spot for the rest of her life, which she will have to constantly "baby" and make sure to pay attention to what she doing..always lifting with your legs, no twisting, etc..all that stuff..

    but overall the surgery was a success..she is glad she had it done. even though it cant really be "100% cured", its still much better than it was before the surgery.

    there is now a new procedure, which wasnt available when she had her surgery..
    (Im not sure if its actually available in the US yet..they might still be doing trials and all that, and it has to be approved) but it looks promising! its basically installing an artificial disk! rather than messing around with the disk and doing joint fusings and all that, they simply take out the offending disk completely and replace it with fully artificial disk! sounds like a fabulous way to go..

    http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00502

    I dont know if that is a procedure that can be helpful to you right now, but its definately something to be aware of and to look into further..

    Scot

  7. #7
    swords's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear that Clint. In 2000 I fell off a flatbed tow truck onto the curb of the highway on my lower back . I didn't have the $ to go to the doc so it never got taken care of. For years after my back would suddenly lock and I'd have to spend a week laying flat on my back. The one time I did go to a doc about it during one of my lock ups (when my legs go numb and I can't bend/twist my torso or even walk good) all he said was "Just take about 6 or 8 Ibuprofen at a time, is that all you needed?" I paid $200 to hear that sentence out of his face. Apparently he thought I was faking and just looking for a script. So it still never got fixed or looked at. I'm lucky I haven't had any lock ups for a couple years now.

    Rattler, I can't imagine hanging on one of those contraptions, my back hurts just looking at it! LOL

  8. #8
    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    Yeah, the percocet is like a miracle pill for me thankfully. The neurontin helps the numbness by 50% ( I know it's the neuron tin because when I skip it, thee numbness gets worse.) I don't really think I need the flexeril (muscle relaxer) but take it because my doc told me to.

    The pain isn't that bad if I sit in a chair or pay in bed all day, but if I get up to walk to the bathroom it hurts my back like hell and if I walk around someplace like walmart, I limp and look like I have cerebral palsy or something. The pills I'm taking at least let me walk around the house without pain.

    Prescription and OTC NSAIDS don't do anything, period, so I don't bother to take them. Tramadol didn't do anything, either.

    I'm mainly worried that the surgery will go wrong somehow and I'll be paralyzed or worse. I would be happy getting an epidural once a month and popping pills if it meant I didn't have to take the risk of having my spine cut open, but the doc said I HAVE to get the surgery if I don't want permanent nerve damage. He said if I didn't have stenosis, I wouldn't even need surgery, Im still going to get a second opinion from a neurologist/neurosurgeon. I heard you're always supposed to get a second opinion before surgery.

    A few months ago I told my mom to just cancel my insurance since it's like three grand a year and nothing bad is likely to happen. Good thing she didn't listen to me.

    ---------- Post added at 02:21 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:20 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Av8tor1 View Post
    Clint, if you need someone to babysit any plants just hollar mate...

    got that covered for ya if needed

    LOL. I'm good but thanks. They don't need that much maintenance ;p

    Scotty, I'm sorry to hear about your wife's troubles, but glad she is better. Sciatica is what I've been dealing with for two months and we thought the chiropractor would fix it, but I saw zero improvement and we found all this out. We had no idea it was this serious, I really feel like my spine is a ticking time bomb. I will research those artificial disks, but from my understanding of what the orthopedic surgeon said, he want a to just cut off the top honey portion of the vertebrae to expose the spinal column and let scar tissue form over it. I don't honk he wants to touch the discs, at least not for now... I don't know why not, though.

    Swords, my first doctor (just a general practitioner) didn't believe me, I think. She refused to give me tramadol which is unscheduled ( I asked for it because I knew they had a policy against opiate.) She was pretty dismissive. Once I got my MRIs done my new doc didn't question me , and gave me the good stuff. He wanted to give me an epidural that day and said I really needed it. My mom told me how horrible they feel when she had one when she was giving birth to me, so I was terrified until I got it and it wasn't bad at all lol.
    Last edited by Clint; 08-03-2010 at 11:29 AM.

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