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Old 02-27-2013, 07:41 PM   #1
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Back surgery? for the Disabled Rvers thread

Anyone here had any type of back surgery?

My most recent MRI shows 5 compressed/herniated disc.
I have sciatica mainly on the left side and some of the things they are suggesting are scarey, to say the least (to me). Back pain is nothing new to me, however what they now want to do is.

These are possabily:
Discectomy in which disc material is removed through an incision.

Laminectomy. This procedure involves the removal of the bone overlying the spinal canal. It enlarges the spinal canal

The orthopedists sounds positive about newer microdiscectomy or microdecompression spine surgery, where a small portion of the bone over the nerve root and/or disc material from under the nerve root is removed to relieve neural impingement and provide more room for the nerve to heal.

Are there any members here with experience with any of these procedures?

I am also reading that Inversion Therapy will give some relief.
One site says that 25 degree angle is enough to help. I am talking about the inversion tables, as I have no interest in hanging by my ankles for any period of time. Has anyone tried the inversion tables?

I can manage to drive about 6 hours then have to stop.
I have not found any of the pillows to be a benefit and
compression back supports are my constant friend.

Thanks for any insight / experience you have. _

Sorry if this ended up in the wrong area. Please feel free to move it.
I am having great difficulty in getting to where I think it should be.
I guess my navigation skills may be off tonight._______________

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Old 02-27-2013, 08:08 PM   #2
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Back surgery.

Old, I do understand your back pain. Although mine would appear not to be as critical as yours. I had back surgery in 2007 for spinal stenosus. The surgeon was prepared to fuse the lower vertabra in my back due to the bottom disc being basicly gone. Two weeks before surgery the surgeon called and told me he wanted to install a system called dynasysis (sp) The surgery consisted of opening the nerve passages to my right leg and hip. Then the above system consisting of 4 titanium pins placed 2 top 2 bottome on each side of the spine and then a nylon cable threaded thru the pins and secured, This was to straighten me back to a normal position. The surgery was very successfull other than when returning to work I found I couldn't stand on my feet for long periods of time which caused to to retire in 2008, As long as I don't stand in one place for long periods I'm fine. Walking is my best friend and yes I purchased the inversion table. I use the table after I abused the standing or any thing that causes my back to tighten up. The table has worked great for me and even today after using snow blower I came in an hung upside down for about 7 min. Hope all goes well with your surgery and that you can reclaim your activity. Good luck..

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Old 02-27-2013, 08:27 PM   #3
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I have been dealing with back pain and problems since I was 23, I am now 47. I have had a fusion on the L5/S1 done. Helped a little but since my problems are all over the lower back not much really and now it's all creeping the whole spine and neck so I totally understand your pain.
About 3 yrs ago my doc told me no more work, as she put it pointing to my medical files "that right there tells me it's not worth my medical license to let you work, not even part time"
The only thing that has helped with any pain for any length of time was the one time they put me on the 10 day steroid treatment. That was about a week of literally no pain. I wish that would happen again but nope they cannot give that to me anymore. So all I have left is pills. Oh and no more NSAIDS for me cause of ulcers, so narcotics is all that's left. Wish there was something else but nope not for me. I am VA so most of the new stuff I won't be able to try for probably another 5 to 10 yrs.
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:40 PM   #4
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We need an administrator to move this.
We still need a better link to the Disabled forum.
Rich & Judy
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Old 02-27-2013, 09:11 PM   #5
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had a back fix two years ago
4 -5 hrs is all I can stand driving
opened up area for the nerves around L5 then inserted a thing that looks like a hollow wall moly bolt and cinched up the herniated disc, supposed to last 5 years
we shall see
disc replacement is next,
no fusion due to the severity of degeneration without fusing three discs in a row
pain is lower than it was before by a wide margin...but mobilty is horrible at times, cold, wet days are BAD
so we drive or try to not go over 4 hrs driving and i have the coolest LARGE cool packs that chill the muscles and seem to help the pain without to many meds
leg still goes numb, and i limp some
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Old 02-27-2013, 09:27 PM   #6
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I've had a lamenectomy of the L4=L5 twice, it was successful. I'm still havingf an issue with L5-S1 that should have been done the last time, but it's not so bad I want to have it done.

The DW has jad very extensive work done on her back, she is completelt fused from T9 to S1. It's releived about 90% of her pain and by looking at her, you wouldn't know she had the surgery.

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Old 02-27-2013, 09:28 PM   #7
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I have had so many surgeries and procedures that I have now lost count.

My first surgery included a laminectomy.

I have had a discogram. That is one of the most horrific procedures that I have ever had and it caused more issues. One of my surgeon's said that it should be outlawed and that it is generally inconclusive.

I have had my nerves fried (can't remember what the actual name of that is).

I have had the steroid injections.

I have had a disc blow into my spinal cord and cause cord damage (won't bore you with the results of the damaged cord).

Of that one, I would recommend that you find out if any of the disc's are ballooning out toward the cord. If so, get it fixed. When mine blew they told me that I was very lucky that it did not sever the cord. As it is, they had to dig disc material out of the cord. It was so dicy a surgery that I had to sign a form stating that I understood that I could come out of the surgery in a wheel chair.

I have had a number of disc's repaired. Those were ones that had torn and were leaking disc material.

The problem was insurance. I have two that are leaking onto a nerve cluster, right now, but my former insurance would not pay for the repair as the tears were smaller than their allowed size for repair.

I can not handle inversion therapy. The pain is more than I can handle.

I had to have surgeries, due to my genetic disorder, but many people can get through life with outpatient or alternative measures.

Have you tried acupuncture? It did not help me but my Mom swears by it (her back was broken at work).

My max driving is about an hour. After that I have to stop for a while, lay down, then I can drive a little further.

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Old 02-27-2013, 09:47 PM   #8
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For years I suffered with chronic back pain. Spent thousands of dollars on meds docs PT etc. I was told surgery was my only option. Very similar diagnosis to yours. A friend who was a PT suggested inversion. I gave it a try and yes it takes a little getting used to. Fast forward six years later, no surgery, no pain. It may or may not help you but before I would let anyone cut on my back, I would make sure I had looked at every option available. JMHO
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:01 PM   #9
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Please look at this website LaserSpineInstitute.com. Every patient is different. If the only answer to back/leg pain is spinal fusion, run (if you can). Hardware just transfers the stress from the injured level to an adjacent level thereby over straining it. Recurrant pain and repeat surgery with "down time" is likely. Whenever talking to a surgeon about success rates, ALWAYS get a definition of success. The patient's definition is often restoration of a comfortable, reasonably active life style. The surgeons is often, the vertebra indeed fused and nothing is said about symptom resolution. DoctorH
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Old 02-27-2013, 10:20 PM   #10
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I'm 40 and had a fusion at L5 on November 30 2012, I am 3.5 months out and I feel fantastic. The only issue I'm dealing with now is the discomfort from the nerve damage which I'm on medication for...but I am getting better every day. Plus I am enjoying the 6 months off of work with pay
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Old 02-28-2013, 05:03 AM   #11
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I am lost reading about all of these surgeries, but I am paying a lot of attention to the comments. I fell off a roof in 1995 that squished out the jelly in between two of my disks. They now call it "degenerative disks" "I think". The last time (2002) I went to an Orthopedic his comment was whenever it gets to where you cannot walk then have surgery. This did not go well with me, so I figured I needed to just handle the pain. Now that I am getting older (61) it hurts more and more. I have an inversion table and it works great most of the time (when I remember to use it). Walking used to make it feel better, but not anymore. I now have to quit walking when it starts to hurt more.

I am thinking about getting it checked into again, but the surgery options mentioned above me worry me. I do exercise, but anything that involves the low back hurt.
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Old 02-28-2013, 05:19 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by srrobe View Post
For years I suffered with chronic back pain. Spent thousands of dollars on meds docs PT etc. I was told surgery was my only option. Very similar diagnosis to yours. A friend who was a PT suggested inversion. I gave it a try and yes it takes a little getting used to. Fast forward six years later, no surgery, no pain. It may or may not help you but before I would let anyone cut on my back, I would make sure I had looked at every option available. JMHO
I always wondered if that works. It seemed to make sense since my back problems are from compression and degeneration.
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Old 02-28-2013, 06:48 AM   #13
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My inversion table makes my back fell great when I use it. But do not try to use if you have a headache. It will make it even worse. My sinus headaches lately due to the weather changes is the main reason I have not been using it.
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Old 02-28-2013, 07:35 AM   #14
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Just had my surgery 6 weeks ago, first Dr's visit was Monday and he said everything was looking fine. Absolutely no pain since surgery.

Had my first fusion 22 years back, L5 to tailbone, this time had L3 fused to L4 and L4 fused to L5. Dr. used the hardware system where screws and bars are attached to vertebra and baskets inserted into disc spaces.

Mine was mostly Arthritic bone spurs closing the nerve canal. Bone that was removed to open the canals was used to pack the baskets.

I'm still wearing the back brace anytime I'm doing anything other than sitting or laying, and wearing a stimulator.

Any questions I could answer for you feel free to PM me.

Generic photo of hardware used


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