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Old 08-23-2010, 08:42 AM   #1
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Spinal stenosis

Has anyone been diagnosed with spinal stenosis of the lumbar?

Excluding surgery, what alternative treatments have you done to relieve the pain and discomfort.

I had a bout with it 8 years ago and it took me almost 3 months for a complete recovery.

This time around it looks like it is going to take a little longer to recover since I am 8 years older


Thanks,

Ron
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Old 08-23-2010, 11:24 AM   #2
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My wife had two surgeries for spinal stenosis between her L4 and L5. Both were done by a neurosurgeon - NOT a orthopedic surgeon.

First surgery involved going in from the side of her vertebrae and 'rotor rootering' the space out. Unfortunately she did not develop enought scar tissue and had to have another surgery a few years later. 2nd surgery the neurosurgeon removed her disk and fused her L4 and L5 together with bone from her hip. That was 9 years ago and she has been fine ever since with no loss in flexibility or ability to do anything.

Both surgeries were done when she was in her 30's. The 3 months recovery sounds about right but she was walking immediately after surgery. NOTHING she did or took relieved the pain and discomfort. Other than fixing the problem through surgery, there is no magic pill or exercise that took her pain and numbness away.

Send me a PM is you need more info. Good luck!
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Old 08-23-2010, 12:08 PM   #3
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I was diagnosed with spinal stenosis about 10 years ago. The Dr. stated that because of my weight and diabetis, surgery was a last considered option because the surgery itself could result in paralysis.. He also stated that I would eventualy be wheel chair bound , but couldn't tell me if it would take 5yrs or 40 yrs. So far, I've put up with the pain using aceteminiphen to lessen the impact. I've lost about 70#s and do feel better. I continue to be able to do most things, just not as fast as I used to.
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Old 08-23-2010, 03:23 PM   #4
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I screwed around with it for several years and they would send me for therpy sessions and I did the routines for years and it never got much better. I could only walk short ways and my legs would bother me. When at store I always used the shopping cart to walk. Had the surgey done in the L4 area. I came out of surgery and felt so good I walked around hospital all night and they released me next morning. Have never had problems since. Best thing I ever done and if I new it was going to be this great I would haqve had it done years ago. surgery was five years ago at age 65 and been great since.
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Old 08-23-2010, 05:52 PM   #5
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The thought of a spine opperation scares me to death

It's nice to hear about those success stories though.

Even though it took me 3 months to recovery from the first bout I'm going to try again with what worked and hope I can make it. If not, I will have to go the surgery route and hope for the best.

At the moment I am in severe pain, can not walk or stand upright. Strong pain pills, codeine, hot packs, cold packs, you name it, nothing seems to work to relieve the pain

The doctor started me out on prednislone last tuesday but it is not working as fast as it did 8 years ago

In my first post I probably should not have said I made a complete recovery because I have had intemittent twinges of pain in my left hip and leg over the past years but it has never stopped me from doing any physical activity. In fact, I have been know to run circles around people much younger than me

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Old 08-23-2010, 07:39 PM   #6
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Ron,

Talk to your surgeon about putting off surgery. My wife's surgeon warned her that the stenosis is choking off the nerves to her legs and could do permanent nerve damage - meaning even surgery at a later time would not bring back all the feeling in her legs. I think the words 'permanent lack of bowel control' set her over the top and she elected surgery. Both surgeries were not easy choices but the proof is in her ability to lead a normal life - pain free. She has more pain now in her hip where they took the bone than in her back (and that's only when it rains).
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Old 08-23-2010, 08:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron & Dee View Post
Has anyone been diagnosed with spinal stenosis of the lumbar?

Excluding surgery, what alternative treatments have you done to relieve the pain and discomfort.

I had a bout with it 8 years ago and it took me almost 3 months for a complete recovery.

This time around it looks like it is going to take a little longer to recover since I am 8 years older


Thanks,

Ron
I have had three back surgeries. Two Laminectomies and the third resulted in a 6 inch Titanium cage to fuse the lower spine. Before each surgery I did everything I could do to heal my back, but nothing worked. I waited until I could no longer walk. Now I am very disabled and had to retire much earlier than I had wanted. I do enjoy our coach, but I cannot do any maintenance on it so I have to pay for all work on it. We love camping. We have been only to state Parks with this coach. Wife is still working so camping is mostly weekends or extended weekends. Sometimes I leave several days ahead while DW is still working and she joins us at the campground when she is off for the weekend. I camp with our dog, when DW is unable to, so I am not alone. He never says much, but he is a good listener. Joe
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Old 08-23-2010, 08:33 PM   #8
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Last year I was diagnosed with moderate to severe lumbar spinal stenosis plus every disc of my lumbar spine is herniated. At least now I knew why it became so difficult to sit for more than a few minutes at a time. My doctor did a procedure called epidural steroid injection for the stenosis which has helped a lot. This is not a permanent fix and will have to be repeated at some point. The literature says the effects can last from weeks to a year or more. I also had radiofrequency done for the disc problem. Now I am able to drive my "house" again without being in agony.

What helps me the most though is acupuncture. It is important to find a good one, someone who has been to a school for that and not just added training to their degree. Experience talking there.
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Old 08-24-2010, 07:50 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by azloafer View Post
I have had three back surgeries. Two Laminectomies and the third resulted in a 6 inch Titanium cage to fuse the lower spine. Before each surgery I did everything I could do to heal my back, but nothing worked. I waited until I could no longer walk. Now I am very disabled and had to retire much earlier than I had wanted. I do enjoy our coach, but I cannot do any maintenance on it so I have to pay for all work on it. We love camping. We have been only to state Parks with this coach. Wife is still working so camping is mostly weekends or extended weekends. Sometimes I leave several days ahead while DW is still working and she joins us at the campground when she is off for the weekend. I camp with our dog, when DW is unable to, so I am not alone. He never says much, but he is a good listener. Joe
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Old 08-24-2010, 08:02 AM   #10
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That picture's enough to scare the crap out of Ron!
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Old 08-24-2010, 08:36 AM   #11
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That picture's enough to scare the crap out of Ron!
You got that right

I think azloafer should come back and explain what all of those plastic wire ties and that little cement block is all about

I hope that isn't the fix

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Old 08-24-2010, 10:37 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron & Dee View Post
Has anyone been diagnosed with spinal stenosis of the lumbar?

Excluding surgery, what alternative treatments have you done to relieve the pain and discomfort.

I had a bout with it 8 years ago and it took me almost 3 months for a complete recovery.

This time around it looks like it is going to take a little longer to recover since I am 8 years older


Thanks,

Ron
I have a Dr. appointment tomorrow to talk about the likely stenosis in my back. I can sit and drive just fine but walking/standing is a problem. I fear surgery since I am a staff infection carrier (the nasty one) and I am afraid I will be unable to cure it sometime. I am also allergic to steroids.

Not a pleasant future, I fear!
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Old 08-24-2010, 10:54 AM   #13
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Wow!! that X-Ray is very scary.

OK... Don't throw rocks at me but many lower back problems (not the ones mentioned here) can be greatly improved by weight control, diet and excercise. Weak abs are often the cause of lower back problems. I have seen too many people 100-200 + pounds overweight with back problems. Duh!!! I met a man that somehow had his belly weight either weighed or estimated weight. It was 80 pounds. Imagine carrying an 80 pound weight around attached to your belt buckle. No wonder he had lower back issues.
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Old 08-24-2010, 11:27 AM   #14
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Wow!! that X-Ray is very scary.

OK... Don't throw rocks at me but many lower back problems (not the ones mentioned here) can be greatly improved by weight control, diet and exercise. Weak abs are often the cause of lower back problems. I have seen too many people 100-200 + pounds overweight with back problems. Duh!!! I met a man that somehow had his belly weight either weighed or estimated weight. It was 80 pounds. Imagine carrying an 80 pound weight around attached to your belt buckle. No wonder he had lower back issues.
I was in pretty good shape when I had the surgeries, but I have gained weight now, due to being so limited in what I can do. My doctor recently sent me to a rehab center, but they said that, considering my medical records, the only thing they would do was help me do leg squats for my thighs. I can hang onto something at home and do those without paying them so I passed. I do a couple Williams back exercises each morning. I can handle that. I would like to take a couple pounds off now. Probably the two toughest things for me to do now is to air the tires on the coach and loading the coach to go camping. I just do the best that I can and do it slowly. Joe
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