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Pulp, SASS#28319

Back surgery opinions

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I have a bulging disk and stenosis in my lumbar region. Just wondering if anyone has had surgery for either of these and was it worth it? I've heard all the horror stories of back surgery, so I'm a bit skeptical.
My brother had surgery for stenosis, when he came to, the only thing hurting was the incision. He's had excellent results for the last seven years, but it is beginning to come back on him.
On the other hand my first wife died from complications from her back surgery, although in her case the circumstances were much worse to begin with. Long story, not sure if the web has enough electrons to share it all.
I have the MRI, the doc hasn't even seen it yet. Kinda scary, looking at it makes me wonder if I should even be walking, much less laying sod, which is what I have been doing in my yard lately. I can post the picture if anyone is interested. I go back for a followup next Wednesday, McBride Clinic in Norman, OK
Before going to Norman I have tried acupuncture (made it worse), chiropractors (no relief), and injections from a pain management doc. The injection gave pain relief for about three days. They want to do a procedure where they partially burn nerves, the doc in Norman says NO!  I'm really leery about that procedure.

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I can't offer any suggestions but prayers up that you finally get some relief. 

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My wife had to have two surgeries to correct her bulged disc in her lumbar.

 

The second surgery fixed the problem.

 

I had a 3 level laminectomy in my lumbar. I was ready to go out behind the barn. Reduced my pain immensely, my problem was bone growth into nerves. Not a disc.

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I'm an absolute snob when it comes to medical care; even more so when it's serious surgery.

 

I would get myself to a major metropolitan hospital, and a referral to a neurosurgeon who specializes in disc surgery.  And has a proven track record in this type of surgery.

 

There is just no substitute for high quality care.

 

LL

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21 minutes ago, Loophole LaRue, SASS #51438 said:

I'm an absolute snob when it comes to medical care; even more so when it's serious surgery.

 

I would get myself to a major metropolitan hospital, and a referral to a neurosurgeon who specializes in disc surgery.  And has a proven track record in this type of surgery.

 

There is just no substitute for high quality care.

 

LL

What he said ^^^^^

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My son had disc surgery early last December.  He suffered much as you are now.  When he went in, the procedure only took about a half hour.  The doc said that they normally have to cut the bulged disc from around the nerves but in his case the nerves were pushed out of the way.  The only pain he had after the surgery was from the incision.  6 weeks later, he is back to his onery self.  He had his surgery done at Gunderson Lutheran in Lacrosse, WI.  Not a big operation but very well qualified.  His surgery was out patient.

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I went to Gunderson Lutheran once.  When asked my religion, I replied "Today, I am a Lutheran!"  Fandango can get a little out of control ya know.

 

 

As to the back surgery-get the best dr you can find and do as they say.

 

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My dad suffered from stenosis and disc degeneration to a degree that made it nearly impossible for him to walk, and driving became untenable.  He was referred to the top neurosurgeon in our area. Prior to surgery, we had to have a custom-fitted body support made for post-op use - essentially a removable body cast formed from a composite material. The actual surgery itself was approximately six hours, for a total of about eight hours when prep and recovery are added.

 

There were two keys to the success of the procedure:  1: He had the best surgeon available;  2: The fact that Dad was willing to endure the very uncomfortable wearing of the support as specified by the surgeon and to put forth the effort needed to complete the rehab. Don't underestimate the importance of either of these.

 

In the end, the extreme pain and numbness in his legs was relieved, and he was able to resume driving to get out and about to do whatever suited him, and to meet his buddies on a daily basis. He did not have a recurrence of the problem for the ten years he had remaining to him, and often said that the cost of the operation was the best money his insurance company ever spent.

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2 hours ago, Loophole LaRue, SASS #51438 said:

I'm an absolute snob when it comes to medical care; even more so when it's serious surgery.

 

I would get myself to a major metropolitan hospital, and a referral to a neurosurgeon who specializes in disc surgery.  And has a proven track record in this type of surgery.

 

There is just no substitute for high quality care.

 

LL

What LL said. 

I have had two surgeries. The first time I was loosing the use of my right leg, due to 4 disk bulges. The Dr said he could fix the disk problem but not guarantee a pain free back. The second was for the same issue, (1 disk) with my left leg going numb. Again the same Dr fixed the bulging disk so my legs work fine. My back hurts if I overdo it and it is cranky in the morning. However, I can make it through a SASS match without being crippled and enjoy my time there. 

My surgeon is retired Army. I think he had a lot of practice in service. He also understands my need to go to SASS matches. I’m 74 and just joined SASS last year. Having fuuuun!!

2 hours ago, Count Sandor, SASS #74075 said:

My dad suffered from stenosis and disc degeneration to a degree that made it nearly impossible for him to walk, and driving became untenable.  He was referred to the top neurosurgeon in our area. Prior to surgery, we had to have a custom-fitted body support made for post-op use - essentially a removable body cast formed from a composite material. The actual surgery itself was approximately six hours, for a total of about eight hours when prep and recovery are added.

 

There were two keys to the success of the procedure:  1: He had the best surgeon available;  2: The fact that Dad was willing to endure the very uncomfortable wearing of the support as specified by the surgeon and to put forth the effort needed to complete the rehab. Don't underestimate the importance of either of these.

 

In the end, the extreme pain and numbness in his legs was relieved, and he was able to resume driving to get out and about to do whatever suited him, and to meet his buddies on a daily basis. He did not have a recurrence of the problem for the ten years he had remaining to him, and often said that the cost of the operation was the best money his insurance company ever spent.

What CS said ++ do the work. The rehab works wonders . Every day I do the exercises the rehab people gave me. It allows me to get over the morning cranky back syndrome much faster.

 

Best of Luck

Cactus Jack

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Well if I were in your shoes I’d get a second opinion. I’ve had numerous back operations and several of them had some complications develope that took quite awhile to recover from. My last 3  major spinal surgeries were in 1992. I need injections in the sciatic and sacroiliac periodically when they flare up and have been enrolled in a physical conditioning program that concentrates on the torso and lower back and I believe that if I keep up with the program I may never need the injections again, that’s my hope. I’ve only got 4 discs left in my lower spine that aren’t fused and two of them are bulged or herniated. They have made significant improvements in the way they treat and repair damaged discs. Charley Harley could probably be a good source of information if you’d reach out to him, he just went through some major spinal surgery.

 

Good luck on your surgery and recovery and let us know how it’s going.

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Get the best Doc you can find. Surgery on the back can be very touchy. My Boss had problems this last summer. He had had previous repair work done and for some reason it came apart. They had to go in and redo everything, he was a mess for months. He's finally doing much better now:blush:

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Posted (edited)

Had multiple laminectomy in 2005.  They had to screw an erector set to my spine and remove bone from four lumbar vertebrae due to severe stenosis.  My myelogram required that they inject the dye in three separate locations!!  Upon regaining consciousness, I was amazed at the relief I felt!!  I've since had to have a tiny cyst removed from my sciatic nerve on the left side and probably need to have that done again, but I'm doing great and the only thing I wish is that I could have had it done ten years sooner!!

 

The procedures and the science are greatly advanced since my surgery!  Don't wait like I did and suffer irreparable nerve damage!!

Edited by Blackwater 53393

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About a dozen years ago, I had excruciating sciatic pain in my left leg and back.  Got a referral to a spine specialist who ordered an MRI.  When she showed me the results, she said I'd better go see the spine surgeon in her (then) practice.  From what she showed me, about L3/L4 stenosis, arthritis, etc., I expected the surgeon to reach for a rusty bayonet right there in the office! :o  He looked at the MRI, and told me that 40% surgery will help; 40% surgery will make it worse!!! And the other 20%, save yourself the time, pain and aggravation.  Said to try some shots, which my orthopod did.  Cleared things up, though I had to go back a couple of years later for another shot. (That one turned out to have nothing to do with the back, but was a large kidney stone! :( )

 

Anyhow, my point is...GET A SECOND OPINION...OR MAYBE EVEN A THIRD!  Then, IF surgery is necessary, get the best surgeon you can find!  Best of luck, Pard!

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About 12 years ago my L4-5 disc completely blew. They had to do a laminectomy  and fish several pieces out of my spinal canal. I was scared to death too, but didn't have much choice. Thanks be to the Good Lord I've had a 100% recovery. It took about a year and a half for my left sciatic nerve to regenerate, but it finally did. You probably just need to find a good neurosurgeon and get it fixed. The longer you wait the more nerve damage you'll have, the longer it will take to regenerate, and it can get to the point of being irreversible.

JHC

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Herniated disc won't get any better on its own.  Petey's surgery was not an option.  As for me, it has to hurt pretty bad before I'll even consider it.  But if it keeps me from doing what I want to do, I'm getting it fixed.  Wishing you all the very best.

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I waited 9 months before pulling the trigger on surgery. They went in and trimmed the disk and I felt great. 

Unfortunately I went back to work and within about 5 years of wearing the Sam brown my back was messed up again.

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I had back surgery last November. I had L4 was migrating forward and pinching off the sciatic nerve. The spine doc wanted to try therapy first. That put me out of commission for 10 days. Then steroid shots. First one lasted 3 months and the second one didn't take. Finally we did surgery. He fussed the disc and roto rootered the openings for the nerves. Man that was the best decision I ever made. After surgery the only pain was the surgery site and that was minimal. They had me up and walking before I was totally out of the anesthesia. After about a year of pain it felt great. I'm only 4 months since doing it but I haven't had any problems. Well besides getting older.

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Posted (edited)

Had surgery in 2015 worked for the pain I waited to long to get it done.  My left leg was feeling numb from pinched nerves.  Dr. told me upfront the pain will go away but could not guarantee the numb feeling would go way.  Well 4 ears later no pain still numb.  Don't wait too long as I did. 

Edited by Pill Roller, SASS #77160

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