Well Standingman........I had a laminectomy/discectomy on Sept 5th. I am sitting wondering if you are actually the only person that understand what I mean when I say (or you say) that the pain is strictly 'positional'. This is a super long story but I will try to make it short.
About 3 years ago I first 'ruptured' my L4 L5 and L5 S1. I got better after about a year. Was doing really well but still real careful. I guess the doctor I was seeing said the tears healed. Grant it, I also had a fusion of T1 to L1 at age 17 due to scoliosis which probably contributes to the degeneration below my fusion. I am now 28.
Sooooo, I went boating 2 summers ago and we hit a wave from another boat at a pretty high rate of speed sending into the air and slamming down really hard into my seat. I then reinjured everything. After having test and all they didn't really see much herniation. Slight, but it was still there. Once the 'disc' pain was getting better (a little anyway), I was having more of a 'bone pain'. It was like you say, when I move certain ways it would stab my spine and if I was in a certain position sitting or laying down, I would wiggle around and 'reposition' myself so I wasn't being stabbed or pinched. My doctor kept telling me that it was the disc tears and I argued and it didn't get me anywhere. I then went to the doctor that originally sent me to Shriners when I was younger for my fusion and I told him that "something" was going on and I wanted to get to the bottom of it! He did more tests and didn't find much. He said he could do a discectomy and trim the L4 L5 disc that was pressing on my nerves and see what else he could find. I occassionally had leg pain and ankle pain but nothing constant. Mostly trying to do everything was when I would have the pain so I did nothing. I couldn't even roll over in bed. Getting in and out of a car, man it sucks!
Soooooo, I had the surgery and he was amazed to find major bone growth I think must have been from the facet joints and all that was trapping my nerves.
He cut all that away and trimmed the disc.
Well, it was really crappy the first 6-8 weeks. I was doing really well thereafter, I was walking over a mile a day and doing my exercises along with PT 3 times a week. I went back to work after 11 weeks and thing kinda got crappy. I think it is from sitting all day. I'm hoping it will get better for me though.
As far as the surgery working,(?) some days I wonder but try to remain positive. I can do things that I couldn't do before like roll over in bed and bend a bit. I feel as the bone spur is gone but in some sense I wonder if he missed some. By the way, he told my mom after surgery that the nerve was completely free so I'm remaining hopeful.
My last appt., he told me that I was doing well I just had a long ways to go. So, I'm giving myself more time to make my decison on whether I can say it worked or not.
Sorry so long but it seems that you may be having the same symptoms as I had/have. If you have any questions feel free to ask!!
I wish you all the luck in your decision!!
Keep the faith..........
Originally Posted by standingman
Larry--First of all, my best wishes to you for your upcoming surgery. Force be with you in all ways for an excellent outcome.
As for me, no disco yet (although, as you know, the marching band for DDD U is practicing for the half-time show*) I think I'd wait until surgery was a definite before I'd commit to doing that dance! As you know, like everything else, it is also not without controversy.
You have enough on your mind, no doubt, but I'm wondering if the nature of one's pain suggests anything about its origin. For example, I'm imagining (although could well be wrong) that pain that originated specifically from a disintegrating/torn disk would be relatively chronic, as opposed to pain which was clearly "positional"--either totally there or totally not there--and thus suggestive of a "pinch" related to certain moves, postures, etc.. Make any sense?
In any event, again best.
*For anyone who doesn't understand the reference and is curious, see the post-idet thread started by Tennisnut.