It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Back Problems Message Board
Post New Thread   Closed Thread
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 12-21-2003, 04:18 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 159
Standingman1 HB User
Re: Good laminectomy outcomes wanted (really, all experiences)

Quick question for Greg==First, how are you doing a few days later???!!

Second, when you had your back pain with sitting, was it, indeed, mostly back pain, back and leg, or mostly leg? I'm wondering if your surgeon gave you odds about the lami helping back pain specifically, which, I understand, it sometimes does, but less often than leg pain. Also, those questions above about PT and whether it's coordinated for you with your surgeon or, perhaps, another specialist.

Also, I wanted to say I appreciated what you had to say--I think it was on this thread--about "being honest with your doctor" about symptoms. I know that's not easy to do; especially when surgery is a fear. I know I've had to be very careful to be as "objective" as possible--almost as though I were talking about someone else--or my tendency, in one way or other, would be to minimize things. In different terms, "denial," for me at least, has been pretty easy to do.

Standingman

 
Old 12-23-2003, 08:55 AM   #17
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Naperville, IL
Posts: 67
gdbreedlove HB User
Re: Good laminectomy outcomes wanted (really, all experiences)

Well, 12 days post op and had my first post-op visit with the DR. First Standing, before I had injections, the pain was mainly in my back and butt. When I said I drove cross country, believe me it was painful with constant shifting and holding myself up occasionally with my right elbow on the center console. Most of my stops were for gas and to get out and get vertical.

After the shots, and I do believe they masked my back pain while me leg pain got worse, it WAS mainly leg pain and weakness/numbness of the leg. DR set the expectation that he felt like I wouls lose my leg pain, but probably not all of the back pain. As far as PT, he wants to start me in 3 weeks and have me off meds and be able to walk 1 mile. Basically, I'm working my way off meds now, occasional pain pill and anti-inflammatories and with work I'm already walking at least a mile.

I am a firm believer that the state of mind that a person enters surgery with, will affect the outcome and eventual recovery. If you go into the procedure, any procedure knowing that it will help you and the quicker you get on your feet ......the better chance for success. On the other hand, if you're not sure or certain of what's about to happen to you, you will be reluctant to push yourself later for fear of re-injury or new injury. I do understand that a person can push themselves too much, but as you said being honest with your DR will hopefully curb some of that. I may full of BS, but I honestly believe that! Hey, I'll keep you up to date on how I'm doing, no stitches to come out, because they dissolve and the bandages come off for good tomorrow. Let me know if you have any other questions!! Good luck to all, I care for each and everyone of you!

Greg
__________________
Greg

Last edited by gdbreedlove; 12-23-2003 at 08:57 AM.

 
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 12-23-2003, 11:56 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 159
Standingman1 HB User
Re: Good laminectomy outcomes wanted (really, all experiences)

Thanks for the further word, Greg, and for the update on your progress, which sounds great. Hopefully, many more of us can follow in your footsteps (almost literally).

Agree that attitude plays a big role. Unfortunately, in a way, the surgeon I've seen is himself not especially hopeful about help in my particular case--as he's said, about 50-50--so hard for me to get too "gung ho" if I go for it. On the other hand, "help" is relative. Frustrating as they are, my symptoms are not entirely debilitating or progressively negative. Were they to go that way, I'd assume that "help" would be defined more generously in that context, and I would certainly roll the dice.

In any event, thanks for filling your own experience. I continue to look forward to your updates and the experiences of others both pre- and post- laminectomies.

Standingman

Last edited by Standingman1; 12-26-2003 at 09:51 AM.

 
Old 12-24-2003, 07:41 AM   #19
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Naperville, IL
Posts: 67
gdbreedlove HB User
Re: Good laminectomy outcomes wanted (really, all experiences)

Standing,

You mentioned your surgeon was not especially gung ho, is this someone you trust beyond as shadow of a doubt? Why not get a second opinion if you are not getting the feed back you want, or need in order to make a decision. I'm not trying to suggest you need someone to get you motivated to have the surgery. Maybe the second opinion is the same which may validate a wait and see attitude.

The first DR I saw in New Mexico basically did not want to operate on me at all, and tried everything else BUT surgery. If I had had the procedure then, with the DR I have now my recovery would be even better and without the possible nerve damage I've done to my leg. I firmly believe this. Just food for thought. Hey, if I don't "talk" to you again, have a great holiday and I'll catch you afterwards. Take care!

Greg
__________________
Greg

 
Old 12-26-2003, 05:21 PM   #20
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 159
Standingman1 HB User
Re: Good laminectomy outcomes wanted (really, all experiences)

Hi Greg--Your reflections are right on target and appreciated. Indeed, I have some additional opinions already scheduled with some of what you said in mind. I don't know if I'm capable of trusting any surgeon "beyond the shadow of a doubt," but there are degrees. Or, perhaps, it's not a question of the surgeon but the surgery. There are too many variables--but, of course, you go with the guy/gal whom you think will do the best job within whatever uncertainty. I actually think my present surgeon's "reticence" is an expression of his own seasoned appreciation of the complexity involved. He's a very good guy and has the most consistently good reputation of any doc I've ever had dealings with. So, if it is to be, he is probably "still the one" (to coin a song).

What you say about your own experience also strikes a chord that is no doubt relevant to many others too. Based on what I know now, I do believe that if I'd had surgery a year ago--which this doc was on the verge of recommending--I'd be better off today. As I've described, he held off because the MRI showed the bulge had gone down some, as follow-up MRIs and myelogram have also shown. Still, from a functional perspective, and again with wisdom of hindsight, surgery might well have been the best choice.

What makes it complicated, though, is that I don't think it necessarily means it would be best _now_. Along with time to be factored in, there all the other things that have "settled" in one way or other--and now differently than last November. So going in "sooner" does not necessarily hold today as it did a year ago, even if my overall situation functionally is about the same. Like four-dimensional chess, sometimes.

Anyway, please do keep us updated on your continuing experiences, discoveries, insights about PT and healing, and all that relevant stuff. It will be of use to many of us, I think. Have a great new year!

Standingman

Last edited by Standingman1; 12-26-2003 at 05:26 PM.

 
Old 12-29-2003, 12:43 PM   #21
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Naperville, IL
Posts: 67
gdbreedlove HB User
Re: Good laminectomy outcomes wanted (really, all experiences)

Hey Standing,

Hope I didn't sound like I was suggesting you blow off this DR of yours, on the contrary if you trust him and he is "the one" as you suggest, go with him. It appeared that you had some doubt about your decision, thus my suggestion for a second or third opinion.

I hope you don't have to have it, and get back to the life you enjoy....take care buddy!

Greg

ps: Walked 1 mile on Saturday and 2 miles on Sunday, no pain meds. We'll see how long it lasts, I'm sure I'm pushing too much, but I see improvement in the weak leg, the more I'm using it. Take care!
__________________
Greg

 
Old 12-29-2003, 03:21 PM   #22
Veteran
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 408
standingman HB User
Re: Good laminectomy outcomes wanted (really, all experiences)

Hi Greg--First, sounds great with the walking!!! Onward, upward, outward!!! How was your walking before the surgery, if I may ask?

No way did I think you were suggesting that I "blow off" my NS (nor would I even if you were!!). More a case of "great minds think alike"! As I wrote, I already had two other opinions scheduled so that I can feel more comfortable with whatever decision.

Again, I think I'm a pretty weird case. I'm walking 4-5 miles/day _now_! I won't call it "power walking," but it's a reasonably good clip--heart rate in aerobic range. With rare exceptions, I end up feeling better after the walk than I did before. No pain provoked; if anything less. Except for the first week or so when things "crashed," I've used nothing stronger than an Advil--that's been for over fifteen months.

And yet......I still can't sit for more than 1-2 hours/day. If I push it, can get severe back jabs; if I really push it, they can become hip/groin/knee jabs as well, and the feeling of increased weakness in the leg. So that's the bubble I'm always on. In some ways, I wish I didn't walk as well now (well, not really....). At least then I'd have less to lose.

From what I gathered, it sounded like the last few months before your surgery, it was pretty definitive that things were getting worse, particularly re: leg weakness/numbness, yes? Was that even more the problem than increased pain, or did it all come together?

As always, I know we can't extrapolate from each other's experience--at least not far. As mentioned, I also have my close friend here with whom to compare notes, but whose situation was also quite different. He never had significant sitting problems; and even when his back seemed fine and mine wasn't, I could outwalk him!

Anyway, the main thing is to keep us informed of your own progress. I was interested in what you're doing PT-wise as well, and whether that is coordinated with your surgeon? I will say that, from my own experience on this side of surgery, nothing has been as helpful as walking in any case.

Keep on truckin'!

Standingman

Last edited by standingman; 12-29-2003 at 03:23 PM.

 
Old 12-29-2003, 08:54 PM   #23
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 11
jacksnana HB User
Re: Good laminectomy outcomes wanted (really, all experiences)

I had surgery nov 2, 2001, L4-5 hemilamincetomy and discectomy, Nove 12, 2001 the same two discs were ruptured again and with annular and radial tears, I live in pure hell daily and have three grandchildren that demand my attention, so I cannot just ball up and die, however it does sometimes seem the alternative to this horrifying pain. I have yet to have a good day, and this has been going on since 1988. To everyone you just have to go with what your doctor believes is best for your circumstances. If you don't trust your doc, find another.

 
Old 12-30-2003, 06:31 AM   #24
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Naperville, IL
Posts: 67
gdbreedlove HB User
Re: Good laminectomy outcomes wanted (really, all experiences)

Nana, Sorry to hear you are in so much pain, and you are right, find a good DR and go with him or her. Are you currently being treated? Have you considered another opinion, just asking! Please take care, and know we will be thinking of you!

Standing, Before the surgery I could not walk a few blocks. By the end of the day, if my wife asked me to stop on my way home for milk, etc., it took all I had to get it done, alot of limping.

As far as PT, I have an appt with the DR to set-up PT on January 13th. I am supposed to be off of pain medication and be able to walk a mile, which I'm already at. Looking forward to the PT, and will let you know what I will be doing!

Take care!

Greg
__________________
Greg

 
Old 12-30-2003, 07:53 AM   #25
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 261
StillWater HB User
Re: Good laminectomy outcomes wanted (really, all experiences)

I'm glad to see this thread is still active. I've been away for a couple of weeks. I drove about 10 hours, with lots of stops and an overnight stay in the middle, to see my daughter for Christmas. It's funny - I can't sit long in a desk chair, at home or the office, but something about the way the seat in my car sits, makes things hurt less for short distances at a time. (2002 Honda Accord) After an hour, there are sharp little pains in my lower back and hips, but not to a disabling degree. When I stand up out of the car, I can't walk at first, but after a few fumbling, bent over, limping, steps, it gets better. I had my dog with me, so we woudl stop and take frequent short walks.

While at my daughter's house, with no stairs to climb and being able to take walks where it was flat, with no inclines, I was doing better. I still couldn't sit for the first 1 - 2 hours out of bed, or stand still. I spent that time pacing the floor. I came home to stairs up to my bedroom and home office, and stairs down to the walkout basement to let the dog out -- and no where to walk the dog without inclines. We still walk, but the inclines are hard, and limit the distance I can walk.

I'm still struggling with wondering whether to continue as I am, or go for the surgery. Also, concerned about the nerve damage being done while I wait. My left leg is also getting increasing weaker. It's weird how even that can fluctuate and be worse at times. I keep hoping that one of the really bad times won't strike while I'm walking down the stairs.

As far as pain meds, I can't take anti-inflamatories. During the day, I try to get by without anything. When I get home from work, if necessary I take Darvocet, which helps a little bit if I take 2, or if I can tell it isn't going to be enough, vicodin, which still doesn't take the pain away, but helps some. I also take neurontin when I get home and again at bedtime. It helps the extreme "discomfort" (I can't really call it pain) in my left foot, the feeling of having a rope wrapped tightly around it and tied tightly, and the burning in my foot and lower leg.

Hoping for a safe New Year, filled with good things, for all!

StillWater

Last edited by StillWater; 12-30-2003 at 07:58 AM.

 
Old 12-30-2003, 08:01 AM   #26
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Naperville, IL
Posts: 67
gdbreedlove HB User
Re: Good laminectomy outcomes wanted (really, all experiences)

Stillwater, glad to hear from you! I can relate to the "getting out of the car" routine. You mention nerve damage, or at least the possibility thereof. What kind of symptoms are you having?

I was having pain and substantial weakness in my left leg, probably for no more than 2 mos. The top of my left foot was numb as well. Basically, the DR moved up my surgery because I was having the weakness, and the numbness in my foot. He was worried about sustainable nerve damage...something to think about if you have some of the same problems. Take care, and again good to hear from you!

Greg
__________________
Greg

Last edited by gdbreedlove; 12-30-2003 at 08:01 AM.

 
Old 12-30-2003, 05:18 PM   #27
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 261
StillWater HB User
Re: Good laminectomy outcomes wanted (really, all experiences)

Greg,

My left foot has been numb for 8 - 9 months. It's weird, it's numb, but in spots, the skin seems hypersensitive. The neurologist didn't think it was weird, though, so it must not be unusual. The weakness in my leg seems progressive, more all the time. Two specialists have said that delaying surgery will cause permanent nerve damage. The third said it may or may not.

Did the numbness in your foot clear up after your surgery? In your numb foot, did you have the sensation of a rope or something being tied around your foot and something stuck to the arch of your foot? I'm told that's not unusual, but it really is annoying.

The third doctor I saw, a NS, really emphasized all the things that could go wrong, including paralysis and incontinence. Someone posted a new thread here today about her husband being incontinent and unable to walk since surgery a year or more (? - don't remember how long for sure). That is scarey to think about.

StillWater

Last edited by StillWater; 12-30-2003 at 05:19 PM.

 
Old 12-31-2003, 06:20 AM   #28
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Naperville, IL
Posts: 67
gdbreedlove HB User
Re: Good laminectomy outcomes wanted (really, all experiences)

Hey Stillwater,
As far as the numbness in my foot, it was across the top of the foot and yes...it (numbness) is gone after the surgery. As far as the sensations are concerned, I understand the rope feeling. Alot of time, I had tingling that ran down my leg and that my foot was being placed in ice water and then sometimes I would get a warm almost hot feeling running down the leg. My weakness was getting increasingly worse, thus the reasoning behind "moving up" the surgery.

Here's a simple test that really opened my eyes to the damage that was occuring. Can you stand on your tip toes? My weakness wouldn't allow it...could stand on my heels just fine, but not toes. Still weak, but getting better and all sensations are gone for now, hopefully!

Have a Happy New Year and let me hear from you!

Greg
__________________
Greg

 
Old 01-01-2004, 10:11 AM   #29
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 159
Standingman1 HB User
Re: Good laminectomy outcomes wanted (really, all experiences)

Hi all--Stillwater, great to "see" you back on the board. And congratulations on your road trip. Even with rests and pauses, I don't think there's any way I could get through a trip like that.

At the same time, if your weakness if progressive, that is obviously of concern. It sounds like you and I are in many of the same places--monitoring weakness issues especially. Because my relevant disk is higher, L2/3,
weakness affects my hip flexor and, to a degree, quads, rather than lower leg muscles. Thus, going by the Greg test, I can stand on my toes with no problem. But doing a one-legged knee bend and coming back up is definitely harder than it used to be (pre-injury) on the left side. This has been true pretty much since things crashed, so it is unlikely that will ever be back to what was baseline for me. There was a lot of improvement for the first six months, and then more or less flatlining for about the past ten. But if it started to get worse, or the other leg got involved, I would definitely move to surgery, knowing the risks as we all do. Even without worsening, I might well do so if there is clearly no other way I am able to make progress. As i've reported, my surgeon gives me a 50-50 chance of improvement with surgery (and 10-15% of ending up worse off). Those may well be better odds, at this point, than improvement without surgery. While the odds of ending up worse, without surgery, are also not trivial, although probably not as disastrously worse as a fully failed "laminectomy syndrome."

One difference between you and I, from what I hear, is that your sitting is worse early in the day. I'm the opposite. It seems the more I'm up, the worse it gets. I assume gravity/compression kicking in.

Let's keep sorting these things through together. As reported to Greg, I'll be getting some new opinions re: my own situation over the next few weeks.

Standingman

 
Old 01-01-2004, 07:50 PM   #30
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 261
StillWater HB User
Re: Good laminectomy outcomes wanted (really, all experiences)

Standingman,

I can raise up on my toes when I use both feet, but can't balance. I can't raise up on my toes using my left foot only. I can't walk on my heels, and can't walk heel/toe with my left foot.

I wonder what it is about the left side that makes it more likely to be the one with problems? It seems most people that mention problems with one side, say it's the left side.

I feel like I [B][I]have[/I][/B] to make a decision soon. It is just so hard for me to do. Part of my difficulty is knowing which dr to go to, and that, in part, determines where it will be. If I knew which dr to go with, I think I could make the decision and the phone call.

My hips are painful in bed at night, especially when turning over, but I think that may be arthritis rather than from spinal problems. And there is a lot of pain around my hips when rising from sitting at my desk, which I do attribute to the spinal problems.

I keep hoping it will just all go away!

Keep us posted on your additional opinions.

StillWater

 
Closed Thread




Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is Off
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Join Our Newsletter

Stay healthy through tips curated by our health experts.

Whoops,

There was a problem adding your email Try again

Thank You

Your email has been added




Top 10 Drugs Discussed on this Board.
(Go to DrugTalk.com for complete list)
Ibuprofen
Lyrica
Morphine
Neurontin
Oxycontin
  Percocet
Soma Tylenol
Valium
Vicodin




TOP THANKED CONTRIBUTORS



teteri66 (1107), gmak (127), SweetPeainSF (78), maltluver (71), twohands (64), pebblebeach3 (63), cheryl1213 (51), Moldova (46), ibake&pray (41), workinmom572 (40)

Site Wide Totals

teteri66 (1164), MSJayhawk (997), Apollo123 (896), Titchou (832), janewhite1 (823), Gabriel (757), ladybud (745), sammy64 (666), midwest1 (665), BlueSkies14 (610)



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:38 PM.



Site owned and operated by HealthBoards.comô
Terms of Use © 1998-2014 HealthBoards.comô All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!