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Old 06-23-2003, 05:04 PM   #1
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Post how long before permanent nerve damage

I just wondered if anyone knew if there was a certain amount of time that it took for permanent nerve damage to occur with a back problem. I've just had a fusion (L4/L5) and wondered if some of my nerve damage may not repair itself as it took a while from the intial problem until the surgery was done.
Any ideas?
Thanks andrea

 
Old 06-24-2003, 04:39 AM   #2
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Interesting question. I have read about not 'letting' nerve pain go on too long or it becomes permanent. But, when I asked my doctor, he says time has nothing to do with it. He says he has done emergency surgery on a just-herniated disk where the patient ended up with permanent nerve damage, and he's seen patients who have waited years and ended up fine.


 
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Old 06-24-2003, 04:54 AM   #3
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Good morning Andrea...

my ruptures occured in Jan, and I waited a month before going to the E.R. I thought maybe they would get better with time.. boy was I wrong!

I was told in March that I allready had permanent nerve damage.It was 6 months now since this all occured, and I go for surgery Monday.. I'm hoping they were wrong!

Best of luck,
Lisa

[This message has been edited by Lisa7767 (edited 06-24-2003).]
__________________
Ruptured L 3-4
Ruptured L 4-5
Possible rupture S-1
Lumbar scoliosis
Laminectomy &
Discetomy-June 30,2003

 
Old 06-24-2003, 04:50 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies. I did'nt think the answer would be a simple one, but I just wondered if there were any guidelines. I guess what your doctor says makes sense oakleygirl. I suppose it depends on how much nerve is squashed? or something. How can they tell whether nerve damage is permanent before the op Lisa? I did'nt think they could do that, but it may be a British thing. We seem to be trailing behind you on stuff like that. Anyway, good luck with your op on Monday. What surgery are you having done by the way?
Regards Andrea

 
Old 06-24-2003, 07:55 PM   #5
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I had a "severe" disc herniation and the neurologist I saw monthly for 6 months before surgery never mentioned the possibility of the nerve damage being permanent. It has taken about 3 months post op for my nerve damage to heal, though. (Bottom of foot went from feeling like I was walking on blisters, to walking on folds in socks, to walking on sand.) A nurse at the Rothman Instittute who is administering the SPORT study there (spine patient outcome research trial) mentioned that you should not give up on nerve damage healing until a year post op.
__________________
HNP at L4-5 late Sept 2002
3 months PT and Ibuprofen
Reherniation late Feb 2003
Nerve block mid March 2003
Microdiscectomy 4 April 2003
3 months PT (trunk stabilization)
Walk 4 miles daily from now on.

 
Old 06-24-2003, 08:02 PM   #6
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I am having a Microdiscectomy June 30th, and I should have clarified about the nerve damage. It was the PT dr. who did the EMG.
I had never had that test before, and hubby was present durring it with me, and he asked the questions for me that I couldn't cause I was practically in tears. Someone told me it would be painful,so I told hubby beforehand what I wanted to know, and had him ask incase I forgot,or wasn't able.
Hubby asked alot of questions he had as well durring the test, and one was did the Dr. think I had permanent nerve damamge and he said most likely,because of the amount of time that had past,
and the loss in strength and reflexes.
Now reading your reply Oakly, that gives me hope and put a smile on my face

Lisa

------------------
Ruptured L 3-4
Ruptured L 4-5
Possible rupture S-1
Lumbar scoliosis
Microdiscectomy June 30,2003
Possible fusion??

[This message has been edited by Lisa7767 (edited 06-24-2003).]
__________________
Ruptured L 3-4
Ruptured L 4-5
Possible rupture S-1
Lumbar scoliosis
Laminectomy &
Discetomy-June 30,2003

 
Old 06-25-2003, 04:37 AM   #7
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To HNP,
Thats exactly the same sort of feeling I'm getting in my feet. I'm only 5 weeks post op but the pain is getting better, I'm only feeling it now when I walk rather than all the time. I'm hopeful that this will continue to dimish in time. I feel a lot better now, knowing that I'm not the only one who's getting this foot pain. Thank-you

To Lisa,
Lisa whats a EMG? Sorry to sound a bit thick but I've never heard of one. The only thing I had before surgery was an MRI (and the usual PT and stuff). On the basis of that my surgeon told that I had no option other than removal of disc and a most likely a fusion, since the disc was very large. He did do a fusion in the end.
I started this thread as I had to wait over 18 months for the op. It took me 11 months to get an MRI, and then another 6 months before a follow up appointment. It turned out I'd been lost in the system!. When I finally saw the surgeon he looked at the MRI and wanted to put me in for emergency surgery the following day. I would'nt go as I have kids and was just finishing teacher training so I said I wanted to wait till it had finished. I ended up having the op about a month after I'd seen him.
It really worries me that he wanted to perform emergency surgery as he felt that I was in danger of permanent paralysis if I did'nt have the disc out, but this was only after I rang them to find out when I would be seen!
During the time between my back going and the op, the pain ranged from being unbearable, were I practically could'nt move to reasonably ok towards the end. I managed to stay at work after a few months off and was coping ok. They thought the pain was diminishing as I was loosing sensation. There was a time when the reflexes in both legs were about none existent. I was numb a lot of the time, suffered drop foot and was having trouble getting to the loo in time (sorry).
However, I had the disc removed and a fusion with cages 5 weeks ago. I am now walking 2 miles a day and feel great.I'm also off the painkillers that I've been taking for the last year and a half. My legs still feel a little odd at times and I have that funny feeling in my right foot that others have mentioned. However, I am convinced that the nerves are healing themselves. I don't know to what extent, but I can do more now than (in terms of walking) than I have been able to do for a long time., and that in itself is a god send.
I realise that not everyone is as fortunate but just wanted to let you know that for me at least its been the right thing to do.
Hope your not worring too much
Regrards Andrea

 
Old 06-25-2003, 05:35 AM   #8
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Hi Andrea

Your not being thick hun... I had no clue as to what one was until I had to have it..

EMG is an Electromygraphy.An EMG is sometimes recommended to assess the electrical activity of a nerve root. After three weeks of pressure on a nerve root, the muscle the nerve goes to will begin to spontaneously contract. Compression of a nerve will also slow electrical conduction along that nerve. EMG’s are also sometimes useful to distinguish nerve degeneration (neuropathy) from nerve root compression (radiculopathy).

The test involves placing small needles into the muscles, so there is some discomfort for the patient.

Hope this helped somewhat ..

Best Wishes,
Lisa


------------------
Ruptured L 3-4
Ruptured L 4-5
Possible rupture S-1
Lumbar scoliosis
Microdiscectomy June 30,2003
Possible fusion??
__________________
Ruptured L 3-4
Ruptured L 4-5
Possible rupture S-1
Lumbar scoliosis
Laminectomy &
Discetomy-June 30,2003

 
Old 06-25-2003, 04:19 PM   #9
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Location: Hull, East Yorkshire, England
Posts: 64
alm721 HB User
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Thanks for that Lisa. Lets hope that they're wrong about your nerve damage. I swear I never thought I'd get back as much feeling as this. Especially after waiting so long, so don't give up. Good luck for Monday,
Andrea

 
Old 06-25-2003, 05:30 PM   #10
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your very welcome Andrea and I am so glad that things are looking up for you... I have days where it's almost as if my back is fine, and then the next I can't even get up off the couch .. It's like the pain is playing a game with me lol... I'm thinking positive about the nerves and I know it will take some time.. but even if I still end up with the numbness and the pins and needles, it's a whole lot better than the lightening bolts that shoot through me LOL

------------------
Ruptured L 3-4
Ruptured L 4-5
Possible rupture S-1
Lumbar scoliosis
Microdiscectomy June 30,2003
Possible fusion??
__________________
Ruptured L 3-4
Ruptured L 4-5
Possible rupture S-1
Lumbar scoliosis
Laminectomy &
Discetomy-June 30,2003

 
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