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Old 08-25-2004, 06:30 AM   #1
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Kamden HB User
Has anybody had surgery for spinal stenosis?

I have lumbar stenosis and read that decompression surgery is what is recommended for this. Does anybody have experience with this and having surgery? I would like to know the outcome of anybodies experience with this, thankyou. BTW, I am pretty disabled because of the stenosis, I have already had surgery for a herniation, and have never been able to return to work because I cannot stand for long, bend too much, lift too much etc. Thankyou for any help you can give me.

 
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Old 08-25-2004, 11:40 AM   #2
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Re: Has anybody had surgery for spinal stenosis?

I had lumbar spinal stenosis---I couldn't walk across a parking lot. I had a laminectomy for the stenosis and a four level fusion on 6/15. Today I have no trouble walking around the mall. I'm just keeping my fingers crossed.
fly

 
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Old 08-25-2004, 11:51 AM   #3
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Re: Has anybody had surgery for spinal stenosis?

Hi, were these surgeries done separately or at the same time? What does fusing do and what is involved in that? I read that for stenosis they do decompression surgery, do you know anything about this? Maybe there are different ways of treating it? Thankyou

 
Old 08-25-2004, 10:29 PM   #4
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Re: Has anybody had surgery for spinal stenosis?

I would like to know this too. I am sure most of you by now know my story, but I have stenosis at C5-6 and L4-5, large bulge C5-6, medium at L5-S1, and small at L4-5. I am interested in learning about all procedures to fix any of these. I had a discecomty before, and did pretty good. So, bring on the info!

 
Old 08-26-2004, 05:16 AM   #5
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Re: Has anybody had surgery for spinal stenosis?

Stenosis means there is not enough room in your spinal column for your spinal cord or nerves. This could be caused by a bulging or herniated disk or by osteophytes (bone growth). The way to fix stenosis is to relieve the pressure on the cord or nerves via decompression surgery. If the stenosis is caused by a ruptured disk, a diskectomy may fix the problem. If the stenosis is caused by bone growth, the decompression surgery would involve changing the bone structure somehow - a laminectomy (removal of the lamina to create more room in the spinal canal), laminaplasty (opening up but not removing the lamina) or corpectomy (removal of the vertebra and disks and filling in the space with a piece of bone and fusion). The most common decompression surgery for lumbar stenosis is a laminectomy. If the stenosis is present over multiple levels, the removal of the lamina may cause the remaining bones to be unstable. If that happens, you'll most likely require a fusion.

I had a 2 level lumbar laminectomy for stenosis. It wasn't a fun process, but the pain in my leg was lessened immediately. The recovery took some months, where I couldn't sit for longer than 10 minutes and couldn't stand for more than 30 minutes - but it got better. You'll never be back to 100%, but hopefully you'll be more functional. Spinal stenosis next impacted my neck. I had a 2 level corpectomy to relieve myelopathy (that's pressure - stenosis - on the spinal cord causing neurological issues in your arms and legs). That worked for a while, but the myelopathy symptoms returned. So I next had a 3 level laminaplasty on my neck. That was about 9 months ago, and so far so good.

Basically spinal surgery is not a lot of fun, but it's better to have the opportunity than not. There have been several people on these boards that cannot have surgery and just have to suffer through whatever their problem is.

Good luck getting your issue fixed, or at least made a bit better.

 
Old 08-26-2004, 05:48 AM   #6
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Re: Has anybody had surgery for spinal stenosis?

Hi, thankyou for explaining all of this to me. I have not even been back to the doctor because I know surgery will be recommended again, and there are no guarantees with surgery either. What I realize now is that the doctor was expecting me to read between the lines when he told me he was not sure if my herniation was the cause of the stenosis, so the laminectomy may not be all that I needed. I can also tell that I am having another disk problem, it seems to be below the one I had surgery on. I thought I would be back to my normal self but was never able to return to my job of 6 years because of the stenosis and problems with the same disk site acting up if I am standing too long. Also, I believe I forgot to mention that this is 27 years of back problems, very long standing, with years of doctors, chiropractors, physical therapy, surgery, so it is not like I suddenly injured myself after having been fine. I am just frustrated, because I have so many problems still, standing, walking, bending, lifting, sitting too long all affect me and I wish more would have been taken care of with my first surgery. But I know they normally start with the simplest procedure because that may be all that it takes, and is with many people. Thankyou so much and I wish you the best with your recovery.

Last edited by Kamden; 08-26-2004 at 05:55 AM.

 
Old 08-26-2004, 06:31 AM   #7
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Re: Has anybody had surgery for spinal stenosis?

What kind of doctor do you have? Mine is an orthopedic spine specialist. I was lucky, too. I wasn't taking pain meds before surgery but I could hardly walk. Pain following surgery was minimal and after a week in the hospital and two weeks in rehab---I live alone---I went home with no pain meds. While in rehab I was able to sit for a couple of hours at a computer. Now, at 2.5 months, I'm aware of the fusion but I can walk all over the mall, and the more I walk the less aware of the fusion I am.
fly

 
Old 08-26-2004, 06:38 AM   #8
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Re: Has anybody had surgery for spinal stenosis?

[QUOTE=Kamden]Hi, were these surgeries done separately or at the same time? [/QUOTE]

Both procedures were done at the same time. My surgeon used BMP not a bone graft for the fusion.
fly

 
Old 08-26-2004, 06:40 AM   #9
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Kamden HB User
Re: Has anybody had surgery for spinal stenosis?

I am going back to the neuro. who did my surgery at the Mayo clinic. The one time I went to the ortho there, he decided I needed more aggressive physical therapy ( after 6 months of it already??? ) and also, the epidurals AGAIN, by their clinic, after having already had them, so I did none of this and went to the neuro. who is the 2nd neuro. to tell me I needed surgery.

 
Old 08-26-2004, 06:46 AM   #10
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Kamden HB User
Re: Has anybody had surgery for spinal stenosis?

Thanks for your replies. I would like to get this all done at once and not go back again. I just need to find out what all is wrong with my back, as I know it is not just the stenosis. I have symptoms of another disk problem if I over extend myself, which does not take much at all. I will come back after my next MRI, thankyou again.

 
Old 08-26-2004, 07:06 AM   #11
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Re: Has anybody had surgery for spinal stenosis?

But is your neuro a spine specialist? My ortho has a spine fellowship.
fly

Last edited by flyonthewall; 08-26-2004 at 07:07 AM.

 
Old 08-26-2004, 07:18 AM   #12
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Kamden HB User
Re: Has anybody had surgery for spinal stenosis?

Yes he is, atleast I think he is!! How do you find out? I was told by my attorney when I had the first herniation, what clinic the judges tended to look highly upon as opposed to one that is not well known, so I ended up going to this one because of their name and reputation, the clinic anyway! I never thought of that untill you asked, how do I find out?

 
Old 08-26-2004, 10:23 AM   #13
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flyonthewall HB User
Re: Has anybody had surgery for spinal stenosis?

I found out online. His credentials/training should be listed somewhere. My surgeon's practice has a web site. Or you could ask someone in the office. Or at the hospital where he works.
fly

Last edited by flyonthewall; 08-26-2004 at 10:24 AM.

 
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