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Old 03-24-2005, 02:20 PM   #1
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Darlana HB User
Back Problems

I have been reading your boards for a while now and am very impressed by all the help and compassion that has been shown to all. I hope someone is able to give me some information. I just found out yesterday that I have what the Dr called Spinal Stenosis (spelling?). What exactly is it and what can be done for it. Is it something that I should be worried about? Any information will be gratefully accepted. Thank you

 
Old 03-24-2005, 02:57 PM   #2
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Quietcook HB UserQuietcook HB User
Re: Back Problems

Hi Darlana

Welcome to the group. Let's see if I can help a little with your question. Spinal Stenosis means that the spinal canal which houses the spinal cord and various nerves is narrowing and can reach that point when it pinches nerves and/or the cord. This can come on as we age, or because of arthritis which may also cause bone spurs to form and further tighten things in the canal.

Okay, don't panic as it is a gradual process and goes at a different rate for everyone and the first order of treatment is usually starting you on an NSAID medication such as Relefen, Naprosyn, Celebrex or other similar meds. If the first one doesn't help relieve your symptoms, sometimes another one has to be tried, as not every medication works with the same effictiveness for everyone. If over time things worsen, then there would likely be more tests to see just where the narrowing was the worst and then proceed to develop a plan.

Hope the medications solve your problem, and hope you will stay in touch to let us know how you are doing. Have a great Easter weekend.

 
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Old 03-24-2005, 04:33 PM   #3
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caszyman HB User
Re: Back Problems

Quietcook described stenosis well. It does normally come with age, but my 15 year daughter is one of the lucky ones who has been diagnosed with stenosis also. He dr. says her stenosis is different than the type that older people get. He feels her's may have been there since birth since her sacrum is misformed and she was born with spondylolisthesis (slipped disc). He feels the instability of her spine is causing the nerves to become compressed. We have known about the spondy for five years, but just found out about the stenosis a month ago after an mri was done because she had begun having signs of nerves ( occassional tingling) the end of Jan. Her dr put her on Celebrex and she's used Aleve, but she won't take them any longer because of the bad press.

She will be having a decompression surgery along with a spinal fusion on June 10th. Her dr and his partner will be doing a partial lamenectomy, formanectomy (sp??) and a spinal fusion of l5- s1, l4-l5 The decision for surgery has come after over 18 months of non-surgical methods to reduce the pain from her spondy, which included two rounds of pt. Surgery was definately not our first thing to try.

Best of luck to you. Hopefully meds will help you!!!

 
Old 03-24-2005, 05:13 PM   #4
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Quietcook HB UserQuietcook HB User
Re: Back Problems

[QUOTE=caszyman]Quietcook described stenosis well. It does normally come with age, but my 15 year daughter is one of the lucky ones who has been diagnosed with stenosis also. He dr. says her stenosis is different than the type that older people get. He feels her's may have been there since birth since her sacrum is misformed and she was born with spondylolisthesis (slipped disc). He feels the instability of her spine is causing the nerves to become compressed. We have known about the spondy for five years, but just found out about the stenosis a month ago after an mri was done because she had begun having signs of nerves ( occassional tingling) the end of Jan. Her dr put her on Celebrex and she's used Aleve, but she won't take them any longer because of the bad press.

She will be having a decompression surgery along with a spinal fusion on June 10th. Her dr and his partner will be doing a partial lamenectomy, formanectomy (sp??) and a spinal fusion of l5- s1, l4-l5 The decision for surgery has come after over 18 months of non-surgical methods to reduce the pain from her spondy, which included two rounds of pt. Surgery was definately not our first thing to try.

Best of luck to you. Hopefully meds will help you!!![/QUOTE]

Hi crazyman,

Is Celebrex the only Nsaid she has been given? Relefen and Naprosyn have been out many years. Relefen doesn't work for me, but for several of my friends. I've been on Naprosyn (brand name for me) maximum dose since 1976 and never had any problems. Of course, I also take Bextra some and have no problem, and some docs have questioned it along with the Bextra and Vioxx. Vioxx I did have concerns about as two of my aunts took it and both died with unexplained bleeding after being on it a short time. Couldn't convince them to talk with the doctors as they were from the old school that a doctor could never make a mistake! Guess they were above us mere mortals.

There is also an option to the standard Nsaid, and it is Trillisate. It's like taking a suped up aspirin. It worked well for my Mother but made my ears ring as though I had an aspirin overdose. Anyway, if your daughter does need an anti-inflammatory these are some possibilities you can discuss with the doctor to see if they might be something she can try to slow the pace of the stenosis.

 
Old 03-24-2005, 05:29 PM   #5
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caszyman HB User
Re: Back Problems

Thanks for the other ideas, Quietcook. The next time I speak with her dr I'll have some other suggestions to ask about. She did try Bextra and had [B]great results[/B], but when some of the warnings came out about it her dr switched her to Celebrex. Late last fall we read the new warning about the mouth sores and think she may have been having this problem. For the month she was on it she continually had a sore in her mouth.

Her dr. continues to tell her that Celebrex is fine for a 15 yr old, but we had an uncle who passed away with a sudden heart attack last year and found out he was on viox. Since then she won't put this stuff in her mouth. When we talked to her dr in Feb he told us our only other options at this point were ibuprofin or aspirin. Right now she uses the heating pad a lot, goes in her friend's hot tub, and lies on her bed when she needs to. She's taken 600mg of Motrin, but it really isn't helping. I know after surgery she'll be put on some narcotics. This worries me, but he assures me she'll be fine being on these for only a few weeks time. We'll see. Meds sure are scary when you're dealing with an adolescent.

Thanks again for the advice.

 
Old 03-24-2005, 07:36 PM   #6
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Quietcook HB UserQuietcook HB User
Re: Back Problems

Glad you have some options to ask about. Understand the scare about Vioxx although many people had no problem with it. Know that as a parent you will be concerned about any medication your child is on, especially the narcotics, but the docs usually give the patient the lowest dose of those they can.

Another thing that you might want to speak with the doc about during her recovery that might allow her to use a non-narcotic med a week or two after surgery is a pain patch. I use Lidoderm and Ultram as I have had multiple major back surgeries and with the rods, screws, and cages in my spine, I am still doing great. Don't need them every single day, but you can cut the patches into if you have a smaller area hurting and don't need the full patch. They come in a 2 1/2 percent dose but I use the 5 percent patch and can use up to 3 patches at a time. They are worn for 12 hours and the medicine is absorbed slowly through the skin and gives relief up to 24 hrs. May not be what she will need, but something for you list of questions if things are not working exactly as needed with what she is prescribed. BTW, Ultram is a non-narcotic oral pain med but can cause some people withdrawal if they've had problems with narcotics and of course like any med one person does fine and another may get nausea. I like Ultram because it doesn't make me sleepy and it gives me enough pain relief with the patches that I can do normal things. All of us want to live a normal life and not feel like we are dragging about on meds that make us feel poorly.

Hope you daughter does fine and hope you will let us know how she does with her surgery and recovery.

 
Old 03-25-2005, 03:02 AM   #7
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caszyman HB User
Re: Back Problems

Thanks, Quietcook for the suggestions. I keep a list of questions near me and will jot these down. Thank you for the support because I do find the meds issue very scary. Her dr could see it in my eyes and assured me she wouldn't become a drug addict from taking these meds for a short period of time! Thanks again.

 
Old 03-25-2005, 03:37 AM   #8
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flyonthewall HB User
Re: Back Problems

[QUOTE=Darlana]Spinal Stenosis What exactly is it and what can be done for it. Is it something that I should be worried about? Any information will be gratefully accepted. Thank you[/QUOTE]

What are your symptoms? I had severe spinal stenosis and could hardly walk. My OSS did a laminectomy and fused me from L3-S1.
fly

 
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