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Old 04-28-2007, 10:15 AM   #1
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Question Was Surgery worth it ?

Hey all ,
I notice theres a large number of people who have had surgery and a huge number of people considering it.
This question is for all the people who had surgery.. [B]Was it worth it ?[/B] If you could, would you go back to square one and take the pain as it was before surgery and live with it or would you again chose the surgical path you did ? I think this your answers will help people alot ...

 
Old 04-28-2007, 11:43 AM   #2
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Re: Was Surgery worth it ?

YES, YES, did I say YES? If you are interested, go to page 2 and read my post "1 year anniversary." I don't want to repeat and bore the ones who have already read it, but in answer to your question, was it worth it? YES!!!!
I would definitely do it again, wish I did not postpone it so long, but just had to make sure there were no other options first. I went thru a lot of pain I could have avoided. It is a major decision for anyone. Bren

 
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Old 04-28-2007, 10:46 PM   #3
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Re: Was Surgery worth it ?

Hi,
YES!!! I would do it over in a heart beat. They couldn't fix me, I have had 4 failed fusion surgeries in the last 3 1/2 yrs. I am permanently at a grade 2-3 spondy with hardware securing things. I have perm nerve damage on my left side and will be on pain meds for life, but compared to the original pain this is nothing. I am learning to live with things and I will. But I could not walk more than maybe 20 feet before my surgeries. I can walk over a mile now with proper planning. I would encourage others to weigh their options and if everything weighs out ok go for it. There are way more success stories out there than you think. More surgeries succeed than fail. Find a GOOD spine surgeon get two second opinions and use common sense when making this decision.

Hope this helped.

God Bless

Carol
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Old 04-29-2007, 12:45 AM   #4
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Re: Was Surgery worth it ?

Hi Saversano.....

I had a Laminectomy/Facetectomy/Discectomy/Foraminotomy (don't know if there is an abbreviation for that surgery or not) July '06. Prior to the surgery, I had intractable pain in my lower back and pain down the outside of my left thigh, calf, and side of foot. Today, the pain is about 75% reduced in my leg with no pain at all in my foot. The back pain is still present but I knew the surgery would not help with that much. I have also been able to reduce my pain meds by approx. 66%. At one time prior to surgery....if I remember correctly...... I was on 150mcg Duragesic Patch every 2 days; 30mg Roxicodone for BT pain; and 800mcg Actiq for severe flare-ups at work or home. Now I am only on 90mg Avinza once a day (and have up to 60mg oxycodone daily for BT pain but I no longer need those either).

Am I glad I had the surgery? Just being able to reduce my med intake was worth it to me. I had been dealing with this pain since a work injury in '98 and didn't get relief such as this until last year. I wish I had done it sooner. I have missed out on doing things because of the pain and now am finally able to resume some of the things I used to enjoy. I have gradually started riding w/hubby on his new HD motorcycle which has made him happy as well. I can't stay on for too long, but a little ride is better than none at all.

Two different Neurosurgeons told me during their consultations that they would not recommend surgery and to just live with the pain. I could not accept that response and neither could my treating physician who is a Physiatrist. The third Neuro told me he could do a 3-level Fusion since my discogram came back positive on all 3 bad levels but he suggested the surgery to relieve the leg pain to start with to see how I felt with just that. I am so glad I believe in 'the 3rd times the charm'. I am holding off on the multi-level fusion for now since I can still get around with the use of the Avinza. Hopefully, I can get a few more years outta this spine of mine. I am also back to work part-time now and gradually go up to full-time if my back permits it.

Anyone who is ever put off by a surgeon telling them to 'just live with it cuz I can't do anything for you'........walk out of their office and talk with someone else. Make sure you check out the surgeons beforehand to see their qualifications and better yet, talk to others who have had surgery by them. I personally prefer Neuros over Orthos when dealing spinal surgery.

The only drawback to this surgery was the hospital I was in. The surgeon wanted me to stay at least 4 days following surgery. He ordered Dilaudid shots every 2 hrs post-op but the nurses were so slow in giving it to me that I was in tears the first night. I was waiting for 3-4 hrs on average. I was so mad but what could I do? When the surgeon checked in on me the morning following the surgery, I told him I wanted to go home right then. He didn't like that idea, but said he wouldn't stop me if I was that intent on going and had someone at home with me for a while to help with the bandage changes since the incision was a good 5 inches. I couldn't wait to get home so that I could use my own meds in a timely manner. I still get mad thinking about it but it's in the past now.

I guess this is an extremely long post for what should have been a simple short answer. Sorry about that. I hope you have as good of an outcome as I had if you have surgery (or have already had it). I'm sorry, but I don't know anything about your history. I don't post very often and mainly read.

Take care,
~~~Kitt

 
Old 04-29-2007, 03:48 PM   #5
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Re: Was Surgery worth it ?

The jury is still out for me. I had a lot of pain before surgery and I have a lot of pain after surgery. I'm 7 months post op. At least before surgery I was able to bend and do stuff. If the pain goes away then yes it was all worth it. It changed my life forever. Can't work anymore. Had to apply for permanent disability and disability retirement. I had to have the surgery so there was no choice. So hopefully things will get better.

 
Old 04-29-2007, 04:00 PM   #6
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Re: Was Surgery worth it ?

Hessie ,
What type of surgery did you have ??

 
Old 04-29-2007, 04:39 PM   #7
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Re: Was Surgery worth it ?

YES! Surgery was the best thing I've ever done for myself. If I had to do it again, I definitely would. It's one of the toughest things I've ever done, but my life is 100% better now than it was before my fusion.

 
Old 04-29-2007, 05:11 PM   #8
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Re: Was Surgery worth it ?

I am 3 months post op from a laminectomy this week. Went and saw my neruo DR Monday for my final appointment. I AM SOOOOOOOOO happy that I did it! I feel FANTASTIC!!!!!! I told my Dr I wanted to kiss him because most days I feel like I have never had a back problem thanks to him. I hope to continue on this path and will not take my good back fortune for granted. I am so very happy that I had both my surgeries and hope I will not need anymore!
I would have blown my brains out if I hadn't have had the surgery because I wasn't able to do anything because I was in so much pain all the time. It was not a life it was torture!

 
Old 04-29-2007, 05:21 PM   #9
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Re: Was Surgery worth it ?

Bailey ,
Why did you have a Lamonectomy only without a discectomy ??

 
Old 04-29-2007, 10:14 PM   #10
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Re: Was Surgery worth it ?

I had a discectomy and fusion at T6-7 on Feb 1. I know it's not your same area, but I have had MUCH less pain. The recovery was not really fun, but I'm starting to feel like I have my life back. I got to the point where my only options were 1) live with it or 2) have surgery. I'm 33 years old and living with such pain was not what I wanted. I knew there were no guarantees, but I was willing to roll the dice at that point. Because I felt confident in my surgeon and that I had done absolutely everything I could do to make it better, surgery was a good choice for me.

It is a very personal decision. This is a great place to come whether you have surgery or not.

I read in a couple places that "you'll know when you're ready." There came a week when I knew that. It was true for me. So far, I have no regrets. I have pain, still, but it's different and not as severe. I'm really hoping I continue to improve as I can do more strengthening exercises.

Best of luck in making your decision. You're the most qualified to do that!
- Margaret

 
Old 04-30-2007, 04:44 AM   #11
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Unhappy Re: Was Surgery worth it ?

Unfortunatley, No. I am worse than I was before the surgery. I have Failed Back Syndrome and RSD. I had L4/5-l5-S1 fusion with hardware 9 months ago. I have not returned to work and will probally never be able to work again. I used to have a job that was sitting 90% of the time. I can not walk at the mall, walk my dogs, ride my bike and many other things that i could do before the sugery including making love to my husband of 25 years.
I chose to have the surgery. I wanted to make my life better. The odds I was given were in my favor. I was only 43 but I have the spine of someone in there 60's. So I thought I could get this done and be on some low dose pain meds. What a mistake. I have no resemblance of the life I had and at this point will never. I take 80mgs of oxycodone 3 times a day. I also take 1600 mg of neurontin and I am working my way up to 3600 mgs.

Anyone thinking of have this type of surgery should make sure that they have done every thing else possible to avoid it. Make sure that the person you share your life with is on board 100%. Because if it does not turn out the way it was supposed to they have endure this life with you or get out. I wrote my husband a letter before surgery and told him if anything happened and he did not want to be married then I would not blame him for leaving. So far he is still here. But he is only 46. We were supposed to be starting a new life in June when he graduates from college. We will be starting that life but it will be different.
This is not something I would do again. In my mind I have died and there is some one who looks like me living their life. It is very sad.

 
Old 04-30-2007, 05:22 AM   #12
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Re: Was Surgery worth it ?

[SIZE="3"]
YES I would do it again also. My pain before this was even worse , I'm glad I had it done , BUT really wish my life didn't turn this way

Good luck
Shawley [/SIZE]

 
Old 04-30-2007, 06:02 AM   #13
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Re: Was Surgery worth it ?

Your story is very sad, i can relate to it though. I just was diagnosed with Failed surgery Syndrome. And i have to have another one pretty soon. All this year after the surgery is like in a *** of pain, Doctors appointments, tests, more shots, etc. I had not choice to have or not to have surgery - i had to have it done. I also believed i would be fine right after. I had a wondeful full life: i had a very nice job on a Wall Street, i was managing a big office and supporting trades of 26 people. I was a gym fanatic, trim and fit.
Well, you are right - it is not a fun life now. But it's still a life... You still can get up in the morning, you can enjoy little things around you. I feel bad about my husband too, all the hard work now on him, he has diabeties himself. But when i told him that i am not going for the second surgery because i don't want him to go through hard time with me again - he cryed. He was shocked that i even think like that! I want to tell you something: he is 46, but it does not mean he can leave you in such a bad time in your life. If he is a good man, he understands that even if he leaves you, he has to leave with himself knowing that you are alone and need help. Not many people would do that and it does not matter they young or old, we all have the same heart, right?
What can help both of you - positive outlook. I learned, sweet heart, that if you don't try to make the best with all you have, you become bitter and sometimes angry and life becomes even harder. No reason: we are still here. There are so many things in this life you still can enjoy! And i really help you will! Good luck to you both from the bottom of my heart!

 
Old 04-30-2007, 06:33 AM   #14
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Re: Was Surgery worth it ?

[QUOTE=luvmybeagle;2953362]Unfortunatley, No. I am worse than I was before the surgery. I have Failed Back Syndrome and RSD. I had L4/5-l5-S1 fusion with hardware 9 months ago. I have not returned to work and will probally never be able to work again. I used to have a job that was sitting 90% of the time. I can not walk at the mall, walk my dogs, ride my bike and many other things that i could do before the sugery including making love to my husband of 25 years.
I chose to have the surgery. I wanted to make my life better. The odds I was given were in my favor. I was only 43 but I have the spine of someone in there 60's. So I thought I could get this done and be on some low dose pain meds. What a mistake. I have no resemblance of the life I had and at this point will never. I take 80mgs of oxycodone 3 times a day. I also take 1600 mg of neurontin and I am working my way up to 3600 mgs.

Anyone thinking of have this type of surgery should make sure that they have done every thing else possible to avoid it. Make sure that the person you share your life with is on board 100%. Because if it does not turn out the way it was supposed to they have endure this life with you or get out. I wrote my husband a letter before surgery and told him if anything happened and he did not want to be married then I would not blame him for leaving. So far he is still here. But he is only 46. We were supposed to be starting a new life in June when he graduates from college. We will be starting that life but it will be different.
This is not something I would do again. In my mind I have died and there is some one who looks like me living their life. It is very sad.[/QUOTE]


So your pain is from the RSD mostly I assume. Sorry to hear about your tough break. How long ago did you have the surgery ? IS there a chance it will improve ?

 
Old 04-30-2007, 06:41 AM   #15
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Re: Was Surgery worth it ?

[QUOTE=Moldova;2953494]Your story is very sad, i can relate to it though. I just was diagnosed with Failed surgery Syndrome. And i have to have another one pretty soon. All this year after the surgery is like in a *** of pain, Doctors appointments, tests, more shots, etc. I had not choice to have or not to have surgery - i had to have it done. I also believed i would be fine right after. I had a wondeful full life: i had a very nice job on a Wall Street, i was managing a big office and supporting trades of 26 people. I was a gym fanatic, trim and fit.
Well, you are right - it is not a fun life now. But it's still a life... You still can get up in the morning, you can enjoy little things around you. I feel bad about my husband too, all the hard work now on him, he has diabeties himself. But when i told him that i am not going for the second surgery because i don't want him to go through hard time with me again - he cryed. He was shocked that i even think like that! I want to tell you something: he is 46, but it does not mean he can leave you in such a bad time in your life. If he is a good man, he understands that even if he leaves you, he has to leave with himself knowing that you are alone and need help. Not many people would do that and it does not matter they young or old, we all have the same heart, right?
What can help both of you - positive outlook. I learned, sweet heart, that if you don't try to make the best with all you have, you become bitter and sometimes angry and life becomes even harder. No reason: we are still here. There are so many things in this life you still can enjoy! And i really help you will! Good luck to you both from the bottom of my heart![/QUOTE]

Moldova , I too used to have a job like yours !! But 8 years ago I walked in and quit out of nowhere, moved to Asia for no reason and was back in NYC in a year (perhaps early mid life crisis)haha . I Was 30. I have been a technology teacher since in NYC. Why arent you getting the second surgery ? I was supposed to see my Dr. Today but I blew it off and went to work instead. He tells me that its a simple discectomy and not a fusion so the risks of it getting worse are pretty slim. Who knows. Hearing your 2 stories makes me wasnt to cancel the surgery and live with this pain.

Last edited by saversano; 04-30-2007 at 03:35 PM.

 
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