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Old 01-27-2012, 12:42 PM   #1
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Andy Knorowski HB User
Question Major Back Problems

Hello to anyone who can identify with horrific back, abdominal and leg pain. I have a badly degenerated back: scoliosis, stenosis, bone spurs, arthritis and sciatic pain. L-3, 4 and 5 are so badly crushed that there is virtually no space seen on an MRI. I am approaching 70 and have suffered with back problems for 30 years. The real issues began about 6 years ago. 3 years ago I had a laminotomy which after about 4 months of healing gave me significant relief for about a year and a half. Then more degeneration. I am desperately trying to avoid fusion so I had another desperation surgery 2 months ago and had 2 X-stop spinous process spacers installed. Minimal relief. I now live on oxycodone and diazapam trying to keep the dosage as low as possible and living with a pain level of 3-4 unless I increase my activity and then even with meds goes to a 7 or 8. 4 or 5 reputable surgeons are saying that ultimately a major fusion on about 7 or 8 levels will be the only alternative with no guarantees of complete success and possibility of major complications. Is there anyone out there who has been down this road and succumbed to the fusion and are now doing well. Words of encouragement and hope are so therapeutic at this time and would help stave off the depression that continues to threaten me.

 
Old 01-27-2012, 10:30 PM   #2
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SweetPeainSF HB UserSweetPeainSF HB UserSweetPeainSF HB UserSweetPeainSF HB UserSweetPeainSF HB UserSweetPeainSF HB UserSweetPeainSF HB UserSweetPeainSF HB UserSweetPeainSF HB UserSweetPeainSF HB UserSweetPeainSF HB User
Re: Major Back Problems

In making the decision to have my one-level fusion, I talked to a co-worker's mother, who had been fused through her mid-back in high school due to severe scoliosis. Years later, her lumbar spine had deteroriated, and she waited for two years struggling with pain before she took the leap to have the rest fused. This resulted in a very long, very complicated surgery with multiple surgeons scrubbing in and out. She had complications and had to go through a revision surgery while still in the hospital and was not released for 32 days. Frankly, she went through a worst-case scenario.

She now reports that she cannot golf or jump from elevated surfaces. Also, since she is fused from shoulder blades down, she's not terribly limber. However, those are her only limitations. She only rarely takes ibuprofen for pain. When I asked her if, knowing everything that she had to go through, would she have had the fusion without waiting the two years, she stated an unequivocal YES!

I am only seven weeks post-op, so I'm still recovering, but I hope that my outcome is as good as the co-worker's mom.

 
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