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Old 01-04-2013, 08:34 PM   #1
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Upcoming back surgery....maybe

I would like to see if others have dealt with the same issues and their recommendation for me. I am a 66 year old male that has always been in
great shape with 20+ years of running and lifting until 2005. I have inherited my parents arthritis genes. Three toes operated on for hammer toes, left ankle reconstructed and anchored with a tendon from my calf, two back surgeries 1/15 and 1/16/2005 for herniated disc....failure with dropfoot, pain, learn to walk again, falling etc. Was done in Cincinnati by Kremcheck Group
that attends to Bengals football team. Huge mistake. LEARNED TOO LATE. I
also have major pain in right shoulder and I am bone on bone. Was scheduled for complete replacement but backed out the week before since
I read so many bad reports. Neck is quite painful due to arthritis.

Anway, here is where I am at now. Over last few months I have lost half of my right leg mass. Many MRI'S AND 4 doctors(neur/ortho/muscular) I have
severe nerve damage at L3L4L5. The pain is minimal since only the motor nerves and not the sensory nerves are being crushed. Major arthritis and deterriation of lumbar spine. The cannot tell me how long until I can't walk but tell me surgery is needed and what I have already lost will not return. They want to do fusion of complete lumbar spine with screws,rods, bones.

Since pain is minimal compared to unbearable in 2005 I keep wanting to pospone surgery They are not pushing but strongly recommending. I do a lot
of physical work around house and suffer more when I exert myself. will I wait too long and loose mobility?

Appreciate any thoughts.

 
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:08 PM   #2
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Re: Upcoming back surgery....maybe

The cannot tell me how long until I can't walk but tell me surgery is needed and what I have already lost will not return.

The above sentence from your post concerns me a great deal. If there is a consensous about your ability to walk in the future and that surgery is needed, then you have a big decision to make.

I understand that maybe you aren't feeling a great deal in the way of pain etc, but it is more likely that the above events are in your future then the question is do you deal with the issue NOW or wait.

To me it is better to confront the issue and deal with it NOW before it gets worse. If you wait then to me you are risking that there maybe damage done that wont be able to be corrected. So I think face it now and minimize your future issues.

I think it is an extremely tough call to make on whether to do it or now. A lot of gray areas etc. Lots of questions and no sure answers.

I think you need to do a lot of soul searching on what is best in the long run and what is best for you.

I wish you the best in whatever you decide.

 
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:17 PM   #3
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Re: Upcoming back surgery....maybe

[QUOTE=ITSMEBOAT;511248
Since pain is minimal compared to unbearable in 2005 I keep wanting to pospone surgery They are not pushing but strongly recommending. I do a lot
of physical work around house and suffer more when I exert myself. will I wait too long and loose mobility?
Appreciate any thoughts.[/QUOTE]

Dear itsmeboat, I know that when I had both sensory & motor nerves affected the neurosurgeon told me that the longer i wait for decompressive surgery the chance was higher that i wouldnt recover all the nerve function. I had waited 4 months. I dont think it is emergent when someone has nerve compression but it depends upon what the dr says, your individual problem & how long you've been compressed in the first place. If you have lost muscle mass & the drs recommend surgery i think that you need an experts advice regarding your individual risks & complications and that expert would be your spine specialist neurosurgeon or orthopedic in my opinion. Im sorry that you are having this trouble, & hope you get resolution soon.

 
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Old 01-05-2013, 03:52 PM   #4
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Re: Upcoming back surgery....maybe

Welcome to the board.

Are you talking about being fused from L1-S1? Do all surgeons concur this is necessary? What type of fusion are they recommending? Are these guys all in the same medical practice that have given their evaluation of your problems?

 
Old 01-05-2013, 05:35 PM   #5
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Re: Upcoming back surgery....maybe

[QUOTE=teteri66;5112749]Welcome to the board.

Are you talking about being fused from L1-S1? Do all surgeons concur this is necessary? What type of fusion are they recommending? Are these guys all in the same medical practice that have given their evaluation of your problems?[/QUOTE]

No....3 different practices in different cities. Screws, rods, bone.
All lumbar .

 
Old 01-06-2013, 08:28 AM   #6
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Re: Upcoming back surgery....maybe

Are they all talking about fusing from L1 to S1?

 
Old 01-06-2013, 09:03 AM   #7
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Re: Upcoming back surgery....maybe

[QUOTE=teteri66;5113013]Are they all talking about fusing from L1 to S1?[/QUOTE]

Yes, unless when they get in there they find something other than what
the MRI'S show. They all look bad with 3-5 the worst.

 
Old 01-06-2013, 11:39 AM   #8
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Re: Upcoming back surgery....maybe

The problem with nerves is that no one can tell you how long you can safely wait. The general rule is that the longer a nerve is compressed, the greater the chance is that the damage will be permanent...so once it is determined what is causing the nerve compression and how it is affecting other parts of th3 spine....However, I know people who have permanent damage after just a couple weeks of compression, and in my own case, nerves were compressed for a very long time, possibly beginning around 13 years ago, but for sure since 2005, decompressed in June 2010 and the nerves are still in the process of recovering/regenerating.

As to such a big fusion, I'm not sure how many members currently on the board are available to share their experiences. I'm fused from L3 to S1. I don't know what difference it would make to also be fused at L1-L2 and L2-L3. Multi-fusion surgeries take longer to heal, and the success rate falls quite significantly as additional levels are added. But what you have to figure out is what are your alternatives?

I'm sure you understand that surgery will not return you to where you were prior to onset of injury or pain. Your activities will be somewhat limited, but I would think surgery would prevent you from deteriorating further so you don't completely lose your ability to walk. And who knows? You might be one of those lucky patients who is able to carry on almost as before.

Finding the right surgeon is key.

 
Old 01-06-2013, 12:19 PM   #9
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Re: Upcoming back surgery....maybe

[QUOTE=teteri66;5113093]The problem with nerves is that no one can tell you how long you can safely wait. The general rule is that the longer a nerve is compressed, the greater the chance is that the damage will be permanent...so once it is determined what is causing the nerve compression and how it is affecting other parts of th3 spine....However, I know people who have permanent damage after just a couple weeks of compression, and in my own case, nerves were compressed for a very long time, possibly beginning around 13 years ago, but for sure since 2005, decompressed in June 2010 and the nerves are still in the process of recovering/regenerating.

As to such a big fusion, I'm not sure how many members currently on the board are available to share their experiences. I'm fused from L3 to S1. I don't know what difference it would make to also be fused at L1-L2 and L2-L3. Multi-fusion surgeries take longer to heal, and the success rate falls quite significantly as additional levels are added. But what you have to figure out is what are your alternatives?

I'm sure you understand that surgery will not return you to where you were prior to onset of injury or pain. Your activities will be somewhat limited, but I would think surgery would prevent you from deteriorating further so you don't completely lose your ability to walk. And who knows? You might be one of those lucky patients who is able to carry on almost as before.

Finding the right surgeon is key.[/QUOTE]


I agree....pretty much my thought process. I think I have the right surgeon.
Even with that it's a 50/50 crap shoot. I lost so much in 2005 and it took years to get back to 75% of what I was, and now I'm about 60% of my original self, only minimal pain compared to 2005, unless I do stupid things.
With my work ethic, energy and love of doing physical things I would not make it without mobility. I have to let her know next week to schedule or run. Hopefully someone with 4-5 levels will post too. Thanks for your comments and concern.

 
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