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Old 01-16-2013, 06:08 PM   #1
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Unhappy Surgery.. To have or not to have

Degenerative Spondylolisthesis with spinal stenosis and synovial cyst at L4 L5... Scheduled for fusion surgery in 6 weeks, getting MAJOR freaked out... I am in excellent shape with such strong core muscles, I still exercise daily and have great flexibility and range of motion... So should I be thankful, suck it up and deal with the pain and put off surgery if I get worse or do it now whilenim strong for better recovery. Pain consumes my day, I sleep no longer than 2 hour stretches at night from pain waking me up. It has been 6 years, all the normal drugs and injections and doing everything right in my exercise regiment but I seem to be looking the battle...I am so torn and afraid I will be worse off after surgery....

 
Old 01-17-2013, 12:36 AM   #2
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Re: Surgery.. To have or not to have

Cthom:

Making a decision for surgery is a difficult & PERSONAL decision. We can RECOMMEND what you should do but the ultimate decision is yours. You have to feel comfortable that you are doing the best thing for you.

You said that you are in great shape. That is a positive thing for you. I believe that when it comes to surgery there are 3 things that are critical whe you enter the OR. I am refering to the Mind-Body-Spiritual connection. The better physical condition you are in, the better off you are in the long run. But being physically ready is not the sole criteria. You have to be ready for the surgury mentally & emotionally as well. This too helps in your recovery process.

If you have tried all the "conservative" treatment options and they are not helping you then you have to decide is surgery right for you? Will the surgery improve the quality of your life? Will it reduce the pain? Will it increase your ability to sleep? Lack of sleep can take its toll on you whether you realize it or not.

There are no guarantees on anything when it comes to surgery and if a surgeon tells you he guarantees a good outcome then he is not being honet with you.

Do the benefits outweigh the risks of surgery? To me from the sounds of it surgery is the next logical step. But I don't know you or walk in your shoes. You in your heart knows what the right answer is for YOU.

Good luck in whatever your decision may be.

 
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Old 01-17-2013, 05:53 AM   #3
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Re: Surgery.. To have or not to have

[QUOTE=pebblebeach3;5118566]Cthom:

Making a decision for surgery is a difficult & PERSONAL decision. We can RECOMMEND what you should do but the ultimate decision is yours. You have to feel comfortable that you are doing the best thing for you.

You said that you are in great shape. That is a positive thing for you. I believe that when it comes to surgery there are 3 things that are critical whe you enter the OR. I am refering to the Mind-Body-Spiritual connection. The better physical condition you are in, the better off you are in the long run. But being physically ready is not the sole criteria. You have to be ready for the surgury mentally & emotionally as well. This too helps in your recovery process.

If you have tried all the "conservative" treatment options and they are not helping you then you have to decide is surgery right for you? Will the surgery improve the quality of your life? Will it reduce the pain? Will it increase your ability to sleep? Lack of sleep can take its toll on you whether you realize it or not.

There are no guarantees on anything when it comes to surgery and if a surgeon tells you he guarantees a good outcome then he is not being honet with you.

Do the benefits outweigh the risks of surgery? To me from the sounds of it surgery is the next logical step. But I don't know you or walk in your shoes. You in your heart knows what the right answer is for YOU.

Good luck in whatever your decision may be.[/QUOTE]

 
Old 01-17-2013, 05:56 AM   #4
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Re: Surgery.. To have or not to have

You are so right, thanks. You can educate and physically prepare yourself but you have to have acceptance and peace. Doctors don't give me a guarantee and I know there isn't one. .... That's what freaks me out

 
Old 01-17-2013, 06:12 AM   #5
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Re: Surgery.. To have or not to have

What are your pain symptoms currently?

 
Old 01-17-2013, 06:18 AM   #6
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Re: Surgery.. To have or not to have

CT:

I never thought I would have gone thru all the surgeries that I have. And no one could have predicted what my future held as well.

I started having spine issues in 1988 and still have spine issues. Every time I had a surgery I thought I was done and was back to "normal" and my life would be fine. Didn't turn out that way.

Here is a summary of surgeries:

--- 1988 traction for bulging discs;
--- 1994 surgery lumbar for herniated discs;
--- 1995 cervical surgery for stenosis;
--- 1997 lumbar surgery for "flatback syndrome" w/Harrington Rods;
--- 2000 cervical surgery for "kyphosis" w/Harrington Rods;
--- 2003 Left leg surgery for blood clot;
--- 2006 Spinal Cord Stimulator Implanted for pain;
--- 2007 Surgery for pancreatic cancer;
--- 2011 Spinal Cord Stimulator Removed;
--- 2012 "TRIAL" Intrathecal Pain Pump done;
--- 2013 "PERMANENT" Intrathecal Pain Pump Implanted for pain

I have severe nerve damage in the cervical spine; lumbar spine; arthritis; peripheral neuropathy from spine & diabetes. I have weakness in my arms; radiating pain in shoulders; loss of balance. There is "myelomalcia" of the cervical spine' focal cord atrophy; bone spurs; protrusions/mild disc bulges; stenosis in the thoracic area.

The doctors are afraid to touch my surgically on my neck at this point int ime. Partially due to all the prior surgeries; and part because of other health issues. I am diabetic and in kidney failure; so surgery is risky on me.

Little did I know what my future would hold for me when my spine first started up back in 1988. There are no guarantees and I don't think the doctors could have predicted either back then what was in my future.

And with each of the surgeries no one could guarantee the outcome. I usually did well after each surgery. But what happened a new issue would arise causing new issues for me. It was an on-going problem for me that never seems to end.

I have no regrets whatsover about the surgeries that I went thru. I felt at the time and still do that I made the right decisions on having the surgeries done.

When I had the Harrington Rods inserted in my lumbar spine, a doctor express concern about doing it. He wasnt trying to talk me out of the surgery. He was just presenting me with the risks involved. Yet I went thru it, yes I took a risk but still feel it was the right answer for me.

 
Old 01-17-2013, 08:22 AM   #7
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Cool Re: Surgery.. To have or not to have

[QUOTE=Cthom2;5118412]Degenerative Spondylolisthesis with spinal stenosis and synovial cyst at L4 L5... Scheduled for fusion surgery in 6 weeks, getting MAJOR freaked out... I am in excellent shape with such strong core muscles, I still exercise daily and have great flexibility and range of motion... So should I be thankful, suck it up and deal with the pain and put off surgery if I get worse or do it now whilenim strong for better recovery. Pain consumes my day, I sleep no longer than 2 hour stretches at night from pain waking me up. It has been 6 years, all the normal drugs and injections and doing everything right in my exercise regiment but I seem to be looking the battle...I am so torn and afraid I will be worse off after surgery....[/QUOTE]

Hi.....I had lumbar fusion of L4 L5 S1 in 09. I regret now that I didnt try a Chiropractor. I was having some of the same pain after surgery along with some of pre surgery pain. I did injections, PT, drugs....blah blah....Out of total frustration and determination I went to see a very highly recommened Chiropractor. I showed him my xrays and MRI and once he started to examine me he knew right where to go for what was generating the pain. He said although I had disc and vertabra issues the sacroiliac joint was a huge pain source for me. It was way out of alignment, he said he thinks it was out for a while because the way my hip joint sat in the socket was off and I now need a freakin hip replacement !! Before you get cut and have screws and rods put into your spine forever. Try a Chiropractor. You dont have to get treatment but bring your films and reports and go for a consult. It certainly cant hurt. Go with your gut feeling if you want to actually have chiropractic treatments. It sure has cleared up many unknowns in my case. You also might try swimming. I'm in a pool everyday. I do a lot of lap swimming now with the Total Immersion technique (works spine stablizer muscles) but I also add in deep end water runnng/walking. I can get close to pain free in the pool !! better than any drug I take ! Best of luck to you.

 
Old 01-17-2013, 06:57 PM   #8
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Re: Surgery.. To have or not to have

Constantly Feel's like a knife stuck in my lower back. The constant feeling like I need to stretch and change positions, stiff and worn out. Periodic pain radiating down my left leg. I am very strong and continue to push through the pain.. Just getting worn out.

 
Old 01-17-2013, 07:10 PM   #9
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Re: Surgery.. To have or not to have

Wow way to much for one person to go through. I read what all you typed and I feel I have nothing to complain about, just suck it up and stoop complaining. In 2006, My first back surgery decompression of L 4 5 relieved the severe sciatic pain I was pleased. Even though they recommended at the time i have fusion and without it I would more than likely have worse symptoms... They were right. In 2007 I had right hip replacement, i would do it all over... But now this surgery is just really got me nervous... Driving myself insane. Thank you this did help

 
Old 01-17-2013, 07:21 PM   #10
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Re: Surgery.. To have or not to have

Not find of chiropractors. I have gone to several when my back pain first started with no success for back pain but one pull on my right leg woke up arthritis and two years later I had hip replacement. I have a metal implant in my hip and cannot tell at all, totally pain free, I can move and do things like I am 20 again. But I have a hard time accepting screws in my spine will ease my back pain, just have it in my head I might be worse off and sorry I did it

 
Old 01-17-2013, 08:27 PM   #11
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Re: Surgery.. To have or not to have

If most of your pain is located in your back rather than nerve pain radiating down the leg, you may find that fusion will not provide much pain relief.

Have you consulted with several different spine surgeons so you are convinced that a fusion is what is needed?

 
Old 01-18-2013, 06:01 AM   #12
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Re: Surgery.. To have or not to have

This is the third surgeon. All have said the same thing. In 2006 I had leg pain so bad I had decompression L 4 L5 it worked. I was told at that time fusion was needed but I refused, I was told by instability may worsen and of course it did. I have worked very hard for 6 years now to keep my core strong and keep my weight down so leg pain does not return. I train like an athlete, I am solid muscle 5'7" 132 lbs you would never know by looking at me that I have gas back surgery and right hip replacement. If I back off the exercise, I can feel the leg pain start to creep back up. The constant pain is getting worse and harder to work through. Ugh😞 just tired and worn out.

 
Old 01-18-2013, 11:59 AM   #13
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Re: Surgery.. To have or not to have

I have constant pain, like a knife stuck in my back, the leg pain varies from day to day but i keep it in tow with a lot of exercise. The pain in my back is from stenosis which is caused by instability from the sethesis... they will decompress L4 L5 and do the fusion to keep the back from shifting further. i had decompression in 2006, it worked wonderful, relieved all leg pain but I did not have fusion like they suggested so my back pain increased and now the leg pain is returning. I have managed to keep it all under control for almost 7 years now but not looking good

 
Old 01-18-2013, 02:04 PM   #14
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Re: Surgery.. To have or not to have

[QUOTE=Cthom2;5118952]Not find of chiropractors. I have gone to several when my back pain first started with no success for back pain but one pull on my right leg woke up arthritis and two years later I had hip replacement. I have a metal implant in my hip and cannot tell at all, totally pain free, I can move and do things like I am 20 again. But I have a hard time accepting screws in my spine will ease my back pain, just have it in my head I might be worse off and sorry I did it[/QUOTE]

You gave it a shot and wasnt the right thing for you . Everyone is different with the success of back surgery. There are days that it still freaks me out that I have those screws and rod in my spine.

 
Old 01-18-2013, 07:29 PM   #15
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Re: Surgery.. To have or not to have

cthom2, was your spondylolisthesis pre-existing prior to your decompression? Or did it happen as a result of the destabilization after decompression? What % is the slip?

 
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