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Old 05-25-2006, 08:21 AM   #1
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Lumbar Spinal Stenosis?

Does anyone experience severe aching in the calves?


my pain dr says im too young to have Neurogenic Claudication but ive read that it is quite common with Spondylolisthesis.

It has become so bad that even when i get out of bed in the morning it feels sa though ive been walking uphill for miles.climbing stairs is just horrible.

anyone have any helpfull input?

scott

 
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Old 05-25-2006, 12:36 PM   #2
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Re: Lumbar Spinal Stenosis?

Hey SCott, Sounds like a mighty big leap if that's your only symptom. Spondyliotheisis can be seen easily in Xrays, Stenosis is ca completely different problem and requires an MRI to DX. Without the tests, it's hard to say it's if it's from a spinal disorder or anything more than something bananas or a little magnesium wouldn't cure. You can scare the crap out of yourself thinking of every thing that migt cause leg pain. MD, MS, auto imune disorders or even bone cancer?

Hopefully it's nothing that severe, Dave

 
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Old 05-25-2006, 07:04 PM   #3
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Re: Lumbar Spinal Stenosis?

hey dave,good to hear from you.

i do have grade 2 spondy and stenosis along with adjacent disc degeneration,the 2 levels above slip.

the aching or tiredness in my legs has just gotten horrible.the only time it eases is when i elevate my legs like putting a pillow under my knees.

Im just trying to educate myself because i have read that epidurals may help and being as my pain dr doesnt think NC is my problem id rather be fairly sure that the injections may help asthe last one i had hurt so bad i yelped when he started injecting the meds.

i havent given up yet but for the first time i really am considering surgery.
im just tired of all of it,the back pain,the leg pain,and this achiness in my lower legs has just gotten to me.

hope all is well,scott

 
Old 05-26-2006, 05:20 AM   #4
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Re: Lumbar Spinal Stenosis?

Sorry Scotty, I didn't make the connection to what I'm sure you have already told us about your spine condition. My last post to shawley has 5 links regarding spondy treatment options and bracing is actually one worth tryng if you haven't had a fusion yet and can't slip your turtle shell back on to see if it helps. I'll make it easy and move the post over here.
Take care, Dave

 
Old 05-26-2006, 07:10 AM   #5
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Re: Lumbar Spinal Stenosis?

i find it hard to believe you would feel better with all that hardware.
i think a surgery like that should only be done when you can no longer function but if paralisys is an issue now then i could relate to considering the surgery.

in my cae would wearing a brace mimic a succesful fusion (back pain from the instability)?

 
Old 05-26-2006, 10:25 AM   #6
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Re: Lumbar Spinal Stenosis?

Actually, Bracing would be a good indicator. They wrap you in plaster like a body cast to make the mold for the plastic brace and then trim it down. But being wrapped and totally stable felt wonderful prior to may last surgery, I asked if I could have the brace when it was complete but the way it was arranged by the doc , they delivered the day you had surgery to the hoptital room. Lots of fun sitting up hours after surgery to try a brace on. The brace would lkely prevent further progression of the spondy but stenosis needs to be surgically corected, the brace wouldn't do much if that was the cause of radiculopothy in your legs.

Bracing was offered as an alternative 2 years ago for my spondy and instability, but my fear was becoming dependent on the brace to stand and walk, where I have done a good job keeping my core muscles as strong as possible, that would be lost of I depended on a brace.

Even that is a tough decison, I would need a new brace, but doubt it's going to have a huge impact on standing endurance and function, more likely it would relieve the crunching and grinding when I sit up or walk and prevent the spondy from getting worse. I have grade 11 at boththe thoracic/lumbar junction and the lumbar sacral junction.

IF you looked at the last link figure 4, They would pretty much do the same thing, extend my fusion from L1-S1 to T10 to S1 plus some other work. I can walk now and taking the chance of loosing that, given the odds has made it intelectually an aeasy decision but there is always that nagging guilt telling me I should try anything possible to get my lfe back despite the odds or risks. As far as function, the only thing I have left to lose is the abilty to walk and contrlol my bladder and bowels. That surgery could take that too and the likelyhood merely stabalizing my spine, corecting the spondy and revising the fusion stastistically isn't likely to relieve the pain.

In the last 6 years every doc I have seen has comented they have never seen such a mess in someones back that could still walk. So I'm suposed to be greatful for that. Although It really never made me feel much better to have someone say, at least you can walk.

Untill some new technology comes along where they can inject sometype of bone cement into the areas that should have fused, I really don't see more surgery as an option. They do have the bone cement, rhBMP2, but it's not used for that and I haven't been able to convince anyone to try it. Even if they could just inject the holes in my scarum where the screws toggle, that would be an improvement. Maybe someday.

Scotty, with 2 progressive problems, meaning they will likely get worse, the pain will get harder and harder to manage, your dose will need to be increased as it progresses and you will reach a point where you can't tolerate the constipation, urinary retention and sedation to the point where you simply can't increase without being zomked all the time. When that happens there isn't much more that can be done. You live with your disabilities and a lot of pain that simply can't be managed because you reach a point where you can't tolerate any further side effects and meds for side effects no longer work or are no longer safe. Taking aderall because someone is incoharent from opiates isn't a reasonable request nor would it be healthy or effective.

Even if you don't have the UA problems, ED or constipation problems, living sedated isn't living. I could have my pump cranked up and drop my pain from barely tolerable to a smile on my face when I'm awake, but that's no way to live, My wife wouldn't put up with it and I don't want my daughter coming home to a dad that's passed out and can't be woken.

It's true there is no absolute ceiling on the amount of opiates someone can take, but there is a ceiling on the side effects different people are willing to except and how much relief you can obtain as problems progress. Stenosis is likely to get worse and spondy may or may not get worse. The good news is those have obvious ways to correct. They increase the size of the outlets for the nerves and fuse you to pull you back into alignment.

First time around odds of succes aren't that bad, but the percentage that fail can end up even worse off than now. At least you can attempt to stabalize and relieve problems that you know are going to get worse with reasonable odds of success.

Good luck, Dave

Last edited by Shoreline; 05-26-2006 at 10:40 AM.

 
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