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  • Synovial Cyst - aborted surgery

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    Old 05-04-2018, 09:20 AM   #1
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    Synovial Cyst - aborted surgery

    I went in for a removal (MIS decompression) of a synovial cyst on the L3-L4. I was fully under, intubated, and when they flipped me to my stomach, my heart rate dropped too low for their taste. They gave me atropine and ephedrine, but couldn't get my heart rate up. When they flipped me back over, it was fine. But they aborted the surgery.

    Now I've been cleared by the cardiologist to go ahead with surgery. (I take a beta blocker for migraines, and it does cause my slow pulse. And I guess the prone position causes various heart/blood pumping issues in some people, but what else can they do, hang me from the ceiling and let the doc operate that way?)

    I waited several months for this surgery, because my surgeon is a top-notch neurosurgeon at a top hospital, and my surgery wasn't urgent. In my consult with him months ago, he was very clear that the cyst caused my pain. When he saw me before surgery, he was "I hope this works" and not so certain.

    That's why I'm here...Now I'm not sure if I should go through with the surgery after all. Could really use some opinions and input!

    My symptoms: severe pain down my left leg in the back. Starts at the lower buttock, goes down to about mid calf. It's a burning and aching pain and comes on when I sit for any length of time. Lying in straight positions on the bed provides relief, but I can't spend my life on the bed stretched out. I also get numbness at times if I stand more than 5-10 minutes, and that numbness is mostly around the front of the left thigh.

    I also have back pain, but have that off and on for 20+ years. (I had major back surgery in the mid 90s, a partial laminectomy, L5-S1 I think)

    The pain is always a lot worse if I lift anything, like a few bags of groceries or bag of heavy laundry.

    It's the left back of leg pain that is the worst. It comes on anytime I home I can shift positions and head to the bed and find relief. But at any waiting game (dr appointment, movie theater, etc.), I go into agony. Getting up and walking around doesn't bring relief.

    The surgeon (shortly before surgery) indicated that L3 L4 nerve (which is totally compressed by this cyst) causes problems in front of thigh, wrapping down to the ankle/foot. It's like he hadn't heard me originally when I said my main problem is the back of the leg. The numbness in front is secondary and not that horrible.

    So 1, I don't understand why he seems to have gotten more "I hope" from the "I'm certain" of months ago when he first saw me. Is this just a cover your arse thing? Or did he not really understand originally that my problem is NOT anything going around the front of the thigh. It's the back of my butt and leg.

    2, I'm afraid I'm setting myself up for a failed surgery, or am I just looking for any excuse to not go through with it? I'm terrified of anesthesia to begin with, and now with this high drama, I'm not sure I have the courage to repeat it.

    I also have other issues, which he mentioned. DDD, grade 1 or 2 stable spondolythesis (sp), etc. He wasn't a fan of fusion until the cyst surgery has failed (cyst grows back) And in my case, he had originally told me he'd have to fuse THREE disks if he fused the cyst area, because of other weakness and structure. He didn't want that route unless absolutely necessary.

    I also fear this: my aunt had scoliosis or spondothing and had a major surgery which failed. She was elderly (70s), and then caught CDiff in that surgery. From then on, it was a decline until she died. But I always trace the beginning of the end to that back surgery. I don't want the same conclusion.

    Thoughts? (I know, I've just tossed a lot in the mix, but the main thing at this point is this cyst. It's about the size of a jelly bean, or was a year ago when I had my MRI.)

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    Old 05-10-2018, 06:52 AM   #2
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    Re: Synovial Cyst - aborted surgery

    Sorry your surgery was aborted. How disappointing to go through all that and then wake up only to find out nothing was done.

    Look for a "dermatome map" online to see what is innervated by the L3 and L4 spinal nerves. When there is pain down the back of a leg, it very often is caused by L5 or S1 spinal nerve compression.

    There is no way to know the answers to your question. It is possible the surgeon misinterpreted what you told him about location of pain. One would never correlate pain down back of leg with L3-4 nerve compression.

    I would consider getting another opinion from a different surgeon...have you consulted with an orthopedic spine surgeon?

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    fusion, radicular pain, spondylolisthesis, synovial cyst

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