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Dean601 09-06-2020 06:03 AM

Neurosurgeon proposing L3 -L5 lumbar fusion 9/25/20 😳😳
So since my last post on 8/11/ 2020 my symptoms have gone from about a 3 to 10. I have pins and needles all the time and terrible leg weakness. I also had an appointment with neurosurgeon ( who has a very good reputation and did surgery on my bosses sister, who is also a general surgeon at the same hospital). I was expecting him to say pt and injections so I didnít even do any research on lumbar fusion , heck up to that point I wasnít even sure The numbness in my feet and toes was coming from my back,Ortho didnít seem to think so. I also had nerve conduction study done which was abnormal but couldnít get an appointment with neuropathy specialist until January 2021, one of the things I noticed on report was Tinsel signal on rt ankle was positive but they could not make a diagnosis of tarsal tunnel syndrome since the tests were so abnormal. Neurosurgeon says nothing would help and my vertebra needed to be stabilized And I just sat there like a deer in the headlights. When I came home I called the neurosurgeons office back and asked if I could have another appointment to speak with him and bring my daughter who is a nurse they said that was not their policy and would have the PA call me back which she did and was pretty helpful. Iím also getting a second Opinion at University of Pennsylvania, on 9/29 so my 9/25 surgery it is going to have to be postponed, I wasnít mentally prepared anyway. The neurosurgeon was saying that the film was worse than the written report 🤷‍♀️. What scares me is symptoms are getting worse everyday. I now have sciatic pain and the back of my calfís seem stiff and hard as a rock. Iím going to Look up a few exercises on the Internet maybe for calf sciatic nerve problems Iím really scared, and it seems
like I just keep getting passed from doctor to doctor and have no one as the captain of my ship which seems to be sinking. Also thank you for the two people that responded to my initial post and asking if anyone has any thoughts about all thatís going on Please let me know.

teteri66 09-29-2020 04:53 PM

Re: Neurosurgeon proposing L3 -L5 lumbar fusion 9/25/20 😳😳
Hello, I-used to be on this board everyday for years, but not so much any more. Just so your post and want to say I appreciate what you are going through.

I am fused from L3-S1 but it happened through 4 lumbar surgeries. My suggestion is you get several opinions from both neurosurgeons and spinal ortho docs. Neurosurgeons tend to recommend more levels initially while orthos are more conservative...with an attitude of ď if we have to go back in, we will.Ē

It is not a fun surgery. Recovery tends to be 3-6 months, if not longer. Mine took 18 months.

My point is the most important decision you will make is the selection of the surgeon and his you really need this surgery?
Are there No options?

teteri66 09-30-2020 05:26 PM

Re: Neurosurgeon proposing L3 -L5 lumbar fusion 9/25/20 😳😳
Hey...whatís going on? Did you decide to proceed with surgery?

pcmacd 11-12-2020 02:35 PM

Re: Neurosurgeon proposing L3 -L5 lumbar fusion 9/25/20 😳😳
I had T12/L1 fusion in 2006. They went in from the back in lieu of the side. They must dissect muscles to do this procedure in this manner. Probably due to the way I injured my spine the surgery yielded no pain relief, but did stabilize a crushed T12. Unless you have physical spine issues that require the fusion, I would urge you to try any and all other remedies first, such as SPR perif. nerve stimulation, implanted e-stim, ablation, any and all other possibilities. It took ten years before I was well enough to consider moving my home after the surgery.

Not to frighten you but you should hear this: I awoke in the recovery room feeling like there was a blowtorch on my back (why did they have me on my BACK????), screaming and cursing at the very top of my lungs. Before I even got my vision back, the gave me an injection of something or other to put me out, pumped up the pain meds in the IV, and brought me back around. Just getting to my feet for the therapist was absolute agony, even 5 days later.

Remember the way the doctor looks at the world. If you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail. See a pain management doc.

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