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  • 4 months post-op from lumbar spinal fusion and laminectomy

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    Old 11-17-2003, 11:19 AM   #46
    Raiza
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    Hi Cristi,
    Actually I live in Livermore, CA ... 45 minutes East from the Bay Area (San Francisco, San Jose). I have gone to San Francisco in winter and it is horrible! Very windy since they are right at the waters. People love the weather here. But it does not get that cold. Right now we are High 64 Low 42. To me it is cold, since I come from a hot weather country. Summers get really hot, between 80 to 95. But is dry heat. Your work seems to be nice, you get to go home when you want and if you can't come in you just stay home. I sit at work all day and that is not good so I get some discomfort.

    Hope you are doing better today and have fun at the play.
    [I]rm[/I]
    -----------------------------------------

    [SIZE=1]
    [B]07/16/03[/B] Decompressive Laminectomy [I]L5/S1[/I] (RIGHT SIDE)
    Also a small bulging disc at [I]L4[/I]. NS said it was not giving me problems.
    [B]08/27/2001[/B] Started back problems.
    Chiro, acupuncture, stretches, body massage, walking, nothing helped.
    Got 3 epidurals, first they missed, second helped for 3 months, third didn't help.
    Kaiser kept sending me back home saying: "it will get better". NEVER DID!!
    [B]2003[/B] changed insurance TIRED OF KAISER!!!
    [B]07/03/03[/B] saw new NS, w/in days he was doing surgery on me.
    [B]09/07/03[/B] I am glad I went through surgery.
    [B]11/06/03[/B] Visited NS, he stresses on us going [I][B]SWIMMING[/B][/I]. He says after 40 years treating backs, swimming is the only thing that seems to help to straighten our backs and get us back on track.[/SIZE]

    Last edited by Raiza; 11-17-2003 at 11:20 AM.

     
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    Old 11-18-2003, 04:38 AM   #47
    magnetlady45
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    Hi Everyone:

    Only have a few minutes here. Have to go to work. Physical therapy is great for some and not so great for others. Everytime I took physical therapy before my surgeries it made me so much worse and then when I took it after my last surgery it set me back so much that I cried and cried for days. Like I said before walking is the best thing for me. I don't go swimming because I am a rotten swimmer plus do not have the facilities available to me llike Raiza does. Walking is the best for me and I do it every day whether at work or home. I too spent thousands of dollars for nothing on pt.

    Try it if your doctor says so but stop if it hurts you or sets you back. Even my own physical therapist that I have now says for me not to do it anymore. He recommends the walking for me or bicycling.

    Christi

     
    Old 11-18-2003, 09:39 AM   #48
    Brooke79
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    Dear Christi,

    How, r more like is there any way of knowing before you have PT whether or not it is going to work for you? I am 3 weeks post op today and am walking a max of 12 kms a day or 2 hrs split over 4 sessions. I am not sure whether it is my body's adjustment to this plus the fact that i have started studying for my exams and so am more busy but I seem to have leveled off in progress it seems.

    I am not getting any worse but over the last 4 or so days I have not noticed anything new in terms of changes whereas before i had noticed each day an improvment, is this what you experienced?

    Love
    Brooke

     
    Old 11-18-2003, 11:10 AM   #49
    MarianJ
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    [COLOR=Magenta][B][CENTER]Hello Christi,[/CENTER][/B]
    [INDENT]When I went to PT last week just for exercises for my feet and to learn how to use my tens unit I was actually thinking of you. Yes it is true, I was thinking of what happened when you had gone to physical therapy. So I had asked the therapist if they had dealt with fusion patients before as I was going to need therapy soon. She said, "Oh yea we had a few of them." But it was the way she said it that already made me decide that I was not going back there. My surgeon has not wanted me to start therapy. I do have an appointment with him tomorrow, I wonder what he will say then.[/INDENT]
    [B][CENTER] Have a great day. [/CENTER][/B][/COLOR]

     
    Old 11-18-2003, 11:29 AM   #50
    Brooke79
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    Dear Tommorrow,

    Yep thats it, i am now really worried about what i will say to this PT guy on Friday. Its good because the PT is only on my legs but my hip flexors and piriformis are tight right now, real tight but i dont want them worked on because that is too close to the back, i dont want him anywhere near the back.

    I cant stop thinking about how to find a good PT who has worked with spinal fusion patients. I think when the time comes, i'll have to get the ok from my surgeon anyway and at the time i'll ask him where is the best place to go.

    I also can not wait to get my hands on a tens unit and/or bone growth stimulator, they sound like lottery tickets to my ears.

    I am doing well but as i said i walked a total of 4 30 minute sessions yesterday, think that was too much as my incision site is sore today.

    Love to you
    Brooke

     
    Old 11-18-2003, 12:01 PM   #51
    MarianJ
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    [COLOR=Indigo][B][CENTER]Hello Brooke,[/CENTER][/B]
    [INDENT]I don't think that it is anybody's intent to scare you especially not mine and I am very sorry if I did. My only concern it to inform you so you are aware. Without Christi's experience I too could fall into the same situation and I am very happy that she posted her ordeal. When my pain management's office gave me a script to go to a PT office for one visit, they gave me a pamphlet for a physical therapy office. This picture in this pamphlet looks as if it were some sort of resort. I immediately called to make an appointment and of course they did not accept my insurance. This office was a spine center. It was not your basic physical therapy office. If I was more financially secure I would have just paid out of my pocket but at this point of my life that is impossible.

    Like you said you are just going for therapy for your legs. If they have you do anything at all that hurts your back whatsoever you must tell them. If you do not feel comfortable with the therapy on your first visit then don't go back. I am not sure about how far you would have to travel in your area to find another therapist. When it comes time for therapy on your back, discuss this with your surgeon. He will most likely tell you where he refers his patients too. That is if he wants you to have therapy right away as some doctors see things differently. You can ask your dr. to write a script for the tens unit as I just got one. I only used it once as I was to sick for the last couple of days. I also wore the bone growth stimulator because I had the infuse. You can also ask your doctor about this as it may help your fusion.

    I thought you were going to try and take it easy with the walking. It looks to me like you increased it a little. Please be careful Brooke, as I don't want you to have a relapse.[/INDENT]
    [B][CENTER] Hugs to you. [/CENTER][/B][/COLOR]

     
    Old 11-18-2003, 12:16 PM   #52
    Brooke79
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    Dear Tommorrow,

    I knew somewhere along the line id get carried away with my good recovery and try and push it and i guess i almost experienced this with the walking only that my body got straight back to me and gave e the feeling that something isnt going too well as I am sore.

    Can your gp prescribe the tens unit and bone growth stimulator, you dont have to go to the surgeon? Can i use them at this stage, i am 3 weeks post op today (gee i feel like its a birthday or something).

    Can you please remind me once again what both these units do?

    No, dont apologise, sometimes it is good to be scared of others stories, it makes me realise the importance of my choices. I certainly do not want to go through what i have just been through and i do not want and simply can not afford a relapse, so any information bad or good is always appreciated.

    Love
    Brooke

     
    Old 11-18-2003, 01:12 PM   #53
    MarianJ
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    [COLOR=Magenta][B][CENTER]Hello Brooke,[/CENTER][/B]
    [INDENT]I believe that your surgeon or a pain management doctor has to prescribe the tens unit and bone growth stimulator. I could be wrong but I do think so when it comes to the bone growth stimulator. The bone growth stimulator is a device with electrodes that hook up to your back. This has wires attached to it and then attaches to a unit a little bigger than a cell phone and you can wear it on a belt or clip it on to your clothing. This is used to try and stimulate the bone growth area in hopes of a faster fusing. The tens unit is another device with electrodes and wires and this is a stimulator to decrease pain in your back. Some doctor's say that it only helps back pain and some say that it helps both back and leg pain. I cannot say as I only tried it once. Hopefully I will be wearing it more this week. I hope this helps.[/INDENT]
    [B][CENTER] Hugs to you. [/CENTER][/B][/COLOR]

    Last edited by MarianJ; 11-19-2003 at 05:36 AM.

     
    Old 11-18-2003, 06:46 PM   #54
    magnetlady45
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    Hi Brooke & Tomorrow:

    My tens unit is hand held and can be used on any part of your body that needs it. It is not only for the back. If you have a migraine headache you can use it for that, or elbow etc. I love it because when I don't want to use it I don't. The tens unit is a transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulator. Medical science has established that we feel discomfort because our brain sends us a message. When a part of the body is affected, an impulse runs from that area to the brain, where it is processed. The tens unit can block this signal from reaching its destination. It is a very effective means of alleviating physical distress. With mine, I can set the device for the desired intensity and duration of its electrical impulse. I can pass it anywhere around my body where discomfort is felt. My tens unit alets me with an audible sound when the contact point is directly over the place where the sensation originates. By pushing a button it delivers the electrical impulse that counteracts the body's bioelectric signals.
    Enough scientific explanation. It sounds like Jeanne's is a lot bigger than mine. I use mine especially before I go to bed. I just find the trigger points and zap them. Put the unit away and go to sleep. Any doctor can prescribe it but you must have a diagnosis that shows you need it.

    Christi

     
    Old 11-18-2003, 06:56 PM   #55
    magnetlady45
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    Hi Jeanne:

    Yes it is a good idea to ask your surgeon who he would recommend for physical therapy. If only I would have went to the one right next door to my surgeon's office. I didn't know they were some of the best in the state. The surgeons don't have to tell them what to do for exercises and when during recovery to do them because they have done 100's if not 1000's. Unfortunately I did not ask and because I lived over an hour away my doctor said that I could find whoever my insurance would cover that was close to me. I thought everyone would be equally experienced to treat this kind of thing. Boy was I wrong. So yes Jeanne it is good to question them and especially ask who the best is.

    Brooke, I sure don't want to scare you but it is wise to know what to do. Too bad I didn't at the time. Also I have a bad habit of pushing too much and I always end up paying for it. Even today I told my husband that I wonder if I will ever be even close to normal with my back. I guess I should say pain free. These weather changes really bother me. Someone alluded to the fact that it could very well be as a result of the instrumentation in my back. It could also be that I may have suffered permanent nerve damage and it will never be totally healed. Those are great possibilites and no matter how much positive attitude I may have they are also great realities that I may have to accept. I will go on though. I will not let it drag me down. I am a strong person, I have faith in Christ. He will always be with me and help me with this.


    Christi

     
    Old 11-18-2003, 07:00 PM   #56
    Brooke79
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    Dear Christi and Jeanne,

    When i asked my doctor she said i dont need a tens unit as i am too young and i will heal myself and the pain should also be gone soon. I will ask my surgeon when i see him in a few weeks. Also she said she'd never heard of a bone growth stimulator but also said again i wouldnt need one. I got the impression she didnt think too highly of devises to aid in healing, she said just let your body work it out..

    I have physio on my legs on Friday and I might ask the physio about it then.

    Love to you both
    Brooke

     
    Old 11-18-2003, 07:10 PM   #57
    magnetlady45
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    Hi Brooke:

    I would like to know what age has to do with pain. That is what a tens unit does is block the pain signal to the brain so that you can be more comfortable. Sounds too me like you definitely need to talk to your surgeon about this or pain management doctor.

    Christi

     
    Old 11-18-2003, 07:17 PM   #58
    Brooke79
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    Dear Christi,

    Tell me about it. When i asked her about it all she said was 'a tens unit is just a machine that stimulates muscels to contract', the thing is by the time i go to the surgeon in three weeks, the pain will most likely have subsided.. doesnt elp me now thats for sure.

    I wonder if physios can prescribe things like that. Is it something you need a prescription for?

    Love
    Brooke

     
    Old 11-18-2003, 07:21 PM   #59
    magnetlady45
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    Dear Brooke:

    Yes you do need a prescription for one. Although I did get mine off of ebay. But I am also a licensed distributor of these products so I could get one through my company without a prescription for demonstration purposes.

    Christi

     
    Old 11-19-2003, 09:47 AM   #60
    Raiza
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    Hi [b]Brooke:[/b]
    I know you had surgery recently, probably about 18 days ago?, what did you have, was it a fusion or laminectomi decompression?
    OK, don't stress on the tent machine. I have one and to tell you the truth it never helped me. It was more hassle to put it on and put it away that what really helped me. The doctor tells you to put it on for "no more" than 15 minutes at a time once to twice a day. They say that the body will eventually know that is just that, a toy, and won't pay attention anymore.

    The key here for your recovery is:
    -take it easy
    -rest
    -don't twist
    -don't bend
    -drink plenty of water and good nutrition
    -walk for 15 at a time .. read your body
    -if I was you, I will start swimming after 4 weeks post/op ... do it slowly, you won't put stress on your back and you will be doing stretches. You will see how eventually you start getting strength as you continue to swim.
    -be very patience ...

    In my experience the second month after surgery it actually got worse. Don't asked me why. I had some pains that I never had before.... and I wonder and wonder whether my surgery helped or if I had re-herniated my disc. But as I continue swimming things got better.

    Hi [b]Christi,[/b]
    You will heal. I have a friend that she had hardware put on and she healed. She is doing so well now. It has been a little over a year that she had surgery. They say the older the slower the process of healing, she is 52. How long ago did you have surgery? has it been a year already?

    I am like you, I dislike this weather so much. Can't wait till summer.

    take care guys,
    Raiza

     
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