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  • Good laminectomy outcomes wanted (really, all experiences)

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    Old 01-09-2004, 03:02 PM   #46
    Standingman1
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    Re: Good laminectomy outcomes wanted (really, all experiences)

    [QUOTE=ADDDAD]Hi there,
    Well let's see. I guess I went under the knife in 1986. Laminectomy L4-5. I went in on a Monday morning and was home on Thursday morning. The surgery was performed by the same orthopedic, that's right, surgeon that put my right femur bone back together with a plate & screws. Better to go with the devil ya know than the devil ya don't. Anyway, the whole surgery lasted about 1 1/2 hours and was a complete success. However, I credit not only the doctor for my good luck but myself as well. I did everything I was told to do for 6 months. I did not sit or stand for more than 15 min. at a time. Needless to say, roadtrips were long due to the constant stopping for a lay down break. I did my exercises [B]everyday[/B] and today I can run, jump, shovel snow, pick-up my kids and alot more. The only time my back hurts is when I get plugged up. Thank god that is not that often. Must be the pressure or something. Well, there you have it. Good luck to ya[/QUOTE]

    An inspiring "tale" (so to speak), ADDDAD. When you say you didn't stand for more than 15 minutes at a time, I assume you mean standing still, yes? While you could be walking for longer? Let us know.

    From what I gather, here again, there is a lot of variety. It sounds like Greg is both sitting and standing longer than this post-surgery. How about a brace, ADDDAD. Did you wear one? And were your exercises specifically prescribed by your surgeon? Had you been doing them before your surgery as well?

    Thanks,

    Standingman

     
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    Old 01-10-2004, 06:07 AM   #47
    confusedpatient
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    Re: Good laminectomy outcomes wanted (really, all experiences)

    For Greg & Adddad, How soon after surgery were you driving? Starting Monday, 2 weeks post op, I have a 20 min. drive to PT & I'm dreading it. A 10 min drive earlier this week left my leg on fire! The doc released me to drive at one week, but was he being too optimistic? I know this will vary, too, just wondering out here in the boonies.

    Carol

     
    Old 01-10-2004, 09:49 AM   #48
    gdbreedlove
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    Re: Good laminectomy outcomes wanted (really, all experiences)

    Carol,
    I'm probably not the best to compare to, I drove myself to a municipal meeting I had to go to, the Tuesday after a Thursday surgery. I had no choice, no babysitter for the kids during the middle of the week, and Momma had to stay with the kids. Two weeks post-op, I was driving myself to and from work all of the time, basically 20-30 minutes each way. I also have a manual transmission and I used a bed pillow behind my back to soften the bumps and make it easier on the incision site! Hang in there, it takes a long time to heal and we are all different. Hope you are able to make the trip pain free, let us hear from you!

    Greg
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    Old 01-10-2004, 11:19 PM   #49
    Standingman1
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    Re: Good laminectomy outcomes wanted (really, all experiences)

    To Greg, Carol, and all--I was at my neurologist's the other day and was comparing my potential lami with that of a friend of mine. The doc (who'd had a lami himself) said, "No one's laminectomy is like anyone else's."

    Obviously, he was making the point that the relevant anatomy, etc. are so different for each of us, that it is hard to extrapolate from one situation to the next. Still, I don't think that means it is impossible to learn from each other, while keeping in mind the variety of circumstances that pertain.

    We have a good example in Greg and Adddad. Greg, driving and sitting quite soon after surgery. Adddad, from what I gather, not doing either for more than 15 minutes at a time, even months after surgery. And now Carol, wondering if the twenty minute drive to PT is going to be OK.

    Carol--if i were you, I'd give a call to both my doc and/or folks at PT and explain your experiences thus far and your concerns. I did that when I had PT soon after my "crash," and they were very clear that, if the drive to PT was going to mess things up more than PT might help at that point, it made no sense to do it. That may or may not apply, but at least you'll get a clearer idea from those with experience. It may well be worth "going for it" and seeing how it is for you. But no reason, I think, not to use the resources you have. At the least, you should end up feeling more confident whatever you decide. Also, in general terms, my own sense is that when I've trusted my "gut" about what I was and wasn't ready to do, I've had the best result. I think we know our own bodies pretty well if we let ourselves, and that is knowledge that no expert, however wonderful they are, can have--just because they aren't in our own skin.

    Standingman

    Last edited by Standingman1; 01-10-2004 at 11:21 PM.

     
    Old 01-12-2004, 03:41 PM   #50
    gdbreedlove
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    Re: Good laminectomy outcomes wanted (really, all experiences)

    Standing, I agree buddy...we can tell an awful lot about ourselves just by paying attention. I think we can get caught up in day to day grind, living with the pain and not really understanding what is going on. I agree with you also that all of us are different and will have different results based upon our individual bodies and our individual experiences. My goal is a simple one, get back my life. I want to run again and I want to play golf again, both of which a did alot of 3 plus years ago! I hope everyone here makes there goal and can be pain free in the future. Have my DR appointment tomorrow to start PT, I'll let you know what he will have me doing.

    Greg
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    Old 01-13-2004, 11:42 AM   #51
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    Re: Good laminectomy outcomes wanted (really, all experiences)

    Standing & Greg, survived PT yesterday & the drive to & from. Uncomfortable driving but not unbearable. It is amazing what a few stretches has accomplished. I really felt like my leg muscles have drawn up over the last 6 months. The Celebrex may be helping also. I'm celebrating - no pain meds before noon today!!

    I, too, want my life back. I have 2 kids, one still pretty young & i hate missing out on what they're doing. One has become an avid skier & such a daredevil. Hope he learns from my mistake. Don't ski out of control!! Anyhow, thanks for the positive thoughts--it really helps.

    Carol

     
    Old 01-14-2004, 06:28 AM   #52
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    Re: Good laminectomy outcomes wanted (really, all experiences)

    I'll make this as short as possible. I had a laminectomy/discectomy 21 years ago this month. I had a history of back injuries (mostly falls from horses)and pain.One day, just riding home from a nearby city in the car, I began to have the worst pain I'd ever had in my life. It was in my lower back and radiating down both legs, but worse in the left. Within 8 hours I was in the ER and had NO feeling or reflexes in my left leg and was unable to move either leg at all. My blood pressure was off the charts. My husband was told that I had had a stroke. I lay in a hospital bed for 5 days on pain medication that did nothing for the pain but made me crazy. Finally, I had the old time mylogram (remember, this was in 1981) and it was found I had blown 3 discs and the nucleaus had 'oozed' down into the spinal canal nearly 3inches and that was causing the pain, numbness and paralysis. I had surgery (no fusion) and within 24 hours was walking, albeit with a LOT of pain. It took many years to get back on my feet to the point I was doing things I had done before, like riding the horses, gardening, etc. I still have pain at times, and suffer from permanent residual numbness in my left leg.. along the lateral aspect and across the top of my foot. I have learned and practice excellent body mechanics and though I am overweight which is not good for my back, I still do all the exercises that I was sent home with to keep my back in shape. I have some limitations but have learned other ways of doing things that would normally put a lot of strain on my lower back. I preach good posture and back health to everyone I know. I feel my story is a good outcome one and hope that others that have to experience the horrible pain of ruptured discs and the procedures to correct them do as well as I feel I have done.

     
    Old 01-14-2004, 06:47 AM   #53
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    Re: Good laminectomy outcomes wanted (really, all experiences)

    Hey all!
    Welcome Homestead!
    I am still wondering wether my surgery has worked or not. I am now 4.5 months post op and just don't get it!
    Homestead,
    you say that it took years to get back to 'normal' after surgery? Is that true?
    I wonder because I just can't seem to get rid of this nerve pain or whatever it is in my sacrum area and right where they did the filing of the bone for the lamy. Last I was at the doctor it was swelling in the area where he cut the ligaments and all and that was giving me problems. I'm taking antiinflammatories and it is helping. Although, the nerve pain in my sacrum area is very easily flared up and in the actual are of operation where the bone spurs swere trapping the nerve and 'pinching' the nerve root(s). Pt was helping at first, as a matter of fact is was great after surgery now I can't stand to do it without the nerve getting ******!
    I'm terrified that I'll never be able to live a 'normal' life. I can control my pain to an extent without doing anything but if I do anything dumb or too much, it really ticks that nerve off and I have to lay down forever to get it to calm down.
    Does anyone else have the nerve problems or have had them so long after surgery and will the nerve ever be happy!!

    Christina

    Last edited by Mistina; 01-14-2004 at 06:47 AM.

     
    Old 01-14-2004, 09:27 PM   #54
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    Re: Good laminectomy outcomes wanted (really, all experiences)

    Hi Gang, Power to the Lumbar Jocks!

    Greg, let us know how your PT goes and what you're doing there. Would be interested to hear where they start you and how things build from there.

    Carol, congratulations on _getting_ to PT, and glad that stretching seems to have helped, along with the Celebrex and good spirits.

    Homestead--you remind us how long a journey healing can be, and how various are the forms it can take. So glad to hear you got as far as you did, and you have found ways to improvise as well. Personally, even in the 'best case," I don't expect to get my "life back" in any literal way. I'm not even sure I'd want to; this has changed me in some good ways that may not have happened otherwise. But obviously we all want to be as functional as we can be. So if I get to play a round of golf with Greg, that would be amazing. (And don't forget, G-man, I made sports page for two holes-in-one in a single round, so beware of what may appear to be a harmless, mid-50s, professor type!) Yes, that would be amazing. But just being able to sit through a film without worrying I'm compromsing the future availability of my left leg would be more than sufficient!

    Christina/Mistina--keep the faith. As H'stead's and others' stories indicate, there are a lot of roads to Rome, and some are long indeed. i don't know how long you suffered before your surgery, but there is often some correlation with recovery time. Hopefully, we'll get a few more encouraging tales of slow but eventual relief post-surgery.

    Best to all,

    Standingman

     
    Old 01-15-2004, 07:41 PM   #55
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    Re: Good laminectomy outcomes wanted (really, all experiences)

    It is really good to hear more experiences. I'm glad to see you new ones, along with the "old" ones of course! I'm sorry you have had the problems you have, though.

    Home_stead, you have really been through a lot. It seems you have a positive attitude, though, and have learned ways of coping. I guess that's something important for all of us to do.

    I keep vaccilating about surgery. The good days, I think why not just let it go, it's something I can live with, rather than risk the unknown. Then along comes a day like today. This afternoon the pain was as bad as it's ever been. I left work, barely able to drive home. At home, tried to just relax, but the pain was so bad, I just got more tense, which made the pain worse, which made me more tense...... Finally I gave in and took pain med and got in a tub of hot water. Hot baths always help me relax, and that helps the medicine to work. On a day like today, I always feel like I need to call the dr and say, "let's go ahead, as soon as possible".

    Thank you all for being here.

    StillWater

     
    Old 01-16-2004, 07:39 AM   #56
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    Re: Good laminectomy outcomes wanted (really, all experiences)

    this morning I can't urinate, even after breakfast, at least 3 glasses of water, a short walk, sitting in warm water - I just can't "go". I'm thinking this could be related to nerve compression, maybe increased by problems yesterday. any thoughts?

     
    Old 01-16-2004, 08:53 AM   #57
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    Re: Good laminectomy outcomes wanted (really, all experiences)

    Hi Stillwater!
    I think it is time to call the doctor. If you have bladder or bowel disfunction, that is a sign that you need medical attention. Call them, that's what they are there for!
    Keep us posted!
    Christina

     
    Old 01-16-2004, 08:59 AM   #58
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    Re: Good laminectomy outcomes wanted (really, all experiences)

    [QUOTE=StillWater]this morning I can't urinate, even after breakfast, at least 3 glasses of water, a short walk, sitting in warm water - I just can't "go". I'm thinking this could be related to nerve compression, maybe increased by problems yesterday. any thoughts?[/QUOTE]


    Stillwater,
    My DR told me the few weeks before my surgery that if I have any problems with urinating or bowels to go to the hospital and call him. Don't want to alarm you, but you should call and check with your DR asap to be sure! Hang in there!

    Greg
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    Old 01-16-2004, 09:52 AM   #59
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    Re: Good laminectomy outcomes wanted (really, all experiences)

    [QUOTE=gdbreedlove]Stillwater,
    My DR told me the few weeks before my surgery that if I have any problems with urinating or bowels to go to the hospital and call him. Don't want to alarm you, but you should call and check with your DR asap to be sure! Hang in there!

    Greg[/QUOTE]


    Stillwater--My thoughts are with you, as I strongly second Greg's suggestion. I would go to the ER directly and call your doc's office.
    Force be with you. Let us know how you're doing,

    Standingman

     
    Old 01-16-2004, 12:42 PM   #60
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    Re: Good laminectomy outcomes wanted (really, all experiences)

    Ditto here, Stillwater. Hope you're at the ER already. That is always what they asked on any evaluation-any problems urinating? Even the physical therapist after surgery. Good luck.


    Carol

     
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