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    Old 08-06-2003, 11:33 AM   #31
    StillWater
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    I appreciate hearing all the positive remarks and results as I consider having surgery w/ fusion. I have a couple of questions. What is an MMIP? What ages are represented? I am 64 and I read somewhere that it is most likely to have to be done again in those over 60.

    thanks.

    StillWater

    [quote]Originally posted by shg:
    [b]Blue2000,


    Last night I spoke to one of my closest friends brothers who's a physiatrist for a Top 10 college football program and who's specialty is spinal rehab. He gave me ALL the info on this and while it's huge surgery, my MMIP score, attitude, etc prove I will do well. Please everyone else, keep the positive energy coming. Let me hear from more of you about your POSITIVE EXPERIENCES.

    Finally, those of you who had bad outcomes, what was your MMIP score?[/b][/quote]


     
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    Old 08-07-2003, 08:10 AM   #32
    shg
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    Stillwater,

    I too have heard about needing more operations down the road after a fusion however, we can't think like that. There is NO reason to take the frame of mind of, now I had one, lets count the clock until the next. Take it as it comes and live life to the fullest and if another is needed, well, we'll deal with it then otherwise, enjoy your new and improved life.

    I'm still looking for more good outcomes...come on all...

     
    Old 08-07-2003, 09:10 AM   #33
    BionicSurfer
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    shg,

    Just wanted to pipe in here. My 2 level 360 degree was on Jan 9 2003 (almost 7-months). I returned to work 6 weeks later (wanted to come back sooner but Doc made me wait) I consider myself a success. I've been painting the exterior of my house for the last 3 weekends. Haven't missed a day of work. Just counting the days until surfs up. I can run and jump and play just like all the other 'almost-40-year-olds' (tee hee).

    I think those of us that have positive results feel a little guilty about being so fortuate, so we tend to shut up and 'lurk'.

    Ok, I'm going to go crawl back into my hidey-hole.

     
    Old 08-07-2003, 11:22 AM   #34
    shg
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    BionicSurfer,

    Don't lurk and don't "shut-up..." When I first came here, I came for support and while I received it, I was also made even more terrified than I was before because no one was positive...now, as we HAVE SEEN, there are positive outcomes and it's okay to be positive. WE OWE IT TO THOSE people coming here, who are scared, confused and are like I was, ruiining scared because all we hear about is, "I wish I never, don't get fusion, live in pain because the pain after is worse than before, etc"

    While a fusion may not work for all, we can't let only the negatives have a voice; it's not fair...let's give everyone the benefit of our positive experiences first and than we'll worry about other things afterwards...someone once said, when you have a successful operation, you're less likely to come to a site like this and share things...HOWEVER, you and others are still here "lurking" and I want you good outcome people to share that with us who are going to be having this operation.

    Again, keep the good news coming!!!

    SHG

     
    Old 08-07-2003, 12:44 PM   #35
    SharonJ
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    I agree with SHG completely. It is very scary to come to these boards and see so many horror stories. We need to hear both sides of the story, the good and the bad. I hope that all of those with good stories to tell will keep posting and motivating the rest of us. It really helps us stay strong and positive.

    ------------------
    Each and everyday you have the opportunity to Choose Your Attitude. Choose wisely.
    ************************
    Grade 1 Spondylolisthesis for 26 years, recently progressed to Grade II
    With marked canal and foraminal stenosis and severe compression of L5 Nerve root.
    Scheduled for L5/S1 360 degree fusion on 9/8
    DDD and bone spurs T11-S1
    Herniated C3-C4
    Disk/spur complex C4-C5
    Significant bone spurs C5-C6
    Can anyone say "just give me a whole new spine!"
    __________________
    Each and everyday you have the opportunity to Choose Your Attitude. Choose wisely.
    ************************
    Grade 1 Spondylolisthesis for 26 years, recently progressed to Grade II
    With marked canal and foraminal stenosis and severe compression of L5 Nerve root.
    360 degree L5/S1 fusion on September 8th with 6 screws and 2 rods. My pain is 99.9% gone...this is the best thing I've ever done!
    DDD and bone spurs T11-S1
    Herniated C3-C4
    Disk/spur complex C4-C5
    Significant bone spurs C5-C6. Told that my C-spine will not be helped by surgery.

     
    Old 08-07-2003, 01:33 PM   #36
    shg
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    Sharonj,

    I appreciate your comments. It's true, we need to be informed by both sides however, we MUST hear the good outcomes...NOT JUST THE BAD.

    Lets keep it coming...I know there are more positive's out there.

    Next, lets also start talking about how each persons experiences were after their fusion (limitations, feelings, etc) as well as how dedicated they've been after in their recovery. In doing this, I believe we'll start giving others (myself included) more positive feedback.

    SHG

     
    Old 08-07-2003, 03:47 PM   #37
    eliseanne
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    Hello Again!

    When I first found the boards, I was in so very much pain that I had reached the point of whether life was worth living in this much pain (even had a grandson on the way) I also was in major denial, up until about 3 weeks before my surgery. I read the boards and came across a young woman who, like me was 3 levels. This was her 2nd surgery! She was back up and runnin' before I had even gone in for mine. I just felt that if there are positive stories out there, I was going to be one of them. I also had an excellent doctor. I even changed my health insurance so I could go and have the surgery by him. Seaton Medical Center has worked on very famous people (Joe Montana being one) and also did my homework. The doctor was very up front and told me that 3 levels could in fact not be a great success. But, as I stated before, I had so many things going for me and the prospect of being 50 and in a wheelchair with a pain pump-Just wasn't an option for me. He has also told me that I may in fact have to take some kind of pain medication for the rest of my life. But the pain is no where near what it was. His hopes were to get me from a 10 down to a 2 or 3. I had L3 thru S1 fused. The reason it was done in 2 days is because its too difficult of a surgery to do in 1 day. They also used the BMP on me, so I will be a case study and there aren't too many of them around in my condition to follow. They told me before the surgery that my fusion would take place around 3 to 6 months, instead of the 6-9 months without. I just saw my x-rays 2 weeks ago (3mo.) and yep, I'm fusin' So yes, there are people out there with positive stories. I feel so bad for the failures, there are quite a few, but I also believe that having a good doctor is essential. I chose to go to an Orthopedic surgeon verses a neuro. because back surgery is basically carpentry. Neuro's deal with the nerves and such, but orthos work on the bones! Hope that this helps Elise

     
    Old 08-08-2003, 05:09 AM   #38
    SharonJ
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    Good morning SHG. I was wondering if your doctor offered you the chance to speak with other patients that have undergone fusions? If not, maybe you can ask. I'm waiting to hear back from the nurse at my doc's office with the names of some folks I can talk to. I'm really looking forward to this and I think that adding that to all the information and wonderful advice on these boards will help me really be prepared.

    How are you feeling today? This rain and humidity just keeps on going, making me miserable. I can't wait to have my surgery so that I can start healing and getting my life back. Hope you have a great day!

    ------------------
    Each and everyday you have the opportunity to Choose Your Attitude. Choose wisely.
    ************************
    Grade 1 Spondylolisthesis for 26 years, recently progressed to Grade II
    With marked canal and foraminal stenosis and severe compression of L5 Nerve root.
    Scheduled for L5/S1 360 degree fusion on 9/8
    DDD and bone spurs T11-S1
    Herniated C3-C4
    Disk/spur complex C4-C5
    Significant bone spurs C5-C6
    Can anyone say "just give me a whole new spine!"
    __________________
    Each and everyday you have the opportunity to Choose Your Attitude. Choose wisely.
    ************************
    Grade 1 Spondylolisthesis for 26 years, recently progressed to Grade II
    With marked canal and foraminal stenosis and severe compression of L5 Nerve root.
    360 degree L5/S1 fusion on September 8th with 6 screws and 2 rods. My pain is 99.9% gone...this is the best thing I've ever done!
    DDD and bone spurs T11-S1
    Herniated C3-C4
    Disk/spur complex C4-C5
    Significant bone spurs C5-C6. Told that my C-spine will not be helped by surgery.

     
    Old 08-08-2003, 05:56 AM   #39
    shg
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    Elise,
    It's great that you wrote this, I thank you and I know many others do as well. It's funny but when you look at this topic, we only have 37 responses and of that, only a handful of people who have written versus the hundreds of hits from the same people who are unhappy. What does that say? Like you, I too feel horrible for those who are in pain and have found no relief. I wish them all the best and would say as you did, it may be time to find a better surgeon. I have an amazing doctor here in NYC and he's operated on me before. I went to one of the best Neuro's and the top 4 ortho's here in NYC and they all concur, I need this done and they all say, if I needed an operation, I'd go to any of those you saw...these people have operated on some very famous people who needed fusions...you rarely hear about that but it does happen. I did so much homework on this and while I'm still scared, I'm ready for the adventure and I'm ready to do something fun for my 31st birthday in December.

    I really pray that I'm like you and the others who have posted here and I am indebted to you for taking the time to share this with me and us. If I didn't have this, I'd probably still be petrified and would continue to put off the inevitable...YOU'VE GIVEN ME THE HOPE as the others here who are successes are. Elise, let me ask you this, how far along are you now? What has it been like on a daily basis? What does your back feel like? What can/can't you do? This stuff would be most helpful as well.
    For those here who are still scared, I'm with you however, again, lets be positive, keep this link going, keep the great stories coming and help each other to succeed...

    SharonJ
    Good morning to you too. My doctor did in fact offer this to me. In fact, last Wednesday night, I spoke to a patient who was only 2 weeks post op from a 2 level 360 degree fusion. He was so glad he got it done. Unlike me, this was his first spinal operation so he had no idea what to expect...bottom line, he's feeling great, started walking the dog (said he can't pick up after it yet though) and is working towards getting back to work as a flight attendant. He even said, "if I had a desk job, I'd be able to go back now..." how great is that?

    If you get a chance, also speak to a physiatrist (a rehab doctor) and if you can, visit their practice to meet with other post lumbar fusion patients. If you do, you'll see 2 types of people...those who are dedicated to rcovery and won't be kept down and those who are just going through the motions who make fun of the others for working hard...makes you wonder what the HELL is wrong with them. Anyway, your doctor should give you someone to talk to and on your own, you should contact the rehab facility to see if you can meet anyone that way.

    I agree, if you can speak to people and add it here, it will only help than, when you go through your adventure, please, share it with us...the ups, the downs and during the downs, remember to be positive because we will be with you.

    Where are you getting your procedure done? Have you started to put your blood away?

    I'm feeling ok, a little sore but that's normal. I'm going away for the weekend and plan on taking it nice and easy...

    Remember, I know I'm a broken record, but lets keep the stories going and lets all be positive.

     
    Old 08-08-2003, 06:07 AM   #40
    StillWater
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    I like the topic, and I hope it keeps going. I'm a "glass half full" kind of person. In thinking about upcoming surgery (L4-L5 decompression w/ fusion), I would still like to hear of some possitive outcomes from the group of, let's say, age 55 and older.

    I'm still working and plan to go back to work. I am active and expect to stay that way. However, I do recognize there may be some differences in recovery time for different age groups.

     
    Old 08-08-2003, 06:55 AM   #41
    shg
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    Stillwater...

    Thank you for coming here and for the compliment...I think my point is being proven everytime someonw writes.

    Isn't age just a number? Whether your 30, 55 or 80, if your dedicated to yourself and are willing to be positive and work hard, you'll be a success. When are you looking at surgery? What levels? Tell us a little about yourself.

    SHG

     
    Old 08-08-2003, 07:25 AM   #42
    SharonJ
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    How exciting that you spoke to the fusion patient that is doing so well. That is such good news. I think part of the reason that we see fewer posts here from folks that have done well, is that, if they've done well, they are maybe not so much in need of the support to be found here. I have faith that we are dealing with a small subset of fusion patients here and that there are plenty of success stories out there. At the same time, it is important to be prepared and hear all that has to be said by those that have had a hard time.

    My surgery is being done at NYU Medical Center. Dr. Errico is the Chief of the Spine Service there and he says that is the best place for me to be. My only worry is the one hour car ride home. I have my appointment for pre-admission testing and blood donation on 8/27. I will be bringing 2 other donors with me, so I am sure to have plenty of blood available. Where are you having your surgery?

    ------------------
    Each and everyday you have the opportunity to Choose Your Attitude. Choose wisely.
    ************************
    Grade 1 Spondylolisthesis for 26 years, recently progressed to Grade II
    With marked canal and foraminal stenosis and severe compression of L5 Nerve root.
    Scheduled for L5/S1 360 degree fusion on 9/8
    DDD and bone spurs T11-S1
    Herniated C3-C4
    Disk/spur complex C4-C5
    Significant bone spurs C5-C6
    Can anyone say "just give me a whole new spine!"
    __________________
    Each and everyday you have the opportunity to Choose Your Attitude. Choose wisely.
    ************************
    Grade 1 Spondylolisthesis for 26 years, recently progressed to Grade II
    With marked canal and foraminal stenosis and severe compression of L5 Nerve root.
    360 degree L5/S1 fusion on September 8th with 6 screws and 2 rods. My pain is 99.9% gone...this is the best thing I've ever done!
    DDD and bone spurs T11-S1
    Herniated C3-C4
    Disk/spur complex C4-C5
    Significant bone spurs C5-C6. Told that my C-spine will not be helped by surgery.

     
    Old 08-08-2003, 07:41 AM   #43
    shg
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    Great surgeon...I actually saw a colleague of his who's just as well known...than I saw, Patrick O'Leary who's known as who you go to when the otthers screw up.I hope not to have to see him for that. I'm actually going to Franco Cerabona.

    I agree with you on the "subset" theory. So, are you getting excited?

     
    Old 08-08-2003, 07:51 AM   #44
    SharonJ
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    Yes, I am getting very excited. When Dr. Errico said I needed surgery I wanted him to do it that day. When he said I had to wait until September due to his schedule, I was dissapointed. When I make a decision, I just want to execute! Don't want to sit around wasting time and worrying about it. I look at this as a chance for a NEW LIFE and I want so much to get on with it. I maybe could have gone to another doctor and gotten it done sooner but, I feel strongly that Dr Errico is worth waiting for. I had to work at it to get to him and I feel he is really one of the best.
    I'm sure you said it in one of your posts but... when in Sept is your surgery? Which hospital will you be in?

    ------------------
    Each and everyday you have the opportunity to Choose Your Attitude. Choose wisely.
    ************************
    Grade 1 Spondylolisthesis for 26 years, recently progressed to Grade II
    With marked canal and foraminal stenosis and severe compression of L5 Nerve root.
    Scheduled for L5/S1 360 degree fusion on 9/8
    DDD and bone spurs T11-S1
    Herniated C3-C4
    Disk/spur complex C4-C5
    Significant bone spurs C5-C6
    Can anyone say "just give me a whole new spine!"
    __________________
    Each and everyday you have the opportunity to Choose Your Attitude. Choose wisely.
    ************************
    Grade 1 Spondylolisthesis for 26 years, recently progressed to Grade II
    With marked canal and foraminal stenosis and severe compression of L5 Nerve root.
    360 degree L5/S1 fusion on September 8th with 6 screws and 2 rods. My pain is 99.9% gone...this is the best thing I've ever done!
    DDD and bone spurs T11-S1
    Herniated C3-C4
    Disk/spur complex C4-C5
    Significant bone spurs C5-C6. Told that my C-spine will not be helped by surgery.

     
    Old 08-08-2003, 08:01 AM   #45
    shg
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    SharonJ,

    We're very similar in thoughts...together we can give these positive thoughts to the rest of those here...

    My surgery will be on September 23rd at St. Vincent's Hospital...they actually have a great Ortho department and I know much of the staff there so I know I'll be in good hands the whole way through...my father is Chairman of one of the medical departments there.

    SHG

     
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