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    Old 01-10-2005, 12:29 PM   #1
    sharon van es
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    Question fusion L3 & L4 with Parkinson ? recovery?

    My husband has Parkinson and just had spine fusion of the L3 & L4 three weeks ago and seems to be less stable then he was the first week, Can anyone tell me why?

    Sharon

    Last edited by sharon van es; 01-10-2005 at 12:58 PM.

     
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    Old 01-10-2005, 05:51 PM   #2
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    Re: fusion L3 & L4 with Parkinson ? recovery?

    Sharon,
    I don't have the answers to your question, but I did want to welcome you to the boards. There are a unique group of helpful and very caring people on this board. Hopefully someone with some insight to your problem will come along and be able to answer your questions.
    Memaw

     
    Old 01-12-2005, 04:21 AM   #3
    sharon van es
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    Re: fusion L3 & L4 with Parkinson ? recovery?

    [B]Thank you [/B] [COLOR=Red][B]I hope someone can help[/B][/COLOR] I don't know what to do for him?

     
    Old 01-12-2005, 05:11 AM   #4
    Rhonni
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    Re: fusion L3 & L4 with Parkinson ? recovery?

    Welcome Sharon. Sorry your husband is having to endure all this, and sorry you're having to go through it as well.

    When you say he's not as stable, what exactly do you mean? Is he in more pain at week 3 than at week 1? Weaker? More emotional? Further information would help us give you some insight.

    Do know that week 3 is usually a difficult week. It's about that time that the morphine and anesthesia finally work all the way out of your system.

    The nervous system becomes completely wigged out after this surgery. Between the pain medications and the surgery itself, my nerves are still adjusting (I'm 17 weeks post-op from the same surgery).

    The muscles also scream at you after this surgery. It's about week 3 when they really start to remind us they are there. Is he walking? Routinely? For any significant distance? Have you inquired about in-home physical therapy? There are many leg exercises he can do that do not compromise his surgery, but will also help strengthen the back. These were a life-saver for me. So many people go home and do nothing for weeks and, in my opinion, this causes soooo much damage and extended recovery time.

    Just some thoughts. If you can share more information I'm sure you'll get some more opinions. He should have a follow-up apt with his surgeon coming up soon. I would mention your concerns to them.

     
    Old 01-12-2005, 08:08 AM   #5
    sharon van es
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    Re: fusion L3 & L4 with Parkinson ? recovery?

    He seems to be fine emotionally.
    His old back pain was gone the day after surgery; he now says it is incision pain.
    He is weaker; he only walks with the walker and being held with a chest belt and only about 50 ft. at a time. We try to walk him every 2hr.
    He does not seem to be in much pain. His chins hurt when he goes to bed (doctor said from him moving them while in surgery) he sleeps about 4hr. at a time.
    He only takes 1 or two hydra codeine a day. He is taking 3/ 800mg ibuprofen a day.
    He does not go back to bed once he is up, which is about 6:00 AM. He sits in the wheel chair (most of the time), desk chair and at the table in a straight back chair, he rest in a recliner a couple of times a day. His doctor said he could sit longer then the 20 min after the first doctor which was at 1 week post op.
    He has PT at home 2 times a week all she does is walk him about 5 min 3 times in the half hour visit, no exercises. He is wearing a brace when he is up. He is 66 years old.

     
    Old 01-13-2005, 12:56 AM   #6
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    Re: fusion L3 & L4 with Parkinson ? recovery?

    Sharon,
    I'm truly sorry both of you are having to go through all this. What are his symptoms from the Parkinson's? Did he already have a problem with his gait before surgery? If so, then his recovery is probably going to take longer. My father has Parkinson's also and has major back problems, but no one will do anything for him because he is 75 years old. He has a problem with his gait, he kinda leans to one side and shuffles some. Also his hands shake so bad when he tries to do anything, that I would think he would have a hard time with a walker.

    Oh, by the way, did his surgeon say it was ok for him to take the motrin? From everything I have heard that can prevent proper fusion.

    Best of luck to you both,
    Memaw

     
    Old 01-13-2005, 06:22 AM   #7
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    Re: fusion L3 & L4 with Parkinson ? recovery?

    [QUOTE=sharon van es][He is weaker; he only walks with the walker and being held with a chest belt and only about 50 ft. at a time. We try to walk him every 2hr.
    He does not seem to be in much pain. His chins hurt when he goes to bed (doctor said from him moving them while in surgery) he sleeps about 4hr. at a time.
    He only takes 1 or two hydra codeine a day. He is taking 3/ 800mg ibuprofen a day.
    He does not go back to bed once he is up, which is about 6:00 AM. He sits in the wheel chair (most of the time), desk chair and at the table in a straight back chair, he rest in a recliner a couple of times a day. His doctor said he could sit longer then the 20 min after the first doctor which was at 1 week post op.
    He has PT at home 2 times a week all she does is walk him about 5 min 3 times in the half hour visit, no exercises. He is wearing a brace when he is up. He is 66 years old.[/QUOTE]


    Being weaker 3 weeks post op is to be expected. Shins hurting, also common. Sleeping only in 4 hour increments...to be expected (we tend to wake up once the meds wear off). According to my doctor NO IBRUPROFEN is to be taken until 100% healed. I'm 4.5 months post-op and my doctor just allowed me to start taking them as of yesterday.

    It also sounds like he's up too much. I think it's great that he's sitting in a chair of any kind, but he needs to be resting/sleeping through the day too. This could be some of the reason for his incision discomfort. Sitting longer for 20 minutes is ok, and good, but rest/sleep is still very important this early. Sounds to me like your PT isn't too experienced with back issues. At 3 weeks post op I was doing leg exercises, and hamstring stretches (all with my back supported) and squats and arm exercises. Arm exercises because of the need to rely heavily on them for the first few months, as well as it's important to strengthen the entire back, not just the area that was operated on. As well, cardio-type exercises are important because increasing blood flood and oxygen promotes healing. The squats were good because this is the position you need to use in order to pick things up eventually. Since there is no bending, lifting, or twisting until fused, we have to learn other ways to maneuver. The leg/hamstring exercises are just good common sense. Doing them in supported positions do not compromise the surgery at all. He's not going to get there (or the road will be incredibly long) if all he's going to do is walk. Walking is GREAT and he shouldn't stop...but my guess is a lot of his discomfort is because he's not working the correct muscles.

    Continue to remind him that he just had horrendously major surgery. We tend to expect too much of ourselves and because of what we went through we also expect to be 100% better by a couple weeks. This recovery is going to take months.. guaranteed. REST is sooooo important. So is attitude. Make him take a couple naps per day (what else does he have to do??) just like we used to do with the kids. Also help him recognize the small accomplishments. Remind him where he was 3 weeks ago compared to now. When we don't see progress, we expect more, but seeing the progress will help him.

    Last edited by TxHunni; 01-13-2005 at 06:26 AM.

     
    Old 01-13-2005, 11:42 AM   #8
    sharon van es
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    Re: fusion L3 & L4 with Parkinson ? recovery?

    Went to the doctor he said he can see the start of fusion, 2 set of x-rays in 3 weeks.
    The doctor told my husband he could go back to work (could not believe it he works 10hr. a day 4 days) but I suggested he wait 2 more weeks and he said that would be fine. [B][COLOR=Red]Doctor says he is doing exceptionally well.[/COLOR] [/B] IBRUPROFEN: doctor says take it to keep the swelling down.
    MEMAWHURTS
    My husband was told by one doctor about 2 years ago that all he could do was take pain meds for his back. In November we ask his neurologist abut his back and he looked at the MRI and sent them to a neurosurgeon, we got a call 2 days later. Doctor said the back had to be fixed or he would not be able to walk.
    The neurosurgeon saw us and sent us to an orthopedic surgeon. 2 weeks later they did the surgery together. (4 Ĺ hr)
    He did have a gait problem but after the neurologist saw the MRI he said he thought it was 60% a problem with the back.
    His tremors are under control for the most part, he has been using a walker for the last 6 months. You may want to see another doctor, I am very glad we said something about it to his neurologist.

     
    Old 01-13-2005, 11:46 AM   #9
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    Re: fusion L3 & L4 with Parkinson ? recovery?

    I think I'm glad I didn't have his doctor. There's all kinds of documentation to show that ibruprofen interferes with the fusing process. And ... ok-ing him to go back to work at 3 weeks? That just sounds insane! He has all this pain, on the meds, and he's cleared for work? WOW

     
    Old 01-13-2005, 12:09 PM   #10
    sharon van es
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    Re: fusion L3 & L4 with Parkinson ? recovery?

    He only takes 1 or two hydra codeine a day. Doctor says that is very good.
    He gave him ibuprofen last week after he was on steroid Z pack for 7 days.
    He has a desk job, his neurologist wants him to continue to work because of the Parkinsonís, maybe that has something to do with going back so soon.

     
    Old 01-13-2005, 02:21 PM   #11
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    Re: fusion L3 & L4 with Parkinson ? recovery?

    Sharon,
    I'm so glad you found someone who would help your husband. My father has seen a neurosurgeon. He gave him some pain pills and sent him on his way. He confirmed he had problems with a disc but offered no other solution than the meds. But like I said before he is 75 and I can't blame a surgeon fo not wanting to be responsible if complications occured. What bothers me, I guess the most, is he offered him nothing other than meds. I believe he could be helped some with PT or maybe even injections, who knows.
    My father has given up and accepted the fact that he will be in pain for the rest of his life. He is a very strong man and still does more physical things than some men half his age. I am afraid for him to have any surgery, but at the same time I feel in my heart, he could handle it.

    Thanks for the suggestion though, I truly appreciate it.
    Best wishes to you and your husband,
    Memaw

     
    Old 06-06-2005, 06:45 AM   #12
    sharon van es
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    Question Re: fusion L3 & L4 with Parkinson ? recovery?

    Something has gone very wrong. George can't walk over 20 feet with the walker, and can't walk outside at all without being held with the gait belt. 6 months now since surgery and he dose not have the pain he had before, but can't walk. Can someone tell me what we can do? PT is twice a week and not helping. Now what? Surgeon says failed fusion, but says he canít walk because of the Parkinson. He was walking before fusion. Neuro has added new PD meds and he still canít get around.
    [COLOR=Magenta]Help Please
    Sharon[/COLOR]

     
    Old 07-13-2005, 10:12 AM   #13
    sharon van es
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    Unhappy Re: fusion L3 & L4 with Parkinson ? recovery?

    He is very weak and has very bad balance he now uses a walker all the time.
    Surgeon says fusion failed and he has more stenos of the spine. My husband has gone down hill so far since surgery. I donít think he should have another, but he canít stay in pain all the time. PD has taken its toil on him in the last 6 months. Still no tremors, dementia, breckensian. He had a MRI last week and his right foot moved by its self while he was having it. I ask him why he moved and he said it was like someone hit his funny bone he did not move. Pinís and screws in his back could they be touching a nerve? It did not happen through the whole test only at level 23. He canít say he has off or on time just the same all the time. Should he feel like he has some good time after he takes the meds? What can they do for the pain?

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    Old 07-13-2005, 12:21 PM   #14
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    Re: fusion L3 & L4 with Parkinson ? recovery?

    He had a Dr. Lutz orthopedic surgeon do the fusion and a neurosurgeon Dr. Buster do the decompression. They used his own bone. I live in Austin Texas. He has also seen Dr. Taylor (Dryer, Onan and Smith are all in the same group as taylor ) he said just take pain meds. If you know a spine specialist I would appreciate it and so would my husband. I looked at "spine care"

     
    Old 07-14-2005, 05:05 AM   #15
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    Re: fusion L3 & L4 with Parkinson ? recovery?

    Thank You I looked at the Texas board site as well.

     
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