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    Old 03-01-2006, 11:26 PM   #1
    MellerZ
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    Unhappy Pinched Nerve - Disc

    hi there!

    I am 20, m and I was diagnosed by my doctor on having a pinched nerve today. I have had this condition for about 1.5 years from now. I have tried Cortisone shots, Anti-inflamattory drugs, Physio, and other medicines to get rid of this pinched nerve. Today, I have learned that, i will finally get an operation regarding this condition. The doctor told me that the disc will be extracted and that's all I know. I am rather scared and pessimistic and I need more information regarding this procedure. Do you know anyone who knows info regarding surgery with pinched nerves? Please send me a link or information if you do know. Thank you very much for your help and take care.

    Mel

     
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    Old 03-02-2006, 11:38 AM   #2
    carol632
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    Re: Pinched Nerve - Disc

    Mel, many things can cause a pinched nerve...did your dr. tell you why yours is pinched? What kind of doctor are you seeing? Is he a orthopedic or neurosurgeon? Does he have a spine fellowship?

    I have to tell you that you shouldn't rush into surgery so quickly and you should get at least one more opinion to be sure that the surgery is necessary and that the right surgery is being done. So, let's back up for a minute. You need to get at least 2 opinions and both should be from surgeons who have fellowships. Furthermore, it should be explained to you what is being done and why.

    It wouldn't hurt for you to go on a search for information. You are very young to have to be dealing with this. It makes it extremely important that you have a good grasp of what is going on. You have only one back and once you are operated on, your back will never be the same.

    Carol
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    Last edited by carol632; 03-02-2006 at 11:38 AM.

     
    Old 03-02-2006, 01:04 PM   #3
    MellerZ
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    Unhappy Re: Pinched Nerve - Disc

    I was doing yoga at the time of the accident. He told me that there is very little room in my back for the nerves to move around. I had no explaination on what i going on and my doctor is an orthopedic surgeon.

     
    Old 03-02-2006, 01:08 PM   #4
    MellerZ
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    Unhappy Re: Pinched Nerve - Disc

    I have also tried a lot of drugs and I don't work and I gained weight to do the nerve and my doctor confirmed that there IS a pinched nerve and my conditions matches the results of my MRI. I am just running out of ideas and I don't know what to do and I don't knnow how this operation will go.

     
    Old 03-02-2006, 02:03 PM   #5
    mrbojangle
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    Re: Pinched Nerve - Disc

    Why don't you try a web search-- type in "pinched nerve" and you will get many sites for your problem.

     
    Old 03-02-2006, 02:19 PM   #6
    MellerZ
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    Unhappy Re: Pinched Nerve - Disc

    I have tried looking on Google but, all I find is about the need for operation or something and it doesn't clearly tell me what will happen on the procedure and risks, etc.

     
    Old 03-02-2006, 03:12 PM   #7
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    Re: Pinched Nerve - Disc

    Mellerz,

    Carol asked you about the surgeon having a spine fellowship. The reason is that both ortho and neuro surgeons do work on backs, as well as other areas of the body. But, either who has completed an extensive spine fellowship of 1-2 years and then dedicates their practice to just the spine would be a spine specialist and far advanced in the treatment of the spine.

    Ortho and Neuro surgeons can of course do discectomies, if that is what is needed, and of course they can do much more. However, when it comes to the spine and having something more than a discectomy, a number of us who have experienced a lot with our spines do highly recommend that individuals seek out true spine specialists.

    That being said, let me address the fact that you have dealt with this for a year and a half. When I had my first several discs that herniated, I was seeing a general ortho and neuro surgeon team and had great care. However, with the last herniation, I again went through all the non-invasive procedures and got to the point of the facet injections to be used as a diagnostic process prior to surgery. The standard here is that they do not do these injections themselves, but use the hospitals anesthology department who normally does facet injections, discograms, etc. Well, I wound up paralyzed from the waist down and lost control of bowels and bladder. Thankfully it was only temporary for more than a month, but frightening, none the less.

    I'm not telling you that to scare you from obtaining any needed care, but to point out that you want to know who you are dealing with and what is being done. You must be your own best advocate.

    Once paralyzed, these doctors were more concerned with protecting the anesthologist than with treating me, so paralyzed, I wound up seeking new care. It was then, that I learned that there were indeed true spine specialist, and I did find a marvelous one, but it took me time. If you don't know what to look for or how to find them, use the search feature at the top of the board for threads I started as I have a post on how to find spine specialists in your area.

    Secondly, what the general ortho and neuro surgeons had not told me while I attempted to not have surgery, was that the longer I waited and while experiencing the consistent, constant severe pain, I was risking NOT having the likilhood of a full recovery. Once I found the RIGHT spine specialist for me, then I learned that as a general rule, when a nerve is severely pinched or crushed, if you will, andn that problem is corrected within 6 months there is an excellent chance for full recovery. That drops to a 75% chance at about 9 months, and only a 50% chance for full recovery at about a year or so. Of course, the amount of pressure on the nerve, how constant, etc all play a part, so it is not a hard and fast measure.

    I had already been more than 10 months with that misery and was indeed fortunate that I was able to get rid of the pain, but not the numbness/tingling that I had in the toes. I can live with that, but it floors me still that many general ortho and general neuro surgeons will work with the patients to avoid surgery BUT NOT lay out all the information about what they are risking. Gosh, I am lucky, as by that point I could have wound up with little relief of the pain and maybe got rid of the numbness, and I could have wound up remaining bent over at the waist as I had been for more than 10 months.

    The top of the boards has a post from Bionic Witch about new info for lots of us. It has the web address for spine universe, which is one of several excellent sites for you to reach about your specific diagnosed condition. I encourage you to read and to ask specific questions of your doc. I also encourage you to find my post and look at your doc's credentials and find out if they are a spine specialist or not, and finally, I agree with Carol again. Don't jump into surgery without getting at least one other opinion, from another spine specialist.

    You are young and if you are going to have problems this early, you definitely should be dealing with a spine specialist, so hopefully you can avoid years of problems ahead.

    Best wishes and let us know how you are doing.

     
    Old 03-02-2006, 03:19 PM   #8
    MellerZ
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    Unhappy Re: Pinched Nerve - Disc

    I have been talking with an anesteceologist and a spine specialist. I just want to know the procedures regarding disc extraction since my specialist told me that, that is the operation that I need done since A disc is pinching my nerve. I am just tired and have been in pain for a long time. I am sure you understand what it's like to have this pain in your back and not being able to go and do normal things in live. I have done Cortisone shots, taken truckloads of pills, and I cannot sit for long periods of time. This condition has also made me feel depressed. I am not able to look for work since I am in pain every 5 hours. Again, I just need to know information regarding my operation that will extract the disc and all the risks that comes with it. Thank you for the information and the caution.

    Last edited by MellerZ; 03-02-2006 at 03:21 PM.

     
    Old 03-02-2006, 03:53 PM   #9
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    Re: Pinched Nerve - Disc

    I can feel for you, I had surgery for a herniated disc in 2003 and the same disc again 6 weeks later in 2004. last week I was getting out of bed and I thought I reherniated it. I have deep butt pain, pain in the calf and around the ankle. When I am laying down I am fine, but when I have to get up for any reason the pain is awful. I had an mri and they told me nothing has changed and they told me that I have a pinched nerve in the lower back. I have an appointment with the Dr who did the disctomey later this month. But for now I am seeing my chiropractor to see if he can give me some relief. Had one appointment so far and it hasn't helped. I still wake up at 1 to 2 am in pain and my wife hears me scream out. Let me say this If I yell out in pain I am in serious pain. I'm a construction worker and have has some painful days. I also had the shots in the spine until they nolonger worked and figured it was time to have the operation. They have me on vicodine and valium, it does'nt help with nerve pain at all. Only you can decide whats best for you. When you see the Dr they wil explain it all to you if you ask them too.

    Good luck

     
    Old 03-02-2006, 04:01 PM   #10
    MellerZ
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    Unhappy Re: Pinched Nerve - Disc

    Thank you Joe

    Thank you for your sympathy. I have been taking Tylenol 3 every 5 hours for aobut 1 and a half years from now. Like I said, I used to be slim now, I have gained a few pounds and I would like to return to being active. I went on vacation and I had the pain and let's just say it's not fun to have this thing. I got this pain in the first place because of yoga and I like excercising and its sad. Anyway, I hope you feel better and thank you very much for your kind words.

     
    Old 03-02-2006, 04:29 PM   #11
    Suzy-Q
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    Re: Pinched Nerve - Disc

    Hello MellerZ-
    Welcome to the boards and very sorry to hear of your troubles. I am dealing with a piched nerve in my neck. Actually, I think it is a pinched nerve but I don't have an MRI as yet. My thumb and index finger are numb and I have pain from my neck right down my arm. That's my story.
    I just wanted to trhrow in that if your doc has said she/he will be extracting a disc then there are a number of possible questions you should be considering. If a whole disc is taken out then something else has to be put in. It is possible that your own bone would be hervested to fill that gap. Or you might be going to receive a synthetic type of cage or spacing device (usually along with some bone) as a way to maintain the distance between the 2 vertebrae. Finally, you might be a candidate to receive an ADR (Artificial Disc Replacement, I think). There may even be other options I'm forgetting.
    My point is to emphasize that all surgeries are more complex than they are sometimes presented to us. There is much to be considered. Will your doc go in from the back (posteriorly) or front (anteriorly). Laser surgery? How sure are you that this disk and this pinced nerve are the only sources of your pain/discomfort/disability? I could go on and on but I just want to get you thinking and asking specific questions. A look around this board will tell you why that is good advice! I wish you the very best of luck with whatever you decide to do. Have you set a surgery date yet? Suzy-Q

     
    Old 03-02-2006, 04:41 PM   #12
    MellerZ
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    Unhappy Re: Pinched Nerve - Disc

    I have not set a date yet since my doctor's secretary will give me a call regarding the date of surgery. Those questions you have told me needs to be addressed and thank you for them. I really appreciate the help. They have to replace the disc?

     
    Old 03-02-2006, 04:49 PM   #13
    JoeD617
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    Re: Pinched Nerve - Disc

    Hi Meller, I forgot to mension I also gained weight, after being out of work of over a year to heal and getting of of those pain meds (morphine) I developed a hunger for sweets .. chocolate . I was 5'10" 195lbs and went up to 230 lbs and back down now to 220. but now with this I will gain the weight back. Kinda stinks but do try to keep a sence of humor if at all possible. I do get crabby and snap at my wife <not often though> but she understands the pain I am in. And if you do have surgery get yourself into a pain managemnet program or see if your primary care Dr will write pain meds for you. The surgeons are not in the habit of writting the scripts for you, once the operation is done they give you meds for 2 to 4 weeks and thats it. so you need to talk to your primary care Doc.

     
    Old 03-02-2006, 05:19 PM   #14
    notpain
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    Re: Pinched Nerve - Disc

    Always get at least 3 second opinions BEFORE surgery. You can't undo surgery, and you may find better treatment options. And you have learned drugs don't cure.

     
    Old 03-02-2006, 06:42 PM   #15
    MellerZ
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    Unhappy Re: Pinched Nerve - Disc

    I just need to ask the questions with my doctor when he calls me back. Thank you for all y'all responses. Has anyone of you ever had the disc extraction? If you, did the doctor have to replace the disc? The doctor just told me that, there is very little room for all the nerves in my back to move around.

     
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