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Avoid Back Surgery by having Bariatric Surgery Instead?

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Old 02-25-2008, 06:36 AM   #1
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Laenini HB UserLaenini HB User
Avoid Back Surgery by having Bariatric Surgery Instead?

I am a 42 year old woman with severe DDD in both my cervical and my lumbar spine. I have had a C4-5 ACDF in November of 2006 and now have re-herniated above and below my fusion. I also have a 9mm extruded posterior-lateral disk herniation at L 4-5 and a smaller central disk protrusion at L5-S1. i am in chronic pain with constant cervicogenic headaches, neck and shoulder pain from my neck issues, and then from my lower back problems I have chronic pain from the small of my back down into my buttocks, then radiating into my right hip and down my right leg. Twice in the last week I have fallen when my right leg abruptly gave out on me.

My neurosurgeon is hesitant to extend my cervical fusion, or to go ahead with a lumbar fusion at this time as I have another condition called Joint Hyper-mobility Disorder. Evidently this condition makes my joints too soft and flexible. The neurosurgeon says that therefore joints adjacent to any fusion sites will not be able to handle the additional stress the fusion creates upon them and are prone to herniating themselves, much like what has happened in the last year to my neck. He wants me to hold out as long as possible as he believes artificial disk technology is emerging and once it has matured a step or two further it might be the best answer in my situation.

All of this has gotten me to thinking. I'm quite a plump woman. At 5'4" I weigh 220 pounds and have a BMI of about 37. I tend to carry my excess weight on the upper half of my body. I have large breasts, large upper arms, and a large double chin all pulling on my damaged neck. I also have a large abdomen, pulling at my lower back. As my back problems have exacerbated my ability to be active has decreased significantly and right now I can only walk for a few minutes at a time. I have been thinking that losing as much as I can of my excess weight would remove allot of the stress and strain on my neck and back. And since exercise is difficult for me with my back issues I've been giving gastric bypass surgery some serious consideration.

I'm wondering, have any of you tried significant weight loss as a means to improve your back health? Has anyone else resorted to bariatric surgery? Did it make a difference? Would you do it again?

Thank you!
Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Type 3
Scheuermann's Kyphosis
Severe DDD with multiple herniations and areas of stenosis, 16 affected disks!
C4-5 ACDF 2006
C3-6 ACDF 2013
Chronic Myofaschial Pain Syndrome

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Old 02-25-2008, 08:06 AM   #2
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Location: tamarac,florida
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allieb HB User
Re: Avoid Back Surgery by having Bariatric Surgery Instead?

goodmorning,so sorry for you to be in so much pain. being in pain is horrible I know this first hand.Ive never had bariatic surgery although Ive had 4 major back surgerys. My weight increased with every surgery untill I was 263lbs everyone told me including the doctors lose weight and your back will feel better.Well I lose 83 lbs doing weight watchers, and I do feel alot better,but my back still hurts a lot.But I will tell you one thing however you lose weight you will be able to get around better every day things are easier to do.So do what you think is right for you and good luck...allie

Old 02-25-2008, 04:39 PM   #3
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apocalypto22 HB User
Re: Avoid Back Surgery by having Bariatric Surgery Instead?

Hi I'm 5'4 too,also 199 in weight,ridiculous.back trouble too,surgeon doesnt want to do fusion because weight will prevent a fusion to take.How did you do it on your diet?buy special food or something?I know a person who had that surgery but died from complications,but everyone different

Old 02-25-2008, 05:38 PM   #4
Join Date: Dec 2007
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mcda HB User
Re: Avoid Back Surgery by having Bariatric Surgery Instead?

Hello, Laenini...I will tell you the experience that my husband most recently went through. He has had three or four (lost count) left knee surgeries, and it continues to deteriorate, and the orthopedic surgeon suggested he have gastric bypass to try to "lessen the load" that he is carrying on his knees. The right knee is starting to "give out" also, due to arthritis and carrying the weight that his left knee can't. He is currently 6'4" or 6'5" tall and around 320 pounds. I pray that you will find the "right decision" that will give you relief. Please continue to keep us all updated about your condition!

Old 02-25-2008, 08:39 PM   #5
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: stow,ohio,us
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pulskaki HB User
Thumbs up Re: Avoid Back Surgery by having Bariatric Surgery Instead?

Hi there!!!
I did weight alot and did have the gastric bi pass, and I did loose 130lbs it took me about 1 1/2 years but here we are 4 years later and I have gained
75lbs back... you know that the meds that you take for the back or any other pain just like to make you a bit chunkier...I have fibro and I don't think that the pain will every go away..but I and going to try the pain pump... so what I am trying to say is if everyone who is over weight alway believes that if they lose weight the pain will go away.... Thin people also have pain. But if you lose the weight and you exercise regulary and get in shape things will work out fine for you...
Wish you all the luck in your ventures!!!!

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