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  • L2-S1 Laminectomy with instrumented fusion, getting ready

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    Old 07-04-2008, 09:49 AM   #16
    Backtobasics
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    Re: L2-S1 Laminectomy with instrumented fusion, getting ready

    [QUOTE=paula456;3633711]Richard, lived in Vienna for a while, a number of years ago.

    I think after looking at all of my options, even today at 1 1/2 weeks out of surgery, there really was no choice for me. The disc between L5 and S1 was completely collapsed on one side resulting in bone on bone pain, and the disc above was heading there. My pain has been progressing for the past 3 years and there was nothing that was going to help it. My only other choice was to try to live through the rest of the collapse and hope the vertebrae would eventually self-fuse. The risk there is alignment - would it self-fuse and still maintain correct alignment? No way to know.

    I've also been worried about becoming a burden, but I was already becoming one. Over the past year my entire focus has been getting to work, lasting through the day, getting home from the work. I could do less and less at home, have less and less enjoyment in life, and everything was requiring narcotics just to do something as simple as empty a dishwasher. I've always been very independent, it was devastating.

    So, here I sit in my brace, even more dependent but looking at a future of less pain. I can already say the leg pain is gone, so that's step number one. Most of the pain right now is back/incision related, so not too shabby. I was told I'll be even more comfortable tomorrow after the staples come out. I hope they're right

    Happy Fourth! Enjoy the day!

    [/QUOTE]

    Paula, sounds like we have been living through the same thing for quite some time. Recently, I've been noticing more and more weakness in the legs after walking no doubt related to the stenosis and the multiple degenerated disks. You reach a point where you ask yourself, "is this the way I want to spend the rest of my life?" Not an easy decision (surgery) and I am a firm believer that you have to go through all the less invasive options first - PT, stretching, shots, heat/cold, back supports, Motrin like it was going out of style, and if nothing helps, it's time to (excuse the expression) poop or get off the pot. It's not going to get better when the source of the problem is structural versus a sprain, a lifting "oops", etc.

    The diskectomy I had about 10 years ago really didn't do much for me and the back has gotten apprciably worse (degenerative-wise) since according to the doc when he looked at the last MRI and myelogram. Short story made long, back surgery is not something one should rush into but I have a confidence in my surgeon and this could change my life for the better. One can only hope.

    'Just came back from Starbucks where I had a coffee, read the paper, and enjoyed a fine cigar outside. I won't be able to do that for a while so I am enjoying while I can.

    Last edited by Backtobasics; 07-04-2008 at 09:51 AM.

     
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    Old 07-05-2008, 02:38 AM   #17
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    Re: L2-S1 Laminectomy with instrumented fusion, getting ready

    Well, Starbucks is overrated anyway

    Got the word yesterday evening, my nurse will be here today to remove the staples and to bring the bone growth stimulator. I've been told it will be 1/2 hour/day and the results they've been getting from this device are tremendous. First visit back with the doctor, and xrays, on 8/1, so we shall see.

    Richard, you've done all you can so it looks like the right decision. In my case, by the time the DDD was diagnosed PT was making it worse instead of offering any help at all. I didn't have a number of other non-invasive choices because the pain was not caused by direct nerve impingement (although I do have stenosis.)

    But I also went into this with some confidence. I had a laminectomy at L4/5 25 years ago, that was 100% successful and relieved 100% of my pain. As my doctor said at the time, the rupture was so severe it was easy to locate and repair. I'd say it was probably my own stubbornness that kept me from seeing doctors when the pain started 3 years ago. Perhaps PT could have helped then, perhaps not. Perhaps I'm still in the same place I'd have been anyway.

    However, it does sound like you're confident in your decision and your doctor, so perhaps the way to approach this is the same as I've been trying - it's an investment in your future.

    Last edited by Administrator; 08-05-2008 at 01:59 PM. Reason: removed quote

     
    Old 07-05-2008, 07:52 AM   #18
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    Re: L2-S1 Laminectomy with instrumented fusion, getting ready

    Hi Paula, Glad to hear you are doing well and staying positive. Imm new here and think we are at about the same stage in recovery I get my staples out on Tuesday. Let me know how its going. My leg pain has almost gone too and i take that as a positive sign! I have a new burning in my back but i think it is nerve related, like swelling down so nerves are coming back. Well best of luck and keep me posted how you are doing!

    Debbie

     
    Old 07-05-2008, 07:59 AM   #19
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    Re: L2-S1 Laminectomy with instrumented fusion, getting ready

    HI I agree starbucks is overrated! Hope you are doing well. i was curious about what yyou are using to help your bones fuse or grow? and how is that going for you? I have had similar surgery 9 days ago. severe spinal stenosis, disc protrusion unstable spine, got 2 fusions L5-S1 was shot (25 years ago surgery too!) and L4-L5 was heading there. so i had a "cleaning out of bone in spine for lack of a better word. 2 fusions, rods and my bone from hip used for fusion. anyway, i think we have similar case. how are you doing now??

    Debbie

     
    Old 07-05-2008, 09:21 AM   #20
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    Re: L2-S1 Laminectomy with instrumented fusion, getting ready

    Hi Debbie!

    The nurse just left having just removed the staples. It was a breeze. I also have pain in the center lower back and it's a bit swollen, but she thinks it's from the brace rubbing on the staples.

    I have been a cigarette smoker, so my doctor uses a Bone Growth Stimulator as standard procedure to encourage fusion. According to his nurse, since he started using this device he hasn't had a single incident of refusion necessary. She delivered it today and we'll start using it tonight - it has to be used the same time every day and will not allow you to turn it on more then once in a 24 hour period. It then self-times for 30 minutes. Basically, you just strap it to your lower back.

    Good thing my insurance is covering the device, since I now own it and since it's a prescription device it can't be resold. The cost for it is staggering. When I'm done with it I'll donate it to the medical supply place so it's available for folks who don't have insurance.

    So, good luck Deb, and I'm only a few days ahead of you!

     
    Old 07-05-2008, 04:10 PM   #21
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    Re: L2-S1 Laminectomy with instrumented fusion, getting ready

    That sounds great.. do you know the name of the device? Luckily i was able to quit smoking almost 2 years ago.. a struggle that was.. but you know how it is. i would like to ask my doctor about it as i have poor circulation anyway. Glad you are doing well. Lets keep in touch and see how things go!! Is your back still swollen where it looks straight to your butt? I want to tell the dr he mistakingly but in a "man back!" I never thought of the cosmetic issue.. Stay well!!

    Debbie

     
    Old 07-05-2008, 04:11 PM   #22
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    Re: L2-S1 Laminectomy with instrumented fusion, getting ready

    oh... sorry a bone growth stimulator.. just saw it again. BRAINFREEZE.

     
    Old 07-05-2008, 04:37 PM   #23
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    Re: L2-S1 Laminectomy with instrumented fusion, getting ready

    Hi Debbie,

    That's exactly where I'm swollen but I was told not to worry about it. She said it's from the staples and brace causing an irritation.

    Well, just did my first treatment with the stimulator. As I was told, you'd never know anything was going on. Seems this type of device isn't that unusual and has been used for years for people who have broken bones that have had difficulty healing.

     
    Old 07-06-2008, 06:28 AM   #24
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    Re: L2-S1 Laminectomy with instrumented fusion, getting ready

    Im glad there is no pain involved. I went reading a bit more about the fusion and now realize with the help of people here that i really do need to be more careful, so my fusion can get nice and strong. I am already taking it easy - er.

    Debbie

     
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