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scared of surgery


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Old 02-27-2003, 08:50 AM   #1
BABS42
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Post scared of surgery

Dr. picked up symptoms quickly, did MRI and sent me right to Neurosurgeon. Herniated disc C5-6 which presses spinal cord and buldge with spurring on C6-7. Bad headaches, tingling in head,shoulder pain,arm weakness,dead arms at night time,fingers get numb,neck pain,and yada yada. Grabbing an empty shop cart one day, caused major limitation and I could barely move,Thank God daughter was with me.Not always good at describing pain and sensations.NS says head pain would normally be from the disc above it, said people are sometimes wired different though.Did Brain MRI also to check for whatever.I go back next week.EMG showed nerve damage directly from disc, also neuropathy from others possible sources,did bloodwork. He mentioned surgery on 1rst visit, which I didnt want to hear. Scares me alot. I made it through very long periods of pain with L-4-5 L5-S1 disc hern, without surgery, after alot of personal research I opted to perservere and utilize all other options. But pressing on my spinal cord just "scares me". I have kids to raise and dont want to worry about the smallest accident which could bruise my cord and cause permanent damage.I also dont want to go through surgery if I dont have to.

[This message has been edited by BABS42 (edited 03-07-2003).]
__________________
Jan 03
C5-6 DISC Protrusion Touching Spinal Cord.
C6-7 Buldging Disc w/ spurs
2 types of Neuropathy on upper R-with some nerve damage. Nerve damage more severe on upper L.


Arachnoid Brain Cyst- Posterior Fossa

 
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Old 02-27-2003, 09:07 AM   #2
Debbie2
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Babs, keep reading these posts on the site and go back if you need to. We are very familiar with this (Iam, had it) and it's not as awful as you are imagining right now. Renee is due back from the surgery any minute. You have a common area that is not near as bad a recovery and others.
Good luck and don't be too nervous, really not so bad.
Debbie

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Debbie2
ACDF fusion (c5c6) with titanium plate and screws using donor bone -
September 4, 2002.
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Debbie2
ACDF fusion (c5c6) with titanium plate and screws using donor bone -
September 4, 2002.

 
Old 02-27-2003, 09:35 AM   #3
melanie dawn
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hI Babs,
just wanted to say welcome to the board. You've come to the right place. There is a wealth of knowledge and experience to share here. And the support and understanding will amaze you. We are blessed to have this site, which has at times been such a life line for me, and i'm sure i'm not alone in saying that.
So try to read the posts, both present and past, there is tons of info there. Also search the web and learn as much as you can. The more you know and understand your condition , the better you can make informed choices. Good luck to Mel
__________________
Congenital Cervical Stenosis,complicated by:
Paracentral Disc herniations ,bone spurs C4/5,C5/6,C6/7
loss of lordotic curve
Advanced myelopathy inc. walking difficulty, loss of gag reflex with swallowing problems, neurogenic bladder, occipital neuralgia, spacticity

 
Old 02-27-2003, 11:16 AM   #4
franjo
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Hi Babs, and Welcome!

I can't speak to your specific problem, but there are many here who can, and I'm sure, will. Lots of knowledgeable people here who understand what you're going through. I have a tethered spinal cord which has been stretched to its limit, so I do understand your fear of damaging your cord. And I think that all of us here understand about others not understanding. The people who love us try to understand, but of course, cannot fully. Here, it is another story. Everyone here is on the same page. I've had spina-bifida all my life (44 yrs.) and this is the first time I've been able to talk about my condition and concerns with people who really do understand. So feel free to express yourself....in whatever form that may take. I think you'll like it here......franjo
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Spina-bifida occulta; Congenital Scoliosis (dextrorotatory and 'S' curve, 42 thorasic and 57 degrees lumbar); Meningomyelocele (split cord @ L1); Diastematomyelia (re-sectioned at L2-3); tethered cord @ S-3; cysts on cord; various developmental abnormalities of the spine: narrowing of all disk spaces, defects in posterior arches, ectasia of the spinal canal and dura, segmental disease, sclerosis in L. iliac bone and adjacent sacroiliac joint, unilateral osteitis condensans ilium, hypertrophic facet disease L4-5 and L5-S1.

Surgeries include, but not limited to:
Lumbar fusion-1968
Fusion with Herrington Rod instrumentation-1970
Femoral osteotomy-1971
Tethered cord release-1987
Rod removal-1987
Chiari-type pelvic osteotomy-1988
Trochanteric osteotomy-1989
Tethered cord release-2003
Fusion with instrumentation with lots and lots of screws-2003

 
Old 02-27-2003, 01:50 PM   #5
BABS42
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Thanks for the welcomes. I will keep reading to gain knowledge. Good luck Mel, it sounds like you've been through alot.
__________________
Jan 03
C5-6 DISC Protrusion Touching Spinal Cord.
C6-7 Buldging Disc w/ spurs
2 types of Neuropathy on upper R-with some nerve damage. Nerve damage more severe on upper L.


Arachnoid Brain Cyst- Posterior Fossa

 
Old 02-28-2003, 10:39 AM   #6
Mike32
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Debbie,

Since it has been a while since your surgery. How was the recovery and how do you feel today vs before? Do you have any new limitations athletically etc. Sorry, you don't have to answer all this if you don't want to but I'm interested in what to expect too.

Mike

 
Old 02-28-2003, 11:32 AM   #7
norm
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Hi Babs.
The brain MRI was basically routine and u were c/o headaches. Dr's just being thurough.
Mind telling the surgery rec'd?
Thanks,
Norm

 
Old 02-28-2003, 03:35 PM   #8
BWL
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Babs-

I had a disk rupture in December 2002 causing incredible weakness, arm pain, loss of feeling in a few fingers, and loss of tricep reflexes in that arm. I couldn't write and was only able to work a handful of hours any given day. Sleep was not an option.

Conservative treatments failed and there was concern in my case of permament damage. I had ACDF on January 29, just over 4 weeks ago, and I feel great.

My pain is gone and the strength in my arm will return in time with a little help. I have some residual tingling and numbness in my fingers which may or may nor get better, but that's okay.

The surgery was not bad at all with the worst part being a bad sore throat and pain when coughing or sneezing for about one week post-op. I went from 60mg of percocet a day pre-op for almost 7 weeks, to 3 days of Morphine in the hospital and the afternoon I was discharged I was able to control my pain with over the counter Tylenol Extra Strength. I've barely taken any Tylenol in the last two weeks.

For me, the surgery was the right way to go and I would do it again in a minute. Friends could actually see the difference in my face when I went from acute chronic pain to pain-free in a matter of hours. I nwas lucky and woke up in recovery with my pain gone.

If your docs all agree don;t be afraid to go for it. I look back on the weeks preceding my operation and it's just a blur. It's good to be back.

The people on this board have been, and continue to be, incredibly supportive and understanding. They have played a signficant role for me, particularly with the emotional aspect of this experience. Did I ever thank all of you??? Thank you!!

Feel well
BWL

------------------
ACDF with plating and donor bone C6-7 (1/29/03)
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ACDF with plating and donor bone C6-7 (1/29/03)

 
Old 03-01-2003, 06:56 AM   #9
BABS42
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Norm, I know the brain scan was just being thorough. Im sure the results will show that "it" is still there. LOL But the answer to your question,(kind of surgery received?) I didnt have any surgery yet. I go back Weds.

To BWL Thanks for response. Glad to hear you are doing ok. It sounds like they moved pretty quickly on you. After the surgery, do you ever feel like your throat is gonna close or anything like that?
__________________
Jan 03
C5-6 DISC Protrusion Touching Spinal Cord.
C6-7 Buldging Disc w/ spurs
2 types of Neuropathy on upper R-with some nerve damage. Nerve damage more severe on upper L.


Arachnoid Brain Cyst- Posterior Fossa

 
Old 03-01-2003, 07:15 AM   #10
Debbie2
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mike32:
Debbie,

Since it has been a while since your surgery. How was the recovery and how do you feel today vs before? Do you have any new limitations athletically etc. Sorry, you don't have to answer all this if you don't want to but I'm interested in what to expect too.

Mike
Mike my recovery was very non eventfull. Being most of you were not around when my surgery happened, I had no time to think about it. My mother in law passed away the day before and our family insisted I go through with it. So, I had surgery and got back to my room at 7pm and was released the next morning at 10am. Went directly for my miami j collar and was at my dear MIL's viewing at 2p.m.. Honestly, I was off work six weeks, could have gone back at 4! It was pretty non eventful. Sleeping was a little uncomfortable, and I sneezed once and don't like to even think about that
Now, my neck still cannot turn as far to the right or left as before, but I opted for no PT. Do and did not want to take any chances in hurting something. My arm took a few weeks to gain it's strength back, but other than that, I consider it a piece of cake for what I had it built up in my mind to be. I am crazy afraid of needles, so the IV was the worse for me. Often I have said before, I dread dental work more
When I woke up from surgery, all my pain was gone. Before surgery I had severe pain in my arm, especially the elbow, spasms in the arms, numbness in my hand and had no feeling in my thumb whatsoever.
Sorry to have rambled on here, hope I answered your questions. Soreneckman and Renee, just had surgery and it will be interesting to follow their recovery. I expect it will be the same as mine and they are glad it was done.
Debbie2


------------------
Debbie2
ACDF fusion (c5c6) with titanium plate and screws using donor bone -
September 4, 2002.

[This message has been edited by Debbie2 (edited 03-01-2003).]
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Debbie2
ACDF fusion (c5c6) with titanium plate and screws using donor bone -
September 4, 2002.

 
Old 03-01-2003, 10:25 AM   #11
BWL
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Babs-

We did indeed move very quickly in my case. This was due to the sudden onset and severity of symptoms along with the failure of epidurals etc. In fact, the doctor told me after my third shot that something was definitely abnormal as I wasn't even experiencing the sensation one normally feels when receiving one of these shots. Also, from the time of my first neuro exam to the last which was 3 weeks later, my neurologic defecits had worsened and I was losing reflexes on the "good" side of my body. No surprise, the disk had ruptured and almost encircled the entire cord along with nerve root compression and lots-o-pieces of disk all aorund. The cord was completely pushed to one side.

I had already effectivly missed 5 weeks of work and as a small business owner this was not a good thing, so given the apparent course of my disease and work obligations we moved foward. I met with my surgeon at a 7am Saturday meeting to review Myelagram results and he anticipated a Wednesday surgery which the hospital confirmed on Monday. I had suspected he would schedule me quickly so I had already gotten my stuff in order and was good to go. I went to my office early in the morning the day of my surgery which was scheduled for 5pm. I got home from the office at 9:30am and the hospital called saying the surgeon wanted to move me up and that I should come in immediately. We operated at 2pm.

I was ready so sooner was better than later. All worked out well and I look forward to getting to the point I can get some exercise.

I had some initial throat problems and they mostly passed within 3 weeks.

I must say, I was lucky in one respect. I was only required to wear a soft collar after surgery and even then did not have to wear it when I was sitting at home. My surgeon views the collar as semi-optional. I wore it when I was outside for the first 4 weeks and this Thursday past was the first day I went out collar-free.

I feel for you guys that are wearing those hard collars. I'm a bit claustraphobic and that woud have driven me up the walls. Of course, when I get my first fusion x-rays next month I pray all is well.

I coped with this by studying the procedures and learning all I could (including medical texts). I wish I had found this board prior to my surgery!

I think someone else posted about Renee and Soreneckman, they just had the procedures this past week so you have a great opportunity to see everybody in different stages of recovery and pre-surgical panic. SherryElaine is scheduled for March 6th - can you feel the excitement??

I am off for a pain-free walk.

All the best mi amigos!
Bruce

------------------
ACDF with plating and donor bone C6-7 (1/29/03)

[This message has been edited by BWL (edited 03-01-2003).]
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ACDF with plating and donor bone C6-7 (1/29/03)

 
Old 03-01-2003, 12:07 PM   #12
norm
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Babs, rec'd = recommended. Try to relax a little bit for now. Since you haven't a had rec yet you might be getting ahead of the game. Sounds like there's a small chance you won't need surgery. Wait until Wed. & see what all the results have determined & what the final rec is. Please let us know. Good luck.




------------------

Norm
ACDF C5-6 without plating 7/97 (Iliac crest graft)

ACDF C3-4-5 with Ti ALP (fibular cadaver bone struts) 3/2000

Please Note: All of my posts are for informational purposes only and not to be construed as advice. Please consult your private physician for diagnosis and treatment.

 
Old 03-02-2003, 09:13 PM   #13
liz777
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Babs,

I am terrified of surgery as well but like you, I am also scared of spinal cord surgery.

Liz
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Old 03-02-2003, 09:15 PM   #14
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injury! sorry!!
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lizzy

 
Old 03-03-2003, 11:17 AM   #15
BABS42
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Liz777
Thanks for understanding! Its nice to know im not alone. It sounds like surgery has been recommended for you. Are you going to have it? Babs
__________________
Jan 03
C5-6 DISC Protrusion Touching Spinal Cord.
C6-7 Buldging Disc w/ spurs
2 types of Neuropathy on upper R-with some nerve damage. Nerve damage more severe on upper L.


Arachnoid Brain Cyst- Posterior Fossa

 
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