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Old 10-12-2018, 04:36 AM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
1,631 posts, read 621,621 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Farmer Larry View Post

If you have had that many surgeries with good results you are the exception I can assure you. Most bad flareups will go away after a few weeks unless you are dealing with ruptured discs, that can be very chronic. At least 80% of the people I have spoke with or heard their story secondhand have not had much relief from back surgery, it is a very risky procedure. The overwhelming majority of them wish they had never had the surgery. I retired at a young age due to pain so I have been able to be inactive when needed and not push myself so I can recover and not make things worse.

.

Excellent summary.


Results tend to be poor because so many pts go to surgery for herniated disc when it's not the herniation that's causing their symptoms. (See my earlier post.) There's also the problem of scar tissue (can't be predicted or controlled) growing in and replacing the herniation and causing symptoms again. (Newer minimally invasive techniques are improving this problem.)


OTOH- lumbar laminectomy is not a "risky" surgery--few complications and almost no risk of "serious damage being done." (Look up spinal cord anatomy and particularly "cauda equina.")
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Old 10-12-2018, 09:22 AM
 
17,112 posts, read 14,765,913 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nbseer View Post
66 years old, 5'8" 150 lbs, only major health issue is spinal stenosis with occasional sciatica. MRI says L3 disc herniation affecting L3 and L4 nerve roots.

Pain is the worst getting out of bed in the morning, also walking or standing for more than 10 minutes. Sitting for five minutes eases the pain so I can walk some more before having to rest again.

Had a steroid injection, did nothing. Do stretching exercises they don't help much either.

I can ride my bike 30 miles and feel fine, since leaning forward opens the spinal canal. But I would like to be able to walk without pain for the rest of my life.

Don't want to have surgery... has anyone here had a laminectomy and does that provide permanent relief?
I had a laminectomy almost 3 years ago now. My disc herniations resulted in left leg pain and sciatica not back pain. Like you it was much worse in the morning or anytime I woke up, if I took a nap in the afternoon and woke up that would be bad then too. I went to PT and chiropractors during this time and it got worse and worse until I woke up one day unable to move at all. I ended up being out of work for 10 months. I had four epidurals none of which lasted more than a couple of weeks.

I had been trying to avoid surgery earlier because online you read a lot of horror stories about it. Due to the intense pain however by then I didn’t care I just wanted relief. It turned out to be the best thing. I went in for surgery at 6 AM and by noon I was walking back up the stairs to my apartment. My pain was lower immediately after the surgery and gone within two weeks.

I had an L4-5 laminectomy. I had herniations, stenosis and a spinal cyst.
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Old 10-12-2018, 10:40 AM
Status: "Hillary_PAC_2020" (set 26 days ago)
 
Location: Brawndo-Thirst-Mutilator-Nation
15,123 posts, read 15,167,504 times
Reputation: 10860
I have the common and dreaded "bad lower back", have had it for years. Stretching and lower back exercises have helped me a lot with the pain, stiffness and functionality of that area. That being said, I think I could possibly benefit the most from minimally-invasive surgery in that area. Spinal fusion, and other major stuff being done to that area.......nope, not me.
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Old 10-12-2018, 11:40 AM
 
Location: Maryland
785 posts, read 228,960 times
Reputation: 1815
Quote:
Originally Posted by tickyul View Post
I have the common and dreaded "bad lower back", have had it for years. Stretching and lower back exercises have helped me a lot with the pain, stiffness and functionality of that area. That being said, I think I could possibly benefit the most from minimally-invasive surgery in that area. Spinal fusion, and other major stuff being done to that area.......nope, not me.
That was the first wrong turn in the road I took early on and I regret it. The first orthopedist I saw, not a spine specialist, wanted to do a fusion. That put me on the track of that discussion with other 3 docs I saw over the years. None of them would give me any better than about 1 out of 3 chances of seeing an improvement with a fusion....but none of them ever discussed any other options with me. Maybe they couldn’t offer them. Also a fusion could possibly prevent me from ever being able to get an MRI again and would put strain on already herniated adjacent discs. So I put up with it for decades.

This guy I finally went to see did x-rays of my spine in all sorts of different positions; he was the only one to ever do that. When he looked at them he said my alignment was good and I had very good spinal stability and I didn’t need a fusion. I almost dropped my jaw. All those years.........

So, that was why I made the recommendation to make sure to see a spine specialist.
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Old 10-12-2018, 01:05 PM
 
Location: Texas
3,690 posts, read 2,825,466 times
Reputation: 6066
Quote:
Originally Posted by LesLucid View Post
That was the first wrong turn in the road I took early on and I regret it. The first orthopedist I saw, not a spine specialist, wanted to do a fusion.

So, that was why I made the recommendation to make sure to see a spine specialist.
This is interesting to me. Can you elaborate on where and when this was? I know a lot of Orthopedic surgeons, and I don't know anyone who would consider having anything to do with the spine unless they are fellowship trained in spine and do it pretty much exclusively. Even if they wanted to, they usually can't due to liability and credentialing. Most credentialing applications I've seen ask all Orthopedic and Neurosurgeons specifically if they will be doing spine.

The idea of having a General Ortho doing spine surgery is really quite surprising to me. Neurosurgeons get a better broad exposure to spine during their training, but for Ortho, not so much.

Last edited by Texas Ag 93; 10-12-2018 at 02:22 PM..
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Old 10-12-2018, 01:13 PM
 
Location: Maryland
785 posts, read 228,960 times
Reputation: 1815
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Ag 93 View Post
This is interesting to me. Can you elaborate on where and when this was? I know a lot of Orthopedic surgeons, and I don't know anyone who would consider having anything to do with the spine unless they were fellowship trained in spine and pretty much do that exclusively. Even if they wanted to, they usually can't due to liability and credentialing. Most credentialing applications I've seen ask all Orthopedic and Neurosurgeons specifically if they will be doing Spine.

The idea of having a General Ortho doing spine surgery is really quite surprising to me. Neurosurgeons get a better broad exposure to spine during their training, but for Ortho, its really quite specialized.
It was probably well over 30 years ago. All I remember now is that it was in northern Virginia...I can’t even remember if it was affiliated with a hospital. It was a large group in a stand alone building but not on the grounds of a hospital as I remember it. The guy who referred me said this doctor had done both of his knees after a car wreck and he was very happy with him. I saw one more orthopedic guy after that, don’t remember his name either, then two neurologists over time.
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Old 10-12-2018, 01:23 PM
 
Location: The 719
13,605 posts, read 21,461,446 times
Reputation: 13261
Quote:
Originally Posted by nbseer View Post
66 years old, 5'8" 150 lbs, only major health issue is spinal stenosis with occasional sciatica. MRI says L3 disc herniation affecting L3 and L4 nerve roots.

Pain is the worst getting out of bed in the morning, also walking or standing for more than 10 minutes. Sitting for five minutes eases the pain so I can walk some more before having to rest again.

Had a steroid injection, did nothing. Do stretching exercises they don't help much either.

I can ride my bike 30 miles and feel fine, since leaning forward opens the spinal canal. But I would like to be able to walk without pain for the rest of my life.

Don't want to have surgery... has anyone here had a laminectomy and does that provide permanent relief?

I will sit with bottom of my feet together, knees apart. Then I'll rub the inner part of my legs across the tendons, where it's very tight, and work the kinks out there, carefully though. A little at a time, see if that doesn't give instant relief.

My lower back pain is in my legs, but hey, that's just me, your mileage may vary.
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Old 10-12-2018, 02:21 PM
 
Location: Texas
3,690 posts, read 2,825,466 times
Reputation: 6066
Quote:
Originally Posted by LesLucid View Post
It was probably well over 30 years ago. All I remember now is that it was in northern Virginia...I can’t even remember if it was affiliated with a hospital. It was a large group in a stand alone building but not on the grounds of a hospital as I remember it. The guy who referred me said this doctor had done both of his knees after a car wreck and he was very happy with him. I saw one more orthopedic guy after that, don’t remember his name either, then two neurologists over time.
Ah, okay. Yes, Orthopedic practice has changed a great deal over the last decade or two. 30 years ago, pretty much everybody was a generalist. I can understand why you had the experience you did.
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Old 10-14-2018, 06:29 PM
 
14,680 posts, read 18,728,329 times
Reputation: 20171
Quote:
Originally Posted by seethelight View Post
... I can only imagine how those that you live with (if that's the case) are tired of your constant complaining and wish you would do something to help yourself.

And some people should be grateful for their surgeries -- otherwise they wouldnt be able to complain about the results over and over ad nauseam.
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Old 10-14-2018, 06:59 PM
 
18,642 posts, read 6,080,794 times
Reputation: 12606
Quote:
Originally Posted by TFW46 View Post
And some people should be grateful for their surgeries -- otherwise they wouldnt be able to complain about the results over and over ad nauseam.
So a person should be grateful for botched/failed surgery. I can say hip replacement took care of groin pain but left me with 3 major complications...but I should be grateful, so to that degree I am but didn't want to live with these 8 yrs of complications so far. This is why I so fear a knife again.
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