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Old 03-10-2019, 04:33 PM
 
Location: South Jersey
67 posts, read 48,469 times
Reputation: 345

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I am 67, MRI and x-ray shows I have spinal stenosis, scoliosis, probably spinal arthritis too. Degenerative spondylolistesis at L4-L5,resulting in pinched nerve and pain when standing or walking. A very well regarded orthopedic surgeon rejected my suggestion of a minimally-invasive laminectomy, saying since 2 discs were involved, fusion and a more expansive procedure would be needed, and he didn't think the results would be all that good.

I had an injection, did nothing. Various stretching, nothing. I guess since it doesn't hurt when sleeping on my side or sitting, I should just accept the pain when standing or walking? For the rest of my life
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Old 03-10-2019, 07:38 PM
 
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
24,083 posts, read 4,945,559 times
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I have similar issues with back pain....and so far have refused injections, surgery as I have seen too many "failed backs".......meaning patient is worse off than prior surgery. This is truly something to consider.

Right now my pain is relieved with medication but who knows, in the future I might have to consider other options if pain becomes unbearable.

But..you just must weigh your quality of life now with possible improvement post surgery.

I'd get a ***2nd opinion, with a neurosurgeon***. Then make your decision.

My ex had disk removal and did beautifully, no problems ever again...

Good luck. If you are uncomfortable in daily life then consider it. Just get that 2nd op.
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Old 03-10-2019, 08:16 PM
Status: "Neeson's daughter REALLY was Taken!" (set 18 days ago)
 
Location: Brawndo-Thirst-Mutilator-Nation
15,977 posts, read 16,006,705 times
Reputation: 11952
I have scoliosis and a bad lower-back. I also have read about major back surgeries making things worse, in some cases a lot worse. Or, another scenario is the surgery is initially helpful, then goes downhill, from bad to badder.

I will avoid any major back surgery until I have exhausted all other options.
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Old 03-10-2019, 09:29 PM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
19,745 posts, read 54,911,414 times
Reputation: 18829
Neurosurgeon. My ortho dad said they had different instruments and techniques and he thought they got better results. I had a fusion over L4-5-S1 and had great result. Took 1p+ yrs before something else began freaking down.
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Old 03-11-2019, 12:46 AM
 
Location: Texas
3,859 posts, read 3,085,582 times
Reputation: 6454
Haven't had surgery, but I'm strongly considering a microdiscectomy at L5-S1 due to a disc herniation and nerve root compression. Been dealing with symptoms for about 6 months and have tried multiple non surgical interventions without success. I've done acupuncture for 2 weeks now, and I can say that I'm actually noticing a small decrease in my leg pain, so I'm willing to give it a few weeks more.

I would encourage you to get a second opinion from another spine surgeon, and as other posters have suggested, try a Neuro spine surgeon and see what they say. I have an upcoming appointment with an Ortho spine surgeon for my second opinion next week. I think it's a good idea to get both perspectives.

In my case, every knowledgable person I've encountered is still advising me to try and avoid surgery. Not just the neurosurgeon I'm seeing, but my husband (who is an Ortho surgeon himself) and the Physical Therapist I worked with. I understand their opinions and perspectives on why I should wait, but I'm giving it through mid April, then I'm moving ahead with surgery if my pain hasn't significantly decreased.

Last edited by Texas Ag 93; 03-11-2019 at 01:05 AM..
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Old 03-11-2019, 02:17 AM
 
1 posts, read 372 times
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Yes, I am. it is a very difficult process.

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Last edited by maxiimuss; 03-11-2019 at 02:17 AM.. Reason: edit
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Old 03-11-2019, 04:52 AM
 
636 posts, read 188,085 times
Reputation: 1299
My husband is currently recovering from a lamenectomy - I'll just warn you that the post-surgery muscle spasms were a killer amount of pain. The morphine and oxy didn't even seem to help. They only lasted about 5-6 days, but those were a really tough 5-6 days.... (He's one month out now and doing quite well)
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Old 03-11-2019, 08:03 AM
 
19,160 posts, read 10,611,087 times
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I'm 64 (and eleven months) with disk compression which has created a cyst that's squeezing my sciatic nerve. When triggered, that causes a paroxysm that basically sends me to my knees in pain that comes in waves and lasts for half an hour and takes another half day to completely ebb.

If I can avoid triggering a paroxysm, the pain is low and manageable. I've learned over time which kinds of movements trigger a paroxysm--generally any hyperextension of the lower back--looking at something overhead, for instance. I figured that one out when I had a paroxysm in Lowes while looking at ceiling fans, then again the next day at The Home Depot looking at ceiling fans.

The thing is that the paroxysms don't occur immediately with the trigger--they come rolling in a bit later, like a tidal wave following an earth tremor. Sometimes I make the wrong move and have enough time to realize it and curse before the pain starts.

I've been to a neuro-surgeon and an ortho-surgeon and they both say exactly the same thing: Remove the cyst and fuse the vertebrae to prevent the movement that caused the cyst.

I've got that surgery scheduled with the neuro-surgeon at the beginning of April. That's right after I go on Medicare, so I'll have employer BC/BC plus Medicare plus military Tricare For Life.

But looking at the recovery process scares me a lot.
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Old 03-11-2019, 09:45 AM
 
5,758 posts, read 6,464,676 times
Reputation: 14709
OP< sounds excessive for a pinched nerve root.


Fractured spine, followed by laminectomy/discectomy. Long period of recovery due to the fracture.


Then years and years of pain, and finally another surgery to remove remnants of crushed disc, bone fragments and scar tissue.


Better now, but not great. Talking various treatments from neuro lumbar stimulator (basically a big resistor which is wired into your spinal column) to a fusion. So far no clear path forward so I take meds.


It sounds like an over the top proposal for you. Sure, shave the disc(s) to relieve the pressure on the nerve, but a fusion right out of the gate? That sounds extreme, and yes, fusions are not a panacea. Maybe 50% do well from what I read. I had no benefit from multiple injections of all sorts.


Good luck. It takes time, patience, and confidence in the Dr. who is treating you. You and Dr. need to make a plan that you both are comfortable and confident in. You can always go back for more, but once you have a fusion and it goes bad, then you have a big mess on your hands. Proceed cautiously.
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Old 03-11-2019, 10:00 AM
 
19,227 posts, read 15,861,243 times
Reputation: 36199
Quote:
Originally Posted by nbseer View Post
I am 67, MRI and x-ray shows I have spinal stenosis, scoliosis, probably spinal arthritis too. Degenerative spondylolistesis at L4-L5,resulting in pinched nerve and pain when standing or walking. A very well regarded orthopedic surgeon rejected my suggestion of a minimally-invasive laminectomy, saying since 2 discs were involved, fusion and a more expansive procedure would be needed, and he didn't think the results would be all that good.

I had an injection, did nothing. Various stretching, nothing. I guess since it doesn't hurt when sleeping on my side or sitting, I should just accept the pain when standing or walking? For the rest of my life

I think you should find another surgeon and get another opinion. I had an L4-L5 laminectomy 2 years or so ago. I too have stenosis and arthritis, also a cyst, and I had a herniation causing Sciatica so severe I couldn't work for 10 months and was crawling to the bathroom. They made me get 4 epidurals first which did very little.



My surgeon never suggested a fusion. He did a laminectomy and used a special material but I cannot remember now what it is..I will keep trying to find it. My insurance denied it at first because the material is more expensive than whatever they used to use, but they approved it on appeal.


I went in for my surgey at 6am, and by noon I was walking up the 2 flights of steps to my apartment. I was pain-free within 2 weeks, and back to work a few weeks after that (very physical job). I have not had any problems since then (knock wood).
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