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Back Problems Message Board


Back Problems Board Index


Re: Go*big*red
Mar 12, 2003
Hi, Theresa :wave:

Are they going in posterior or anterior? And, are they putting in hardware and using cages?

I'm certainly not an expert, but I do know for me that going in from the back (I think that's posterior) was way better than the stories I've heard going in from the front (the abdomen). If you have a choice, choose that one as my surgeon automatically did a laminectomy at the same time and used that bone to make a mash and fill in the cages instead of using doner bone or from hip, etc.

One of the reasons they thought this fusion would be be a success was that L4 was a relatively decent disc. Read my signature line and you'll see what else is going on with my back.

Ultimately my surgeon bought me about 4 years without surgery with PT, MT, Accupuncture, traction, IDET and anything else to keep me out of surgery. When the pain got so bad that I just couldn't stand it any more, then it was time for the fusion. The next step (if I don't receive my healing from my Lord) would be ADR on L1,2 & 3 and possibly 4 then which will be in another 5 - 7 years. (this fusion is buying me yet more time) and then another 5 - 7 years past that they will be making brand new baby discs with the stem cells and we'll finish up with that.

One very important thing to remember is the stories you read on the message boards are from very brave, courageous people who have had less than good outcomes with what they have tried so far. (That's were I came from with a failed 4-level IDET) There are millions of people in the world who have had all these procedures done with excellent outcomes (and I AM going to be one of them and so are YOU!) So, please, don't be scared. Just go in with the positive attitude that it is going to work.

I had people all over praying for me and that was probably the biggest factor. I will pray for you, too Theresa.

What I experienced was -0- pain in recovery room. They were amazed and kept asking me. The most discomfort I had in recovery was where they drew a pint of blood to use my plasma to shield the thecal sack from my right wrist (huge black & blue bruise of my whole wrist - I'm a hard stick) and my mouth being so dry.

However, I do understand that my -0- pain is not the norm - again the prayer. Also, though, I managed my pain for the last four years through what I mentioned above and not pain meds. Well, there at the last I took some percocet in the evenings (not every night, but probably every third) So, if you have been on pain meds, your body could have built up a tolerance and your pain control might be different. I would most certainly address that with your drs. at your pre-op as being in the least amount of pain is paramount to your recovery.

Also, if you have been sick due to the anesetic in the past, be sure to mention that. I've had so many surgeries that that stuff makes me deathly ill and I did not want to vomit with back surgery. They can give you something in your iv to eliviate that. If you don't know here's a clue - if you get motion sickness - even just not being able to read in a moving car then chances are it will make you sick. You certainly don't need that on top of everything else.

They had me on morphine day of surgery and 1/2 of the following day plus valium for spasms. They wanted me to get up the morning after, but due to the dizziness and nausea from the drugs, I just couldn't.

So............. at 12:00 noon day after surgery I told them I didn't want the drugs. That freaked them out!!!! What I told them was let me try extra strength tylenol and if it doesn't control my pain, then give me a shot and we'll start over.

That was the beginning of my new life! Since my pain hasn't been up past a 4 and is mostly 2-3. That's a huge change from 7-10 pre-op and I am confident that I will continue to heal and that this will be a success.

I'm sorry this is so long but hope this answered your questions. If you have more, fire away. I'll check as I can.

Good luck and prayers are with you, Theresa!



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gbr

JDD
2 Discograms
4 Level failed IDET
4 Confirmed torn lumbar discs, 2 full thickness
Issues now with c-spine & thoracic
Fusion of L5/S1 scheduled 3/5/03
Fusion successful - feeling better all the time
Re: Go*big*red
Mar 13, 2003
Thanks so much for your reply. I am having posterior (back) open surgery for L5 S1 with Ray cages being inserted and donor bone. Dr. said incision will be about 6" long, but we'll see. 2 weeks to go and getting nervous. I've had back pain for about 14 years, but never really figured out what was going on, duh, until I finally got sent to a neurosurgeon. Way too much fun in life and sports so have hastened the back process.

I've had about 8 surgeries before this, but none on my back. And yes I get sick from anesthesia. I have a list of questions for the Dr. and anesthesioligist when I get in, but nausea is a big one, also I'm afraid I will panic waking up with brace on. Rather funny waking up trying to swing at a nurse when you are so drugged you can't move! Room-mate got a real laugh out of that!

With all of the large muscles they have to tear away from the spine I am quite sure it's going to hurt. But being cut open from hip to hip twice hurt too! When I was in hospital for the 2nd one I had a broken leg too! The nurse comes in the next morning and says well, time for a shower. I threw back the sheet and blanket and said "I don't think so!" and she says "on no, you have a broken leg too!" Read the chart....I think the back is going to be a bit worse.

I don't get my pre-op until the day before surgery! I have a list of questions for him. I'll be wearing a brace for 3 months. I purchased an easy reacher to help stop any bending, (ha,ha,ha). I handle pain pretty well, have been on Vicodin about a month now. I can't get more than 20 minutes away from a chair without my lower back completely freezing up. I've had 3 of the cortisone shots as the sciatic nerve was going down to my foot on the left leg. Didn't do a whole lot. Had a discogram and it looks pretty bad. Funny thing, the discogram really didn't hurt. The surgeon and the guy that gave it to me were pretty astonished. I'm hoping that is an indicator of how I'll handle the surgery.

L4 and L3 are pretty well worn out. I have degenerative disc disease (drat!!). Right now Dr. is only going to fuse L5 S1, he says the upper ones generally heal up or feel better once you get the stability at the base of your spine repaired.

What is an IDET? Luckily(?) I'm on unemployment right now so this is an opportune time for surgery.

Again, thanks so much for replying. I hope your recovery continues!! without pain!! I'm praying for you too!!

Theresa

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