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Back Problems Message Board


Back Problems Board Index


Hi all!

I have been lurking on this site for some time now and would like to get some feedback on the surgery I am having on Thursday.

I have been in two rather serious car accident. One in 1976 and the other in 1987. I have had back problems ever since the 1976 event, but they have always been the same: every year or so I would do something stupid and find myself laid up woth two days of excruciating(sp)pain followed by about two weeks of diminishing pain until its as if nothing was wrong. This has continued for about 25 years until April of 2002.

It was a Sunday night and I hadn't done anything when I began to feel discomfort in my low back. By the end of the evening I was almost in tears it hurt so bad. I ended up taking the next two days off from work, something I normally didn't need to do. I went to my chiro. every other day for the next six weeks and did not get complete relief. I then saw an orthopedic MD in June who prescribed PT which seemed to help, but only for a short period of time.

In November I finally had an MRI done which indicated a herniated disc at the L5-S1 level which was effecting the exiting nerve at the L5 level and the non-exiting nerve at the S1 level.

It just so happenes that the day I went to see the MD to review my alternatives, I was pretty much pain free. Because of this, we decided that no further action was required.

Just my luck on Christmas day I began to experience the burning pain of sciatica in my right butt and thigh, in addition to sharp pain on the underside of my big toe. Because of an insurance change, I needed to see a new docter and elected to go with a Nuerosurgeon(sp). He ordered the epadural steroid regimen for me, but did tell me that the success rate was only about 50%.

The shots were very unpleasent, but the first one did work wonderfully. Unfortunatly, it only lasted six weeks. The second and third were completly ineffective, and by the time I had the third on the 28th of March, my right foot had begun to go numb.

I saw the Dr again on Good Friday and decided that enough was enough. We scheduled the surgery for the 15th of May.

I should tell you that my pain is not such that I am not able to function, but it is having a detrimental effect on my quality of life. It is very painful to get in and out of my car. I am waking up every morning at 3 or 4 o'clock because I am in such pain. I like to long distance run for fitness (I have run the marathon 6 times), but am unable to and concequently have gained 20 pounds (my wife is making fun of me).

Sorry for droning on, but I wanted to give my background. My real question is, what can anyone tell me about the hemilaminotomy procedure? What is the recovery trime (my DR is telling me 2 - 4 weeks)? How much pain?

Thansk for anything you can offer!!





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