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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

Welcome to you,

Love the name Mamasapretzel - very creative.

Sorry you have joined those of us who suffer with our spines, but then you have found people who understand what you mean, we know how it is to cope with our problems, and although I am a good bit older than you, I have COPD along with several other medical problems which as you well know, can make treatments complicated as meds for one may upset another.

I've had 8 spine surgeries, but on the good side, my last one was 9 months ago, as a 10 level fusion and all the other repairs that went along with it. Fortunately, I'm doing great and been active for month, suffering greatly reduced and even have pain free days. As you know, any time we can get the pain down to a low groan we feel like it is wonderful.

At your young age and with COPD, imagine you have had to be on prednisone or other steroids for extended periods just to make breathing possible. As a chronic asthmatic, I do understand that as well, so please, please if your back doctor is a general ortho surgeon or general neuro surgeon, research and find yourself a really good spine specialist who will work well with you and your general care provider. If you are not familiar with the difference, I have a thread that should be on the first 2-3 pages addressing how to find a spine specialist in your area.

I have a wonderful osteopathic doctor for my primary and that too has helped so much as he always considers what the upset in one ailment will do to my others and the medicines affect on each. Still, sometimes there is no choice. But, when I first developed back problems about 8-9 years ago, I was not aware there were true spine specialists. I knew I had a disc problem when my legs would not hold me up, so sought ortho-neuro's and obtained treatment. It was not until I was temporarily paralyzed and lost bodily functions that I learned more about the specialities and got busy seeing spine specialists within an hour or so commuting area of my home. It took several to find the "right" one for me, as I want to be pro-active in my own care, and I now have certain expectations for doctors who provide my care.

What I can tell you is that had I had this doctor involved earlier I might have saved myself some of my misery. On the other hand, what I know for certain is that without having found him, today I would be permanently paralyzed and not actively working in my yard, my home and caring for an ill parent. So, I do highly recommend and encourage you to begin your lists and set up appointments to find yourself a true specialists who can and WILL work with your primary doc to see that your spinei doesn't get a lot worse.

Also, at the top of the threads, Bionic Witch has a post about new info for us. It has one of the best web site addresses you can put in your "favorites" link. Highly informative site as you learn more about your spine health and the newer options of what is being done for various diagnoses. Then, should you need more, for instance your disc disentegrated, then you would be informed in order to speak with your spine specialist about artifical disc replacement versus hard fusion, or possibly the flexible fusion system called Dynesys. General ortho or neuro surgeons are not likely to offer you those options. They treat more areas than the spine, so cannot specialize and be as experienced in the newer techniques. So, do you want someone who treats the spine maybe 25% of their time or a specialist who spends 75-100% of their time on the spine? Too, if you educate yourself, you won't be as fearful of taking care of things NOW versus later, and knowledge also helps you with recovery.

Again, welcome and know that you will have many friends on the board who will understand bad days as well as the good. I've found the board a great source of inspiration.

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