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Back Problems Message Board

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[QUOTE=tetonteri66;4854818]Hi Bracer ~

On a slighter differently note, I have found, through three spine surgeries, that an important quality to develop is flexibility. One needs to learn to roll with the punches, so to speak.

I feel your surgeon did you and your wife a great disservice by assuring you, prior to your surgery, that he 100% guaranteed that there was no chance that something could turn out badly. He had no right to make that claim, as, without a crystal ball, he could not back up his rather foolish statement.

The same can be said for any timetable you have been given. Rubbish! Doctors are only talking about a statistical average of how long healing takes. Your "mistake", if one can even call it that, is in taking anything they say literally, instead of as a generalized idea Timetables are for things one can actually predict a bus schedule. How a nerve might be damaged or how long it will take to recover are just not in this realm...and doctors who tell their patients otherwise are just setting them up for false hope.

I personally think you'd be much better off if you took your recovery one day at a time, without looking too far forward. Your nerves don't have a calendar.

I noticed my toes starting to cramp and get numb back in 2000, noticed it but didn't think anything of it. The following year, while visiting my parents, I went to their podiatrist who told me I was developing peripheral neuropathy. I never questioned this diagnosis until 2008, 8 months after my first fusion, when a PM doc asked me about what testing had been done. Turns out I never had peripheral neuropathy, but the numb toes were the beginning of my spinal problems. I long ago gave up worrying about whether I would regain feeling...but since I started swimming a couple weeks ago, I am noticing a change in feeling.

I totally do not buy into the common belief that if nerves haven't healed in 12 to 18 months, they will not recover further. Personally, I have not found that to be the case.

But back to your original post: trust me, you really should care whether or not your back fuses. Believe it or not, things "could" be much worse than they are now. And don't focus so much on what your surgeon is telling you about the drop foot....just keep focusing on doing what you can to enhance your recovery...keep doing your PT exercises, walking and whatever it takes to build back your strength...and don't let your thoughts get too far ahead of you.[/QUOTE]


Guess what my surgeon did this yesterday afternoon (after I posted my melancholy message)? During my monthly physical, he said that he detected an increase in strength in my drop foot and told me that he was positive that by the end of the year, the problems in both my feet will be virtually unnoticeable. He is positive that this is going to happen and has been for two months, even when he was not able to detect any positive changes. How about that for a promise?:jester: You know I want really want to believe him.

Also, I got a call from Mayo and they've found a spot for me to see a top neurosurgeon for a second opinion. I know he won't be able to see anything new, but what's the harm? And, since my previous EMGs were in conflict, my insurance company has agreed to another one. So, I'm going to see a neurologist completely outside of the system that performed the previous EMGs. The doctor at Mayo will have access to that info and every bit of testing that has been done on me over the past 6 years (including an EMG from 2006). Once all this is done, I'll have nothing to do other than wait. I did get approved for a nice carbon fiber AFO that will allow me to walk a little better when tired and even jog/run some when my fusion healing allows.

Speaking of that, when will the doctor check on the progress of my healing? He said that there was no need for any more CTs, so I assume it will just be a normal x-ray. At what point do most fusion folks people begin higher-impact activities? I know what you say about timetables and I've learned that you speak the truth, but how about some generalities? It doesn't even have to be a point in time -- what has to happen for people to start core exercises and increasing the amount of lifting we're allowed?

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