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Back Problems Message Board


Back Problems Board Index


As previously suggested, PLEASE, get at least one more, if not pref 2 more opinions. Go a little further away from home if you must. Also try to have one of them be a neurosurgeon as well.
Weight can cause alot of back problems to be far worse. I mean, weight can cause an otherwise "healthy" spine to take it's tole and hurt. It's always good advice to lose weight anyway, but esp if you are facing surgery like this. Here is me for example: I am not overweight, but after my double lumbar fusion I had to remain in the hospital for TEN DAYS because I was unable to support my own body with my arms. I couldn't push my body at all on my own as I had no strength. I am 5'10 (post fusion I grew an inch!) and weigh apx 165 lbs. Even once home after ten days of begin upper body PT to get stronger I still was unable to get up without my husband or son holding my hands to help me get up ever. I was also unable to lift my legs up into bed on my own for several more weeks, I was not strong even though pretty thin, so I cannot even imagine how difficult it would of been more so if I had more weight. I'm just being honest with you as to how it's been for me. Also, the Dr. is right: if there is more tissue to cut through, you will be so much more sore. I also had a hysterectomy last year and with five incisions on my belly cannot imagine if I was my previous years weight.

When you had PT before, how long did you go? How many attempts at it have you made? Where you a "good" patient, meaning, did you keep every appointment and do your home exercises faithfully? This is SO important with PT. Also, you can try another PT facility, maybe one that specializes in spinal issues. I know for my previous problems, esp cervical problems that traction helped alot. We did also try it for my lower back before, it's called pelvic traction. Oh, and massage helps, ultrasound therapy also. It takes alot of dedication and patients to see if PT will help you, but man, if that would of worked for me and prevented surgery I'd of been SO HAPPY. I understand depression, I too have had it previous years and alot from constant pain for almost 17 years. Then post op, WOW! I used a walker for almost two months. I thought I'd be disabled forever, recovery can be the hardest and depressing time you face.
Good luck whatever you decide and I hope whatever you get some relief. Tell the Dr.'s that the meds you have tried and are currently on are not working. There are so many more out there. The first and only one to help me just a little preop and now post op is called Tramadol. I take it 100mg as ER, it works for 24 hours. I also take neurontin but only at night as it makes me really, really dumb.
[QUOTE=workinmom572;5105005]As previously suggested, PLEASE, get at least one more, if not pref 2 more opinions. Go a little further away from home if you must. Also try to have one of them be a neurosurgeon as well.
Weight can cause alot of back problems to be far worse. I mean, weight can cause an otherwise "healthy" spine to take it's tole and hurt. It's always good advice to lose weight anyway, but esp if you are facing surgery like this. Here is me for example: I am not overweight, but after my double lumbar fusion I had to remain in the hospital for TEN DAYS because I was unable to support my own body with my arms. I couldn't push my body at all on my own as I had no strength. I am 5'10 (post fusion I grew an inch!) and weigh apx 165 lbs. Even once home after ten days of begin upper body PT to get stronger I still was unable to get up without my husband or son holding my hands to help me get up ever. I was also unable to lift my legs up into bed on my own for several more weeks, I was not strong even though pretty thin, so I cannot even imagine how difficult it would of been more so if I had more weight. I'm just being honest with you as to how it's been for me. Also, the Dr. is right: if there is more tissue to cut through, you will be so much more sore. I also had a hysterectomy last year and with five incisions on my belly cannot imagine if I was my previous years weight.
[/QUOTE]
You're lucky that you only weigh as much as you do. I was just to the PA-C for my regular checkup and I was 249. I was even heavier before because at my last appointment they had told me that I lost 14 pounds. I could stand to lose that much more many times over. It's very difficult for me, especially this time of the year. I really tend to overeat around the holidays because I get even more stressed out than other times of the year. I just normally am an overeater and mostly always have been. I've tried many times to lose weight and was successful several times at taking off a lot of weight only to put it back on again. It's so discouraging. If you had that much trouble supporting your body after surgery, I can imagine that I'd have lots more trouble than that yet. If I can't get up on my own if I have any type of surgery, I don't know what I'd do. I'm here alone during the day and am wondering how I'd even get up to go to the bathroom (which I do quite frequently).
[QUOTE=workinmom572;5105005]
When you had PT before, how long did you go? How many attempts at it have you made? Where you a "good" patient, meaning, did you keep every appointment and do your home exercises faithfully? This is SO important with PT. Also, you can try another PT facility, maybe one that specializes in spinal issues. I know for my previous problems, esp cervical problems that traction helped alot. We did also try it for my lower back before, it's called pelvic traction. Oh, and massage helps, ultrasound therapy also. It takes alot of dedication and patients to see if PT will help you, but man, if that would of worked for me and prevented surgery I'd of been SO HAPPY. I understand depression, I too have had it previous years and alot from constant pain for almost 17 years. Then post op, WOW! I used a walker for almost two months. I thought I'd be disabled forever, recovery can be the hardest and depressing time you face. [/QUOTE]
The orthopedic surgeon that I'm seeing referred me to physical therapy and I went for 2 months. It was within his "group", so he was able to tell them what exercises to have me do. They might have helped slightly, but I couldn't honestly notice a difference. Yes, I did them faithfully every day here at the house. When I was at PT besides the exercises they would put heat on my back for 10 minutes, and they also did ultrasound on me, which felt so good while it was being done that I could have laid there all day. After my two months of PT, as far as I could tell, my back hurt as much as it did when I started there.

Like you, I can picture me thinking that I'd be disabled forever. It doesn't take much to get me thinking negative thoughts, and especially in that case when a person feels so out of control, that would really do a number on me.

[QUOTE=workinmom572;5105005]
Good luck whatever you decide and I hope whatever you get some relief. Tell the Dr.'s that the meds you have tried and are currently on are not working. There are so many more out there. The first and only one to help me just a little preop and now post op is called Tramadol. I take it 100mg as ER, it works for 24 hours. I also take neurontin but only at night as it makes me really, really dumb.[/QUOTE]
I've been telling both the PA-C and the orthopedic surgeon that the meds do nothing for me, but they said they don't know what else to try. Neither of them will prescribe more vicodin for me, although I haven't abused it. Actually, I'm afraid to take it often because I know that what I have left is all that I'm going to get. So if I can't take it very often (like one every few weeks), of course it's not going to do much. I think they're both afraid that I might get addicted because I suppose some people do. I don't know what they would consider being addicted, but my thought is that if a person needs something to stay relatively free of pain, what's the problem! It makes me mad at them for seeming to think no big deal that I have to deal with pain. It makes me want to spit nails!

Your mentioning Tramadol reminded me that that was one of the things that I've tried, also Naproxen, Neurontin, and one other thing that I can't think of right now. The doctors don't know what else to have me try. This whole back business is so darn frustrating. I told me dad that if I had a gun I'd be tempted to shoot myself. He knows what I mean because he feels the same way. He has trouble with his back and his knees (he's also overweight).

At least the PA-C prescribed me some sleeping pills, and last night was the first time in a long time that I got a decent night's sleep. Of course, I have to use them sparingly though because it's only a 30-day supply with NO refills.

Thanks for your help. I like to read what other people have gone through to see if there are any similarities between what they experience and what I do. I just hope that there is a way out of this pain.





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