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10 Ways to make sure we dont have another surgery

dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,714
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:24 AM in Maintenance
I wish I could list the 10 definite things that we could all do to ensure we never have another surgery.
But I cant, I can only ask for everyone's help in identifying those important things we all need to do.

Lets not have another surgery !!!!

Now, lets start listing them.....
Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com


  • Good question, Ron!

    Well, there are some fairly obvious ones...

    Don't lift heavy weights
    When you do lift, lift things correctly (don't bend, but squat)
    Don't play particularly physical sports again (no rugby, wrestling, etc., etc.)
    Don't have car accidents (yeah right....)
    Eat healthily
    Keep doing your stretching and core muscle strengthening exercises, FOREVER
    Maintain correct posture, particularly when sitting for long periods
    Keep positive!


    ...an old timer here and ex-moderator

  • I put this in another thread but...
    1. stay off sons dirt-bike
  • Well I would sure like not to ever have another surgery. My first thought is to NEVER forget that I have a 3 level fusion in my neck and I need to be careful. Think before I lift (how heavy is it, can someone else do it, will it hurt me, how should I pick it up). Think before I move it, same as above basically, you know how this one works, you go out for dinner, the table is not straight, without a thought you put your hands on the table and there you are moving furniture (NOT). Or amazing how heavy a laundry basket can be and in our house they get carried from the second floor to the basement and then back up two floors when done. Let someone else in the house do the carrying. If there is no one else in the house then I guess I am carrying a few items at a time and calling it exercise. UPS........just got a package delivered and I really want to know what is inside but no one else is home. Guess that package is going to sit on the porch till someone else gets home to lift it.
    So anyway I hope I am going to be smart enough to take my own advice LOL
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,714
    You have the right mindset for hopefully not having another surgery. Keep thinking and acting that way and you will know you have done your job.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • dilauro said:
    You have the right mindset for hopefully not having another surgery. Keep thinking and acting that way and you will know you have done your job.
    Thanks Dilauro,
    Like I mentioned, I sure hope I remember to take my own advice. I find it very hard to not just do things but I would find it even harder to go through surgery again. To be realistic, I have a lot of issues going on with my spine and with both my Mom and Dad having spine issues I am predisposed genetically to neck and back problems (I haven't had an MRI of my back in more then 10 years but there was a lot of evil stuff the last time I did). The most important things for me right now is to get in as good physical health as possible, which will include lots of walking, losing some weight, gentle stretching exercise, 6 weeks of PT and to never forget about being careful what I do. Easy to say and hard to do. Even this am while I was in bed I moved in someway that has my neck complaining this morning so I guess it means being aware of what you are doing 24/7. I have yet to see what going back to work full time is going to be like but it will be coming up maybe next month.

    Keep on encouraging all of us on this great forum,
  • My advice??? Walk walk walk....walk walk walk walk and walk... Did I mention walking? ;o)
    I am hopeful that it will help
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,714
    That is so valid....
    Walking is about the one form of exercise that almost anyone with spinal problems can and should be doing.
    There are a couple of 'warnings' however when you go walking

    - Proper foot wear. Do not wear flip flops or other type of shoes that do not give you proper support. There are so many shoes that are comfortable for every day things, but when it comes to walking, look for support.

    - Terrain. There is really no problem walking up/down hills.
    At worst, it will just tire you more. But what can create problems is if you walk on a terrain that is totally uneven.
    For example, you can do a 3 mile walk on paved roads that have some inclines, no problem.. But if you start to walk over a 'nature' trail with logs, streams, etc to circumvent, that could be a problem.

    I love this time of year, because I can get out and do more walking. And since I am far removed from surgical procedures, I will head out on those walking trails, taking along by walking stick
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • ..umm, I don't know..maybe the best way not to have another one is to not blow out the same disc post surgically? #o
  • That is a hard one for me...I have had really physical jobs my entire life,I was a seismographer for many years(a drillers helper,hole plugger,lineman,juggie,powderman,etc...)then I went into mining(blaster,drill helper,exploration geotech,lab tech,haultruck driver)In addition to that I have done my own yardwork,home maintenance,and played very hard as well.(have ridden motorcycles since I was 9,later 4 wheelers)And I would give anything to get on the end of a shovel and move drill cuttings all day,or clean my house do my yardwork and make a great dinner in one day! But...my body has been telling me no for a long time,and just recently my brain is finally getting a clue.I have to say NO.So if you can learn to say that,despite other peoples reaction to you,I believe that will help alot! That's my story and I'm stickin to it! Sagehen
  • The predominant opinion for many here is that surgery may be the saviour to all the problems that we have, that may well be true or not, who knows. Even those who had had many surgeries still do not have the answer and why some work and others not will always be a mystery.

    All surgery caries some risk and once equated to our current quality of life that minimal risk for positive change may well be an option, my condition itself determined what procedure I needed the fact that it did not work was more to do with me as an individual than the process itself. In that respect I would always support any process that may maintain or improve our symptoms, the finite improvements we are sometimes looking for are not possible with any procedures at times we are encouraged to think that anything is possible with surgery when it is not.

    We need all our supporters to be positive and know the risk before we jump that leap of faith. We are all ever hopeful that any list would enable us to only use surgery as a last resort and wish those on this inevitable journey luck and success. I do not regret having my failed fusion done as life looking at the ground was not alternative, certainly all the suggestions will prove of benefit for the future and we would all like to think that in evading this last resort we had some influence.

    Evidence here might suggest that multiple surgeries create separate issues at each attempt and nobody goes into any procedure lightly or without some trepidation.

    Whatever works for you keep trying and looking for more?

    Take care John
  • Well for me, I "PRAY"!! sweetpotatoe57
  • You always have a smile!

    One of my ways, absolutely mindful fo what my back and legs are feeling, during every moment. I know what I can do and what I cannot just by being thoughtful.

    I Walk - as much as I can stand and then I have down days where I take time to rest.

    I stretch, even when I don't want to. I have stretching for bed and for the office chair and I only stay in the chair for 30 minutes max and then I am away walking.

    I keep my self talk - pointing out that I am fine and that I have 3 billion blood cells, washing my spine with healing energy.

    I know that I am blessed because I can still move.

    A couple from myself.
  • maybe glucosamine may prevent ongoing DDD.
  • I had a 2 level lumbar fusion in 2003 when my first daughter was 15 months old.

    When I finally recovered from that I became pregnant (the reason for going through fusion in the first place). Baby Phoebe was a Godsend, but also a torture for my back again. It took a while, but my 2 discs under my fusion are shot.

    Oh, of course as I felt better I was gardening, lifting, etc..... my own worst enemy, but at the time I didn't realize what I was doing to my spine.

    Now that I have another 2 level fusion scheduled (discs are almost totally gone), I will not be so foolish and will watch how I move, what I lift, etc.

    I wish I was more careful the first time, but I just didn't get it, or really, I did but my kids needed me and there are just too many awkward movements all day long.

    Sorry if I am rambling, this struck a cord with me.

  • Don't vacuum,rake leaves,or mop.ASK FOR HELP-something that is difficult for me.Slow down.It is easy to forget proper body mechanics when one is always rushing. Walk.SMILE at other's and treat people as you would like to be treated.Breathe deeply-it relaxes and oxygenates our body's.Decrease as much stress as you can.Realize what is really important.Eat properly.Don't smoke.Find back appropriate activities to keep from dwelling on pain. Don't twist to retrieve objects from back seat while in the car.Make a list of everything that increases back and read it daily.
  • I never want to forget the sacrifices that my family, friends and self made to get my health back. I cherish every day I live without pain, and use that as a motivator to take care of myself. I worry that even this is not enough, and still live in fear of another injury. But my resolve is stronger than my fear.

    How to avoid another surgery? Positive attitude. Believing in myself.

  • Walking is vary important aspect of recovery. Stretching and exercising the neck muscles tend to be helpful. Listening to your body. It certainly let you know when you have done to much or turn the wrong way. Try not to get into an accident (Should have listened to my own advice). Ask for help instead of lifting or carrying something too heavy.

    12/9/2010 ACDF C5-6 C6-7 with plate, screws,
    BMP & bone fragment filled cages
    2/14/2011 trying to go back to work as a teacher
    2/17/2011 starting PT
    wearing bone stimulator 4 hours a day
    DDD, arthritis, herniated disks, pinched nerves
    3 months saw a little bit of bone growth (YEAH)
    4/15/2011 Home Tens Unit
    6 months - end plate growth going well - no more bone stimulator, issues with hands going to vascular and hand surgeons to find out why
    8/2011 - may have TOS or RSD still researching
    9/2/2011 Rear ended at 30 mph. Think I am okay going to OSS on Tue or Wed. School begins Tues.

    Dealt with the pain and issues for more than 5 years
    tried PT, chiropractic, acupuncture, cervical epidural shots and selective nerve root blocks prior to surgery
  • I guess listening to your body is very important. Walking. I don't understand why the surgeon told me I could do anything I wanted after surgery: running, yoga, biking, even bongi jumping... I don't understand.
  • That is one I don't understand either. No restrictions, just doesn't make any sense to me either. I had L4-5 discectomy May 09, was released back into the wild late July early August 09. Went surfing August 28. Was getting out of the water after surf session felt a slight pop and 2 weeks later it was back. Had nerve block injection worked for 16 months. Symptoms came back. Tried injections again - unsuccessful. Revision at l4-5, October 25, 2011. Recovering well. Pray to God it keeps improving. Doctor is still NOT planning to limit my activities once I am "recovered fully". Again I don't get it.

    Best of luck to you. No more surgeries for sure!!!
  • Try not to put on excess weight.
    If you can, avoid falling on the ice.
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    Listen to your body. After 7 surgeries I know what and what not my body is capable of doing, sometimes I will push it just because.....I want to be able to do the old things I once was. Stay mentally active along with physcial. I am a walker. After each of my surgeries I started walking in the hospital. I walked so much during one of my hospital stays they made me sign a release that if I hurt myself I woulndt sue.
  • chezlycchezly Posts: 24
    edited 09/21/2012 - 2:45 AM
    I was advised not to walk on terrain because it will put more pressure on the disc.

    Walking down hill will cause more compression than walking uphill.
  • I was also told no restrictions after my laminotomy 19 months ago. Now here I am re ruptured same disc. I wonder why I was told no restrictions. Now the original surgeon wants to do a fusion, he is an orthopedic, I went to a neurosurgeon who is going to redo. This time I will have PT and restrictions. I am so mad at myself
    8/31/15 microdiscetomy laminotomy
    8/15 reruptured l5
    12/24/13 laminotomy/discetomy of L5
    9/98 laminectomy l4/l5
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