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Have your had surgery if so, why and if not why

dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,878
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:28 AM in Depression and Coping
There has been some recent discussions on the boarding regarding Do I have surgery or not?
I know many members have have been through this dilemma. I have on several occasions.
What would be great to here is WHY you decided FOR surgery or WHY you didnt!
And if you did or did not, how are you progressing today?

Do you have any regrets regarding your decisions
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


  • I have had surgery twice both times was because i couldn't deal with the pain anymore I put both off as long as I could.I am now confronted with another surgery a fusion this time not a micro and I am dragging my feet a little because of the intense procedure and the long recovery both me and my doctor are taking all things in to consideration pain level ,overall outcome ,and age he thinks that at 30 I'm a little young to get a fusion so he said" Deal with it till you can't deal with it anymore." Which is all well and good but I'm out of work because of this and can't do anything I like because of this and feel like hell to boot .I acually have a appointment tomorrow and I think it might be time to get the ball rolling .oh well wish me luck and I do the same to all of you .
  • As many of you know I had no choice about any of my 3 surgeries over the last year. Although my outcomes have not been stellar I don't "regret" any of it because I know that things would have been much worse had I not had them.

    In some ways I think that I've had it easier than those who DO have a choice in wether or not to have surgery. There is a lot to learn and every one should research and find out as much as possible before having any surgery, if possible. It's a daunting task and I don't envy those who have it before them. It takes a strong person to make a choice like that.

  • On november 21, 06 i had L-4 L-5 S-1 felt gret went back to work 3 months kater after that 8 monthes started getting hip groin pain then the burning pain in my legs my back, pain pain no one believed me tho went back to surgeon he said nothing is wrong w/ me seeing a pain doc after 6 months of this an that he found thst there was no evendince of fuson went to get a couple of opinions and boom both said the same thing i need a revision and they also went two levels higher I had my reconstructive surgery jan 13. 09 in 5 week i will start therapy yesterday i started walking in the pool felt weird but going back today and i will not give up!!!oh had a L_2 L-3 L-4 L-5 S-1
  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 805
    I had a lumbar laminectomy of L4 thru L6 due to spinal stenosis that is a result of severe OA. After that procedure my lower back had not felt better in several years. One year later in 07 I had a corpectomy, discectomy, multi-level fusion of C3 thru C6 with a lot of titanium for added strength. That surgery was a no-brainer as it was do it or risk paralysis and/or incontinence.
    So far so good but the OA keeps on marching thru my body which means future surgery is inevitable. No regrets here.
  • Like Griff, I had no choice whether to have surgery or not. I consider myself lucky because my surgery is what would be considered a success. I still have mild to medium pain, but, as we all know, fusion surgery take quite a while to heal so I'm not quite through.

    I don't regret that I had to have it done - I'm beginning to think I may be pain-free from my neck issues after all.

    One of the greatest benefits is that, because they had to put in three disks (mine were completely gone), I also had a mini facelift. I think it added 1/2 inch length to my neck!

  • I didn't have a choice with either surgery. 2005 I had leg/back pain that eventually became excruciating so I had to have surgery which did take the excruciating pain away. I still had severe leg/back pain which I tolerated with injections, pt, whatever. My dr. told me in 2007 I would need a fusion but to try to hold off as long as I could. Then again in 10/08 the pain became excruciating where I couldn't walk, sit, stand, lay down, move, BR issues again left me no option but to have the fusion. I wish I would have not waited until I had excruciating pain again and had time to schedule and prepare for surgery, especially the fusion, but I'm doing pretty well now. My Dr. admitted he couldn't believe I held off as long as I did. After natural childbirth w/o epidurals or anything and a few other surgeries in my life that were nothing compare to this pain I would do anything not to experience that excruciating pain again. So you can be sure when/if the day ever comes where the tolerable starts to be severe and it's time for surgery I'll relent before it's too late. My Dr. told me last month in hindsight he probably should have done the fusion the first time but you never know and they try to do the least first and once you have surgery you most likely have more problems later.
  • the first surgery followed after the original MVA{rta} in 1996/7 i required a double laminectomy L4/L5 to relive leg pain .i thought that i had a bad out come from this surgery BUT in retrospect it was a good outcome {at the time i had nothing to compare it to at the time}i was left with NO Leg pain and a bad back {and i thought that i was hard done too!!].following my last surgery in Nov 07 i now know that i had a good outcome with the first surgery because since the surgery {S1 bilateral discectomy and a redo of the L4/L5 laminectomy } to relive scar tissue and again remove leg pain.only this time i have been left with about 30% reduction in leg pain but a 100% increase in lower back pain .so much so that i am in constant pain and feel ill.anyone following my progress will know that i am waiting on the results or a recent MRI scan ..would i have back surgery again ?? ask me when i get the results !
    regarding my TOS i have been offered surgery but as i can manage my pain from that i refused {much to the annoyance of the surgeon } but to the delight of my wife ..i think that surgery on your back should be a LAST resort ..my mantra if you can get by on your own if you can sleep and enjoy some quality of life if you can still hold down a job and a marriage then think do i really require this surgery ..because once you start on surgery on your back there is a good chance that you will be returning to the OR later in your life
    you have been warned
  • I had ACDF C4-C7 done almost three weeks ago due to moderate to severe spinal stenosis, advanced DDD and multiple herniations. My neurosurgeon said surgery would be necessary as an end result and that my recovery might be easier rather than waiting due to predicted further deterioration and possible paralysis if the spinal cord was compromised further.
    I had excellent results and hope that I am not just enjoying a "honeymoon" period. Having a fusion does put your other discs at greater risk and the probability of further surgery does exist. However, the outcome of total pain relief is certainly worth taking those chances.
    Everyone needs to evaluate the options based on their level of pain, effects of current treatment and how much impact the condition is having on their quality of living.
    I wish everyone who has spinal surgery could have excellent longterm results, but that is not realistic. The longer the nerves are compromised, the longer the recovery period and the greater chance of permanent nerve damage that can not be repaired with surgical intervention.
    Those of you facing this decision have my thoughts and prayers.

  • Strike 1

    My Ortho told me I was a surgical candidate and he believed it would benefit me since I have tried all conservative measures and failed, and because the pain was intolerable and lowered my quality of life. I wanted to take a chance with it and see if my problems would be fixed. I was dealing with herniations of L4-S1 and persistant sciatica at the time. The microdiscectomy went smoothly according to the OS, but I awoke with leg pain, and my back didn't feel any better. 4 weeks later I reherniated at the same levels and developed other problems.

    Strike 2

    My Neuro looked at my MRI films and said I need an open back fusion to fix retrolisthesis at L4-5, and relieve the pressure off the nerve from L4-5 and L5-1. He was hoping my ongoing sciatica would improve and was upfront with me about the risk that I may stay the same or get worse. I decided to take the plunge again because of how the MRI looked and the fear of living forever in this pain. I woke up in recover with astronomical pain and begged for pain relief. In ICU I pressed the PCA button like a video game controller. I did not do any walking at all at the hospital and was confined to bed with a drainage tube and a Foley. The surgery itself was a technical success, but my body didn't cooperate. 6 months later the surgeon said my fusion didn't work out for me since I still had persistant back and leg pain and zero improvement. I was sent off to pain mgt.

    Strike 3

    Here I am today with scar tissue at the same levels with nerve involvement according to a new MRI.

    Well, it's time to start conservative treatments all over again. I probably will have surgery to implant a morphine pump sometime in the near future if the trial is successful. Let us pray it won't be a Strike 4.
  • I haven't had surgery and have been off work one year. Told by 2 Ortho Drs not a Surgical candidate as they believe time is a healer. I've had 64 trigger point injections last year and decided to go to another PM Dr who has given 8 facet joint injections so far and I've had 4 epidurals. As well as MS Contin increased to X4 original amount as well as Lyrica. Venous insufficiency in legs shown with dopplers and bone scan. I wish I would've had surgery. I thought maybe a decompression or microdisectomy would've helped. I'm in the same pain as last year except the leg swelling has gone down. Less sciatica from ESI's though. Pain level 6 most of the time. Hopefully I'll get better in 11 months after that my job is gone. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Hi

    I am 38, 5 weeks post op for T10 decompression.

    My surgery was an urgent op - within 2 weeks of diagnosis, i dont think at the time I could have made the decision, it was because i was facing paralysis and the disc was 'mobile' that the dr's put me forward immediately.

    However, now knowing what the op is like, i would not op for it again (perish the thought of needing another op) unless I was facing paralysis again.

    the trauma of such an op, and remember I am only talking from my experience of a T-spine op, was immense. it has messed up so much, every area of my life even down to my menstrual cycle! (sorry guys!)

    I realise that the c-spine and L-spine ops can be less invasive (mostly) but there are still risks, and to be honest the people who have actually had them done are the best qualified to comment on those, not me.

    from a T-spine perspective, try everything else first, unless you are facing paralysis anyway.

    hope everyone is well

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