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I need a happy story

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:31 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
OKay, so I'm trying to prepare myself for surgery ... I meet with an NS next month and discuss the options ... having read alot about it I'm finding things that relieve the fear, but also more "horror stories"... about how surgery can make things worse.

Someone got a happy story? :)



  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832

    Welcome to the site.

    You will find lots of support on this site, and I am sure there will be some success stories. I regard my decompression surgery as a success, as it eleviated so much of pre surgery nerve pain.
    I wish you luck with your appointment next month

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • there was once a beautiful princess named Jamie. :) but she suffered with back pain. ~X( she had tried all the other options but they did not work. she was in a terrible state! :''( so she went to the neighborhood medicine man. surgery he said. :W suddenly, Jamie felt a smile across her face. :) she knew, here was an opportunity to become pain free. =D> So Jamie had the surgery, a perfect recovery and never felt pain again. <:P she was so grateful she married the neighborhood medicine man and they lived happily ever after. :X The End hehehehe Jenny :)
  • Jamie,

    In March an MRI showed I needed to have surgery to replace 3 herniated disks. The main nerve to my left arm was compressed and I was losing strength and ability to manipulate my hand, plus had pain in my neck, shoulder, and down my left arm, with numbness and tingling in my hand. Naturally I am left-handed. The surgeon wanted to remove the 3 disks, replace them with plastic disks with stem cell bone grafts, file down numerous bone spurs, and finally add a metal plate and 8 screws to stabilze the spine until it fuses. Needless to say I was quite concerned about the procedure. However after reading about several folks on this site who had the same or similar surgery, I was more confident about going ahead. I did research other methods and even a few Florida clinics, but rejected them as inadequate, or outride frauds (Florida guys).

    I had the surgery on April 30th. By the time I was in recovery the pain in my neck and arm was gone. I took pain medication for two weeks, and while I still have some pain in my neck and upper back, I suspect most of that is caused by the Miami J Collar I wear 24X7.

    My surgery was on a Thusday and I felt I could have gone home the next day, although I was not discharged until Saturday. I work from a home office and worked a full day the following Monday, and every day since.

    My first post-op visit will be next Friday (May 22nd). I do have an electronic bone stimulator that I wear 4 hours every day to promote growth of the stem cell grafts. I am sure an X-ray next Friday will reveal whether the grafts are fusing or not.

    So, at least one person has a "happy story" as a result of surgery. If I did not have the operation eventually I would have lost the use of my left arm. Now I can expect to regain strength in that arm, although it will take 9 months or so.

    Research your physician and hospital. Ask a lot of questions. If you decide to go ahead with surgery you will likely have a positive outcome also.

    Good luck!
  • I had a herniation at L5-S1 which resulted in the horrific sciatic nerve pain we all know so well. I had 5 ESIs, with no help so had the lami/disc on 3/2/09. Today I feel great! I was able to go wilderness camping this weekend, in and out of my tent, 2 lengthy hikes and lots of rain. I have some nerve pain off and on but nothing awful. I'm hoping the nerve is healing and won't hurt forever, but I can certainly live with this level of pain. One 200mg ibuprofen knocks it out nicely. Good luck. Of course, I don't want to tempt the pain gods, so I always say, "Today I feel good", not "I'm healed!".
  • My back trouble began almost 10 years ago, and the pain escalated and literally pulled me to my knees about 6 months ago. After a lot of pain meds, therapies, and injections, I finally had surgeries on L5S1 disc.

    Now I am almost pain-free. I got my life back: returning to normal weight (lost 15 lbs), seeing my friends, walking and sitting without agonizing pain, and most importantly being fully supportive of my husband.
  • Its crazy that before back surgeries you hear all the horror stories about it. People were warning me about how I can be crippled for life and all the things that can go wrong. It scared the heck out me. I have learned from it not to tell people horrific things that can happen so that they won't go through what I went through before the surgery.
    I always had back problems so the doc figured that I must have injured my back as a child. I went to so many different docs and all they did was give me pain pills or the depo shot and send me on my way. I finally changed to a new doc for my daughter and found that she is the best there is. She actually figured that she should find out what is wrong with my back instead of just giving me pain meds. Its the best thing that ever happened to me. I went in for surgery last year and now I can do things that I never imagined I can do. I have so much energy now. I actually wake up in the morning feeling refreshed instead of tired from tossing and turning all night. I actually do not have stiffness in the morning and I still have energy at night. I am not afraid to take the stairs or take my daughter to the park. Its wonderful. YES the surgery and healing is a long process but not as long as living the rest of your life in pain.
    Mine is a true positive story and I will share it with anyone. Especially those who have heard all the horror stories.
  • Awesome - glad it was a success. I too have spondy grade II. What level did they fuse? ALIF or PLIF - cages / rods or both? I meet with the Ortho Surgeon tomorrow - this time I think I am signing on for the surgery - can't do this pain med thing anymore.

    All the best, Mike
  • I am glad to read through the positive stories. I am on the precipice of surgery #4 and am scared and not sure about the metal part being put in my body.

    last MRI diagnosing L5-S1 dessication
    Discogram L5 disc protruding hugely into spinal canal
    Now starting to get sore quads in addition to right hip/flank/leg & back pain
    dyenses system 2007
    failed back surgery 2003
    Microdiscectomy 2003 (nerve damage from positioning - Right upper extremity)
    Right side sciatica - July 2009
    Way back in the beginning after Sept 2001:
    Epidural injections
    Accupuncture - lost track - many time
    Massage - all types
    Chiropractors - too many to count
    Oxycodone 5-10mg every 6hr as needed
    Neurotin for Peripheral neuropathy
    Klonipin to help me sleep
    #5 bed - this time may be the right one: 2008 edition of green of "Kings Down'
    Ativan to help with muscle spasms
    Cervical Dystonia right side - botox 3 - 4 times a year
    Lidoderm patches 5% for dystonia and back & neck pain
    -Waiting on 2nd opinion from out of state dr. biscup (anyone know about him?)
    -going to see another locally too for 3rd opinion

    my life sucks & I want to leave the exit door & like to hear the happy ones.

  • I am glad you are seeking out good stories rather than just trusting the bad. roughly 15% of these surgeries have serious complications which means that about 85% don't.

    I always forget levels but I just had four levels fused, plates, cages, rods, pins, screws, etc. and so on. Felt better right after surgery on 14th of May. It is now 7 days later and each day has been better than the last. Am tired, a bit sore but better than before the surgery. I have walked every day since surgery and am up to about 2 miles a day. Will go back to work on tuesday. My one caution is to make sure you are in as good of shape as you can be before surgery. I was lifting weights daily, riding bike 8 miles in 30 minutes each day and stretching. I beleive that is what helped me more than anything. Did that for three months before surgery.

    No one can tell you what to do for you but if you are at the end of your rope and surgery is the only option, the likely hood you will find some relief is very good.

  • Hi Bluebeegirl.

    First of all: Paul, ROFLMAO!!!!

    Bluebeegirl, one thing to remember about these forums is that a lot of people that have had successful surgeries don't come back to SH because they get on with their lives and don't need the support they once found here. There are some of us that have chosen to stay for a variety of reasons. So keep that in mind. There are many, many success stories out there but not very many get posted.

    Gary is exactly right:
    "No one can tell you what to do for you but if you are at the end of your rope and surgery is the only option, the likely hood you will find some relief is very good."

    Take care of yourself and I hope you find a successful resolution to your pain.
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