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back surgery

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:33 AM in Lower Back Pain
looking for opinion and experience or
my situation:
1.buttooks and leg pain for 2-3 months.
2cause--djd lumbar spine and a period of heavy lifting in april.
3.saw physitriat-Physical therapy made worsr.Epidural L4-5 made big difference in pain on left for 5 days.
6.pain is helped by tylenol tramodol,celebrexto some degree but prednisone or dexadron will relieve 90% of pains for 10 hours.
7.neurologically i have weakness in heel walking and decresese ankle and knee reflexes primarily on left.no progression since april.
8.mri shows djd with some tight foramina opening primarily in the lower segment but centa canal tightness L2-3.
9.physiatrist say doas little sa possible.orthopedist all of lumbar spineL1-L5_S1 as thereis moderate to severe generative scoliosis at L2-3. the only real good disc is first noted at T12-L1.
Neurosurgeon says do as many bilatreal laminecties as necessary to open up the spinal canals.
10. righr now i am coping and have a full time job ib the medical field.time off from work could be 6-12 weeks. they tell me.
11.Anyone had or considering above?
12.post op pain? recliner or bed best?
13.Anyone had multiple laminectomie or the TLIF procedure-how many levels-result,results!
thank you so much.


  • i have had a bilateral laminectomy {twice} at L4/L5 the first operation left me with some back pain but i was able to go about with minimum pain and do most things until my back went again 20 months ago a recliner rise and recline is the best ..i live in mine although we do have twin electrical adjustable beds with a sprung and memory foam mattress {dont buy memory foam on its own as it is too hard for bad backs we bought a tempur bed and our son sleeps on it}as for recovering in 6/12 weeks ..i dont think so!! if you do get a good result it will be more like 6/12 months and you will always have a bad back with the possiblest of futher surgery in years to come {i went 10 years on my first operation 7 years ok then 3 years gradually getting worse until S1 went} now 20 months from my second operation i have extensive facet joint syndrome and loads of scar tissue ..i have just refused a third operation to do a multi level lumber fusion {i have L3/4} bulging at the moment and will require surgery to correct it but at the moment it can wait ..just be careful about surgery make sure you get the best surgeon because your back will give you hell if the operation goes wrong and be prepared for a long rehabilitation ..i found swimming was the best ..land based exercises half killed me ..too painful and my private physio told me not to do the hospital sheet of exercise as they would do more harm than good ..so like i say do your home work ..post op make sure you have a good supply of suitable pain killers a good TENS and a recliner and memory foam pillow i can recommend the tempur millenium queen pillow its excellent..i hope i have answered some of you questions and feel free to pm me any time
  • sounds like you could possibly have severe nerve damage down the road if this doesn't get under control. When I was 17 I had the weakness in my leg, couldn't heal walk, excruciating pain down the right leg for about 8 months before I went and saw a neurosurgeon. Diagnosed with DDD and herniated discs. He recommended that I have a microdiscectomy at L4-L5. Went ahead and did that, no pain relief. I wised up and left the neurosurgeon bc he sort of botched the surgery w/o knowing the underlying problem. I recommend seeing a spinal surgeon before anything. I went to one of the best her in FL and he told me right off the bat that I had an L6 vertebrae and was diagnosed with spondylolisthesis (movement of the actual vertebral bodies), which was on the verge of severing my nerve, along with herniations at 3 levels above. I had a TLIF performed at L6-S1 and he left the others alone because I was only 18 when having this done. Relief was immediate. However,a year after I ruptured the level above the fusion (one of the consequences). Epidural and injections directly into the muscle in ur butt together helped relieve the pain for about 2 weeks. I too have remained in a high demand job as a vet-tech at a fast paced animal hospital and continued my fav activity, horseback riding. It is difficult to live with this pain. Excruciating pain down the right leg became unbearable and decided to have a disc replacement. Leg pain dissipated after this but I continue to have excruciating lower back pain. Because I let the nerve pain go untreated for so long, I have decreaced sensation and movement in the right leg. I walk with a limp, but continue to push myself in everything I do (academically, working and help maintain a farm with 5 horses. I live on painkillers, muscle relaxers and have even tried another medicated regiment of Lyrica and cymbalta (to stop nerve signals). I know it is difficult taking off work, but bed rest might be a good option because surgeries leave scar tissue and damage to the spine. I am 22 and going in for my 4th surgery on monday as a last resort. No dr can come up for a reason with this pain. They are removing the hardware they put in 3 yrs ago and doing a surgical rhizotomy. Swimming and hot baths(to loosen ur muscles) are a great idea. Muscle relaxers, such as soma might do some good as well. If you use a TENs unit, I recommend using it especially when you are at work, bc I am sure u walk and sit a lot!! Like straker said, do your HOMEWORK!! You need to get second and third opinions to see if they can tell you what's going on and can come to an agreement w/o u telling them what the other drs have said. I found that very helpful when selecting my dr. Take it from a 22 who will probably have pain the rest of her life, read into what needs to be done and take the rest afterwards if you do decide to have surgery. The less land activity you do after the surgery is best. Swim, water walk and stretching in the pool are great post-op activities and can help u heal better. I hope this has helped a little.
  • thank you so much. sounds like these surgeries are for joint [spine] failure and i am glad they are available just as are hip replacements.some get better results than others.appreciate your perspective on post op.
  • thank you so much. sounds like post op i should let my body heal at its own rate and get back to activity and work when it is ready and not on artificial schedule.
  • You have gotten some good suggestions from others. I just wanted to add that with fusion of any type, the more levels that are fused, the less successful the surgerical outcome is (statistically). Perhaps a combination of treatments might be possible -- fusing the worst level and lamis on the others, or something like that.

    As usual, get several different opinions.
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