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should i or not or do i stay or do i go?

terror8396tterror8396 Posts: 1,832
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:35 AM in Chronic Pain
due to my well reported walking problems, i saw new ortho yesterday and he ordered a mri. i have had increasing pain and walking problems since my last fusion a year and 1/2 ago. i was subtly forced to go to a conference for a week 2 months after fusion and me thinks this is the crux of my pain, going back to work too early. i was subtly told my job depended on attending eventhough i told the powers to be that i just had back surgery and they did not seem to care. well dr said that i might have stenosis and my disc above my fusion might be blowing out due to stress from old fusion, this is common. i have had 4 back surgeries including hardwqre removal and i need advice. if needed should i have a 5th surgery or just let things sit. my back might not ever get better even if i have surgery or not. i am inclinded to see how bad it is and then make a decision. my mri is next week. of course it it is really really and really bad i think i will go with surgery but if it is just stenosis and a blown disc i might sit it out
has anyone had this problem and i know i have to make my own decisions but a little advice would help. as the old clash song goes, do i stay or do i go? well i do not know
jon
I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
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Comments

  • Please forgive me if I'm wrong here, I'm just going by what my surgeon said and to be honest she really screwed me up. I was told that it was fine to return to work after just 6 weeks after fusion. Ended up going back after only a wee bit more than 4 weeks. Like you I was subtly forced. As to the rest of your question I don't know what you should do except for the fact that if you're having doubts then maybe you should give it some time until you are more sure and comfortable with the idea. Are you listenening to your instincts? They are rather powerful and we know our bodies better than any doctor or surgeon ever will. Good luck in your decision.
  • Some morning ramblings from Gwennie ~ @)

    Why don't you wait until you get the results from the MRI and determine how the new surgeon approaches your issues? Perhaps having a new set of eyes looking at your case will provide a new path.

    In my own case, I am beginning to wonder if people get addicted to having surgery. Before my first one, I was terrified and convinced I wouldn't awaken from the anesthetic. When that worked out OK, I have lost my fear and now think nothing of having more surgery. I have seen reports on women becoming addicted to having cosmetic surgery -- I wonder if a similar thing happens with the spine...when you don't have pain relief from the first, is it human nature to keep wanting to try again?? I know I am not ready to give up!!

    Anyway, back to your problems...I guess if I were you I would just adopt a "wait and see" attitude. Many surgeons would not be willing to take you on. I think surgeons that specialize in spinal reconstruction surgery are either exceptionally gifted or just have a larger-than-usual-for-a-surgeon ego...I'm not sure which.

    They always tell us that good things do not come from having subsequent surgeries -- there are more chances for bad outcomes, more scar tissue formation, etc. It certainly won't be like starting with a clean slate....but, just maybe, there is a small procedure that could be done that would correct what is causing your pain.

    If it's "just stenosis," that in and of itself can be fairly easy (as back surgeries go) to clean up. If you need a total fusion, that would be another story.

    Big decision .... but not one you have to make this week! Keep us posted on your thoughts.

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  • I have no advice to offer except to agree with Cateyes. I call it a "gut" feeling and when I get a "gut" feeling about something then I know it is best to listen.
    I have trouble walking too but my problems are caused by balance problems, weak legs and the savage foot pain I had.
    Best of luck Jon on what ever you decide to do. Only you know your body and only you know what it is telling you.
    Patsy W
  • Holy hell, after the one spinal fusion and waking up, it was horrendous! I have never had pain like that in my life and I've had a lot of surgeries, stomach, esophogus, etc., nothing like the fusion. I swear to God I would have shot myself if I could have got hold of a gun. I did have all the hardware removed a year later which was pretty mild, but I have a few more bulging discs and no way would I ever go thru that again. I can't even contemplate back surgery again - ever! Good luck in whatever happens! You all have my sympathies on that account, one is enough for anybody!!
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 10,604
    decision to make. If we had guarantees with back surgery it would be so much easier.
    You and I have had multiple spinal surgeries, so we are cautious about the next one.
    I've sort of conditioned myself to say NO MORE. But that all depends on how much pain and discomfort a spinal problem presents.
    Jon, if you can hang tough, by all means try that.
    We aint getting any younger and any surgery presents more risks.
    That was really nasty what your job did and basically threaten you to go to the conference.... I am sorry to hear about that.
    Be brave my friend, we are here for you.
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
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  • thanks all
    it's just the problem that my family and i can't do anything as a family. disneyland was ok, but most rides i could not do, can't play tennis, can't go shopping or walking, even going to reno and walking around casinos was a chore. i have to balance the family fun issues with the risks of surgery. wife has been very supportive but she is having problems dealing with this now. we used to be an active family now she has to play tennis with my son with me on the side lines. if this could cure walking problems i would have surgery in a heartbeat. like ron said, it is a crap shoot, no guarantees
    jon
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • Sorry to hear that you might need more surgery. I know this is a tough decision and we support you all the way, whatever you wish to do. I truly hope it's an easy fix (is there really such thing with spiney issues? ;) We're here for you buddy. Take care >:D<
  • I have to say that I agree with the others, this is definetely going to have to be your decision, it will come down to how much pain you can stand and what the new Dr can offer.I myself have had several surgeries and will have to have 2 more in the near future, I can tell a difference with the pain, but sometimes the other problems may not be worth taking the chance, we here are not Dr.s and so we couldn't possibly tell you what to do. But we wil be here for you no matter what your decision will be. So if you just need to talk, by all means talk to us, you might be surprised at how many of us are exactly where you are, and how much better you feel after talkng to some of us. That being said Welcome aboard.
    Good Luck making your decision and take your time in making it. Keep us informed and have a great night.
  • U so sneaky LOL
  • My surgeon's office sent a form to my benefits office and I have 12 weeks of leave. Period. I have read several posts from people going back to work shortly after surgery. For the most part, is the issue for some whether or not they have paid sick leave during that time? I don't mean to sound naive, I guess I am lucky that I have enough accrued sick leave to get me through the 12 weeks or at least most of it.
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