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John BluntJJohn Blunt Posts: 116
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:37 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
We live in a world that has made great strides in many areas. However, some things have progressed faster and further than others.


John B



  • Mr. Blunt,

    I agree that many of us back pain sufferers, indeed, have higher than needed expectations after "major" surgery. To some degree, this might be due to the way society (in general) expects instant gratification for every want and need...fast food, large megastore chains (I can't mention), fast cars, speed dating, etc... Or, perhaps, we suffer from a lack of knowledge. I made sure to do my homework and research before my procedures, yet, many people rely on the physician's advice and do not seek a second opinion. I too, have moments where I encounter an obstacle and think I should have it easier!

    I agree that we need to take one day at a time and focus on the recovery and not on instant results. I too, am not immune from the daily struggles of feeling like I am not "up to par" and this frustrates me; but, I need to put the struggles in perspective and realize I am only 3 weeks post fusion! :0)

    I feel it's good for you to post an honest and grounded post about the expectation of many spineys. Not all, mind you, but many do feel they are not progressing as much as they should or are frustrated by the fact that they are not performing at the same level as prior to their major spine surgery.

    Have a wonderful day,

  • Two general observations/comments:

    1) you detail the "anterior longitudinal ligament" and its function. The thing I find unusual with ADR surhery is they cut this ligament. So it is severed and not rejoined, so what happens to our bodies (spine and everything else that works off it) when it no longer functions as it did previously? Is it a new source of pain and problems? If the ADR surgery "structurally fixes" your disc problem and hopefully eliminates or minimises your disc pain, is the pain replaced by the ligament and any other things they do when doing the ADR surgery?

    2) You also mention "and then we may not have the high expectations that many of us do have following treatments or surgical procedures". I honestly believe if you ask any person with a back problem what is their major concern or the one thing they want fixed or reduced, the answer would be PAIN. Unfortunately almost all (or should that be every?) surgeons will tell you they are fixing the structural integrity or deficiences of the spine, not the pain. I do not believe one quality surgeon would ever offer that they will guarantee to reduce a persons pain by x%. They may suggest that the pain may be less, but they will only offer a high percentage of what they are fixing - the actual spine etc, its structural integrity.

    So do we need to lower our expectations that the pain will reduce? I am sure most people couldnt really care if their disc had degeneration, as long as it didnt give pain which then impedes on their lifestyle. What does a patient suffering with agony and pain from scheuermann's kyphosis or disease really care about more - the pain or the disease?

    Most I have ever encounteed with any back problem wants to rid their life of one thing - BACK PAIN

    So it really is a double edged sword. The patient and the surgeon on my opinion are really coming from two different angles.

    Your points are interesting though and should make people think about what they really want from the surgery they face. Its probably just as important question to answer as is their surgeon the best for them. Cheers....
  • Firstly, may I wish you well and wish you a good recovery. Just three weeks post fusion is very early days for you.

    You did exactly what I did by doing your homework and that is all that us mere mortals can do in the circumstances. At least you were able to completely satisfy yourself that you were doing the right thing and with the right surgeon. That way we know that we have the best chance of achieving our goals.

    My post was merely meant to help those who perhaps were not quite getting there as quickly as they would have liked and perhaps by them taking it day by day and using smaller steps and goals, rather than bigger ones, they just might feel better about themselves and their progress. As I said in my post "Rome was not built in a day" and we have to remember that.

    Misty, once again I wish you well and a good recovery.

    Take care and keep us up to date with your progress.

    John B
  • I am so very sorry that you are still suffering pain since your surgery on September 8th 2008.

    You are perfectly correct in that nobody cares what the actual problem is they just want to get rid of the pain.
    In many cases we swap one pain for another with spine procedures. We are dealing with a very complex part of the human frame and it is also the nerve highway of our bodies.
    Most surgeries are fixes or repairs that will not be completely perfect in their result and will rarely if ever get us back to square one.

    I think that you should perhaps be asking your doctor the question in respect of your"anterior longitudinal ligament". I certainly do not know if it can be rejoined.

    I am also aware that no doctor will ever tell you that your pain may get better post surgery. In fact my doctor told me that most of his patients reported far less pain post surgery but there was no guarantee and it may also be worse. That left the decision for surgery to me with no expectations. Nevertheless I went ahead like most of us do.

    I wish you well and pain free very soon.

    Take Care

    John B
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