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j.howies XLIF surgery update

j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:46 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I last posted my 3 mo. check up, which was actually closer to 4 mo. The surgeon said my fusion was about 50% the incisions from the XLIF and SCS Move and replacement were healed nicely. And to go on with my life and lifted all restrictions including weight. I heard what I wanted to hear. Even thou before he did the surgery, he said that because of the other failed surgeries and all of the nerve damage that the best I could expect would be lowering my pain level from a 6 to a 4 w/ meds and that I would have a 20 lb. weight limit for the rest of my life. But he uses a computer notebook and that only shows the top page. Not my entire file. And the fact that we all want to think the surgeon knows exactly who we are and we expect him to remember us. Even thou he may have hundreds of other patients. Well he forgot about the previous conversations about exactly what I could expect. And treated me during that appointment as if this was my first surgery.
About 3 weeks after that appointment I was at my grandsons motor cycle race on a very long course. I was standing at this really bad turn where many riders were dumping it and falling of their bikes. I watched him pass that point without any incident. And then this little kid came around and crashed. All of the bigger, more experienced riders were running over him. I looked around in panic. And I was the only one there to help him. So I ran out there and picked him and his motor cycle up and push started him to get him out of harms way. the pain started almost immediately. And on the next business day I made an appointment with the surgeon. I told him what had happened and what he had said on my last appointment. He tried to save face. And just concentrated on my exacerbation.He said the x rays looked good. And I didn't do any permanent damage. But was probably badly inflamed. He gave me a Medrol pack and said to come back in 6 wk. or 3 if I was still having trouble. The Medrol pack made me feel like a new man. Better than I've felt in years. But that only lasted 3 days. So now he's trying to get approval for an epidural.In the mean time I've gone severely backwards.
Click my name to see my Medical history
You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!


  • Oh Jim, when I saw your post, I immediately smiled and thought, "yes!, an update!", but sadly no..:(

    What a thoughtless and couragous thing you did! I wonder how many lives you saved from harm! Sadly you have suffered from your heroism!

    I am a firm believer in faith, fate and karma! I pray that you will feel better soon!

    You are so right that we hear what we want/need to hear....

    Hang in there! You have been thru so much! Dust off the rubby slippers, and the boa, and click three times! I hope the wizzard for pain relief will grant you your wish!

    We have missed you around these here parts! :) Wishing you the very best and please keep us posted!
  • That was very cool of you to do what you did and that's what being a decent person is all about ... helping your fellow man. It's a shame that you wound up hurting over it, but that's the kind of hurt that makes you really know that you are alive. Heck I think it's cool that you were able to do what you did physically. That's a very good testimony to the work you surgeon has done and the work that you have done with your recovery. Would you have ever imagined being able to do that just a few weeks or months ago?

    My thought process is, that if I'm going to hurt, then I may as well hurt for a good reason. I'd say saving someone from getting run over and into repeatedly is a darn good reason.

    I hope you heal up quickly.

  • I hope you will get relief from your pain soon, and you were courageous in helping that young rider,
    and I applaud you. =D> =D>

    You were lucky that you didn't incur any permanent damage, but when situations like this arise, good people like yourself, just automatically help.

    I hope you get approval for the epidural ASAP.

    >:D< >:D<


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
  • Jim I don't think it would have matter what the doctor had told you. You saw a little kid in danger and did what had to be done. Period. So don't beat yourself up. I'm pretty sure if it happened again you would do the same thing.

    Let's hope the epidural works. And your doctor's visit should be a warning to all of us. Don't just accept an answer because it's the one you hoped for.
  • Great to hear from you again on the forums.

    I'm sorry to hear about the additional problem due to your heroic action, but understand it completely.

    When I wasn't too far out from surgery, I was walking Wally in the park (he's an itty bitty little guy) and a big black dog somehow got off his leash and ran towards us and started attacking Wally. I was screaming at the top of my lungs at the dog (while his owner just sat there with her chin on the ground doing nothing) and directing Wally via his leash around the attacking dog until at last I screamed out "YOU ARE NOT GOING TO HURT MY WALLY" and I dropped to the ground, grabbing Wally and lifing him in a way I know I wasn't supposed to, but he was in peril and all I wanted was to get him away from that freakin' dog. I ended up hurting afterwards, bruises on my knees and elbows, but the adreneline just kicked in and you end up doing what you have to. Mine wasn't as difficult as yours, but I do understand the "fight" mode that we sometimes get into and don't think before we react.

    I hope that you eventually end up fusing (it sure can take a while, took a year on my cervical) and I also hope you didn't hurt yourself too much.

    Take care Jim and please continue to keep us posted.


  • Great to hear from you again.
    I was also expecting good news about your recovery.

    It is good that your surgeon says that the x-ray looks good. Hopefully it is only the muscles that are screaming at you.
    My physiotherapist told me that I am unlikely to harm my fusion now, and that if I did experience pain after doing too much, it was most likely to just be the muscles.

    I hope that you can have the epidural injection soon and that it will give you relief until the muscles settle down and relax.

    You don't deserve to be in pain because you were helping someone. Hoping that you will be back on the straight and smooth, yellow brick road to recovery very soon. :D

    Take good care of yourself.
  • I'm so sorry to hear you've hurt yourself, but at least you did it in a valiant cause. From all I've heard about fusions, you will always be limited. This is not because your fusion hasn't healed properly, it's because having that stiffness in part of your spine makes the rest of your back unable to react to stress normally. You put the adjacent discs at risk for damage when you strain to lift something heavy. I hope you will recover from this incident and be careful always. We can get back to being active, but always wary.

    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • Sorry to hear you hurt your back I hope the injection and time will heal the inflammation. It seems it's hard to see a child in danger and not help. I hope your back gets better soon. Take care. 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
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    for youre concern. As for the heroic stuff...No WAY! Anyone of you would have done the same thing for that little boy. That was just a natural reaction. And believe me, if there had have been someone else to do it. I would have let them. but when I looked around, there was no one but me. And I knew it wasn't wise. But I didn't have a choice.
    But more to the point was, in my last update, things were going so well with this new XlIF Surgery. That I was afraid that those that read it.
    With being released from restrictions at 3 or 4 mo. with a 50% fusion. Would "take that to the bank" First off the surgeon made a mistake, as Graham suspected. And second off there are a lot of variables. Anything can, and probably will, Happen!
    I told the surgeon I thought I made the nerves mad. He thinks It's inflammation, due to how well I felt with the Medrol pack. For 3 days. And some think it's muscles. What ever it is, I just hope I can get back to where I was!
    It's so good to see you all are still on the forums!
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • You have truly been missed here on the forums.
    I am so sorry to hear of your new injury. That you sure did not need. But you did what you had to do when there was no one else to help. I do hope it is nothing more than "angry nerves" or a pulled muscle and the epidural will help.
    Please let us know if the injections help. Going backwards is not good.
    BTW...is the SCS helping your back pain yet??
    Take care my friend.
    Cheers :H
    Patsy W
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    I also hope the epidural will work. the SCS is not as beneficial as I had hoped. The rep. has worked on getting a program that will cover the lumbar area without the unwanted stim in my butt and stomach. He's worked on getting a set of programs that would be tolerable throughout the day but, no luck. We'll keep trying I do have a good program that works for me first thing in the morning while I'm sitting at the table with my back arched and my hips pushed forward. And it dose help me get my day started. But naturally I'm hoping for more!
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • Hey Jim,

    Sorry I missed your PM. Just read it and this post. Sorry to hear that man. I'd bet the weight of the kid and/or bike gave you a good jolt. Weight is the only thing my surgeon has cautioned me on. When he said do normal things he also told me to watch how much weight. That loading on the spine is just too much. Beyond that I'm free to do what I need.

    You did the right thing ethically. Unfortunately not the right thing for your body. I hope you just pulled muscle and it goes away. It does take a lot to break a fusion loose in most cases. So think positive buddy. Just a bump in the road...

  • :D You are my kind of people! Choosing to help that kid and knowing it may cause you unneeded pain.
    I'm sending good vibes your way that you'll start feeling better real soon and the epidurals will finish off what the medrol pack started.

    Take care of you!

  • I hope you start to feel better soon and get back to where you were on your road to recovery. Hopefully this is just a minor set back and things will get better.

    Stay positive, you have alot of support and know that we admire you for what you have done and hope to hear your back on the mend soon.

    Take care,
    best wishes,
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