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FINALLY saw the new neurosurgeon today!

happyHBmomhhappyHBmom Posts: 2,070
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:46 AM in Chronic Pain
And he said what I expected, although I still left in kind of a daze. He basically said that my back is in a state of steady deterioration and that it's pretty much as good a time as any to operate. He found some neuro loss in my left leg, which probably explains why I broke my right foot.

But I was particularly surprised to hear him say that he thinks there is an 80-90% chance that I will be back to "normal," whatever that is, within 8-9 months of surgery. I didn't even slightly hope for that. I am trying not to see that as a 10-20% chance of a life like this. It's more than I thought I had before.

Anyway, the surgery is 360 degrees, pretty involved. No idea what it's called. He'll remove the entire L2 disk and then do something in that area. I have to have an MRI and cat scan and ask more questions.


  • sorry you did not get better news! you will know more with the MRI... good luck to you! Jenny :)
  • You're finally getting answers! Alrighty then!!! :) I don't know if it's a different term in the lumbar, but in the cervical when they remove bone, it is a Corpectomy. Because of inflamed bone, my ACDF's included a "partial" corpectomy. 360, probably like some of the lumbar fuses on here we've all seen. In the front to fix most issues, hardware, then a day or so later go in the back and place rods and screws?

    Please let us know what he decides will be best. It's funny, I am happy for you in knowing you are getting answers finally, but sad in that you have one heck of a surgery coming your way. Support *HUGZ*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I think for lumbar it's called vertebrectomy.
  • HB I like those odds. Wow imagine being back to normal. I would take just feeling a bit more normal - lol. Of course it depends on what you were like before :)

    What are your thoughts? You sound dazed.
  • Yes, the odds were much better than I'd ever expected. He sounded quite confident and though I'd done my shopping carefully, basically like this was just another day in the office for him- which is a bit funny considering that I can't find anybody here who's had a surgery like this. He's a trauma surgeon, and so messed up backs are his business.

    But I didn't ask many questions today, so now of course I'm full of them. Sigh. Luckily I'll be able to ask when my MRI and cat scan come through.

  • Glad to hear you're getting some answers and have a possibly very positive outcome on the horizon! Let us know how your follow-up visit goes and what else you learn after going through the MRI/CT results. Good luck!
  • I could be wrong, but the procedure you might be looking for is called an Osteotomy. They're not real common in back surgeries but do happen. A 360 just means he's going to mostly likely remove the disc from the front and restore your disc height with some cages, then flip you over and start some serious cutting and add some screws and rods in for good measure. I'm sure the surgery is pretty complex because its a little higher in the lumbar. There have been other folks on here in the past who have had work done in the L1/L2 area and it seems they disappear once they have recovered. Not sure what that means but maybe its good for your prognosis. I only know of one member who has had an Osteotomy and that would be me. Mine was at L5 because my vertebrae was pretty deformed by the time I reached surgery,

  • spine fellowship trained surgeon????

  • spine fellowship trained surgeon????

  • spine fellowship trained surgeon????

  • No, it's a vertebrectomy. The entire L2 will be removed, as it was completely demolished due to the fracture (that much I did get). There is no disk there between L1 and L2 to remove. I do have a lot of questions about what they will use to replace the L2 vertebra and whether I'll get my 1 1/2 inches back!

    He will be going in from the side and the back, assisted by a general surgeon. That is the other part I got.

    What I don't know a lot about and what you could tell me is what the recovery is going to be like. I have two kids- how long am I going to need someone else to take them to school? How long am I going to be flat out? I am really nervous.
  • Those are answers that no one can truly give you. Everyone is different. I went back to work 2 weeks after my surgery. Hindsight being 20/20, I could have taken a couple more weeks. There are those that end up taking months and months to recover, while some are back in the game right away. The best suggestion anyone can give you is to plan for the worst and hope for the best.

  • Recovery is so up in the air and varies so much from person to person. I'd say that my recovery is right along the middle line, first few weeks were pretty rough, then started to get better little by little and by six months out, able to play golf and work (well, looking for work), but still have pain if I lift too much or stand too long.

    Try not to worry too much. The good news here is that you have a great supportive surgeon, know what's going to happen, have a plan of action, and have a great chance at success.

    And then I have to mention the ever-present "follow your restrictions and take your meds on schedule the first couple of weeks" speech. Keep up on the restrictions for the first three months, at least, and listen to and follow your doctor's orders. That the best way to heal and get back to normal (if that's possible :-) ).

    Take care and keep us posted.

  • He said 6-9 months for full recovery, so I'm figuring I will not be back to anything in 2 weeks!

    I was just staring longingly at a disgustingly filthy closet thinking- wow, some day I could be able to clean that again! LOL!

    As for the other question, he's a fellowship trained neurosurgeon with a full curriculum vitae in both neurosurgery and spinal surgery. The thing is that he has written papers on lumbar reconstructive surgery and is a trauma surgeon, so beat up backs are his business. I checked his reviews which were all great. I tried to do my homework. Even still, there are no promises, but I did do my darnedest (this is the *good* kind of doctor shopping)! And he's the second I've seen, and they agreed fully on the type of surgery I'd need.

    Downside is that he doesn't use the best hospital in the area. But I checked all their doctors and did not find any that seemed as tailor-made for my needs.

    So, hopefully my homework will pay off.
  • I'm so glad that you found a doctor who thinks he can help you. It sounds like he knows what he is doing and will give you a good shot at getting your life back. Write those questions down...hehe Keep us posted!
  • Just think .... after the surgery you could come and clean my closet :)
  • I've got lots of closets...and drawers and .....the list goes on and on. I'm going to try and tackle some of it before I get my final SCS. I want to be able to relax for a few weeks afterwards. Guess we do what we can do...or not...hehe
  • I can't even think about cleaning out a closet. I know it sounds goofy, but not being able to is awful- they just build up, and I can't get my husband to to save my life. I would eventually just pay my housekeeper to do them, but nobody else can do them the way you really WANT it done.

    I have had things like that piling up and I feel like my house looks like a hoarder lives here.

    For as terrible as I feel, it's one of the things I'm most looking forward to! LOL! And working, and being able to do anything I want, and... and... and... let me count those chickens!
  • Hi Happy,

    First, I'm glad your visit went well with this new Neurosurgeon. I will be looking forward to what your new scans reveal and how your next visit goes.

    I tell you what... those are very good percentages he gave you regarding the surgical outcome/success.

    We could all get lost on trying to analyze what "normal" is, so I won't even go there. I prefer... "chances are, you will have a significant decrease in your daily pain, once you reach the 9 month marker".

    About your closets... don't worry, we won't call the Hoarder show producers. I seriously doubt you would even come close to meeting their standards! I do know what you mean, though. I need to dig out Nikki's closet and turn it into a really cool "tween" closet I saw on one of the television shows. It gave me soooo many cute ideas. And, like you, I want to do it. I know I will need Mike's help, but I really want to get started on it. One of these days, we will begin to dig it out... just need a little more time to recupe... AND it will be done MUCH slower than it usually would get done. And... that's okay. :)

    Thanks for keeping us posted and I look forward to how your next visit goes.

    Hang in there and please... don't break your other foot or anything else, k?

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