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bending and stenosis

mybrokenbackmybrokenback Posts: 2
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:50 AM in Spinal Stenosis
is there anyone else out there with stenosis ( central canal ) ???

I notice when I bend forward the pain goes away. Ive been living like this (hunched over) for quite a while, I know its only going to get worse. Is there anyone else in the forums that has had surgery for their stenosis and how did it come out?

Im considering my options but would like to hear from someone who has been through it that has straight answers.

No Bs, No sugar coating please. I want to know if an operation will enhance or take away from my quality of life.






  • I have Central Spinal Stenosis from a T12 L1 Herniation. It is excruciating. Leaning slightly forward is already helping me a little bit. From everything Im hearing the decompression surgery helps ALOT but it can take up to 3 years for the nerve to calm and quiet, while others have relief asap. I think it is worth it.

    The way I look at it is. Im gonna end up in a wheel chair unable to walk if I do nothing, so there is not much they can do to make me worse.
  • First, a very warm welcome to Spine Health. You have found a great place to learn all about spinal problems and the various treatment options for them.
    There are also a very friendly bunch of people here who are suffering too, and so can understand and give great support for all you are going through. Often, our shared experiences are helpful in putting your minds to rest, knowing when to call your doctor or just feel that you are not alone and that someone understands.
    None of us are medically trained, so always speak to your doctor if you are worried.

    I had very severe stenosis of my central canal and also nerve roots which was caused by a grade 2 spondylolisthesis (vertebra slipped forward), herniated disc and hypertrophied facet joints.

    I know just what you mean about the leaning forward helping to relieve the pain. I also found sitting down generally improved things, or if not, I would lie down.

    Gradually my symptoms got worse and worse until I could only walk a short distance and standing more than about 5 minutes would have me needing to sit down again. I had started to lean forward when I was walking to try and ease the pain. I didn't realise this, but my husband told me after my surgery!

    I had a decompression to take the pressure off the cord and nerve roots, which was a laminectomy, discectomy and wide undercutting of the facet joints to open up the foramen for the nerve roots. I also had a PLIF (fusion).

    The recovery has been long but I am very much better now and can walk and stand again much more comfortably. If I stand for about half an hour, I do feel like I need to sit, but I am much better than before. If I had to decide whether to have surgery again, I would definately say 'yes please!'

    My recovery wasn't as bad as I had expected it to be from reading here. I know that I was very lucky and others have a very rough ride, but I was pleasantly surprised. I was ready for extreme pain and immobility, but my pain was very well controlled most of the time and I surprised everyone by walking without any aid the day after surgery.

    I would say though that the recovery has been very long. I was off work for 6 months because my job as a teaching assistant required me to be able to bend down to help the children who were seated. I still find sitting on the 'little' chairs is not a good idea.

    My life is so much better now :-). I do have other issues with my neck and back, but I am so much better than before my surgery. I was told that it would only get worse if I waited and I would eventually be in a wheelchair. My doctor was amazed that I was managing to walk about, with the pressure I had on my cord.

    I wish you well in your decision.
    Do let us know how you get on. :-)

  • Welcome to Spine-Health. This is a great site for information via articles and videos and the members of the forum are always very helpful, knowledgeable and supportive.

    I had a TLIF and decompression surgery just over a year ago for stenosis, facet joint hypertrophy (swelling, plus arthritis) and spondylolisthesis. Stenosis was my worst enemy - I had severe pain in my hips, lower back and down the back of both legs to my knees. I couldn't stand for more than five minutes and had to have stool in the kitchen just to cook dinner. Leaning forward or sitting was also my only relief. My onset was in February 09, tried a multitude of injections that didn't work, so surgery was planned and was done Jan. 6 2010.

    I felt that the recovery was very difficult and painful, especially the first two or three weeks. Then it started getting better, little by little, and I learned to measure my recovery in weeks, not days. It's a long recovery, but it was worth it because all my pre-op symptoms were gone after the surgery. I didn't really realize it until about 4-6 weeks post-op due to the widespread pain, but there was one point when I realized that the pain I felt was just leftover surgery pain, not the pain I had pre-op.

    A year later now, I'm feeling almost normal in my lumbar spine. I have aches and pains now and then, especially if I lift too much or stand or walk for more than a few hours, but sitting relieves it and I can get back up with no pain within a few minutes.

    Incidentally, I was golfing six months after surgery due to my surgeon telling my PT to teach me how to swing so I wouldn't hurt my back, the hardware or screws.

    So that's my story. I hope it helps and I hope you get the treatment you need to feel better too. Don't hesitate to PM me if I can help you in any way.

    Take care,
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