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When did you know?

dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,875
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:00 AM in Matters of the Heart
I believe that anyone who has had spinal surgery can look back and figure out when it was time.

For me, it started seriously when I was about 25. It was hip pain and pain radiating down my leg. We started to go see various doctors and no one could isolate the problem.
A good friend of mine, who was a PA at the time, didnt think it was my hip, but instead my back.

(Now keep in mind, this was in 1978 and disc related problems were around, but diagnostic tests and doctors who could see this were still fairly new)

It was in the winter of 1978 and one night a few families got together to go sleigh riding and ice skating. I was skating for a while, and after about 10 minutes I felt this electrical shock going from my back down to my foot and back up. I limped over to a bench, tried to take my skates off, but I couldn't . Right then I knew I did something major.

The following day, I couldn't walk and my right leg was basically paralyzed. My doctor admitted me to the hospital where they did a myleogram which confirmed the blown L4/L5 disc.

The rest is history....

That night still is so clear in my mind. I see myself skating, I feel the shock.

When did you know?
Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com


  • I was in denial for 4 years thinking it was just muscular. I got lots of massages, which did help for an hour so, and I took a lot of ibuprofen (perhaps way too much). The pain in my neck and shoulder had been getting worse for the entire 4 years at that point. I would have bouts of severe pain lasting a few days a few times a year, to lasting a week, once a month or so, to being in constant high level pain. My boss and my friends had been advising me to SEE A DOCTOR! One day I got to work and my boss asked me how I was, I just started crying right then! He told me to leave and just go straight to the er or the doctor. He offered to get someone to drive me. I went to the doctor and that started everything........ Of course they told me it was a muscle spasm, prescribed PT and Soma at bedtime. Soma helped somewhat, PT made things worse. Went back to the doc after a month, prescribed more Soma, also prescribed tramadol and vicodin. An x ray was also ordered. X ray showed reversal of the curve of the spine but that's it. By this time I was in so much pain and extremely depressed. My mom knew a neurosurgeon who did successful surgery on multiple family members. I saw him, finally got an mri. Had some other procedures done and got an ACDF a couple months later.

    I am doing a lot better than I was pre op, however I still have constant lower level pain. I will take this any day over what I had pre op. I currently see a good Physiatrist/Pain specialist who is very helpful.
    ACDF C4-5 June 23rd, 2011

    Another surgery in the near future. I am 26 years old.

    Current Meds- Norco 7.5/325, Cymbalta 60mg, Gabapentin, Adderall 20mg
  • Thats easy May 25TH 2006.

    I was preparing to tape some drywall joints and without thinking I twisted to my right and bent over to pick up what I thought was an almost empty 5 gal bucket of joint compound.

    As soon as I picked up the bucket I felt a sharp stabbing pain in my lower back. Needless to say I dropped the bucket.

    Being the walk off the pain kind of guy that I am I took a few moments to recompose myself.
    Thinking that I just pulled a muscle I went back to work.

    Within two hours the pain and muscles spasms made it imposable for me to continue.By this time I went from being 6 ft tall to 4 ft and my spine twisted into the letter C.

    That was the beginning of my journey until I finally had fusion surgery of L4/5 on 10-2009 and again on 12-2011 revision.
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,732
    I knew it was inevitable on Oct. 5, 1989. After one of many accidents at work.
    I was delivering the materials for a stucco house.30 100 lbs. sacks of plastic cement, and the same amount of type 2 cement. the fork lift was down and I had to do it by hand. But that happens often.
    Well, you grab the sacks from the back of the truck and turn facing the opposite way and stack the next to the mixer befor dumping 12 tons of sand. The job site is always muddy from washing the mixer out. And I grabbed a sack turned wrong in the mud and slipped. I'd had many back incidents over many years. But this was different and I knew I'd have to see a spinal specialist. I saw a orthopedic surgeon. Did the x rays and M.R.I. And he said I would need to have surgery and get in a different line of work. He ordered the "hard turtle shell brace" and it took all of the weight off and immediately felt better. The longer I wore it the better I felt. So I told him I would wait on the surgery. Then in 99 things kept getting worse again and I tried E.S.I.s And they worked well until 2002. Went back to the surgeon and he ordered another x ray and M.R.I. and said it was now way worse with multiple disks.
    I took pain pills (non narcotic) and sat against ice. And worked the shortest days I could.
    Then on Oct. 5 2002 I was fueling my truck and had already taken a pain pill (now narcotic) cause I knew the driving was done for the day. Took a step and I got the worst pain yet, in the back and down the leg. And I knew that would probably be the last day I would ever work. Told my boss I wouldn't be back.(every one knew)
    He said he understood and wished me the best. So I went home took 2 more of the light weight pain pills. And just in the back yard and cried.
    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!
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