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Laminectomy Surgery! I need FEEDBACK

Hello All,

I'm new to the forum. I've been surfing topics on L5 Facet Joint Cyst and found this site. In January 2013 I started having left leg pains and started taking ibuprofens or store brand pain killers. Over the last 3 months the pain has become chronic, numbness in my big toe and foot, tingling, and pain in my buttock. This is only happening in my left leg. To make a LONG story short. The MRI showed a cyst pressing against my spine causing the pain. Initially my chiropractor thought is was a disc issue causing my sciatic nerve issues. My neurologist suggested a laminectomy Surgery however his concern was if I need fusion. I had an x-ray done that indicated there is some slipping. The neurologist gave me his best guestimation of how long that area of my back would last without the fusion. I’m pretty sure I’m going with the less invasive surgery. If he could have given me a high % that the fusion is necessary I would be at peace with it. Decisions, decisions……. I was told the recovery is about 4-6 weeks and longer with the fusion…

I scheduled my surgery for June 6th 2013.

Do you have any knowledge on either procedure????
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Comments

  • A bit confused. If it is a cyst causing your pain why would you need a fusion? When I had my laminectomy/discectomy my surgeon explained the laminectomy as "opening the door" to get into the spine to do the discectomy. So it makes sense that you would need a laminectomy to remove the cyst but I do not understand why you would need a fusion.
    L5S1 REMOVED herniation. Years of pain & compression. Microdiscectomy complete!! Trying to be super smart & safe with recovery!
  • i hate to be a debbie downer, but i had a herniated disc due to the fusion that i had about 2 years before. the fusion caused the imbalance in the disc above so i had to have surgery. he wanted to do a lamincecomy which i did but after, it did not work so i had to have a fusion instead. so i would go with what the doctor says but my experience with laminecotomy is not that great. i would do a fusion instead. but that is from my experience. you need to make the decision on what is best for you
    jon
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • Ben, the reason he suggested the fusion is due to seeing slipping of the vertebrae on the xray.
  • Thankfully for me, fusion was not presented as an option although the chance of it being required in the future is there. I would look for a second or even 3rd opinion before making that kind of choice.

    Good luck!!
    L5S1 REMOVED herniation. Years of pain & compression. Microdiscectomy complete!! Trying to be super smart & safe with recovery!
  • Shari514SShari514 Posts: 120
    edited 05/24/2013 - 7:46 AM
    Is it called a synovial cyst? I've had those and had a laminectomy in 2006 at age 45 and had great results for 2.5 years. At that time I was not a candidate for fusion, although I just had one 4 weeks ago. My neurosurgeon told me that people who tend to develop cysts also tend to have degeneration.
    Shari
    Lumbar laminectomy L-4/L-5, 2006
    XLIF with posterior pedicle screws L-4/L-5, 4-23-2013
  • tony romo of the dallas cowboys just had back surgery to remove a cyst. he plans on returning in 6 weeks or so. i don't know how extensive that surgery is but any back surgery is not good. lolo jones the track star had surgery also, her nerve had a problem and she could not feel her feet which is bad if you are a high hurdler. it was fixed and she placed 4th at the last olympics. all of these are young athletic people. i think the stress of their competetion was an issue with their backs. i used to run 10 miles a day and that lead to my disc problems. in the middle of a run, i felt a pain in my back i never felt before and had to stop. i laid on the ground to try to loosen up. it went away but over the years the pain became constant
    jon
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • Shari514SShari514 Posts: 120
    edited 05/24/2013 - 10:24 AM
    I just went and looked at joint cysts on the site and it turns out I'm the poster child for synovial cysts. Most of what I read, I've already heard from my neurosurgeon and/or pain doctor, but I hadn't ever seen all that information together and summed up so nicely. It describes my experience precisely and gives me great hope that I've found a permanent solution to my very painful problem. I've been dealing with back problems for almost 10 years, have had just about every shot/treatment, tried all kinds of different medications and combinations of medications, physical therapy, massage and chiropractic. If I can help you at all, please let me know.
    Shari
    Lumbar laminectomy L-4/L-5, 2006
    XLIF with posterior pedicle screws L-4/L-5, 4-23-2013
  • all the stuff i have had on my back i never had a cyst, i have had infections, tears in the myla sheath, stenosis, herniated disc, broken disc due to too much stress on the fusion disc, staph infection. blood clots and now my left leg is numb from the hip to the knee which occurred after my last fusion. but never a cyst. i guess i have been lucky, sarcasm here.
    jon
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • skootsskoot Posts: 6
    edited 05/24/2013 - 1:09 PM
    syjmoore said:
    Hello All,

    I'm new to the forum. I've been surfing topics on L5 Facet Joint Cyst and found this site. In January 2013 I started having left leg pains and started taking ibuprofens or store brand pain killers. Over the last 3 months the pain has become chronic, numbness in my big toe and foot, tingling, and pain in my buttock. This is only happening in my left leg. To make a LONG story short. The MRI showed a cyst pressing against my spine causing the pain. Initially my chiropractor thought is was a disc issue causing my sciatic nerve issues. My neurologist suggested a laminectomy Surgery however his concern was if I need fusion. I had an x-ray done that indicated there is some slipping. The neurologist gave me his best guestimation of how long that area of my back would last without the fusion. I’m pretty sure I’m going with the less invasive surgery. If he could have given me a high % that the fusion is necessary I would be at peace with it. Decisions, decisions……. I was told the recovery is about 4-6 weeks and longer with the fusion…

    I scheduled my surgery for June 6th 2013.

    Do you have any knowledge on either procedure????
    skoot
  • sounds like sciatic prob also ! Do not rush into surgery and get 2nd opinion no matter how hard they make it !!!!!
    skoot
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