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August 2013 Surgery Buddies

stenosisRosesstenosisRose Posts: 489
edited 01/21/2014 - 4:33 AM in Surgery Buddies
I loved reading the July buddies and I am having surgery in August
Anyone else havng surgery in August and want to be a surgery buddy?


  • I'm scheduled for an ADR of C6-C7 on August 6th. What about you?
    March 2002 L4-5 open d/s
    July 2012 L4-5 micro d/s
    November 2013 L4-5 micro d/s
    December 2013 C6-7 ADR
  • I am scheduled for a 360 fusion L5-S1 August 5th super scared and worried! I have had problems since 1999 due to a wrestling injury and spondy grade 1-2 on L5-S1 causing extreme leg pain and numbness in right leg. Anyone recently had this done and how are you I need some encouragement here I have never been so worried about something in my life! I have had previous surgery so that is not it. Anyway hope we all do well!
    L5-S1 anterior/posterior 360 fusion Aug 2013
    Grade 2 spondy, Severe DDD L5-S1
    L4 Facet arthritis
  • Hi all, My surgery is scheduled for the 8th of August for the above procedure with possible (TLIF) Transforminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion. I'm willing to be a buddy to anyone. Sure can't hurt anything! I've been in pain for many years as well due to several different illnesses (leukemia, fibro, knees (need surgery on both of them after my back heals)). The last 9 years have been very bad and the drs were a little timid of performing surgery because of the leukemia and increased possibility of infection. We relocated to another area recently and I finally pleaded with this surgeon to perform the necessary surgery as my quality of life has been non-existent. Thank God, he agreed! I am going into this surgery with a very good frame of mind (probably because of the pain I've been in for so long). The recovery I'm planning to approach that like someone else in these forums has noted. That being - After the 1st time up out of bed for a walk he would get up every hour/waking hour and go for a walk. His recovery went extremely well as a result. He took his recovery seriously and that's exactly what I intend to do. I have a 1 year old grand daughter and I plan to grow with her!

    I'll pray for all of you on this forum and keep you all in my thoughts.
  • jellyhalljjellyhall Posts: 4,373
    edited 08/01/2013 - 7:24 AM
    I won't be joining you all with surgery in August, but wanted to welcome you Ben as I see this was your first post.

    To encourage you, I had a PLIF (posterior only) decompression and fusion of L4/5 done jusst over 3 years ago.
    It was needed due to a grade 2 spondylolisthesis which was causing terrible bilateral sciatica and lower back pain. I could only stand for about 5 minutes or walk for about 10 minutes before needing to either sit or lie down. The sciatica would have me in tears some days.

    I was so scared to have surgery that I was desperately trying to avoid it until I was told that I couldn't put it off any longer or I would risk being in a wheelchair. I had surgery about 3 weeks later.

    Spinal surgery is very scary. There are lots of people here who totally understand that.
    My experience of surgery was not as bad as I had feared and I got wonderful relief of my pain. I wished I had not struggled for so long and had had surgery earlier when I was told that I would need it. The relief once I was into the recovery, that the surgery was over, was fantastic.

    I hope that you will find the same thing and that you will be able to say, as many do, that the anxiety of surgery was worse than the actual surgery. :-)

    As Linda has said, walking is the best thing that you can do to aid your recovery after surgery. That first time up will be difficult, but it does improve. I wish you all successful surgeries and a smooth recovery. :-)
  • Hi all! My name is Becky, I'm 49, and I'm a returning forum member. I originally had a laminectomy in 2010, which was pretty successful for a couple of years, with major back/neck issues flaring up in 2012. I put off going to my neurosurgeon that year for insurance deductible reasons, but when my back pain again became incapacitating in January of this year, I made an appointment with my neurosurgeon. After cervical and lumbar MRI's, along with Myelogram and CT, he wanted to try and stave off what he felt were inevitable fusions by having me go to pain management. I found a great neurologist who does pain management, and he decided to focus on my back first before even looking at my neck films, as that was my greatest area of pain at that moment. As a result, I've had ESI's, medial nerve blocks, and most recently, radio frequency ablation on both sides of my lower back (right and left sides done one week apart). It was during the week between having the ablations done that I began experiencing intermittent numbness and tingling in my tailbone area. This puzzled my neurologist - mainly because it was intermittent in nature. Over the next two weeks, it progressed to a constant numbness/tingling that extended from my tailbone down to include most of my right buttock. Since he hadn't yet looked at my neck films, my pain management doc pulled them up, and the first thing he asked was if my neurosurgeon had ever talked to me about a fusion - he said that one disc was completely destroyed, and that there was severe impingement in two other areas on my spinal cord (which explained the right arm tingling and the left arm pain). He didn't feel there was anything he could do for my neck, and since he couldn't explain the tailbone numbness going on, he referred me back to my neurosurgeon. Long story not so short - after another set of MRI's, my neurosurgeon agreed that the tailbone area numbness was most likely related to my neck area, and that there had been a significant change from the February MRI's to the July MRI's, and now instead of being borderline of needing an ACDF, I definitely needed one. Right now it is just C5-6, but he said the disc below it was "iffy," and therefore he might do it as well once he gets in and sees what it really looks like. So here I am today - one level (possibly two) ACDF scheduled for August 19. I've found these boards to be so helpful in the past, and have referred many people here. I've been reading a lot on this surgery, and I go between being terrified of the long recoveries some have had, and encouraged by the easier recoveries others have had. But just as each of our journeys have been varied with success and failure up to this point, so will our recovery experiences. I would like to give encouragement to others where I can, and also take away nuggets of your wisdom where I can as well. I like to view every situation in life - be it good or bad - as an adventure and a learning experience . . . so with that being said - let the (most likely bumpy) adventure begin!
  • BentechBBentech Posts: 64
    edited 08/01/2013 - 1:54 PM
    Thanks for the encouraging comments. I know I need this procedure. I have spent years putting it off and trying to pretend there was nothing wrong! However leg keeps getting worse and now surgeon says nerves are dying its just a never ending battle and it has come to a head for me! It's only 3.5 days now until the surgery. Also I am having the anterior done Monday and then the posterior done on Wed, has anyone on here had experience with such a wait in between the procedures and what can I expect?

    Is there any other people having surgery in August this month seems light on the board?
    L5-S1 anterior/posterior 360 fusion Aug 2013
    Grade 2 spondy, Severe DDD L5-S1
    L4 Facet arthritis
  • kamgramkkamgram Posts: 483
    edited 08/01/2013 - 6:05 PM
    Well I got the dreaded phone call from my Orthopedist today and my knee replacement will be August 16 followed by 7-10 days of in-house rehab. I had a microstructure surgery in Jan. On same knee and arthritis is back plus a cyst. I am not willing to go through that painful surgery every 6 months only to be in pain until next one. But also wondering what it will feel like to have an artificial knee inside my body. Has anybody else experienced this? I know it is VERY painful and have been trying to stay on Hydrocodone 10/325 four times daily instead of the Oxycodone before surgery. Even though I was only taking Hydro before last surgery they had to put me on Dilaudid because my pain was so bad. I also had uncontrollable bleeding during surgery but I guess I won't have to worry about clots...lol

    Wondering why I put knee replacement under spinal surgery sight? I have also had 4 back surgeries, lamenectomy-1994, lamenectomy Oct2008 and revision Dec 2008 and thoracic microdiscectomy and fusion using my own leftover bone which I just found out about this week. No one ever told me about fusion. I had new MRI of thoracic and lumbar where I am still having severe pain in both areas. If lumbar region is worst since last tests 10 months ago I will be having fusion from L-3 to S1 in Dec. From Oct. 2008 to Aug 2013 I have had 6 surgeries. In all have had 13 surgeries since 1994. It is scary because I feel like every time I have an issue it winds up needed surgery. Had growth on tonsil and wound up being a scwannoma tumor.

    I feel the older I get (49) the more falling apart and feel like I have no control and is frustrating. On a happier note I have lost 20 pounds since July 3rd and have 55 more before fusion in Dec. I am determined to go into surgery healthiest I can be. Hardest part is going to be away from my family especially my grandson. We cuddle up every evening for some cartoon time until mama gets home from work. To think of being away almost 2 weeks breaks my heart :(

    Sorry for the long rant but needed to vent and some of you have been so kind and encouraging. Lastly, my husband has been getting help for his pain pill addiction. They are still treating his pain but working with him on why he has the addiction problems. As long as he is helping himself I will stand by him and help him. Thanks to all who take time to read and respond.

    Love and hugs

  • Can I suggest that you start a new thread called something like '360 fusion - surgeries on seperate days???'

    There are several members who have experienced that. Hopefully they are still reading and posting here and will spot your thread and be able to answer your questions. :-)

  • You are one of our 'spiney gang' and so belong here even if your surgery is knee rather than spinal. :-) You have been through so much. :-(

    I have trouble with my knees but not had them investigated yet. They are very noisy and you can feel them 'graunch' if you put your hands on them when I am moving them. I have pain sometimes, but not always. Sometimes they, especially the right knee, give way when I am going downstairs.

    I really wish you luck for your knee replacement on 16th August. I think it is a difficult recovery and hope that yours will go smoothly and that the result will be fantastic.

    Well done for losing so much weight! That is a great achievement and will help your back and knees. I could do with losing some weight too, but it is very hard. I admire you. :-)

    Perhaps you could write to your grandson while you are away. Either letters to be given to him or write a journal that you can share with him when you go home. Just a thought. Will he be able to visit you?

  • Sandfairy1712SSandfairy1712 Posts: 6
    edited 08/03/2013 - 9:58 PM
    I am due to have ACDF on 3 levels on 28th August and would love to join this group. I am quite worried and wondered if anyone had heard of people who have had surgery which resulted in paralysis in any form. I know people don't want to be scaremongers, but I would be happier going in if I was warned beforehand. I know the Neurosurgeon listed all the possible outcomes, but one of them was death and I am certain that doesn't happen that often. I know I am probably getting myself into a state over nothing, so any reassurance would be most welcome,

    Thanks in advance everyone and good luck, My prayers are with you all for your operations and your recoveries.
  • I've been thinking about you Bentech and hope you have a good weekend before your surgery. I am definitely sending up prayers for you and thinking about you!!
  • I am mentally trying to prepare myself for Monday I really appreciate the thoughts and prayers! I will try and post when I feel good enough to do so after surgery!
    L5-S1 anterior/posterior 360 fusion Aug 2013
    Grade 2 spondy, Severe DDD L5-S1
    L4 Facet arthritis
  • Hi
    my back surgery is on Aug 13
    I attended spine education class for those receiving back surgery in August at this #1rated hospital in the USA
    And the class was VERY LIGHT and only a few people attended sooooooooooooo maybe
    People want to enjoy the rest of the short summer months and wait till the fall months to have surgery.
    FYI- I was the member who posted AUGUST SURGERY BUDDIES
    God bless
  • Thank you so much for encouragement...once a spiney always a spiney :) that is a great idea to write to my grandson. He is 3 so mama can read to him and they can visit so maybe he can still have cartoon time with me :) it has been a very hard couple yrs but it could always be worse. I hate to mention this to you but the symptoms you talked about with your knees sound just like mine did. I must use a cane now because never know when knee will give out. One knee I had torn meniscus repaired and other is just severe arthritis but both had same symptoms. I would have that checked. I waited so long that damage was so severe they must replace knee now. Don't mean to be a bummer but worry you may have a problem. I will keep y'all informed on progress.

  • BentechBBentech Posts: 64
    edited 08/02/2013 - 6:42 PM
    Had a great day with my family today! I pushed through the pain but it actually made me feel better known that I hopefully after the surgery I won't be the Dad anymore that needs to take a break every 20 min!!! Actually almost getting to a I am looking forward to the surgery attitude!
    L5-S1 anterior/posterior 360 fusion Aug 2013
    Grade 2 spondy, Severe DDD L5-S1
    L4 Facet arthritis

  • I have sometimes wondered if it is better to say something early rather than waiting 'til things are so bad that I can hardly walk. I just feel like I have had so many problems over the last few years that I sound like a stuck record. Mind you everything that I have raised with the doctor has turned out to have been a problem.

    So it sounds like you think it may be best to alert my doctor to the problem before it gets worse.
    My physiotherapist does know about it and I have some exercises that don't stress them which I do. He hasn't said that I should tell my doctor. He did however say that I do have problems with both knees, with the right one being the worst. Do you think that you could have avoided the knee replacement if you had been seen sooner? I had rather thought that I would ignore it until it caused debilatating pain. Perhaps this is not a good idea.

    I think it is probably arthritis but I do have hypermobile joints and do feel my knees 'slipping' sideways sometimes. Perhaps that has increased the wear and tear on them. I do always hold on as I got downstairs (and upstairs), just in case.

    I will be thinking of you on 16th for you surgery. Have you got in plenty of things to keep you amused as you recover? I actually wrote a short story for my granddaughter while recovering from my lumbar fusion and started a short story for my grandson during the cervical fusion recovery. I really must finish that!

    Take care and good luck
    :-) xx

  • I hope that you are enjoying your weekend. Make sure that you eat some of your favourite meals and spoil yourself. Perhaps take some photos of you having fun with your family. They will be good to look at while you are recovering and will give you encouragement and hope that you will be able to have even more fun once you are fully recovered from your surgery.

    You will soon be on the recovery side of surgery. I hope that it will all go to your surgeon's plan and that they will keep you comfortable once you wake up.
    I'll watch out for a post from you to hear how things go.

  • blueeyedwolf1977bblueeyedwolf1977 Posts: 55
    edited 08/03/2013 - 5:35 AM
    I also am getting surgery this month...very nervous, but somewhat excited also...will be nice to have others to talk to, since my hubby has never had this issue...thanks
  • Here is the list so far of August surgeries - we can update it as others post.

    August 5 - Bentech - ALIF and Posterior Decompression and Fusion L5-S-1 (Anterior)
    August 6 - Katjonmadi - ADR C6-C7
    August 8 - t-rex mom - Lumbar 3-Sacral 1 Decompression & Fusion
    August 8 - Bentech - ALIF Posterior Decompression and Fusion L5-S1 (Posterior)
    August 12 - blueeyedwolf1977 - Lumbar Microdiscectomy
    August 13 - stenosisRose - Back Surgery (unspecified)
    August 16 - kamgram - Knee Replacement
    August 19 - chrelsey - ACDF C5-C6
    Unspecified date - Sandfairy1712 - Three Level Anterior Cervical Discectomy with Fusion

    Sending good thoughts to everyone! Lets keep our spirits up and treat ourselves with extra care and kindness this month!
  • BentechBBentech Posts: 64
    edited 08/03/2013 - 12:43 PM
    Thanks for the list I am first and will be thinking about all after I am done! I will try and post a update when I feel up to it on Monday!
    L5-S1 anterior/posterior 360 fusion Aug 2013
    Grade 2 spondy, Severe DDD L5-S1
    L4 Facet arthritis
  • Thanks so much for the list chelrey
    I am so happy i started this August Surgery Post
    Now we can all encourage and pray for each and everyone of us
    thanks again and God bless
    Rose (stenosisrose)
  • I started this post and forgot to tell my story
    A HUGE deer totaled my car (large ford crown victoria) on a bright clear sunny day 1:00 in the afternoon
    Mild concussion, severe cervical disc compressing on my chord, stirred up old injury L4/5 And created more problems with another car accident only 10 months later laterat the L3/4 level of lumbar spine.
    Neurosurgeon told me to have cervical fusion to PREVENT paralysis incase of a fall or another car accident
    I did have ano t her car accident only ten months later. So good thing i had the cervical spine fusion when i did.
    Had total hip replacement this past December 2012 and now having on August 13th
    Lamenectomy L3/4 and revision lamenectomy L4/5
    I have foot drop and keep tripping on my toes
    weakness,foot drop, tingling and numbness from my foot to my buttocks at times is the reason for my surgery
    Hoping to prevent further nerve damage and hopefully regain the nerve function that i have lost already
    Prayers are needed and will be greatly appreciated on August 13th
    Hugs and hershey kisses to all and especially my AUGUST SURGERY BUDS
  • I am so sorry for your misfortune with the deer versus your car. Both usually lose :( I have had 3lamenectomies on L 4-5 over past from1994 to 2008. Was really sore after surgery but did well through them and recovered well. I hope your surgery goes smoothly and you recover quickly. Just don't overdo. My hubby came home in middle of day and caught me sitting in a chair with wheels pushing myself around mopping my kitchen...lol I paid dearly the next day :o

    Chelsea...Thank you for posting when all surgeries will be and who is having what. Hard to keep up with but now I know and can keep in my thoughts and prayers.

    Bentech I will be praying for you on Monday as you go through you surgery. Pray that it will go smoothly and pain will be minimal. Just keep your chin up and realize you will improve everyday :)

  • Kelli thanks for the kind words I appreciate the kind words I take them to heart they will all help me along with my recovery!
    Rose, I am so sorry to hear about your recent problems and really glad everything is worked out for you so far! I will pray and think about you during your upcoming surgery and hope all goes well with it and your recovery!
    L5-S1 anterior/posterior 360 fusion Aug 2013
    Grade 2 spondy, Severe DDD L5-S1
    L4 Facet arthritis
  • Mind is racing 100 miles per hour thinking about tomorrow about 30 hours now until first surgery soooo excited yet soooo scared! I hope everything works out! I think that the help and support we can receive from each other will be pivotal in all of our recoveries! :-)
    L5-S1 anterior/posterior 360 fusion Aug 2013
    Grade 2 spondy, Severe DDD L5-S1
    L4 Facet arthritis
  • Saying prayers for you as you have your surgery tomorrow, and then again on Wednesday! I understand the mixed emotions of being excited and scared, but know that after tomorrow you will no longer be stuck in a pain cycle that is going nowhere - rather you will be heading down the road towards healing. I know we all look forward to hearing an update from you as soon as you are able to post!
  • blueeyedwolf1977bblueeyedwolf1977 Posts: 55
    edited 08/04/2013 - 4:44 AM
    I am kind of glad I am not the only one going through this right now! My husband doesn't understand it...he doesn't think I will need pain killers, and if so, not for more than a couple weeks...? How can I tell him how I feel?
  • Susan I am sorry your husband doesn't understand the chronic pain your in. Many people that never experience the chronic pain that most of us on this board have experienced just don't understand what it can actually do to a person. I am fortunate to have a wife that sympathies with me as she lives in chronic pain herself from other issues. I can't speak for how you should explain to him how you are feeling but what I can do is say when I took a vow to marry my wife we said we would be there through sickness and health and I would always be there for her and I am sure your husband will be there for you!

    We are all here for support let us know if you need any support during this time and good luck with the surgery I will pray and be thinking about you!
    L5-S1 anterior/posterior 360 fusion Aug 2013
    Grade 2 spondy, Severe DDD L5-S1
    L4 Facet arthritis
  • Lets all pray that bentech surgeries will go very well and that his recovery will be easier than anticipated
    Hugs and hershey kisses
    Stenosis Rose
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