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we need more sucess stories gang!

anyone else with good recovery stories for those of us facing surgery in the future?
Thanks in advance
StenosisRose (having surgery on aug 13)


  • 15 years ago I had an accident at work that herniated a disk and fractured a vertebrae. I have had off and on severe back pain since then. PT, chiropractor and finally so bad I was unable to run or go to the gym. I stand all day at work and some days were brutal. Dr sent me for a new MRI. No disc left and severe end plate changes. Tried 3 steroid injections with no improvement. The pain in my lower back was crushing, wrapping around the front and felt like horrible period cramps, down both legs to knees. Finally gave in to neurosurgeon and decided on plif L5/S1. He said 50/60% percent of success. He was honest in success meaning less pain than before surgery not pain free. Well I had the surgery 6/12/13. Off pain meds at 2 weeks and totally pain free at 6 weeks post op. Thankful every day I stand up from bed and do not have crushing pain. Can not believe I waited so long to fix this! That is my success story.
    PLIF L5/S1 fusion 6/12/13
    ACDF 5-7 7/17/13
    44 year old Mom of 10 and 12 year old girls, full time veterinary technician.
  • thanks for posting chris, hope you continue to do well.
  • Yes!
    Thanks Chris for posting your sucess sucess story
    May you continue to heal completely and quickly
    God bless nd thanks again
    Stenosis Rose
  • I had a 5 level lumbar fusion in 2007 as a result of a spinal infection which had eaten away at my spine causing great pain and instability. Basically, I had to relearn how to walk and had to wear a hard shelled brace for 18 months straight. Where am I today? I still have discomfort and need mild pain meds. However, I walk, do exercises, golf, travel, and do just about anything I want. If I overdo it, I pay the price. But I'm back at it the next day. Am I a success story. I believe I am. I measure my success on where I was prior to the surgery and where I am today. Am I 100%? No. Am I pain free? No. Am I better because I had surgery? Yes.

    Emergency surgery in March of 2006 for spinal infection of L 2 and L 3. During surgery, discovered I had Cauda Equina Syndrome. Spine became unstable after surgery and had 360 fusion with 10 pedicle screws, plates and rods in April of 2007.
  • What an awful thing to go through! You have a great positive attitude! So glad you can continue to do the things you enjoy. My dr was honest about possible outcomes for this surgery especially since I waited so long. I feel incredibly lucky that it has turned out so well. Keep golfing... I can't manage to get the ball off the ground so I stick to mini golf :)
    PLIF L5/S1 fusion 6/12/13
    ACDF 5-7 7/17/13
    44 year old Mom of 10 and 12 year old girls, full time veterinary technician.
  • Kelli372KKelli372 Posts: 4
    edited 08/23/2013 - 8:59 AM
    Here’s my story…hope it gives some encouragement to those facing the same surgery.

    At age 38 (3 years ago), I became pregnant, and very quickly gained way too much weight. The pregnancy was ok, but not long after I had my son, I started getting some serious lower back pain. The pain in the lower back was nothing compared to the associated pain that started in my right leg. My PCP had tried some Ibuprofin first, and then eventually referred me to an orthopedic specialist. After some x-rays and an MRI, I was told that I would need surgery in the not-too-distant future, to fuse the spine at the L5/S1, as I had Grade 1 (if I remember correctly) spondylolisthesis.

    I had just started a new job, so I was hoping to hold off on the surgery for as long as I could stand it. During that time, the pain in my leg progressively worsened to the point I ended up needing a cane just to walk. When I would go grocery shopping or the like, I would have to use a wheelchair or motorized cart. At that point…I couldn’t stand much more, so I scheduled the surgery.

    I spent hours and hours on line, mostly this site, researching the surgery…getting tips and advice on pre and post-op…reading every word of everyone else’s surgical experiences. Because so many of the people that stay posting on here after surgery are those who are still in pain…most of what I saw was nothing less than horror stories that had me scared out of my wits. But, I was determined to get it done, because the pain was too much, and I could not stand not even being able to hold or play with my new son.

    That said, I had the surgery on July 10, 2012. Upon waking up in my room, I could tell a big difference, as I didn’t have the sciatic pain that had been crippling me for so long. I even was up and walking the halls the next day with the PT folks. Of course, this was all while on some pretty decent pain meds in the IV, so I’m sure that had a lot to do with how I felt…because by the time I got home a few days later, recovery took a totally different turn.

    The initial sciatic pain was gone…but I was now fighting a new pain from the surgery. I had pain in my right piriformis that made it so I couldn’t walk more than 2 minutes, and would almost pass out from pain from just sitting on the toilet. Every night I laid in bed in tears from the pain, afraid that I had made a terrible mistake. Four weeks later, I ended up having another surgery to revise the wound, because the incision was not healing…and they were worried about infection…so add that to the stresses and I’m sure that didn’t help with my pain problem.

    For eight long weeks this pain persisted. Eight long weeks of struggling to get out of bed and do my walking exercises around the bedroom. Eight long weeks of dreading having to go sit in the bathroom to do my business. Eight long weeks of having to have my fiancé assist me in the shower and toilet. Eight long weeks of crying myself to sleep…eight long weeks of wondering if I’d be able to walk again, and fearing that I’d be incapacitated. Not to mention that after surgery, my left leg was left with nerve damage that has still not abated. But that’s more of a nuisance than anything too painful.
    But then, after those eight weeks, I woke up one morning and the piriformis pain was gone. I was able to go to physical therapy and strengthen up my leg muscles, and get my body used to moving again. Within the four weeks I had left on medical leave, I was feeling 500% better. A couple months later, I re-joined the gym, and was slowly working my way up to training for a 5k…something I never considered even before I started having back problems.

    And I can play with my son. That’s the most important thing.

    So hang in there, and if you are depressed and fearful before or after surgery…just remember that the body is a complex and beautiful machine…and it heals on its own schedule and own terms. Mine is still healing a year later, with my nerve damage very slowly changing. Patience and strength are definitely needed…but have faith that you just may wake up one morning and realize that everything is going to be ok.
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