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an almost year later... updates?

would really like to hear from people - been almost a year, s1-L5... fusion...not great news, ended up with a lot of sympathetic nerve disorder issues- left leg / left foot numb/ painful, no ankle reflex, no calf muscle left. no balance!

multiple nerve blocks. ready to try hypnosis for the pain, (so expensive)

Tired of pain meds and muscle relaxers.. but.. nothing else works... being 'gently pushed' into the idea of a spine stimulator, and that is a NO -

My brain is still cloudy and I have simply, "changed" .... everyone else?? I often wonder, what is it going to be like to fly, (will the tsa freak out?) do I need a letter from my surgeon (who I am now no longer speaking with)

Do you think it's safe to go back to some of the things I want to do - like ride a horse? (no, I hope I don't fall...)

sad... I can no longer run, jump.... work out the way I want to... getting stronger, but it's NOT the same... did I have a choice? I was told NO.

curious about everyone else's experiences..




  • MollyAkMMollyAk Posts: 114
    edited 03/01/2014 - 12:06 PM
    I fly for work, the first time post surgery I was worried but absolutely no big deal. I have horses and have been told to wait 9 months to start riding again, the surgeon didn't even bat an eye about me riding again, he just said yes. I still have the most annoying nerve damage but I was told that could take 3 YEARS to recover from. So, a weird hand to be dealt but change is a part of that deal. I am now IronMan, so awesome.
    L5 S1 MicroD - August 21, 2013
    L5 S1 Fusion - October 17, 2013
    44 year old
  • StitchGnomercySStitchGnomercy Posts: 64
    edited 03/08/2014 - 6:12 AM
    I'm 14 months out from an L5/S1 TLIF. I had a grade 2 spondylolysthesis (slipped vertebra) along with spinous process fracture, pars defects, and degenerating disc disease. For me, I really think I would have done better had I not waited so long. I'm now pretty darn disabled because of nerve damage.

    I first flew 6 months post-op without too much problem. It was painful, but that was more from not being able to walk far without pain and having trouble sitting in an airplane seat for lengths of time.
    1/16/2013 Minimally invasive TLIF with rods, screws, and cage on L5/S1 joint to treat grade 2 spondylolysthesis, pars defect, degenerative disc disease. Dealt with chronic pain & nerve issues since at least 2007.
  • thoracic spine painthoracic spine pain Posts: 566
    edited 03/08/2014 - 6:18 AM
    There are very good FREE hypnosis sessions on You Tube for pain. I studied hypnosis as a way to control my pain.

    Even though I studied hypnosis to try and find a way to cope with my pain my teacher would not use hypnosis for pain as she said my body is giving a signal for a reason. But hypnosis does help you relax so I'd give it a go on You Tube first before I spent money on hypnosis sessions. Some sessions on You Tube are excellent but there are also not so good sessions there, find the right one for you.

    Having said that EDITED NAME, studied and practised hypnosis as he had severe pain. His life is an interesting read. He had to change the path his life took due chronic pain. He is the reason I learnt hypnosis. Just remember all hypnosis is self hypnosis - so you have to be willing to let go, let your subconscious mind take over.

    Mine is a mechanical injury and needs physical manipulation to put everything in the correct place so maybe it's why it didn't help my pain.

    At the start you need to do sessions most days if you want to get the most out of it. It's really good for sleeping and putting you in a relaxed state. I love hypnosis and the theory behind hypnosis makes sense to me. The belief is that all our memories are stored in our subconscious mind. When we reach the age of about 12 we start to filter information that we remember in our conscious mind, before that a child will let everything go into his/her mind without the filter that we use as adults to discriminate. But even as adults our subconscious mind still remembers everything, even if we have blocked it with our conscious mind.

    It's really worth listening to the sessions on You Tube - there are hypnosis scripts for pain so if you paid for hypnosis the hypnotist would probably use the same or a similar script to put you in a trance like state. There are also different hypnotic inductions so you need to find the best one for you. Some hypnotic inductions work for some people better than others, I cannot handle the one where they walk you down a set of stairs into a dark basement or use a lift to go down into the earth or any other confined space as I am claustrophobic and come out of the trance straight away.

    After the induction the scripts for stopping pain should mostly be variations on pain hypnotic scripts. It might be worth paying for a hypnosis session to see what induction method works best for you and which pain script is the best as a good clinical hypnotist will tailor the script to address your specific pain. They can usually cut you a CD of their session with you so you can use it again. Please make sure you go to an experienced and qualified clinical hypnotist as the regulations at least in Australia allow even unqualified people to practise hypnosis.
    Post edited by Sandi- Please see the forum rules at the link below for more information.
    You agree not to post specific physician names or health care facilities , devices or product names on Spine-Health.com.

    From <http://www.spine-health.com/forum/forum-rules
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,859
    since my last lumbar surgery, No, I cant do many of the things I did back then. But I have adapted and can now do so many more things.

    Throw in 3 ACDFs along with 2 complete shoulder replacements with implants as well as 2 complete hip replacements with implants and I am still going strong!

    With almost any spinal surgery there will be some limitations and restrictions, some of them only for a while, some for life.

    When you adhere to those rules, you will be generally ok.. Break the rules and you will pay. How much will that cost depends on how much you break the rules.

    Trust me, its really amazing to see how much you can still do. You need to forget about what you used to do and concentrate, focus in on what you can do. Channeling your efforts in that positive way will produce results that are so very rewarding.
    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
  • AllMetalAAllMetal Posts: 1,189
    edited 03/07/2014 - 11:14 AM
    Fly away! You do not need a note from your surgeon. However my surgeon did tell me to always fly with a shirt that could be lifted. I have never had a problem, but he has had patients who have been asked to show scars....
    33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.
  • My initial recovery seemed to exceed my surgeons expectations, and I was out walking the golf course from around 6 weeks out, and started playing around 12 weeks. I found walking was my new best friend, and built up a good routine of regular walking. At around 3 1/2 months I started a phased return to work, with high expectations of a "quick" recovery, having tailed off of my Tramadol prescription and gradually increasing my nerve meds. However, after several weeks of part days I began to see symptoms of another problem, having lost some of my vision, which ultimately was diagnosed as the impact of a stroke I actually incurred pre my spine op, but initially put down to my meds. Sadly, the longer term impact of the stroke has begun to kick in as I continued to attempt a ramped up working week, with cognitive issues in addition to the vision loss.

    I am currently in a sort of limbo, where I can manage a few part days in the office each week, but at a much reduced capacity not only in terms of part days but also as it relates to the actual work I can undertake. I struggle to focus on things,whether at work or at home, and find my brain appears to become fried if I spend too long focused on complex matters. I find my only salvation is in playing a round or two of golf - strange as it appears to others, spending 4-5 hours playing golf does little harm to my back, and I can often get round without taking any additional pain killers, yet spending a similar amount of time sitting / standing at my desk is often a real struggle, especially when added to that is a 2-3 hour round trip commute.

    I am fortunate that my job comes with a package that includes Long Term Disability insurance, and the insurers have been very patient with me to date, as has my employer, however I fear time is running out an decisions may have to made in the coming months as to my possible return. In the meantime, I focus on trying to maintain my regular walking, and enjoying my golfing and ignoring some of the quips I get about "playing golf with a bad back".

    I haven't had access to my spine surgeon since the middle of last year, as my insurers would no longer pay for further treatment, however have been seeing my neurologist for my stroke issues. With my back issues continuing, mainly the nerve pain from my lower back and down my right leg into my foot, I have finally been given an NHS (I'm in the UK) appointment to my spine surgeons NHS practice to see one of his registrars, so fingers crossed maybe they will follow it up with further imagery to check that the fusion is actually taking, as my last appointment we only had X-rays where there was only indication of some small fusion occurring because it was at that stage only 5 months post op.

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