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pending surgery

Hello, I have not seen my particular situation here but im sure there are others. At 61 I underwent L4-5 with total instrumentation. Was necessary to prevent further damage and total nerve inpingement. Recovered well. No more terrible pain and was living normally and back to normal whatever that is!! At 68 because of worsening scoliosis I had to have previous hardware removed and underwent T9-L5 with 18 pedicle screws long rods etc. Was in hospital and rehab for almost 1 more and was doing really well. Then at 4 1/2 mos post open I did something incredibly stupid and fell backward and fractured my spine in 4 places. The worst being at L5-S1. I have been on the drug Forteo (daily injections) for almost 7 mos and now my bones are stronger and will be having another surg. Dr will cut rods at L3-4, slide them down and out and replace them with longer rods. Hook everything back together with S1 pedicle screws as well as iliac screws. Easy peasy right? Thing is the older I get the more I am concerned about the whole process. Next step is cardio clearance and scheduling for surg fairly soon. .I am a relatively healthy and somewhat sporadically active. Enjoy camping with family and have been full time Rvers since 2001. I'm not an athlete by any means and could lose 20-lbs or so but we do enjoy our life and are so fortunate to Stoll be able to do what we do. NOT ready to quit and am trying sooooo hard to remain positive, but I still think this is my one last best shot?????


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • your surgery ...that is ..
    all I can say is good luck with it .and try to look after it .you may find recovery a little long as you are a little older now and its a repair of a repair .and that's always harder to do and heal .you very lucky initially as you managed to get some pain relief .I know from my experiences that's a rare occurrence .I recovered well from my first surgery but subsequent surgeries have proved harder and hard to live with {pain and disability that it }
    anyway good luck
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • terrster69tterrster69 Posts: 4
    edited 06/20/2014 - 10:08 AM
    Thank you Tony for your reply. I do agree about age. First surg at 61..second at 68..now 70 and I did amazingly well with the first two but a third??? Hoping between Forteo and determination I will recover well again:)
  • backache99backache99 Posts: 1,338
    edited 06/21/2014 - 7:18 PM
    as I was chatting to my consultant yesterday the topic of instrumentation and decompression came up and where my problems have been made 100 x worse was because when I first had spinal surgery the way thing were done in the uk back in the 1990s was to not use any instrumentation and leave the spine ;;;unstable;; madness when you think about it .I has two operations with no instrumentation and by the time I got to the consultant I am seeing now my spine has been butchered and he did his best to re stabilise it BUT the damage was done the nerves are damaged and I will have to live with that for ever I learnt a lot yesterday from my consultant and it all made sense you would not take down a supporting wall in your house without first propping up the ceiling this was the metaphor he used as I was in the construction industry before the RTA .so now I am left with a non specific diagnosis of {cauda equina syndrome /arachnoiditis } and they could have been avoided if proper surgical technique would have been followed unfortunately we are about ten years behind the USA here in the uk .now any consultant worth his salt will use instrumentation after a decompression to hopefully protect the nerves BUT this wont help any nerves that have sustained damage as a result of initial trauma or surgical trauma .good luck and keep us all informed
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • Thank you again Tony, sounds like you have been thru a terrible ordeal and here's hoping you find relief. When thus latest (and last)!! surgery is done I will have 12 levels with total instrumantion. Dr will be adding 3 more levels with longer rods as well as as pedicle screws and ilieac screws. That should do it and then its a matter of minding my ps and as and working hard on recovery. I do know the importance of that. Be well.
  • sandisandi Posts: 6,342
    edited 06/22/2014 - 6:05 AM
    Wow, that is a huge surgery......but your attitude will go a long way in helping you get through this surgery too...in fact, that will be your best weapon in getting back on your feet is not letting everything defeat you.
    I can understand your concerns, and anxiety but I have a feeling, you will be posting soon about planning your next rv trip.....
    I want to be you when I grow up.......
    :smile:" alt=":smile:" height="20" />
  • Thank you Sandi for your kind words of encouragement:) Today I took my 180th injection of Forteo. Research says that my bone density has increased approximately 25%. That should help tremendously as far as inserting and holding this new instrumentation. Have to believe this will be my best chance at being able to post about that next trip!!!
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