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Many Successful Surgical Patient Outcomes!

BruceBBruce Posts: 516
edited 12/21/2015 - 6:32 AM in Good News
Yes, we have lots of members with positive spine surgical outcomes! Please go to our Positive Surgical Outcomes thread in the old forum for more details:

http ://messageboard.spine-health.com/viewtopic.php?id=15574

Bruce (Moderator)

Keep positive!


...an old timer here and ex-moderator



  • AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
    edited 06/20/2016 - 9:37 AM

    Thought this would be a good palce to post my success story...
    I'm 25, female, PhD student in the UK, and have had intermittant lower back issues for around 4 years, with no apparent cause. Last Christmas, I got ill (vomiting) and in doing so put out my alread bad back so that I had constant sciatica. Perhaps stupidly, I carried on rowing (the only sport I've ever loved!) as my physio said it prob wasn't doing any harm (?!!?). Anyway, within 2 months, the pain extended to both legs, buttocks, spasms, unable to walk more than 20 yards, tingling sensation in buttocks etc.

    Against my political judgement, I had to go private for my MRI and consultation but thankfully I had a minor healthcare policy to cover it I had what was decribed as a "huge (13mm) disc sequestration with alomst complete occlusion of spinal canal" which explained a lot of the pain :P

    Anyway, once I managed to get this MRI scan under the eyes of a neurosurgeon, which took about 3 weeks, due to rubbish nhs admin, they rushed me into (NHS) A&E due to "possible onset of cauda equina syndrome" and I was operated on within 24 hours.

    I was home within 3 days and after that everything's been fab. I immediately lost most pain, could walk loads further and everything got grdually ebtter each day. It took about 1.5 months to regain the ability to stand on tip-toes. Sounds trivial, but this worried me for a while as it affects jogging etc.

    Yesterday, I jogged 5km for the first time in training for a 5km cancer research run next week. I'm hoping to get back into rowing, but am taking it slowly. I even went on a bouncy castle at a party last week!

    I'm doing pilates and Physio religiously, and hoping everything stays great.

    I was terrified of the surgery, and the anaesthetic, but it was definitely worth it for me. I'm even quite proud of my 4 inch scar! }:)

    Feel free to message me with any questions!

    A xx
  • Thanks for posting your story, A. Every positive outcome story gives a lot of hope to others who are contemplating surgery.

    Take care... Bruce
    Keep positive!


    ...an old timer here and ex-moderator

  • Thanks for sharing your story.

    Good luck in your race.

  • I finished the race in around 29 mins, a great acheievement for me-I've never run that far in my life! And the best bit-no pain! :D WOOOOOOOOOOO!
  • I have never in my 15 years of back pain have been in this LITTLE of pain! I am ecstatic! I can't believe it! I had my surgery on July 19th so I am still early out, but I feel great! There is the occasional twinge here and there, but WOW! I knew in my heart and in my spirit that this surgery would work. I had a fusion on L5-S1. So, YAY ME!! WOOHOO!

    I wish this much success for everyone here!

  • L5-S1 Discectomy with pinched nerve, bad. Pain since last July ranging from 6 - 10. Tried ESI's (3), 6 weeks PT, and finally had surgery on June 9th. After surgery my pain spiked to a 10+, but I could keep it down to about a 6 or 7 with the drugs... (less when standing or laying flat on my back).

    Then this past weekend I turned a corner and have seen improvement every day since. I've stopped taking my Darvocet (weaned myself off over a few days), and am using Tylenol now. Sitting here right now with no drugs in me at the moment I'd have to put the overall pain level at a 1 or 2... first time in a year I could say that! I see the Doc this afternoon, hope he agrees that everything is going as well as I think it is.

    I still can't do everything I could, I'm just beginning to try a little bending and twisting... slowly! But hey,... progress is progress!

    Yay me!
  • Excellent recovery so far! Keep up the good work :)
    Keep positive!


    ...an old timer here and ex-moderator

  • 3 month post op ACDF C5-C7 check up was today. Doc said that I have started to fuse. He said I can return to lifting light weights 20-30 pounds. Virtually no pain for the last two months now but my left thumb is still quite numb. :)
  • Keep positive!


    ...an old timer here and ex-moderator

  • I am new to Spine-Health and am SO glad that I found this thread (and all of the links to other successful stories).

    The last week I have been reading about people's lumbar fusion stories and a majority of them had new pain/numbness symptoms post-op, complications from the surgery (infection, hardware failure, etc.) or no improvement post-op. I was beginning to think that success was very unlikely after having a lumbar fusion,decompression, laminectomy, etc.

    Last night I was talking with my husband and he made a good point - people that don't have successful surgeries do post, and people that have successful surgeries go on to life their life and rarely come back to post their success. So I thought that I would search the Forum and see if I could find success stories - and here I am! This thread and all of the links to other threads has lifted my spirits again - success is possible, and I believe that going into the surgery, one has to believe in success and do everything post-op to achieve a successful outcome. Yes, sometimes it's out of the person's hands due to the doctor's error or infection, etc.

    I posted additional information about my current situation under the "New Member Introductions" titled "Retired Gymnast - 24 years old"-check it out if you would like.

    I'm not gonna lie, I worry about the "domino effect" with having a spinal fusion, especially with being in my 20's, and fear that there will be other fusions to come. I have also given up a lot of activities that I used to do - I don't know if I want to go on living like this, or do something about it, hoping that the outcome is better than where I am at now.

    Any comments or additional success stories would be great! I go in for a second opinion from a neurosurgeon on December 3.
  • HI everyone,

    I am 5 weeks post op for a t10 disc removed, had a rib taken away too and a cage put in.

    I had a follow up xray today, and all is looking good, i have been on strict rest since op but was told today that i can start walking about again next week :) I am so happy as being so immobile has really driven me mad!

    I was in hosp for just under 3 weeks, the op was quite close to the heart due to where the disc is so i had to have a neurosurgeon and a cardiac surgeon do the op, they cut through left side of my chest, i have a nice 25cm scar (just over ten inches) and although i felt like i was going through hell at the time, it will all seem worth it when i am fully recovered and mobile again.

    hope everyone is well
    H xx
  • I am a 41 year old female with a 48 degree curve that is progressing. I am considering surgery within the year and wanted to see if anyone out there has been through the fusion for scoliosis.
  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    Welcome to spine-health. Thank you for sharing your successful outcome. It's encouraging to any of us facing surgery or just out of surgery to read stories like yours. And not just one surgery but two. That's great!
    Thanks. Again, welcome.
  • In 2005 after years of cervical pain and numbness in my hand and swearing no one would go near my neck with a scalpel I had a cervical corpectomy. I was in the hospital less than 24 hours and came home in a hard collar but pain free for the first time in years and I could feel my hands. 3 Years later I stepped onto a curb and pain shot down my back and my legs collapsed. I saw a doctor who referred me to a surgeon- neuro. The surgeon viewed my MRI before entering the room, walked in looked at me got this very strange look on his face and walked back out. He came back in and stated frankly that by looking at the MRI he thought I was an 80 year old. I was 43. He proceeded to then tell me his second guess would have been a retired football player but seeing a woman he knew that wasn't the case either. I had three ruptured discs and the most severe stenosis he had ever seen and he was amazed I was still walking unassisted. I tried the steroid injections and had to have one a month for 3 months and that was the max I could get. After the third injection, which lasted a month, I saw the surgeon again and in 2 weeks on Feb 12 2009 I underwent PLIF and ended up with lumbar fusion L1-S1 with instrumentation. My husband was told 5-6 hours and the surgery was 8. The neuro surgeon was not anticipating fusing the entire lumbar spine. I was in the hospital until the 14th and used the pain pump only twice and that was the surgery day. I honestly do not like the way pain meds make me feel not to mention the side effects, especially the constipation. I was walking on the first post op day and it was the most comfortable walk I had taken in months. Once at home I had a couple of poor me days at first but that was due to not being totally prepared for the extent of the fusion. I got stuck on the potty but with the addition of a toilet riser that situation was solved and I felt helpless in tending to my hasic needs, needing help bathing and getting dressed. I am happy and proud to say I took very little pain med and was able to manage with tylenol and prior to walking the muscle relaxer my surgeon prescribed. I began walking outside with the walker and my husband at my side several times a day and by the time I returned for suture removal about 2 weeks later I wae allowed to start working from home a few hours a day and he told me I could stop using the walker. By March 20th, 5 weeks after surgery I was back to work 4 days a week about 4 or 5 hours a day and 3 weeks after that I was back full time. I still walk twice a day and have become very mindful of my weight. Just a couple of extra pounds makes a big difference. Just this week we went to disney with friends we have not seen in a year. Just prior to my surgery when we were at disney and I couldn't walk but a few feet without a rest. They were amazed at how different I was less than a year later and able to walk the whole park with no rest stops. Everyone is different and every recovery unique but moving is most important to get those muscles back into shape and functioning optimally. Best of luck to you all.
  • agreed 100% with getting muscles back on track asap & keep moving,,,, maybe surgeons should stress this amongst their patients - I wasn't told anything - all they were concerned with was the incision healing properly - if I'd only known then what I know now,,,,,,,
    thx for sharing
  • I haven't been around here for a while and thought I would stop by and update life at this end. I am almost 1 year post and am happy to report I am 100% pain free and am working driving a semi truck over the road.I hook and UN hook my trailers my self and on occasion hand unload the truck. I was a little worried about bouncing up and down in the drivers seat but so far I have no problem doing so. At last check my 2 level has a 100% fusion and I am a heavy smoker!. I guess I was blessed!. I hope others here have the same results I have got from surgery!
  • Your story is good..Hope it can help to the people a lot..good luck
  • thanks for sharing your story. it's very informative post.
  • I am two months out from fusion L-4-L-5. I have been using a walker since I left the hospital which I found to be very unusual, awkward and frustrating. I battled Ovarian Cancer at 35 and rode around bald in a wheelchair and it never bothered me one bit. But I have felt strangely and intensely self conscious in public in the walker. Anyway, today at PT I learned to use a quad cane. I have been working very hard and at times did not know if the day would come. Medical supply is delivering one to my house tomorrow. I am so excited. I know I have a long way to go but just wanted to share.
  • Thank you so much for this thread. While doing research for my upcoming TLIF surgery I kept coming across nightmare story after nightmare story. Friends told me to stay away from these boards, because success stories were out living their lives not posting on health boards. But I needed to know honestly what I was facing. But I was getting pretty freaked out. I found this board the week before my surgery and it helped me go through with it.

    Now I am a week post op. I feel like I was given my life back! I am walking almost three miles a day without pain, and only take pain meds at night. Pre surgery I could not walk a block without severe nerve pain. While I know everyone is different, I am very happy so far.

    The real point of this point is to thank Bruce for starting the thread and all the previous posters. It was just what I needed at a very dark time!
  • Post edited by Tam for spam.
  • My vertebrae were out of alignment and bone against bone. Herniated disc was poking out two sides.

    But after coming out of surgery, I was ready to get out of bed (they didn't let me...but I was ready to try it out). Doc said that so much calium deposits...he had to chisel it loose before he could even get started. He said the muscles/tendons were all ripped up and inflamed in the area...he did not know how I was walking, when I came in from surgery.

    They let me get out of bed on day 2...and wanted me to walk to the room door. I asked if we HAD to stop there..and they said no..so I walked all the way down the hall and down to the nurses station. They released me to go home 48 hours after surgery...and I was shocked that the ride home was not the misery I had expected. Was there pain...yes...but it was just from the incision (4-5 inches)....not from the 2 support bars they drilled in to keep L5/S1 in place until the fuse takes hold.

    I am now 10 days out and am still taking the muscle relaxation medication...but very little of the pain medicine. Instead...I just get up and walk! I just got back from a quick 1500 step jaunt and I am amazed. There is NO way I could have done that much walking (without crying) before the surgery. I am AMAZED so far and can't wait take more and more steps!! Still having to alternate the walking with lying down to keep pressure off (I do want it to heal!)...but I am so excited about how life changing this surgery has been/will be! Thank you Dr B edit and team and the folks at edit Hospital.

    I hope you have as much success that I have had so far. As far as hints for your surgery/recovery 1) Buy a pedometer and use it to help you watch your progress 2) Rent a hospital bed (mine was $200 for a month) so that you reduce any twisting for getting into and out of bed. I have founnd that to be VERY helpful!!!

    Post edited to remove name of medical professional and or facility. by Authority Member Liz
  • <:P :H I had been terrified of having this surgery. Our Heavenly Father blessed me. I woke up in the recovery room with no pain. No pain back in the hospital room. No pain at home. Tomorrow will be 3 weeks since surgery. The only discomfort I had was with my throat from the tube they put in when your under. It isn't sore anymore. I still feel the swollen incision pressing against my esophagus. It's not bad, most of the time I don't notice it. My doctor did not have me wear any neck brace. Pain free. No meds except my blood pressure pills.
  • That is such good news to hear. I think too many times...people only post when they feel bad after a surgery, and folks don't get both sides of the equation. But I am now up to 3000-7000 steps a day, after having lower lumber surgery just 3 weeks ago. Good to hear your recovery is going great as well!!
  • Wow i see this very old post keeps coming up so often,

    Of course many recover from surgery and go back to work and never have serious further issues in many cases,

    You dont see much postings from those people because they have no reason to post what was just a small set back in there life and now they living a normal life,

    If a person fully recovers they dont have time to sit around talking about it on the internet usualy and many will sometimes totaly not understand why others with same surgery are complaining about still suffering because there outcome was no where as good as there surgery was,

    The risk with any surgery is always there and most that you will find on all the websites will be who had some form of complications pain related after surgery,

    I mean lets face it people that recovered dont have the need to find suport for something they already over come and is in there past history,

    Surgery sometimes can either make you or break you,

    As with some ,surgery helps them get them back on there feet,
    And with some, surgery that failed and made things worse it took them off there feet,
    So its no suprise that who were cripled for life by surgery in many cases end up here,

    If i had a good outcome with surgery this would be the last place i would want to be to read others suffering as a reminder how much pain i was in before surgery,

    No surgery is simple and no surgery comes without serious risk, So surgery always has to be taken very seriously in the decision making on is this something that has to be done so it dont get worse, Or is this something thats not so serious and might be easier to manage other ways then having surgery,

    And thats a lot of times for people to know when they say, My dr wont listen to me and says i dont need surgery, And the person gets upset not realising dr might be right because he knows surgery can make you much worse in some cases,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • I am terrified and having revision on my back l4-s1 tuesday in boston new engl baptis hospital. My first fusion almost 2 years ago did not fuse and the screws are coming loose. I remember hou awful I felt the first time and I have 2 young children and I am 62 years old. having burning in my legs and numbness soles of the feet. I did a lot of research on this and doctors as well but you never know. The first surgery was at mass gen hospital in boston. Just your thoughts.
  • Isn't it great to walk without pain!!!!! I am approaching the 3 year mark and can honestly say life is GOOD!!!!
  • Just over 2 weeks out from my plif surgery and I realize how early that is. I have lived with back pain for the last 15 years from an injury. I stand up from my bed each moring and expect the terrible pain of loading the weight on my back.... It's gone! Walking 1mile 2-3 times a day, I'm a 44 year old female and in fairly good shape. I was so afraid of this surgery I tried everthing I could first. I wish I had done it years ago! Hoping the results I have now are permanent. On the pain scale 0-1 after surgery. Was 5-9 before with a job that requires long hours on my feet and heavy lifting/bending/ twisting. Nervous to go back to work and set back/damage this amazing outcome. I would do this surgery again I a heartbeat. The first two days of recovery were hard but after that great improvement!!!
    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.
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