Many of you that know me, know that I started with my first spinal surgery in 1978 and my last was in 2000. But because of all those surgeries, arthritis took hold and I have had both of my shoulders totally replaced with implants as well as my hips.
I have several thoracic discs that are herniated, but I've come to deal with them the best I can. Recent MRI's have shown some new herniation in my upper/lumbar discs. It just goes on.
In the past 4 years, I have been dealing with some ankle problems., specifically my left ankle. Started as a result of trying not to fall on an elderly lady while in a super market while I was just recovering from one of my shoulder surgeries. I avoided landed on top of her, but instead, did a little dance and wound up landed on my left ankle. Big time sprain.
Fast forward to a number of different physical therapy bouts, some injections, etc, the problem never went away.
Lsst MRI indicted partial torn Achilles Tendons. That was going on for a couple of years, a tear, partial healing, another tear, another partial healing resulting in a lot of scar tissue and a big hump on my heal
I saw with ortho who said surgery was the only option. I went to NYC today to see another Foot/Ankle specialist. He also agrees surgery is the only option. But during his exam, he notice that I have little circulation in my foot. Its pretty blue and purple. So before any surgery, he needs me to 'fix' whatever blood flow problem I have in my foot. But honestly, its both feet..
Then to add to that, both of my hands go completely numb a least once a day, sometimes three to four times a day.
Some of this could be from my cervical and lumbar stenosis. For years, we've know that I have severe lumbar stenosis., but now it seem like the cervical is getting worse.
This could be constituted to my Thoracic Outlet Syndrome or other spinal related issues. Its hard to pinpoint Since some of my problems are diverse., its difficult to know what doctor that I really should be seeing.. My long time physiatrist also is not completely sure who to see first.
So right now, I am turning to one of my best friends, who is a well established and respected physician. His specialty is pulmonary, but he is pretty smart. I am turning the situation over to him to figure out the circulation problems, which I know I need to see a vascular doctor and for the numbness another spinal specialist..
I will need the ankle surgery, just need to wait until I cant deal with the pain any more. The recovery is 4 weeks with no weight bearing, while in a cast, 3 more weeks in the cast with slight weight bearing, then about 3 months into it, starting of physical therapy... Should be ready to do in about 6 months, but it will take a t least a year before all the reconstructive surgery on my ankle is at full strength.
Here I am at 64, I figure my surgeries were in the past, but each year another surgery of some type keeps on coming up.
Almost 99% of the problems I have had recently and now currently are due to the spinal problems and surgeries I had in the past.
I cant blame it on the surgeries alone. For too many of my younger years, I ignored those problems and forgot about the limitations and restrictions that my doctors placed on me. I have grown smarter so those things dont happen anymore, but its much like smoking. I haven't had a cigarette in over 35 years, but that still doesn't prevent me for developing COPD.
My wife runs a Pulmonary Rehabilitation program. About 90% of her patients are COPD patients. Thing is, that there is no cure for COPD and it has become the 3 largest reasons for death in the United States and those figures are growing...
My message? While you are young, please make sure that you listen to EVERYTHING that the doctors are telling you.
Restrictions and Limitations are given for valid reasons. I am not saying that if I did 100% of what I should have, I wouldn't be having the problems I am faced with right now. But who knows in terms of the frequency, the types, the ongoing complications with each surgery.....Could have been different.
I will still hobble along and still be thankful everyday that it is a new day. Life is good, perhaps not a good as another, but a hell of lot better than many others. I love life and will do so every single day until its time.
Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences