Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Moderators do have the same

dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,877
edited 11/10/2014 - 7:37 PM in Chronic Pain
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
You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com


  • When I read your story, I think of my future. I've had 2 major back surgeries. I'm having my shoulder replaced in a couple of months. My other shoulder is in the beginning stages. My right knee is bone on bone. I have 3 cervical disks that have no space. My right hip hurts when I walk. Even my elbows are starting. I'm 5 years younger than you.

    My questions is, why do you think your arthritis was caused by your back surgeries, or did I read that wrong? Also, I had a circulation problem where my feet turned red and my ankles swelled. The blood wasn't flowing back up to my heart. It was a simple fix done in the vascular doctors office. I'm hoping that's your issue as well. I wish you well and thanks for all you do for us on this site.
    Artificial disc at L5S1 for 10 years. Had 3 Level lumbar fusion and Laminectomy on Sept 27, 2013. It was an OLIF (Oblique Lumbar Interbody Fusion) with cages, BMP, rods & screws. Norco, Plaquenil
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,877
    I was showing no signs of arthritis up until 2002. We had a bone scan done with identify several deep 'pockets' of arthritis at each of my joints. In 2004, I had another bone scan done. The the rapid enhancement of Osteoarthritis and deterioration of the jointsl led several of my doctors to conclude that the spinal problems I had combined with the surgeries were the chief catalyst in my condition. Was arthritis present to start with? I am sure everyone has it to a degree. But it was the rapid acceleration that was most alarming.

    Thanks for your kind words and I also hope there is a quick and easy fix for my circulation problem.
    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
  • EnglishGirlEEnglishGirl Posts: 1,825
    edited 11/11/2014 - 5:37 AM
    Thanks, as always, Ron. Sometimes it's too easy to forget that you guys are going through your own battles with chronic pain. Last year there was an interesting BBC documentary on genetics & osteoarthritis. They were saying that they can now look at a baby & predict (genetics) if they will suffer with osteoarthritis. It concluded that they're still a long way from a cure but they should be able to advise people what jobs & physical activities they should avoid in life. At least they're realizing it's a lot more complicated than 'normal wear & tear' for some of us. I was diagnosed as a young teen long before I could wear or tear anything!
    I'm over 20 years younger than you guys & already have 'old lady fingers' that can predict the weather! Many of my joints are playing up. I'm not sure how effective some things are but I'm doing everything I can to battle the future. Do you guys live on an arthritis diet, suppliments, natural remedies? I know you exercise Ron. Have you ever found anything that you believe has slowed the progression of your arthritis?

    Thanks again for sharing Ron. ;-)
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • Hi Ron and everyone else. After two plus years of things being relatively calm I've started down the path of arthritis. Back, shoulders, knees, hips, elbow and hands. Frustrating since there is nothing much to do other than pain management.

    Also starting down the road of cervical damage for my husband. Funny how the government keeps pushing back the age for social security...do they really think people can work until they are 70? Some people are very lucky but it seems like everyone I talk to has permanent injuries at very early ages.

    But as you say this is the life we have to live so it is up to us to make the best of it we possibly can.
  • It makes me sad to read all this. Having a bit of a bad day myself. Well, i guess we'll laugh at all this when we're in the next world, but it's a pretty rough road to go down while we're here on earth, huh?
Sign In or Register to comment.