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Success stories - Love to hear them

Many times new members join and they have a big fear about spinal surgery. Ok, spinal surgery is scary, no question about that. But some of the comments I read is about the
outcome of those surgeries. There are so many negatives, so many post surgical problems, that any new comer is going to have their doubts.

Yes, there are problems, not every surgery works out. But there are hundreds of spinal surgeries that correct the problem. You see that by members coming on board, talking about
an upcoming surgery. They talk about their fears, family impacts, etc. They have the surgery and for the most part all goes well. At that point, they really do not need Spine-Health as
a resource. That is good, I am so happy for those folks On the flip side, there are those that things didnt work out. They talk about their problems (and they are valid)... But what happens
is it can create additional fears for people just beginning to learn about spinal problems.

SO, please, please post about your positive stories, how surgery has made a difference in your life.
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


  • Hi Dilauro, my story in allot of ways is a success . here it is and I'm sure you'll agree.
    Well here's my story. I am 49 years old and am male. In 1985/1986 I had 2 laminectomis to remove herniated disc, c5 c6. I was fine until 2005. Hands started burning. Went to Dr, got MRI and he said it looks like u need c5c6 c7 fused. So I had that done. It was done from front of neck.
    2007, my hands were burning again so went to Dr and got MRI, he said looks like scar tissue has formed in previous surgeries. He said he can remove it but would have to go through the back of the neck like 1985/86. I said OK. He said I would be home in 2 weeks. Boy was i and he in for a surprise!! ¡!!!!!
    He opens me up and sees tumor, nuerofibroma schwannoma that is about 3/4s of an inch and has penetrated the spinal cord dura and the spinothalamic tract of the cord , which by the way there are only 15 cases where that has happened !!! Oh boy !!! Now its a 9 hour emergency tumor removal. I wake up, excruciating pain. Can't feel or move legs. After 1 1/2 weeks in ICU, they transfer me to level 1 spinal rehab where I lived for 1 year. Legs finally started to move an inch after 2 months. Long story short, took 6 years to learn how to walk again and I'm proud to say that I went from wheelchair to walker to 2 canes to 1 cane and am now cane free. I still have diminished propripception but no where near what it was when I started to learn to walk again. Now I have permenant damage to cord. I suffer from sciatica in both legs and feet. Hands still burn too. Now I have seen posts on here where people say you can't have sciatica from neck, OH YES you can if cord is damaged. Dr said tumor removal damaged the sciatic pathways in the spinothalamic tract in cord at c5 c6. I been to 6 other drs and they all agree, yes you can and I am proof of that. I've had MRI to check rest of spine and the rest is fine. Thank god!!!!. Now yes the pain is bad but I am on nuerontin, 3600 mg a day which is a very high and dangerousy dose but at least I'm walking !!! Drs didn't think I would walk again. I proved them wrong! Now listen to how rare this tumor is, all drs said that for nuerofibroma schwannoma that penetrated the spinal dura there are only 100 recorded cases in the history of this and I am 1 out of the 100. Now listen to this. !!! I recently met a women in hospital that had same exact tumor also penetrated the dura hers at t12. Now we are 2 out of the 100 recorded cases in the history of that. That is amazing!!! We will now be friends forever!!! I have been through allot but my grandma always said, " there's always someone in the world worse off than you". And she's right. Even though I am in pain everyday 24 hours 7 days a week with no break. I am walking and I met a wonderful woman who knows exactly what we go through every day. When there are people who will never walk again !!! Grandma you are right!!! I thank god for what he's done for me and pray for those less fortunate than me. To all spinal cord sufferer's, even though things may not be good for you like me and the woman I met, keep your chin up , there's always someone worse off than you. I witnessed it I live it everyday. If I can help anyone here feel free to ask.
  • itsautonomicitsautonomic LouisianaPosts: 1,805
    In 2004 I herniated thoracic disc and tore others. I tried everythign PT, chiro, prolotherapy, trigger point injections, yoga, pilates, massage, ESI/Facet injections and I exercised everyday until 2010 when finally surgury was scheduled, but before surgury a discogram was done to test discs above and below T6/7, those discs both turned out to have annualr tears and te T56 disc was a greater pain generator than T67, so upon my request we targeted the T56 tear with ESI and I had drastic stabbing pain releif, i subsequently had one more same area and over time the pain has gone away for most part. I immediatly felt something was differnet after injection. I attribute the success to
    1. being a hard worker and exercising everyday so when a solution presented itself I was at full capacity to capitalize
    2. Being educated in thoracic spine and knowing my body and others stories online
    3. Being a person who questions everything including what doctors tell me ( annular tears dont cause pain ) and will try anything to get health better
    4. The skill of the PM doctor in getting the needle close and my ortho for being open minded to fact that annular tear can cause pain and that we had a long relationship of trust
    5. Not sitting as much when school ended

    But all that had to line up and it still took from 2004 - 2010 to find tear and treat it. Have to find the problem before it can be fixed, getting diagnosed correctly is the key above all else in my opinion.
    Do your due dilegence, trust you know your body and question everything if it does not fit. Advocate for yourself and you will be suprised what will be revealed trusting your body and instinct.
  • Owie_999OOwie_999 Posts: 176
    edited 01/16/2015 - 12:21 AM
    Around this time last year I was in excruciating pain, sciatic pain running from my right buttock all the way down my leg. I was taking far too many pain killers and anti-inflammatories and couldn't even sit down long enough to go to the loo without being in agony.

    Fast forward a year and although I've had three surgeries (I had a dodgy disk that wouldn't stay put, no rhyme or reason), I can sit, I don't have the buttock or calf pain & a minimal amount of nerve pain in my ankle & I'm not taking any opiates.

    I don't regret any of my surgeries. Each was a success in its own right. My life is better than with pain, different than without but I'm happy with where I'm at.

    I've learnt a lot in the past 2 years, especially the last 12months. I'm more patient & I'm not sweating the small stuff so much. Don't get me wrong, I still have days where I feel sorry for myself, but I'm able to pick my chin up off the ground & move forward.

    Microdiscectomy L5S1 January 2014
    Microdiscectomy L5S1 March 2014
    Fusion L5S1 11th August 2014
  • skyelanesskyelane Posts: 2
    edited 10/01/2015 - 5:53 AM
    Just chiming in here. I had a massive Schwannoma that was discovered incidentally in 2012. I was very close to being paralyzed from the lumbar spine down, due to nerve compression from the tumor. 6 hour surgery, 4 days in the hospital. Surgery was a complete success. A small bit of the tumor couldn't be removed, as it would have required cutting too close to the nerve. I get regular MRI'S to make sure it isn't growing back. So far, so good. I have a lot of pain issues but they're probably from other back issues. Will you ever be 'normal' again? That depends on how you define 'normal.' If that means will you ever be able to do the same things you did before surgery? Probably not. I experienced a lot of depression post op, as I was an extremely active person. It took awhile but I finally ended the 'pity party' when I realized that it was up to me to make my own 'new normal.' We all get older and can't do the things we did when we were spring chickens. But what's tough is when it hits you suddenly and all at once... not giving you time to adjust gradually. I also had other health problems rear their ugly heads at that same time. Since April of 2012, I've had 16 surgeries, in addition to numerous other medical procedures. I am no longer the active person I used to be, and at one time I just wanted to give up. But then you see others who have it far worse, and are reminded that many people would trade places with you if they could. Today, I live my new 'normal.' I focus on my blessings. Taking Cymbalta for depression has helped immensely. My problems are ongoing, and I still have 3 surgeries to go before the end of 2015 (not from my back). Keep your chin up. At least you can read this post. ;-)

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  • Undiagnosed for more than 8 months, finally only thru MRI it was detected. I had my surgery recently, 4-5 hours surgery. Took extrA hour to remove the mass because it has calsified. Discharged thursday 10/8, prescribed with Valium, Oxycodone and steroid. The day I was discharged , I cant barely move my upper part of my body wondering why. No idea that this is muscle spasm if I am correct, and nurse didnot even bother to tell me take Valium to relieve the pain, but instead take oxycodone. Take Valium only before going to bed at 10PM. Since its still too early to comment on the result of surgery. Muscle spasm so far has been affecting my recovery.. will get back to you after few days.. and looking forward I could balance and walk independently again.
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    Welcome to Spine-Health
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    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

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