Hi folks, I'm Bob. I'd like to share my situation and see what others may have had similar experiences.
I’m a 65 yr old retired speech pathologist. I am a smoker. I know, I know, I need to quit but it’s soooo hard to do.
I have had back pain for years. MRI in ’09 showed multiple problems including lumbar and cervical disk bulges, spondylolisthesis, and stenosis. I also have RA and have had both hips replaced due to avascular necrosis. MRI in ’13 showed the same but worse.
I was able to deal with all that with the aid of pain management and trying to stay active. Before I retired, I noticed that walking down the hallways of the school I worked at was very painful and I had to stop to rest sometimes. I also noticed that I was developing supination and that my left shoe rolled over to the point that it was deformed. I noticed right after I retied in ’13 that I developed a limp. In Dec. of that year, I realized that I couldn’t tiptoe on my right foot. As this has progressed, I have some loss of sensation in my toes and the pain and motor difficulty have only grown worse. I also have a very difficult time going up and down stairs.
At times, it almost feels like my toes on my left foot are grasping to try to keep me balanced. I do worry about falling, especially in the shower. I experience a great deal of pain when I walk which is especially difficult because I work PRN in a rehabilitation setting and have to walk a lot. I consulted a neurosurgeon who was very eager to do a spinal fusion. Almost too eager. My PCP and pain MD suggested I wait and try conservative measures and hold off on surgery.
Working in rehab, I have become very familiar with FIM scoring. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s really interesting because if you go to PT or if you have surgery or consult, you get scored on this system because insurance and Medicare prefer it. So, on the FIM scores, I am modified independent (extra time or device) with locomotion and stairs but would need contact assistance of some kind if I were to try to climb a ladder.
The pain got really severe especially when walking so I had an intraforaminal shot about 6 months ago which helped greatly for a while. At the time I had the shot, the MD who administered it said that the motor difficulty and pain were primarily coming from the stenosis. After doing a little reading, the symptoms match as I get relief when I sit down or bend forwards.
So, here’s why I’m here. , I’m starting to look into the possibility of stenosis surgery. Now to find a good MD. Anyone know of any great neuros in Memphis or Nashville?
Is anyone else able to relate to these symptoms? Has anyone had surgery for stenosis? What about results from fusion surgery? I will probably work most of Oct. and then I gots to start making decisions.