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Thoracic spinal stenosis and being able to walk again?

So  recently I’ve been having problems with my back.  Started trying to lose weight Joint a local aquatic center. After the second day of working out in the pool, I started having severe muscle spasms. Fast forward a month later I went to DISNEYWORLD and ended up falling at the resort and ripping my toes open( yea I know) trip was a total bust for me because after that fall I really couldn’t walk unassisted   . That was July 2nd  after I got back home o had an mri done which showed stenosis in the thoracic area  had to wait a couple months to see the Nuero and when I did he scheduled surgery 3 days later  he ended doing a laminectomy from t1-t7 and the pain in insane. I spent a week in the hospital just laying in bed  I sat up a couple times but they didn’t allow me to stand for about a 5 days. Now before surgery I could get around with a walker. At least the house  never really left.  Now I’m writing this laying in a bed at 4:42 am at the inpatient rehabilitation center because I’m very curious if anyone else has had the same issue and is walking normal again?  My leg movements have improved since surgery but the numbness is still there I’m numb from my midchest down to my toes. I can still feel things  but the sensation isn’t the full feeling. Any advice or stories someone can share about regaining mobility?


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13

Comments

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 6,255

    hello shawnfred10!
    please click on the welcome link below and the tutorial to get you started on the form.
    welcome to spine health


    i am so sorry!! i do know that thoracic spinal stenosis is not as common as lumbar or cervical stenosis but a rare degenerative condition. i have never been through what you are going through but if you need to talk and have support, you came to a good place.
    i know you don't like being there but this is the place for you now. they will hopefully have you moving around very soon.
    please take care and keep us posted on how you are doing. hope to hear from you soon.
    Sandra
    Veritas-Health Moderator
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Please read my  Medical History
  • Thank you for your response and offering to talk if needed. It’s a tough pull to swallow to be walking fine 4 months ago to barely walking. I feel my legs are stronger and pt has me walking more which is good. I’m really hoping to get good results. 

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  • Hey shawnfred welcome to the forum.  What does your medical staff say about your symptoms prognosis etc?

     So sorry for your pain, you had surgery recently, you need sufficient time to heal and lots of patience . If you are particularly active you really need to figure out how to be, somewhat less active, until you heal. Mobility takes time to regain but a good therapist will track your range of motion you’ll see yourself progress. Your PT should become a good friend. 2or 3x a week - but that ends but the PT should not end, ever. 

    Make sure you eventually have your PT show you exercises you can safely replicate at home, and/or at the gym, for long term health benefits. 

    L3-S1 ALIF Feb 2018 and 

    L3-S1 PLIF Laminectomy and Fusion March 2018

  • My medical staff believes I should be able to walk again but it might be with a cane.  They can’t make any guarantees which I understand. It’s just I get in my own head sometimes and gerbil my self down because I’m scared to death I won’t be able to walk normal again. This is my third day at the rehab center and I’m walking more with the walker but my legs still feel blah.  I know it’s  early I just thought after surgery it would feel better not worse. Thank you for your reply as well!

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 6,255

    I had no idea what thoracic surgery involved until I read up on it. Below is a link to an article that may help other members, like myself, understand better. It seems you have already made progress, hang in there.

    Sandra
    Veritas-Health Moderator
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Please read my  Medical History
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  • Hi Sandra - memerainbolt,

    I am not able to see a link to an article about thoracic surgery.


  • shawnfred,

    You are still in the very early days after spinal surgery.  Thoracic spinal surgery is the most challenging for the surgeons to do, and many spine surgeons won't attempt to do it.  It is known to be the most painful and difficult recovery.

    I am reading your post because I have thoracic spinal stenosis with compression on my cord.  I have had lots of scans and x-rays done, but won't hear the results untilt he beginning of November.  They have mentioned a thransthoracic surgery going into the side of my chest, deflating a lung and removing a rib.

    I have got to know a lovely lady who woke up from a cervical fusion unable to move anything fromher neck down, apart fromone of her big toes.  She went to rehab for about 9 weeks.  She did get a lot of improvement during that time and now can walk with a frame, but uses a wheelchair outside most of the time.

    Nerves are known to be very slow at healing, so please don't lose hope.  Spinal surgery on the thoracic spine is rare, so I don't think there will be many people coming along to share their experiences with you. 

    I have had lumbar and cervical fusion surgeries.  I hope to never need thoracic surgery, but in my last clinic letter it was described, which was a bit of a shock.

    Wishing you improvement in your pain and that your walking and movement will improve soon to encourage you and keep you hopeful.

    Can I ask you what your pre surgery symptoms were?  Was it just your fall that alerted you to the fact that something was wrong?


  • Joel1QJJoel1Q Posts: 314
    edited 10/15/2018 - 1:32 PM

    Sandra I think the article link has gone missing  :)

    Shawnfred10 if you can continue to walk as much as your doctors have ordered that should help you. If you can’t walk because you have this or that reason, tell your pM doc and your physical therapist immediately so they can help treat ASAP. 

    Ron a moderator here has told me this over and over ... nerve pain, numbness tingling in the Fingers is normal after surgery, but you have to keep up with the prescribed medics and physical therapy.  And that the nerve pain will eventually go away but After My lumbar 3 level fusion I could not feel anything except pain. Having said that, even though it was horrible and I felt at times this is the worst possible outcome , I kept listening, to the advice even though I wanted to ignore but—> it does get better naturally over time<@&amp;&&$ the more exercise you can tolerate the better, as that plus that positive attitude you need will be your new best friends until you get to regular therapy.   I also suggest pouring yourself into PT as there are countless things you can do for your  lower body if you ask and tell them your needs. 

    L3-S1 ALIF Feb 2018 and 

    L3-S1 PLIF Laminectomy and Fusion March 2018

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 6,255
    Sandra
    Veritas-Health Moderator
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Please read my  Medical History
  • Jelly 

    My post passed yours in cyberspace ... I am curious what this is about...

    in my last clinic letter it was described

    A clinic letter from your PM dr? Or something else. I would think this is very helpful - is it personalized?

    Curious joel  

    L3-S1 ALIF Feb 2018 and 

    L3-S1 PLIF Laminectomy and Fusion March 2018

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