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Numbness after Facetectomy

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,321
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:34 AM in Spinal Stenosis
Hi everyone
Hope you are all feeling a little better today.
I would appreciate any comments or suggestions to this post. I had a facetectomy in February 09 - was a month free of numbness (never mind the pain). Numbness is back and so is lower back pain. I cannot get an appointment to see my spinal surgeon till October. So my sister talked me into going to an osteopath. He turned out to be in it for the money only, first time he said only one or two sessions and second time he said only three or four, third time he said maybe ten. I said goodbye. I don't mind spending my sister's money (g-d bless her), if it's going to help.
Okay not giving up I found that my health fund has a natural clinic and there is a doctor who assesses you and he suggested 8 acupuncture and 8 chiropractor treatments. The chiropractor suggested potassium, the acupuncturist suggested more iron. My GP said they are both mad.
What I would like to know is if anyone else has gone down this path with alternative medicine and what happened to them. I have had one chiropractor and two acupuncture treatments. BTW my GP gave me acupuncture to stop smoking about 25 years ago and it worked. I can't stand the smell of it.
Love to hear from anyone that has any suggestions and comments to make. Many thanks shouav


  • It would be helpful if you provided a bit more information about your back issues. Is this a lumbar issue? Where is the numbness and/or pain located?

    If you could take a poll of everyone who has had acupuncture treatments, I think you'd find that the majority feel it has had little long-lasting effect. And many of us on the board have a healthy fear of chiropractors as in many cases, they can do more harm than good.

    Please write a few more details of your situation so people will be better able to provide thoughts and suggestions!
  • Thanks for your reply Gwennie17. I'm really not sure what else I can add to the above. I began have numbness in my big toe about 10 years ago. It gradually became worse. I used to go swimming three times a week too, but have not been for about 3 years now, due to lack of funds. So I believe that the swimming delayed the inevitable symptoms. A friend of mine suggested I might have neuropathy. So I went to see a neurologist. I was told that I had neuropathy, and treated for it. Medication didn't work, went back to him and he told me to go to orthopedic doctor. The orthopedic doctor sent for a CT, (I can’t have MRI’s due to Gaul bladder operation so I have metal holding my stomach together). When the CT came back the orthopedic doctor diagnosed spinal Stenosis and sent me to a spine surgeon. He looked at and said I would have to have a ‘facetectomy’ L2-L5 was opened and he put some kind of ring in it to keep it open, and fused some of the bones too. After I got out of hospital I was free from numbness for about a month. Then it began to return and I am back to square one, which either standing or walking for 7-10 minutes and numbness.
    Since I can't get an appointment with the surgeon until October, I have been trying alternative medicine: acupuncture and chiropractics.
    I hope that helps if any one has any insight it would be greatly appreciated.

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  • I can absolutely echo the comments and sentiments of GWENNIE17 with respect to acupuncture treatments and Chiropractors.

    You mentioned that you have been trying alternative medicine and you asked for some insights and I hope that this story is useful and that it does not bore you. My experiences with alternative medicine people have been dreadful at best. As far as I am concerned, for real spine problems, they really have no idea whatsoever. Sadly, they can cause more pain and damage and that was my experience unfortunately.

    After various visits to many of these quacks all of which were absolutely useless, my cardiologist whom I respected highly, told me that he had personally had a great result for pain relief in his neck and shoulder from a specific chiropractor and he thought that I should certainly at least try him. I did exactly that and I took along my latest X-rays and MRI's to my first visit. My wife came with me and even she, being a person that is not normally easily hoodwinked, felt that he seemed very genuine and knowledgeable. He firstly insisted on re x-raying my spine at great cost and produced 3 long pictures of my back. He put the x-rays on a long light box and proceded to draw on them with a pencil and a 12 inch rule. He then went into some "mumbo-jumbo" about angles and he told me that it would take about twelve visits to his office and I would be cured. Fortunately he did not ask for money up front as I have heard happens sometimes. I went for about 6 visits and my pain was getting worse, He told me that this was normal and that he was certainly making inroads towards getting rid of my pain. Then came the horror story. On visit number 7 he told me that he was going to try a different adjustment and that he was confident that it was going to work well.
    As he did that manipulation, I screamed out with the most dreadful pain you can imagine and I ended up on the floor in his office writhing in pain. He panicked and I said "get me the the ER" he left the room to make a phonecall and returned to tell me that he was going to put me in his car and take me to the person that taught him how to be a Chiropractor and that would be the fastest way to get me out of my pain.
    In my absolute desperation I stupidly accepted that option, still believing that he might be right, as I was going to see his guru who was some thirty years his senior. He left behind, a waiting room full of people and he drove me about some sixty five miles to see this guru during which time my pain had started to subside somewhat all on its own. We arrived at the guru's office and the only answer that he had was to lay me face down on a table and then drop the bottom half down which temporarily stretch my spine by taking off some of the pressure. He left me laying in that position for quite a long time and after a while he iced my back while in that position in order to try to calm the nerves in my spine. This was just a temporary band aid of course but the nerves did eventually calm down sufficiently, enabling me to be driven the sixty five miles back again.

    Later that evening the inept Chiropractor called me several times to see if I was OK and he expressed great concern that I might consider taking legal action against him. Quite frankly, that was the furthest thing from my mind at that time as I just wanted to get as far away from this inept charlatan as I possibly could.
    That was the last straw for me and the end of a catalogue of dreadful experiences with quacks. Never again for me, thats for sure. Some folks may want to believe in these people for some things but for real genuine spine problems, the general public at large need to be very aware of what these people are capable of.

    Gwennie 17 asked you to please provide some more details of your situation and I was wondering if you have a copy of your surgical notes in order that people may know more specifically what you have actually had done. Your description is somewhat vague and more details would perhaps help us understand a little better.

    Take care

    John B
  • Sometimes after surgery, when you are relatively pain-free for a month to six weeks, and then the pain returns, it can be a sign of the formation of scar tissue.

    When you get in to see the surgeon, you will probably be given a new scan to check on the surgical site and to check for scar tissue.

    From your description, it sounds like you had a fusion.
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