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What to do while we wait for surgery

beaverbbeaver Posts: 190
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:39 AM in Lower Back Pain
Hubby has been diagnosed with spinal stenosis at the age of 65. He is otherwise very healthy but the pain is wearing him down. He is avoiding taking pain pills as much as he can as he fears addiction. He is also a very physically active guy and does not do well 'sitting around.' And I rather think that he is doing more physically than he should but he needs to be active.
We have seen a neuro-surgeon and now are awaiting surgery as the doctor felt a laminectomy was the best procedure. He also said there is no nerve damage that he can see and appeared very surprised at this. Surgery will be at least six months down the road.
Anyone have suggestions on how he can relieve his pain and avoid getting any nerve damage. He comes from the old school that a ' real man" just keeps on going despite pain.I know he thinks I am nagging him to stop doing stuff but I am so afraid he will do significant damage before he has surgery.


  • did the surgeon suggest that he limit his activity? most of us do give in and take the pain pills when we need them in order to have some quality of life. i read an excellent article about the difference between addiction and dependence. i will post a link and encourage you to share it with your husband.

    good luck to you both and please keep us posted.

    here is the article

  • hi i am from the uk .and i have had a laminectomy at 30 years old ,if your husband has no nerve pain DONT have a laminectomy its very invasive surgery and he wont be the same again .get another opinion if you want more info about my experience please contact me tony.beer1@googlemail.com
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  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,528
    falls on the patient, patients family and the doctor.
    I know that many other members, ie, Straker) might have a bad experience with one type of surgery. We see it here all the time, not just what Tony was saying.
    But what did not work out for one person could be the saving grace for another. No one here is in a position to tell another member to have or not have a particular type of surgery.
    What I have seen is when members present the pros/cons
    of a procedure to provide additional information to the requesting member.
    I have always taken the position that before you do have surgery, become the 'expert' on that surgery. Read everything you can about it. Discover its good points, identify potential negative effects..
    The Spine-Health detailed libraries will provide you with a wealth of knowledge regarding a procedure.
    Then the Spine-Health member community on these Forums can provide their own personal twist to the surgery.
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • that it is up to the patient and doctor. And that what may be someone elses nightmare surgery just may be a saving grace surgery for someone else. Get yourself educated on the surgery, pros and cons. Ask all the questions even if you thing they may not count. JJGrey posted a great read about addicition- look up his link-

    Good luck with your husbands care!
  • I understand your husband as I come from the same school of "a little pain never hurt no one". But at age 65 he does need to understand that he does need to slow down especially in his condition. I commend him though on staying active. He just needs to use that time in exercises that will help his condition.

    Did the doctor give him any exercises to help him?

    Next given his personality I am sure if he takes the pain meds he will take them as he needs them as I did. The pain meds are there for a reason to allow him to function and hopefully beat it long term. Also IMHO when given the option of pain meds or surgery I would go for pain meds all the time. Do you know if these pain meds are opiate based? You do not become addicted to just any type of drug. Also if he is like you describe I would think he is mentally stronger than that.

    As others said you need to decide for yourself on surgery but surgery IMHO should be the last option. Do you believe he has tried every option first? The fact that he will not use his pain meds would tell me probably not.

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