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new to forum scheduled for thoracic multi level fusion

draydayddrayday Posts: 23
edited 11/16/2013 - 7:00 PM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi everyone, My name is Andre, I have been suffering for a loooooong time. I am 35 year old male. Had low back multi level laminactomy in 98 for a few bulges. After surgery i felt great. I started painting homes with my father in law and in 2001 I was on a roof and felt my mid back pop. No real pain then but slowly 6 months later i needed pain medication to help live. I didnt have health insurance unitl 2007 and when brought to the attention of the DR's i was seeing nothing was ever found. By now I was using 100 mg of oxy a day. So as year pass to 2011 the Dr's say this is in my head and do anything and everything to convince me and get me off pain meds. Well one day i could no longer stand the pain and they took the first xray in 10 years and the Dr's jaw dropped. Needles to say he gave my my choice of pain killers after he saw the thumb sized arthritic mass growing off the interior of my t9. I told him to F?%^ off that isnt why i am here!.. Well i could only afford a hmo for the next few years until summer 2013 where i could no longer stand the pain. I changed to a ppo and now im scheduled December 4th for fusion. Dr. Scott Leary here in San Diego is going to do the surgery. From my research and people i know in the biz (if you know anything i need to know please let me know soon) he is one of several surgeons here in San Diego that are qualified to do this complex surgery.
although they all seem like robots at the office i still feel confident in their abilities. Im just worried about the post op pain and especially the rib and possibly ribs they need to remove. Anyone out there have experience? I have no choice. I cant live like this, I can take a 40mg oxycodone every hour and still be in pain. Im willing to risk surgery even if its 5% chance of improvement. I hardly believe it could get any worse. Mind you that i work 40+ hours a week as a construction superintendent. im taking FMLH leave to do this and need to get back to work to support my family as im the only breadwinner. I know pain intimately. Im a damn expert in pain LOL!
Multi level partial laminectomy at age 19. L5s1 L4 L3. Thoracic pain started in 2001 found herniation in t8 and t9 in 2011 multi level thoracic fusion Dec 4 2013, Los fusion near future. And other thoracic pain.......
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Comments

  • I had a t5/6 laminectomy and fusion 10 years ago. It is a big brutal surgery and afterwards you will feel like you've done 10 rounds with Mike Tyson! Expect a long slow recovery.
    Was it worth it for me? You bet! I feel ten years younger now than I did ten years ago, if that makes sense.
    Good luck on December 4th. Keep us posted.

    Mick
    I'm not young enough to know everything - Oscar Wilde
  • LizLiz Posts: 9,441
    Please take the time to read this post and refer to it when you have questions

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    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
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  • Thank you Mick , did you have any ribs removed and how does it feel now?
    mickkr said:
    I had a t5/6 laminectomy and fusion 10
    years ago. It is a big brutal surgery and afterwards you will feel like you've done 10 rounds with Mike Tyson! Expect a long slow recovery.
    Was it worth it for me? You bet! I feel ten years younger now than I did ten years ago, if that makes sense.
    Good luck on December 4th. Keep us posted.

    Mick
    Multi level partial laminectomy at age 19. L5s1 L4 L3. Thoracic pain started in 2001 found herniation in t8 and t9 in 2011 multi level thoracic fusion Dec 4 2013, Los fusion near future. And other thoracic pain.......
  • I'm fused T5/6 to S1. Still have all of my ribs... Unless your tumor is on the rib itself, you probably won't loose any ribs. I do know people who had to have ribs removed and live very normal lives. T9 is below the heart, so that's a plus I'd think. I can't imagine the surgeon not knowing upfront what rib/ribs he might have to remove based on the mass location. I'm sure he can clarify that before your surgery. Best of luck to you.
    33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.
  • draydayddrayday Posts: 23
    edited 11/17/2013 - 4:25 PM
    AllMetal said:
    I'm fused T5/6 to S1. Still have all of my ribs... Unless your tumor is on the rib itself, you probably won't loose any ribs. I do know people who had to have ribs removed and live very normal lives. T9 is below the heart, so that's a plus I'd think. I can't imagine the surgeon not knowing upfront what rib/ribs he might have to remove based on the mass location. I'm sure he can clarify that before your surgery. Best of luck to you.
    All metal Thank you. Your avatar picture is ridiculous! I cannot imagine what you have been though. I appreciate your support and encouragement.
    Multi level partial laminectomy at age 19. L5s1 L4 L3. Thoracic pain started in 2001 found herniation in t8 and t9 in 2011 multi level thoracic fusion Dec 4 2013, Los fusion near future. And other thoracic pain.......
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  • mickkrmmickkr Posts: 166
    edited 11/17/2013 - 7:02 PM
    They remove a rib to get better access to the spine from the chest cavity. Just gives the spine surgeon more room to do his stuff. They also dislocated my shoulder for the same reason. Boy was that sore next day!
    Mick
    I'm not young enough to know everything - Oscar Wilde
  • hi everyone. so im a couple months post op. all was great. dr. said i was doing perfect. i was able to wear my brace only while walking. im writing because im a bit scared. I fell asleep on a couch and slouched really bad. was fine for a few days but all of a sudden i got a sharp pain under my left shoulder blade, same as before. and also a burning ache right at the center of the surgery site, that was yesterday. I slept ok. i could feel the slight burn in my thoracic spine but no bad pain under the shoulder blade. I got up and could tell all was not well. went to church and i admit i am overly worried. i could feel the pain. almost want to crack my back. If i rest as i am now. the pain does go away but i can still feel the sensation of the burn in the spine. and i for a split second i could feel the same pain in my rigt shoulder blade. I think im just stressing and everything will go away but im afraid that some of the bone from the fusion is starting to put preassure on my nervs. My last dr. apt. is march 6 and im suppose to go back to work on march 10. i think i should go see him but i guarantee the xray will show nothing. I pray all goes away!!! Anyone with any wisdom?
    Multi level partial laminectomy at age 19. L5s1 L4 L3. Thoracic pain started in 2001 found herniation in t8 and t9 in 2011 multi level thoracic fusion Dec 4 2013, Los fusion near future. And other thoracic pain.......
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