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Looking for information and experiences

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.


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,527
    it would be helpful if you could give us some more.

    welcome to spine-health

    one of the most important things that members can do is to provide the rest of the community with as much information about themselves as possible. it is so very difficult for anyone to respond when we do not have enough information to go on. this is not meant to indicate that you are doing anything wrong or violated any rule, we are just trying to be pro-active and get the information upfront so that people can start responding and your thread is more effective.

    so many times we read about members who have different tests and they all come back negative. the more clues and information you provide, the better chances in finding out what is wrong, the fact that your test results are negative does not mean that you are fine and without any concerns. many times it takes several diagnostic tests and procedures to isolate a specific condition.

    here are some questions that you should answer:
    • - when did this first start? . year, your age, etc
    - was it the result of an accident or trauma?
    - are there others in your family with similar medication conditions?
    - what doctors have you seen? (orthopedic, neurosurgeon, spine specialist, etc)
    • . which doctor did you start with? ie primary care physician . who are you currently seeing?
    - what conservative treatments have you had? which ones?
    • . physical therapy . ultrasound / tens unit . spinal injections . acupuncture . massage therapy
    - what diagnostic tests have you had? and their results (mri, ctscan, xray, emg, etc)
    • . summarize the results, please do not post all details, we cannot analyze them . how many different tests have you had over the years? similar results?
    - what medications are you currently using? (details, dosage, frequency, etc)
    • . name of medication . how long have you been using this? . results
    - has surgery been discussed as an option? (if so, what kind)
    - is there any nerve pain/damage associated?
    - what is your doctor’s action plan for treating you?

    providing answers to questions like this will give the member community here a better understanding
    of your situation and make it easier to respond.

    please take a look at our forum rules: forum rules

    i also strongly suggest that you take a look at our faq (frequently asked questions) which can be found at the top of the forum menu tab or by going to faq there you will find much information that will
    • - help you better utilize the spine-health system- provide pointers on how to make your threads / posts- tips on how to create your avatar (your picture), posting images, etc- general pieces of valuable information

    please remember that no one at spine-health is a formally trained medical professional.
    everything that is posted here is based on personal experiences and perhaps additional research.
    as such, no member is permitted to provide
    • - analysis or interpretation of any diagnostic test (ie mri, ctscan, xray, etc)- medical advice of any kind- recommendations in terms of medications, treatments, exercises, etc

    what could be good for someone could spell disaster for another.
    you should also consult your doctor to better understand your condition and the do’s and don’t’s.

    it is very important that new members (or even seasoned members) provide others with details about their condition(s). it is virtually impossible to help another member when all the details we have are

    i’ve had this for years, it hurts, i cant move my shoulder – what could this be, what treatment should i get?

    diagnosing spinal problems can be very difficult. in many ways it’s like a game of clue. especially, when the diagnostic tests come back negative – no trouble found! then it’s up to the patient and the doctor to start digging deeper. the doctor is like a detective. they need clues to help them move along. so, you as the patient need to provide the doctor with all sorts of clues. that is like it is here. without having information about a condition, its impossible for anyone here to try to help.

    specific comments :

    personal opinion, not medical advice :

    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
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