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  • Thank you. At least someone gets it.
  • You are entitled to your opinion just like everyone else. I see that you have had several surgeries the last one with hardware removal. That sucks and I bet you would like to keep at least one person from having to go threw that. I know you are just trying to help others and maybe if they reread your original past they would see that too. Good luck to you and keep posting!

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  • Deciding to have the fusion was one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make. I remember very well walking into the NS office and telling him straight up I do not want surgery. I was there to appease my GP who felt I needed to go. My NS told me in that 1st visit that only 80% of back pain sufferers need/or would benefit from surgery and we would do what ever we could to go a non-surgical route. I was so happy to hear that. It ended up taking me 16 months of pain and 4 MRI's CT scans EMG/NCS and countless x-rays before I tearfully agreed to have the fusion surgery. It was not an easy thing to decide. My NS told me at the stage I was we would see about a 70% improvement and that that was pretty good. However, the longer I waited, the longer I allowed my spine to remain unstable the less chance of a good outcome. When I finally saw the seriousness of my pars defect and what might lie ahead of me I went for the fusion. It was about quality of life for me and I would do what I needed to to make it the best I can. I am only 36. I have a lot to look forward to and I hope in the long run the fusion was the best route. It's not like you can just go sign up for one cause you think you need one. I relied heavily on input from both my doctors and really looked at the pros and cons and I made the best decision for me. I'm still VERY early out (at 2 weeks today) but I can already tell a difference. Everyone is different and not all treatments are for every BODY. The reason I frequented this site was to have a sense of comadary with people who knew/know where I was coming from in my "back chronicles" I didn't come here to make life altering decisions based on what a lot of strangers said. This place has been a huge comfort for me and I am glad it is here. I see where you are coming from Dave but in the end it's really up to the professionals and each individual. It just really stinks that so many people have these back and neck issues. My heart goes out to everyone who lives with it. We are kindred spirits and it is good to have a haven like this one.

    just my two cents.

    Kelly Jo
  • I for one understand what Dave is saying, and to some point I agree. It is not wise to take the information given by members here as fact, because none of us are trained medical professionals. It is easy to build friendships here and for us to want to share our experiences and want to help. But it is also easy for us to cross the line and tell someone that it is okay to do something that we have no business giving an opinion on. I have probably been guilty of this as well as a lot of members here.

    For example, check out the thread today about stockings for preventing bloodclots. There is a wide range of experiences, and it would be easy for one to take from that thread that it is okay to remove the stockings that their trained doctor has prescribed. Especially if you are looking for "permission" to remove them. All of us can justify a wrong to seem like a right, that is just human nature. (This example in no way is meant to put anyone down or make members defensive. Please don't react that way.) I am a person who had a massive blood clot that then resulted in pulmonary embolisms. Because of that experience, my advice would be much different than those who were sharing their experiences of remmoving their stockings. The bottom line though is that our physicians are the ones we should be asking. Is it okay to share experiences? Absolutely, and this gives a lot of us comfort and reassurances when we are worried about things. I learned a lot from this site when I was first starting with my neck problems. Some of what I was told was not true though. When I took the information back to my surgeon, he just laughed and said get off the internet. On the other side though I learned things to ask my surgeon, things that he didn't bother to mention that were relevant to my situation. Without the information gained here I would have not known what to ask.

    So if we are a support group, that is wonderful. But please remember not to let any of the members here replace your physicians.

    Dave, I value your opinion on things here, and you have never led me wrong. Thanks for bringing up such a serious topic. We all need to be reminded to do our own due diligence and seek opinions from qualified people.

    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • You are correct Carrie. I'm one of the unlucky 5% who has some minor nerve damage from my surgery. That is one of the risks you take when someone moves stuff around. I'm improving every week and am confident that everything will level off within the next month or so. I will never be 100% and I except that, but where I am now is a 100 times better than where I was a year ago. If I had gone into this ordeal with blind acceptance, I'm sure I would be very upset. There are no guarantees with surgery and its possible you could end up worse than before the surgery. I for one consider myself one of the lucky ones cause I'm able to do my honey do list around the house, play golf (need to wait a few more weeks), and basically live my life with minimal difficulties.

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  • I was one of those people going into surgery with "blind faith". I will admit that I really just trusted my surgeon and said let's do it. He told me I would be off work 2 weeks. I had been through several other surgeries, and frankly thought it would be just like the others. Get sliced open, remove the problem, suffer with incision pain for a few days and get on with life. Well, man was I wrong!

    I wish I had found this site pre-surgery the first time around. But I didn't. Would I still have had the surgery even if I had researched more? I feel I had no choice so yes, I would. But I would have done things a little differently had I known what to expect long-term. spine surgery is serious stuff and Dave is right, we need to research and get several opinions before making such a major decision.

    Just another round of my .02 cents, for what it is worth.
    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • Okay, I'll just say it:

    You all ROCK!!

    I'm very happy when I read things that make me stop and think and truly evaluate my decision making process - both sides of the equation - both sides - I know it helps me make better informed decisions!
  • I posted a thread on the old board very similar about people giving advice on medications such as how much is appropriate to take. We do not "know" who we're talking to and it is irresponsible for us to claim to know more than the doctors. Sure, there isn't any substitution for the human experience and I myself have taken a great deal of comfort in the fact that I have people that have been through the same thing to talk to. There is, however, a difference between helpful hints on how to get around after surgery or what to ask the doc pre-op and asking if you should HAVE surgery or not.

    Like Dave and Cindy, my surgical results were anything but stellar. I DID my research and didn't ask for advise from laymen before surgery and it still went all wrong. There is no magic cure folks and what works for one person can go very, very wrong for another. Only you and your medical professionals can make the determination based on your medical findings and what will help YOU lead the quality of life that you need. Our role here as members of this board is to be friends and mentors- not substitute doctors. I will call it like I see it, however, because I think surgeons are pretty unrealistic when it comes to things like healing times. The people here can be helpful in that way because we've been there, done that. I don't know many neurosurgeons that have had the surgeries that they perform, do you?

    Dave, I think people come on here and ask others to help them with their decisions because they are plain scared (weren't we all?). They see a lot of experience in us and think that we can push them where they want to go but may not have the courage to pull the trigger alone. While I agree that it's not right to give medical advise I wouldn't go so far to call those who ask for it "stupid". It's up to us, as experiened surgical patients, to urge them to do the research (like you did in this post) and make an informed decision. I get your point but demeaning them is not going to solve the issue- people will continue to come on here asking for us to make their decisions. Perhaps you can post more often on those types of threads, giving them links to follow, urging them to get another opinion or whatever else fits the situation.


  • Griff,

    You are right, stupid is not the right word to use. The gist of the point is still valid. I think its great when someone asks what do they need to do prior to surgery and compare notes as to what worked for someone else. What happens is, a lot of people go to the extreme (and I've read a lot of posts) and start asking for advice from people unqualified to give it.

    I've been on this forum for a very long time, over year. I have made well over 1200 posts on the previous forum. I've always tried to temper my responses without going over the line (I'm sure I've slipped my foot over a couple of times). This is what was done for me last year when I was new and faced with all kinds of doubts about my upcoming surgery. The big thing last year, no one ever said do it Dave, it worked for me. Instead, everyone was very supportive, urging me to educate myself on my condition. My Surgeon was great in explaining everything to me, but it still does not quell the butterflies that one gets prior to a major decision.

    This is not the first time that I've started a thread like this and every time I do it, I get blasted. I appreciate the support from those of you who think like I do. I'm not trying to start a fight here, but rather raise awareness.


  • I agree with you that patients need to get 2nd and 3rd opinions when it comes to spine surgery. I felt you were suggesting that we don't do our research and just jump into surgery. I think that anyone who has found this site must have come across it while doing research. I do appreciate your links to other information that I may not have come across.
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