Decompression and fusion suggested

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This topic contains 68 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Lc 3 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 69 total)
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  • #46908

    Joyce
    Participant

    Paul sorry to go on but you say when you’re disc failed and damaged the nerve was this not picked up by the nerve test at St Thomas’ or did it happen after?

    #46909

    PaulT_99
    Participant

    Yes my nerve damage was picked up by the nerve tests.
    However it was not picked up earlier during the spinal surgery. Which I don’t think it can because it’s not actually a visible thing.

    #46910

    Joyce
    Participant

    Paul no I’m under a spinal surgeon at Guys but pain clinic at local hospital but I will ask him about nerve test as that’s my main worry. Thanks

    #46911

    Joyce
    Participant

    Paul oh I see you had the nerve test after surgery.

    #46914

    Di
    Participant

    I’m s o sorry you have this and don’t envy you your decision. I’ve just been diagnosed with exactly the same; stenosis at L3/L4 and something I don’t rememeber the name of at L4/5. I’ve lived with tat lower back pain now for 30 years. Walking became impossible over 20 years ago and I use a mobility scooter. I can manage about 15 yards before I have to bend over to relieve the pain. Up to around 3 weeks ago it was pretty stable, the searing pain in my lower back and ankles feeling as if they were on fire which my GP Put down to swelling or peripheral neuropathy. However I was taken into hospital around Feb for an MRI scan which showed the stenosis. about 3 weeks ago the nerve pain spread up my legs to my knees. I take oxycodone for the back pain but they won’t give e anything for the nerve pain because the anti epileptic drugs make me suicidal. I’ve begged to be referred for either injections or an SCS but am not getting anywhere. GP just suggested an osteopath. How an osteopath can help with stenosis i can’t imagine. One neurosurgeon recently referred me on to his superior because he hadn’t a clue what was wrong. I haven’t et got that appointment but am praying he will suggest something. I can’t even sleep now unless I lie on one side with my legs at right angles to my body. I also have a severely damaged nerve at T12/L1 which affects my abdomen and left leg. I Just wish they’d take the darn thing off.

    #46915

    Joyce
    Participant

    OMG What a nightmare you poor thing, have you not even been offered epidurals? I’ve had 2 but the last one didn’t work at all. My backs been bad for about 5 years so no where near as long as yours but since seeing the spinal surgeon about 6 weeks ago it’s become unbearable for some reason I’ve lost nearly 1 1/2 stone which I thought might help a bit but it’s made no difference at all! The burning then icy sensation goes down both legs now and my feet go numb. Driving used to be ok but did a long journey yesterday and I was in agony for most of it. My appt is on Monday so will ask lots of questions. I have 5 dogs and live somewhere where you have to drive to get anywhere so that is a big factor as if I have the surgery won’t be able to even bend after let all me drive. Sorry rant over just such a big decision.

    #46916

    Di
    Participant

    IT is a huge decision but it depends on how much mobility you will have afterwards ( And yes I’d be so worried about my dogs) and how much pai n reief they expect. A friend of mine had it done and her back is much more stable but she’s still on high doses of painkillers. My hair dresser though told me last week her dad had an abscess on his spine last October which cause sepsis which basically rotten his lower spine. He was given a metal cage attached to his lower spine and is now back at work. My usual question to surgeons is “If I were your wife, would you still do it?”

    #46918

    Lc
    Participant

    Hi Joyce, I had a scan cannot remember what it was called but they injected radio active dye into me then scanned me. even though after surgery, like Paul says I was mechanically fixed, but with the fractured/dislocated pelvis I had nerve damage and after the surgery on my back as well, had nerve damage which is why I am still in pain now from nerve pain,and also chronic persistent pain in back and pelvis where they operated. I did smash my self up pretty bad though. but also over the years of all this it can cause more problems down the line like arthritis around the operation site, and with fusion over time can cause the joints above and below more strain and can cause it to all happen again. most people that have fusion, if sensible, would go back to work on lighter duties and not heavy manual work and look after themselves better, but if like me at the time young and didn’t listen to what I was being told and thought I’m fixed I can go back to what I would normally do, then my advice think again, take care of yourself and listen to what your body is telling you. and if you can get a lighter job or already in one then great. also don’t rush back to work either take your time and do things when your ready to to do them, not what pressures from life force you into. Like I said earlier and some already mentioned a lot of people ,and some I know have gone back to work over time with just a back ache now and again when they have pushed it a bit, like any normal person without surgery and just take a couple of paracetamol have a lie down and are fine again later. but at the end of the day it’s your choice suffer the way you are now or take a chance that it could all be better for you. . and in my eyes it all depends how much pain your in to answer the question about yourself and wether you can cope the way you are without surgery. whatever you decide and it is a big decision to make. I wish you well and pain free. take care and best wishes. Lee

    #46919

    Lc
    Participant

    Hi Joyce, forgot to mention I still get all sorts of weird and excruciating pain from numbness to feels like ice cold water being poured down my leg to buzzing/vibrating sensation like my phone gone off in my pocket but no phone on me which is for me not really bothering me like it used to. to pain like someone sticking needles in my feet to red hot pokers driving through feet to knees and upper legs, fire type burning feeling to excruciating pain I don’t know how to describe and pain from SIjoint from buttock radiates round top of pelvic bone to the front also the pain sometimes seems to go from buttock straight through to groin and another type indescribable where i cannot even put my foot to the floor to bear weight on my leg. I mainly get 4 types which I know what is causing the pain either SI joint, nerve pain, chronic persistent pain and arthritis pain. any way I,m sure you and others can relate to some of which I described. I hope all goes well for you take care and best wishes. Lee

    #46920

    Joyce
    Participant

    Hi Lee yeah you’ve just described all my pain sensations to a T. It is such a gamble having surgery and no one can guarantee the outcome. My family are dead against it as they are worried about things going wrong. I just wish there was another option as the aftercare seems a big nightmare, I’m definitely not one to sit around for weeks not bending, driving or basically anything. I’m bound to mess things up by overdoing things I won’t be able to stop myself!!! Thanks for you common sense answers though.

    #46922

    Lc
    Participant

    Hi Joyce, In my case it was surgery, and the pain I was in I just could not care if i had died, very low i know, but thats how much pain i was in, and could not walk at all. so did it work . yes to an extent it did, I am better than i was and the pain is more manageable than i was in. despite I cannot work and do things like i used to. this is also a big change and feels like your life turned upside down, but Now after 23 years of this, and counselling ,CBT and mindfulness, I am enjoying life to the best I can and able to do. and except the way I am now, despite being in pain, it’s the little things and blips of laughter ,happiness and the love of people around you, and enjoying my hobbies that I have and finding new ones, and do these as and when I can. now I dont miss work and enjoy doing things that make me happy, it’s the little things that matter to me and do now like the slower pace of life, rather than the hectic stressfull, running around like a chicken with no head. I was like you, could not sit still, and my first back surgery i went back to work, thinking i was ok and within a couple of weeks collapsed again and was rushed in for 2nd surgery within a year. this is where it all went down hill and surgeon went ballistic at me as i had undone all his work. if you want to know how I cope read the 2 blogs that HelenH helped with and asked me to do with her,if type in the search forum box Lees blog about mindfulness and click search it might help you in some way as this is how i live with pain.if you have not read them already. take care and best wishes, Lee

    #46931

    thenunn
    Participant

    Hi Joyce, I had this same decision a couple of months ago. I read up the info spine surgeon pointed me to and weighed up everything, for me. I decided to leave it, I didn’t like the odds, also many said within 2-4years pain was back worse or other discs degenerate needing more fusion etc. So I said no, if it got to the point I couldn’t walk to my car or got cauda then I’d think again. He put me on his sos list for 12 months, so if I change my mind in that time, it’ll all kick in. I do as much as I can, normally after 2 hours I need to rest, ice, heat, etc for the next few hours, then do a couple more hours doing stuff. But it’s a day by day thing and some days, like today, I’m not able to do much at all, I get tired quickly. Whatever you decide, best wishes, look after yourself

    #46932

    Joyce
    Participant

    Hi all back from hospital. Basically he said if you think you can live with the pain for the rest of your lives fe don’t have the surgery. I really don’t think I can as it has a severe impact and is constantly on my mind. I gave him all the questions and he was honest in saying it won’t get rid of the pain entirely but should improve it lots. My husband seems to have come round to the idea, he was very anti before. I’m still not convinced but the alternative is so bleak, the rest of my life in agony every single day. I consider myself a young 65 so this sounds horrendous. I’m booked for a Spect CT which will give them more detail d pictures and the team will decide the best approach I.e whether to use a cage or not go in through stomach or back etc. Still time to change my mind.

    #46933

    thenunn
    Participant

    Hi Joyce, that’s what we have to weigh up, how long do we can handle it and its impact. Well done on making decision. Best of luck when it happens hope it helps you ill. E watching closely 🙂 jan

    #46934

    Lc
    Participant

    Hi Joyce, sounds like you have made a decision, It was weird as once you have surgery and you come round the first thing you notice as I did, that the pain has gone, like I said earlier mine was a lot better, but went back to work to early and messed things up.. up until then I was doing Ok. so if you go ahead, at 65 I would just pack up work take retirement and enjoy my days doing stuff that I enjoy and doing things in my own time. as long as it’s not jumping out of planes and roller coaster rides and digging the garden over, all day, ,heavy work , you should be Ok. but at the end of the day the choice is yours. like I said earlier how much pain are you in and can you cope with it if not, then surgery is your best option just as the surgeon has mentioned to you.We are all here for you whatever your decision , and can talk anytime, someone will answer, and keep in touch of your progress, Good Luck and best wishes and take care.Lee

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