Lumbar Back Problems
I have been diagnosed (MRI) with spinal stenosis, osteoarthritis, and disc bulging – mostly in lumbar area – moderate to severe
Working with a physiotherapist, he has alleviated some of the pain, but has done nothing that would make things better. Am on pain medication, as well.
My question – what kind of medical expertise do you suggest I need to help me?
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@grhaibach Hello. I am a spine surgery patient and I had central canal stenosis in my neck. Physical therapy can help, but only up to a point. It does help to try to correct any weakness and posture that exacerbates the stenosis. I think you may want to get an opinion from a spine specialist about procedures that can decompress the spinal cord and/or any of the nerves that exit the spine in small spaces between the vertebrae (foramen). Since your report states moderate to severe stenosis, that is a concern.
Do your research to find the best spine surgeon that you can at a respected institution. My surgery was at Mayo Rochester, and I can't say enough good things about that experience. I had been seen by 5 specialists before I came to Mayo, and none would help me. Do you have good surgeons in your area or would you consider traveling to one of the 3 Mayo campuses (Rochester. MN, Jacksonville, FL or Phoenix, AZ)? There are also good surgeons at the Mayo Clinic Health System Hospitals that are in rural communities in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Have you discussed seeing a spine specialist with your physiotherapist? They often can tell you who's who because they get referrals from surgeons for rehab.
I had similar issues. I found a great neurosurgeon at Mayo. I interviewed 4 surgeons before deciding on one. I had spine surgery and it was miraculous. I am 100% now. My advice is find a competent neurosurgeon that you trust. Let them lead you. Good luck!
Thanks for your responses. As an aside, we were at Mayo Rochester a couple of years ago for an unrelated issue, and think very highly of their capabilities.
I have had a consultation and work-up with a spine surgeon, and the result was that surgery was not an option – he suggested a physiotherapist, painkillers, and medical pot. (I think my age 81 was also a factor for surgery or not)I was not smart enough to ask who he refers patients to. Will do so now, because my experience so far has not been good.
Hello @grhaibach. I'd like to add my welcome along with @jenniferhunter, who has joined you first. You will notice that I have moved your post into the Spine Health Support Group to allow you to connect more easily with other members going through similar experiences, like @hvannort.
Have you tried any sort of physical therapy/ pain management?
I had many weeks of PT before and after laminectomy lumbar surgery. It works to strengthen the necessary muscles.
My spine is as good as new.
I am now facing a knee problem. So far PT, drugs, steroid injections, hyluronic acid injections and knee ablation have not worked. I think I am going to have a TKR as nothing else is working.
Best of luck
I am happy to hear you are back at 100%!!!!! I am happy to hear any positive story about back surgery. I have lumbar problems. Injections aren't working. Back surgery has been presented to me as an option, but I was warned about the difficult and lengthy recovery period. The surgeon did not promise success. I am functional to a point; I can walk, but I hate standing. I have to rest a lot and take medication. So, the question is " How do I pick a surgeon?" I need to get a second opinion and I am seeking more info on a minimally invasive procedure which seem to be available in my area, but I don't know if that is right for me. I like to make informed decisions but I don't know how to pick a surgeon. Any thoughts?
Back surgery in the hands of a good surgeon is not that bad. I can only say interview as many surgeons you need to find one you trust. Ask others about their outcome for back surgery.
Ask the PTs. They know what surgeons have good outcomes. Mayo is a good hospital and highly rated. I suggest you start with their neuro team. I spent years in pain because I feared back surgery. I am glad I finally did it. I am 75 years old and 100% normal now. Good luck!
I don’t think this message is to me. Have not had surgery, and only wish I were 100%
How long was your recovery from a laminectomy? My surgeon says o need that and spinal fusion on L4-L5. I afraid of fusion. But considering laminectomy. I have very painful sciatica. Been going to physical therapy a while. Between a hip replacement torn rotator cuff surgery knee surgery from r torn meniscus I’m tired of surgery. I don’t know what to do.