Looking for people with lumbar spinal stenosis with herniated discs
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Hi Lynette: My name is Hamdy. I am 73 years old and have been retired for less than two years. I had an open-spine surgery 24 days ago, on the fourth and fifth lumbar vertebrae. The surgery was to remove a broken lamina that was pressing on two nerves going to the legs, the surgery is called laminectomy. This was the result of working at the computer for over ten hours non-stop daily for about 15 years. Computer programmers are also candidates for spinal problems because of the endless hours in front of the computer until they find the bug in their program. Would you like to know the pre and post-op and how the surgery went?
I had a long segment lumbar fusion surgery done at a place other than Mayo in 2008. It was a complete failure leaving me in crushing pain only relieved by 24/7 administration of opiate based meds. I am now waiting to see if Mayo can do a revision surgery that was a bit less invasive than my initial surgery. Am also looking at getting my entire lumbar spine fused to the pelvis. I dont want to go with any radical anterior approach because I dont think I can survive it. I am hoping that Mayo can go with a minimal approach from the front and do most of the work from the backside. I dont guess I will know until I talk to the doctors on the 9th of August, my initial appt date.
I will refuse an anterior/posterior radical approach…..dont think I can survive it and dont want to try. I hope that the rep of the Mayo is all that it has been built up to be
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Thank you so much for your information. I would definately like to know about the pre and post-op and how surgery went. Also where did you have your surgery? I had a knee replacement 3 years ago that got infected and the original doctor would not address the issue. Mayo saved my leg and my life. Due to recurrent infections after the put in a revision and this got infected they fused the leg but I am lucky to still have a leg and to be alive! I look forward to hearing from you!
Did you have herniated dics? I have just started a series of 3 epidural steriod injections. So far the first one has not helped but am hopeful the next one will. The doctor is trying to prevent surgery. I look foward to hearing what you find out at Mayo. They are amazing!
I had several blown discs from living 55 years with undiagnosed scoliosis aggravated by an injury that completely blew one disc…..so to correct the scoliosis they simply removed all but the lowest disc in my back and attempted a fusion…..it was a complete failure (this didnt happen at Mayo).
Be careful with the steroid injections. The stuff breaks down the tissue and more than 2 or 3 max should be taken. It is merely a pallative measure and heals nothing. I had two and refused more….they did no good and as soon as the procaine the stuff was mixed with wore out the pain returned….this was pre surgery.
I see the Spine Center at Mayo on Aug 9 for a lengthy evaluation. I will not allow them to do another anterior and posterior procedure. I will accept a minimally invasive approach from the front or side but I am not going to be gutted again…..it leaves too much interior scar tissue and is way too dangerous. It also causes a LOT of blood loss. I had to take in 24 units of blood during one of my two surgeries…..the one from the front. They staged the two about two weeks apart. The whole thing was the biggest mistake I ever made. I walked in using a cane and hobbled out with a 4 wheel walker….and am now deteriorating losing the use of my left leg slowly…..and the pain is unspeakable even with the high dose narcotics I am on 24/7.
Let them do as little as possible is my suggestion…..but if you truly trust your doctor….listen to him.
Good luck to you. I hope you are younger than I am. I am now 57…and frankly dont think I could survive the surgery I went through in 2008.
Thank you so much for your information. I am currently seeing a local orthepedic doctor but do doctor at Mayo for my leg. 3 years ago I had a knee replacement and the doctor that did the surgery not Mayo, would not recognize the infection. I ended up almost dying and went to Mayo. They took out the knee, thought infection was clear and put in another one to get infected. Ending up taking out the knee and fusing my leg with a rod that had to be removed due to infection so now have no knee and a straight leg. Infectious disease and immunology at Mayo says my body now rejects hardware. If it weren’t for Mayo I probably wouldn’t be alive and for sure would not have a leg. I am only 53 and am trying to do everything possible to avoid surgery since I am not a good candiate. If the shots don’t help the 3 herniated discs I am headed to Mayo. Doctor said only a series of 3 and have had only one so far a week ago and the next one will be in another week. First one has not helped. Please let me know how you come out on August 9. Which Mayo clinic are you going to? I will keep you in my prayers and please stay in touch and let me know how things are
I am going to the Rochester, MN Mayo…….the original one I think. I went to Twin Cities Spine for a revision plan and……well, no way am I going to be cut in half and put back together…..plus I didnt really have a good “feel” about the surgeon. Got my original surgery done through doctors out of Midwest Spine in Stillwater at a hospital in St Paul…..they botched the job completely and literally turned me into a bent over cripple with an almost dead leg from nerve damage and they also comprimised a nerve cluster that determines how you sense heat and cold…..I dont get hot but man, do I get cold and living in Western Wisconsin, that sure is a negative.
Im hoping for a more moderate approach to a revision surgery….perhaps a technique called XLIF where most of the work is done from the rear and any access to the front of the spine is through scopes via small cuts in your side. Sure dont look forward to the long recovery.
Your knee problem seems like a nightmare from hell. Infection and hospitals have me scared to death…..another reason I dont want my innards exposed. That and it also makes scar tissue build up that may prevent future surgeries perhaps to treat cancer from the seemingly hundreds of xrays Ive had done…I now insist on a thyroid shield as that organ is especially sensitive to damage from xray exposure.
They say to load up on zinc for a good month before you undergo surgery and to continue taking it until completely healed…supposed to help the immune system and doctors even recommend it and as anti vitamin as those guys tend to be…….the stuff must work…couldnt hurt anyway.
Yep, the original surgery was rough….and revision is supposed to be a LOT harder on you……I sure dont look forward to the surgery or the recovery time which on a revision can take a year to a year and a half….and I’m 57 and feel thirty years older. The ticker is sound and all my blood work is fine and I sure have lost a lot of weight……takes a lot of energy to walk around looking like the number 7.
Good luck on your knee…..I dont suppose there is any polymer implant they could provide?
If the Mayo wants to be as aggressive as Twin Cities…..Im done. I will just get used to being a gimp and use my walker/wheelchair/scooter to get around. I will not be gutted again.
Please please let me know how you come out. I went to Mayo at Rochester also. Right now I am going through being so hot all the time and not from the change as I had a hysterictomy 15 years ago. I use a walker now as my doc at Mayo says my leg has poor bone stock and if I fall it’s not a matter of where it will break but how many pieces. With my back I can’t stand to use a cane and feel safer with walker so I know what you mean about being a hunch over. I’m working on losing weight but hard with no activity. Haven’t been able to do much for 3 years and about over a year was spent in a long leg cast, not at one time but the longest was 7 months. Stay in touch and prayers are with you!!
Stuck using a walker huh? Me too on any trips longer than about 15 paces. Strange how you have trouble with your weight. I cant keep any. When I had my surgery in 2008 I was at around 220……since everything went to hell Im down in the upper 160s and can’t seem to gain any. I guess you expend a lot of energy getting around bent over holding up your torso with your hamstrings….I dont know. I know that I was prescribed some nerve anti inflammatory for about 6 months that turned out to be an effective appetite depressant……they took me off that. At least with the light weight Im not stressing what there is left that somehow keeps my spinal cord from being severed.
My only real problem that I cant deal with is sometimes when I sit in the wrong position or stand too long some nerve gets pinched off and my left leg wont do what my brain tells it to. This has led to some falls. I dont seem to get hurt other than dislocating fingers, little things like that. I have great bone density and all.
That has got to be scary being afraid of falls. Where I live cell phones dont work so if I fell and actually got hurt I would probably lay there until the mosquitos drank me dry or the wife came home and found me. Hasnt happened yet.
Strange how when you are young you feel so bullet proof. I was lucky enough to feel that way until 2006 when I blew one disc that uncovered the undiagnosed scoliosis that I foolishly allowed the doctors to try to fix. Shoulda never had the surgery….but thats no good thinking like that.
Get your doctors to put you into clinical trials if you have to. Sounds like you are suffering way too much. I sure wish you well.
I had a lumbar laminectomy/discectomy in Feb 2010. He did L2,L3, L4, L5 and part of S1. I went back to work after 6 weeks. Worked in a medical office, lifting stacks of charts. My surgery addressed the right side, I now have herniation, bulging discs, bone spurs, on the left side. I am 59 years old, lost my job after getting a c-diff infection, possibly from the surgery center. I am getting a mylogram this Thursday. Had a MRI and my surgeon said there was a lot going on, and sent me for a second opinion, which I appreciated. I am possibly looking at a spinal fision. I feel like I’m dragging mt left leg, living on pain pills. I just got disability, but scared to death to have more surgery. I don’t live near a Mayo clinic. I do feel like I have a good surgeon, but still would like to know others experiences.
I hope you get some relief and that others will post their information to share. My MRI showed stenosis and 3 herniated discs L3, L4 and L5. I thought first injection might help but not so. Did you have any epidural injections. Look forward to hearing from you. Take care and God Bless
Thanks for your comment. I had 4 eppidural injections in the last year with short term relief. That is why I’m going this route. My doctors have made sure I understand what my limitations will be with a spinal fusion. It’s a hard decision to make, but I’m tired of living on pain pills. Keep me updated,and take care.
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