Multiple spinal surgeries

Posted by amyjo4003 @amyjo4003, Aug 19, 2019

I would like to know if anyone else has had multiple spinal surgeries and then ended up going to Mayo clinic. I have had a lumbar laminectomy of L5-S1, and an artificial disc at L5-S1. That was done in 2003 and 2005. I have not had many problems until now. I have pain from the right side of my back down my right leg. I have had five falls in the past two months due to loss of balance. Now I'm having numbness in my right leg down to my foot. Now I have to use a cane because of the loss of balance. It has definitely affected my ADL's. I am not sure what to do. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Hello @amyjo4003 and welcome to Mayo Connect!

I am sorry to hear of your previous spinal surgeries and the current problems you are experiencing. I can certainly understand your concerns and why you might want to visit a Mayo facility for a second opinion.

I would like to invite @jenniferhunter to this discussion as she has had spinal surgery at Mayo and it was quite successful for her. I would also like to invite @grandmar and @pines who have also had spinal surgeries.

What sort of advice is your current doctor giving you regarding these new problems?

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@amyjo4003 I'm sorry for your difficulties. I had cervical spine surgery at Mayo Rochester. I have been through lots of physical therapy and I also have thoracic outlet syndrome that causes tight muscles and tight fascia that pulls from my neck and jaw through my chest and to my pelvis. I have had my pelvis shift out of alignment because if this, and it can easily shift and twist which does cause sciatic leg pain. My physical therapist has taught me things to do to realign it and that stops it. The more I work on my core strength which I do by riding my horse, the better my back and neck feels and my pelvis stays in better alignment. I just walk on my horse. The barn owner who is also a friend was injured on her horse, and she has an artificial disc in her lumbar spine and rides her horse a lot with no problems. The symptoms I feel when my pelvis shifts is the same as you describe, a pain on one side of my low back that also goes down my leg. I can get an inflare where one side aims toward my belly or it can twist up or down. This causes the muscles that connect the spine and pelvis to get tight, and sitting a lot also helps shorten some of the muscles. The link below explains how the pelvis alignment can mimic pain from a lumbar spine problem. What I would suggest as a first step would be to see a good physical therapist for an evaluation and I would recommend one who is an expert in myofascial release because they know how to release the tight fascial webbing and surgical scar tissue that is binding everything together. There is lots of detailed information in our MFR discussion about this.

Has a doctor helped you with your balance and evaluated the reasons for this? A PT can probably help that too. If you do want to go to Mayo for an opinion on your spine, I would highly recommend my neurosurgeon, Dr. Jeremy Fogelson. I had a great recovery from spinal cord compression in my neck with his surgery.

Here are a few links that might be of interest including my patient story and our Connect discussion on myofascial release therapy where you can find information and a link to find providers at https://myofascialrelease.com/find-a-therapist/. I hope you will share your experience and how you are doing as you explore further care. I'd be happy to answer questions. Be well.
https://trainingandrehabilitation.com/identify-treat-lumbar-plexus-compression-syndrome-lpcs/
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/myofascial-release-therapy-mfr-for-treating-compression-and-pain/
My Mayo patient story
https://sharing.mayoclinic.org/2019/01/09/using-the-art-of-medicine-to-overcome-fear-of-surgery/

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@jenniferhunter

@amyjo4003 I'm sorry for your difficulties. I had cervical spine surgery at Mayo Rochester. I have been through lots of physical therapy and I also have thoracic outlet syndrome that causes tight muscles and tight fascia that pulls from my neck and jaw through my chest and to my pelvis. I have had my pelvis shift out of alignment because if this, and it can easily shift and twist which does cause sciatic leg pain. My physical therapist has taught me things to do to realign it and that stops it. The more I work on my core strength which I do by riding my horse, the better my back and neck feels and my pelvis stays in better alignment. I just walk on my horse. The barn owner who is also a friend was injured on her horse, and she has an artificial disc in her lumbar spine and rides her horse a lot with no problems. The symptoms I feel when my pelvis shifts is the same as you describe, a pain on one side of my low back that also goes down my leg. I can get an inflare where one side aims toward my belly or it can twist up or down. This causes the muscles that connect the spine and pelvis to get tight, and sitting a lot also helps shorten some of the muscles. The link below explains how the pelvis alignment can mimic pain from a lumbar spine problem. What I would suggest as a first step would be to see a good physical therapist for an evaluation and I would recommend one who is an expert in myofascial release because they know how to release the tight fascial webbing and surgical scar tissue that is binding everything together. There is lots of detailed information in our MFR discussion about this.

Has a doctor helped you with your balance and evaluated the reasons for this? A PT can probably help that too. If you do want to go to Mayo for an opinion on your spine, I would highly recommend my neurosurgeon, Dr. Jeremy Fogelson. I had a great recovery from spinal cord compression in my neck with his surgery.

Here are a few links that might be of interest including my patient story and our Connect discussion on myofascial release therapy where you can find information and a link to find providers at https://myofascialrelease.com/find-a-therapist/. I hope you will share your experience and how you are doing as you explore further care. I'd be happy to answer questions. Be well.
https://trainingandrehabilitation.com/identify-treat-lumbar-plexus-compression-syndrome-lpcs/
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/myofascial-release-therapy-mfr-for-treating-compression-and-pain/
My Mayo patient story
https://sharing.mayoclinic.org/2019/01/09/using-the-art-of-medicine-to-overcome-fear-of-surgery/

Jump to this post

Thank you so much for taking the time to give me all of this information and the recommendation for a surgeon. I will be looking at the links that you shared. I have also had three cervical surgeries that have now failed which causes severe pain in the neck, arms and between the shoulder blades. It sounds like this physician may be able to evaluate all of my concerns. Thanks again and have a blessed day.

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@amyjo4003

Thank you so much for taking the time to give me all of this information and the recommendation for a surgeon. I will be looking at the links that you shared. I have also had three cervical surgeries that have now failed which causes severe pain in the neck, arms and between the shoulder blades. It sounds like this physician may be able to evaluate all of my concerns. Thanks again and have a blessed day.

Jump to this post

@amyjo4003 You're welcome. Dr. Fogelson teaches at Mayo and at lab courses for surgeons for cervical surgery techniques and he is a spinal deformity expert and specializes in complex surgeries. He does both fusions and artificial discs for cervical. I had that choice, but the artificial disc wasn't my best choice and I had a fusion with donor bone and no hardware. He told me fusions heal best with a bone spacer rather than foreign materials. I'm sure he could address all your spine issues, and if you do see him, I hope you'll come back and share your thoughts. Here are some other links about him. The last is a video of him speaking.
https://sharing.mayoclinic.org/2012/12/23/repaying-a-gift-scholarship-recipient-says-thanks-in-a-special-way/
https://sharing.mayoclinic.org/2017/07/26/spinal-surgery-saves-teen-swimmers-mobility/
http://www.startribune.com/in-second-term-minnesota-gov-markdayton-dealing-with-more-health-problems/361662931/
http://www.startribune.com/gov-mark-dayton-to-undergo-third-back-surgery/497015811/
https://www.mayoclinic.org/medical-professionals/trauma/news/geriatric-winter-falls-when-a-simple-bump-on-the-ice-can-be-serious/mac-20451017@
Mayo Clinic Minute
https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/mayo-clinic-minute-scoliosis-screening/

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