Severe spinal stenosis: Would you do surgery?

Posted by collierga @collierga, Jan 15, 2020

Hi there
I am new to this group. I am a 64 yr old female, in basically good health. Hip replacement 10/2018 with no complications.. Currently have no pain only bilateral finger numbness with minor lower left arm numbness. For the most part does not interfere with my daily living activities
Diagnosed with severe cervical stenosis via MRI in 8/2019,C-3-4 shows severe disc degeneration, moderate to severe bilateral formalin narrowing due to uncinate spurs/C4-5 same as 3-4 but with broad based disc bulge/5-7 C7-T-1 Degenerative anterolisthesisBroad based disc/osteophytic ridge causing severe central canal narrowing. i have gone to 2 different Neuro surgeons they both say complete opposite treatment plans. One says observe see him if symptoms get worse. The other doctor wants to do 2 surgeries, first through the front, #2 through the back to stabilize. I am leaning towards no surgery but am looking for someone to tell me they had this surgery and are happy t hey had it done. So far when i talk to people with back/neck issues they say they would never again go through surgery.
Thank you all in advance for you opinions..

@lilypaws

I know it sounds scary, but I had a nine hour fusion on my back from T-10 to my pelvis. I feel much better. They were going through my front too, but decided they could just go through the back. I had the surgery at Mayo at Rochester, had an excellent surgeon. You neck will only get worse if you don't get the surgery. I'm glad I had mine. Hoping the best for you and prayers too.

Jump to this post

WOWzers, a 9-hour surgery! I am so glad you feel much better now!!!!! I can't imagine how your recovery went. Did you have to stay in a rehab for physical therapy, etc.? Thanks so much for the prayers. We'll see. I may be able to wait a bit. Have to have my brachial artery stenosis fixed first. I'm concerned as the causes can be serious such as periferal artery disease. It's more than 50% stenosed and it is rare. I see vascular surgeon 10/12. I've already had the ultrasound and now it's most likley an invasive fix. I'm scared b/c I'm right handed and I don't heal well. More stuff, new day but I know God will go ahead of me to make (prepare) the way (Deuteronomy 31:8 "The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.", and will be with me for it all. Take good care, Sunnyflower

REPLY
@bustrbrwn22

@sunnyflower Any surgery scares me but what you are describing is even scarier! Did it get rid of all the pain or just a percentage?

Jump to this post

Hi Rachel! I'm sorry but I don't know what you're referring to? Oh wait, I think it's my 2 L4 and L5 back surgeries 6 days apart in the late 1990s? Yes, it completely erased my intolerable pain! All three of my discectomy/lamenectomies worked!!!!! The third was a fusion b/c I have spondylolisthesis and my vertebrae wouldn't stay in place so kept squashing the nerve/s. So much pain of such a severe degree for so long; probably 3 years all together as I they kept trying things like 3 steroid injections to see if it would shrink the disc or whatever they think. Geesh! Anyway, all fixed now except for the canal stenosis. That is more scary b/c it's inside the canal which houses the spinal cord and spinal nerves. I will have to keep my focus on the One in control of my circumstances and not my circumstances! That requires a lot of bible study and prayer. Hope you're still sane and having some victory over your circumstances. Warmest big hugs, Sunnyflower

REPLY
@sunnyflower

Hi Rachel! I'm sorry but I don't know what you're referring to? Oh wait, I think it's my 2 L4 and L5 back surgeries 6 days apart in the late 1990s? Yes, it completely erased my intolerable pain! All three of my discectomy/lamenectomies worked!!!!! The third was a fusion b/c I have spondylolisthesis and my vertebrae wouldn't stay in place so kept squashing the nerve/s. So much pain of such a severe degree for so long; probably 3 years all together as I they kept trying things like 3 steroid injections to see if it would shrink the disc or whatever they think. Geesh! Anyway, all fixed now except for the canal stenosis. That is more scary b/c it's inside the canal which houses the spinal cord and spinal nerves. I will have to keep my focus on the One in control of my circumstances and not my circumstances! That requires a lot of bible study and prayer. Hope you're still sane and having some victory over your circumstances. Warmest big hugs, Sunnyflower

Jump to this post

Oooops, so sorry Jen not Rachel!!!!!!! So many don't sign off w/ their names so I get really mixed up. As soon as I sent this I realized the error of my ways! Please forgive me, Sunny

REPLY
@sunnyflower

Hi Rachel! I'm sorry but I don't know what you're referring to? Oh wait, I think it's my 2 L4 and L5 back surgeries 6 days apart in the late 1990s? Yes, it completely erased my intolerable pain! All three of my discectomy/lamenectomies worked!!!!! The third was a fusion b/c I have spondylolisthesis and my vertebrae wouldn't stay in place so kept squashing the nerve/s. So much pain of such a severe degree for so long; probably 3 years all together as I they kept trying things like 3 steroid injections to see if it would shrink the disc or whatever they think. Geesh! Anyway, all fixed now except for the canal stenosis. That is more scary b/c it's inside the canal which houses the spinal cord and spinal nerves. I will have to keep my focus on the One in control of my circumstances and not my circumstances! That requires a lot of bible study and prayer. Hope you're still sane and having some victory over your circumstances. Warmest big hugs, Sunnyflower

Jump to this post

@sunnyflower when is your next surgery?

REPLY

Hey Jen, nothing scheduled yet in regard to my severe canal stenosis. I have to wait until my brachial artery stenosis is treated. I see vascular surgeon on October 12th. More to be determined. Same stuff different day! I hope you're having some victory over your pain and your thought life. You're in my prayers, Sunny flower

REPLY

@sunnyflower please keep me posted on what vascular surgeon says. You have so many serious issues. If this isn’t too personal, how do you deal with it financially?

REPLY

Hi Jen, well, I have Kaiser Permanente Medicare Advantage plan. I have no yearly deductable except for the part D, prescriptions. I pay $349 per month premium but that includes dental. Regular office visits are $10, specialists are $20, sometimes $30. Spinal injections with anesthesia/OR/anesthesiologists and doctor is $100. If no anesthesia, cheaper. MRIs, Bone Scans, DEXA scans, CTs and other diagnostics are I think $40. Could be $50 or $60 by now? I need to look but it's not much more. X-Rays, mammograms and labs and more are free. Everything under one roof except for some diagnostics but some sites have everything such as nuclear medicine. I have a co-pay but no co-insurance. Medications are the most expensive it seems. I'm in the "Catastrophic" stage now, finally so meds are very cheap now. Some of my meds are off the charts expensive. Yes, it's a financial strain and can be a hardship for certain. I am very happy w/ my plan and thankful for it too. Thankfull we can afford it! My husband is still working and he has me covered under his dental so for example, I am having to have a new crown and I pay zero b/c I have double coverage. We're very blessed. Hope you are ok today? I know that's a subjective question! Warm hugs, Sunny

REPLY

As well as my hip problems which will mean a replacement of my hip on the left side I had my right side replaced a year ago my consultant says some of my problems are to do do with spinal stenosis which causes pain tingling and forces me to bend forward has anyone else experienced this and what if anything can be done about it

REPLY
@lotsofpain

As well as my hip problems which will mean a replacement of my hip on the left side I had my right side replaced a year ago my consultant says some of my problems are to do do with spinal stenosis which causes pain tingling and forces me to bend forward has anyone else experienced this and what if anything can be done about it

Jump to this post

Hi @lotsofpain, you'll notice that I moved your message to this existing discussion about spinal stenosis. I did this so you can connect with @jenniferhunter @collierga @bernese53 and others who have experience dealing with this issue.

This is another good discussion to review:
– What helps spinal stenosis besides surgery? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/i-came-in-here-because-i-suffer-from-spinal-stenosis/

What treatment or therapy did your doctor suggest? Was it suggested that treating the spinal stenosis would mean you wouldn't have to have hip surgery?

REPLY
@colleenyoung

Hi @lotsofpain, you'll notice that I moved your message to this existing discussion about spinal stenosis. I did this so you can connect with @jenniferhunter @collierga @bernese53 and others who have experience dealing with this issue.

This is another good discussion to review:
– What helps spinal stenosis besides surgery? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/i-came-in-here-because-i-suffer-from-spinal-stenosis/

What treatment or therapy did your doctor suggest? Was it suggested that treating the spinal stenosis would mean you wouldn't have to have hip surgery?

Jump to this post

Thank you the doctor I saw is a hip surgeon specialist and the hip replacement will go ahead but he is made the point that that it will not solve all the problems so so he has referred me back to my GP for her to do a referral to a spinal specialist who will decide what sort of action to take I already had an injection in my spine but it did no good and arguably made things worse

REPLY
@colleenyoung

Hi @lotsofpain, you'll notice that I moved your message to this existing discussion about spinal stenosis. I did this so you can connect with @jenniferhunter @collierga @bernese53 and others who have experience dealing with this issue.

This is another good discussion to review:
– What helps spinal stenosis besides surgery? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/i-came-in-here-because-i-suffer-from-spinal-stenosis/

What treatment or therapy did your doctor suggest? Was it suggested that treating the spinal stenosis would mean you wouldn't have to have hip surgery?

Jump to this post

Hello. 😀 The term spinal stenosis was never mentioned to me. Originally back in 1982 I had Spondylolisthesis. That is what the Harrington rods were for. Then in 1993, it was determined that the rods were useless and by this time I had advanced scoliosis, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, and Spondy in another location – that is when the 6 screws were put in. Through genetic testing, I was found to also have Ehler's-Danlos Syndrome. That involves collagen. (To make a dreadfully long story short, all tissue in my body is too lax – muscles, tendons, ligaments, even skin. I can intentionally dislocate shoulders, wrists, fingers, knees, ankles, toes, and can turn my neck to see directly behind me. I could probably fold myself into a box.) 3 years ago I had a total right hip replacement. I don't really know the cause of that, but my hip slipped & slid all the time. It was suggested that the combo of EDS and severe scoliosis (side-to-side AND front-to-back) was the culprit.

I have had many injections in my spine, none of them helped. I was told one should last 6 months, another should help for a year, but none of these helped. Now I have the SCS device implanted and tho it was so recent, I know it will block the pain because the trial worked beautifully. Probably reduced pain by 75-80%. We are doing small adjustments on my implant and I'm feeling better.

REPLY

Bless you, you poor darling.

REPLY
Please sign in or register to post a reply.
  Request Appointment