Severe Stenosis - Doc advises surgery
Hi everyone – I'm new here having spent most of my time over at knee replacements. Ever since I turned 60 I've been a mess orthopedically. I have severe lumbar/sacral stenosis according to my pain doctor. He has tried ablations (first one helped, second one didn't help). Has anyone here had surgery for this? What was it like? Would you do it again? I'd love to hear ALL stories, good and bad. Many thanks!
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@pamer I hate to tell you, but I think Spinal Fusion Surgery is your only answer. It's not good to be on Percocet too long. It can cause dependence and even stop working. I'm not a doctor, but I had spinal fusion surgeon in June for Degeneration that caused a scoliosis and stenosis on my L4 and L5. I also had bulging discs. You are probably having some nerve pain, but maybe not down your leg. I'm not a doctor. My surgery was very big, the surgeon at Mayo in Rochester MN did the 9 hour surgery from T10 to my pelvis. He was a Professor of orthopedic and spinal surgery and he had many other qualifications. I had the surgery on June 9th and I'm off of all pain pills. I still have some pain, but not bad. I have soft bones so I have to be very careful, no bending, twisting. or lifting over 10 pounds. I take short walks every day and try to increase them. I need to rest more, but I'm use to being active. I also wear a brace. I know it would be hard for me to go through another surgery, but sometimes that's the only answer. Good Luck.
I wish medical cannabis was an option in Wisconsin. Personally, I think both as a nurse and as a patient, it should be available everywhere!
@wisco50 You mentioned you have cervical pain and need surgery. I'm going to see if we can get oral cannabis here. My daughter has severe headache's and has gastoperisas, where you food does not process down to her intestines. She has it off an on, but there is a new medicine to help her. My son has Bipolar 1 and I'm wondering if it would work mentally. It runs in our family and I might have told you my mom took her life at 69. I'm fine now after counseling and only remember the god things about her. My dad was my buddy, but has he got older, after my mom's death, he started to have depression. It is very inherited. Many of my family has some forms. The hardest thing for me and I think of often is my first husband was killed in an accident 11 days after we were married, also a good friend died and he was only a senior in high school. My husband was only 20. It happened in 1969, I seldom cry anymore. I have been married my husband now for 49 years.
I am so glad you got relief without surgery. Mine was too severe without surgery. I'm recovering, but not easy, I can't, bend,or twist or lift anything to healthy. I am glad I made the decision though. I had an ablation too and it only worked for a short time and the pain doctor had nothing more to offer me.. Even my primary care doctor told me I needed the surgery and my husband.
Might have been a misunderstanding. I HAVE had surgery on my neck – 6 weeks after my back fusion I had a 2 level neck fusion! That was in late 2011. But now my disc below my fusion is a mess and several discs above my surgical fusion are collapsed and have “autofused” to themselves, giving me stenosis and muscle spasm pain. It was suggested to me that I have a second neck surgery and I have refused. They would have to go in from back of my neck which is more complicated, painful and much longer recovery. I’m just not doing it. I get injections about every 12 weeks from a Pain Management MD of long acting local and some steroids to calm everything down. I bought a new car two years ago with the newer features that tell me if a car is in my blind spot, with a backup mirror, all help so I don’t have to worry about my neck not wanting to turn. I think medical marijuana would help me sleep better all around. Meanwhile, I take aspirin or ES acetaminophen, use heat/cold/rub in stuff for my neck. I still haven’t found the perfect massage therapist. I cried when mine retired to become a nurse. She was awesome.
@wisco50 I am so sorry what all you have been through. I thought my 9 hour surgery was bad. It's a long recovery though. Now I think I know why they took me down the next day after my surgery and injected cement between my T-10 and T-11 so I wouldn't have the problem you are having. My surgery went from T-10 to my pelvis. I can't imagine what pain you must be in and I am very sorry. I will pray that you will get help soon. Have you tried Mayo Clinic, that's where I had my surgery at Rochester, MN. It is 3 and 1/2 hours from our home? Stay positive, which is hard. I have depression and anxiety complex and this mental illness has effected many members of my family. My son is the worse with being Bipolar 1. He has had a rough time and he's a professor, but can't teach because of his illness. Sorry for telling you so much about me, when you are suffering so much. I wish I could help you.
What is Allodynia in your buttocks? My pain is similar to yours. No relief.
Here's a definition of "allodynia" from the Cleveland Clinic:
I've lived with severe neuro pain for 12 years. Have tried many different drugs & procedures. I'm currently trying "low-dose nalrexone". (LDN). I've titrated up from 1mg to 4.5mg/daily and I will probably go higher still. If you don't know about this drug, here is some information about it:
I've only been taking it for about 5 weeks but I believe it's helping me. It had to be made at a compounding pharmacy. Ask your doctor if you can try it.
Best luck to you!
Please tell me the name of the MD who suggested medical cannabis.Was he a pain management doctor or an orthopedic surgeon?
Welcome to the club!!
How old are you?
Is your your doc talking about you having a fusion?
Or is he/she recommending a laminectomy? The latter, I have no experience with, although my doc is now recommending it for my neck to quiet down a nerve.
If a fusion, just know it is permanent and will likely serve you well, although it has a tendency to “stair step. I had L5/S1 fusion in 2007 by an excellent neurosurgeon. Approx 2 years following the surgery, I had a neurostimulator installed…it helped for a few years but now I no longer charge it.
Be aware also that radial neuropathy can set in after back surgery. The outside of my left foot is numb all the time…
I am now seeing pain management at Mayo. I have lost the strength in my back…only relief is to sit. If I walk, I need a cane for balance and I walk bent over like an old geezer….I’m only 79!!!
They are recommending PT and a Nerve Ablation, and we have started with the first of two nerve block tests.
Good luck to you and once again welcome to the geezer club!
Yes, I've had spinal fusion surgery for L4-L5. Best decision in May 2019. Fast forward, as my osteoporosis has gotten worse, my thoracic region is now giving me problems. I have an appointment scheduled for May 1st with a new spine doctor to have new eyes and a new MRI on what is happening now. I am 74 yrs. and this pain is stopping me from a European trip, so I am hoping something can be done. I had everything you had prior to surgery, but do not be afraid if you have confidence in your doctor. As a retired nurse I knew I had to do something to alleviate the pain. You decide if you want to continue suffering or try to help your pain. Best wishes in your decision! Ferris1948