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Thread: back surgery

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    back surgery

    Anyone here have a disk fusion? How'd it go?
    Last edited by Battis; 09-18-2020 at 12:46 AM.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    A few people I know have had it done.
    None came out good.
    But from what I've been told, it's a last resort.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    I had a friend, WW II vet, who learned to box in the NAVY and continued on to semi pro. Much later in life he needed cervical vertebrae fused. He never got the feeling back in his fingers, but it stopped further deterioration.
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  4. #4
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    Lloyd Smale's Avatar
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    nope but have had 5 back surgerys and my surgeon said next time it will be a fusion. I think the biggest thing with a fussion is how you deal with it after the surgery. You have to exercise and stay active. Sit there and wallow in your pain and youll never be the same. You have to listen to your doctors advice on theropy (i know, i hate that yuppy crap too) and his advice on staying active and the exercises you MUST to to strengthen your core.
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  5. #5
    Boolit Master redhawk0's Avatar
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    My mother had fusion. She had it when she was in her late 20s. (now 80). She has had to rest her back daily as it gets weak just from being up doing normal activities. She now has arthritis in that area of her back.

    I had micro neurosurgery in '95 for a herniated disk. No fusion but I am about 95% normal function. I have just some arthritis in that area now and am on a weight restriction. I'm not to lift/carry more than 40 lbs at a time...however, I do as much as 50.

    If you can do the micro neurosurgery, if I was you I'd opt for that in a heartbeat.

    redhawk

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  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
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    Yep, had 3 microdiscsectomys, 2 on the same disc, when that disc needed a 3rd the Doc told me they wasn't much disc left and wanted to fuse the the vertebrae. Much worse recovery, but I finally learned I had to start acting like I was 65 not 25 years old. That was 5 years ago and all is good.
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  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    That's the issue - 4 surgeries already (2 on that disk). Not much left to work with. They'll come in from the front. Good luck cutting through that gut. My height has always been 5'11 3/4". Maybe that spacer will give me the 1/4" to make 6' even.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by abunaitoo View Post
    A few people I know have had it done.
    None came out good.
    But from what I've been told, it's a last resort.
    Same here.
    Also, one specific friend/coworker I know could no longer sit at a desk or work bench without being in pain after the fusion surgery. He had to raise the level of his work bench so he could stand and work. He said he regrets getting the fusion every single day.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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  9. #9
    Boolit Master Moleman-'s Avatar
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    Had 4 sugeries and 2 fusions, L4-5 and L5-S1. Everyone is different and will have a different outcome. Used to run a few miles every other day but my back got worse to the point just walking the 200' to the mail box and back was about as far as I could walk before my legs got weak and it hurt too much. I needed the open you up and put in screws and rods type fusion. I can walk a couple miles now before my back starts acting up but can't run without my legs quickly going numb. As others stated you'll likely need to walk or do some form of exercise. Brother in law just had a single fusion where they were able to just put a plastic spacer in the disc through a 2" incision. So far he's having a quicker recovery than I did. Mom had her L4-5 fused a couple years ago when she was 78. They also put screws and rods in hers and her recovery was about 2 months before she was driving herself around.

  10. #10
    Boolit Grand Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    Wife had one this summer, fused 3 joints, L1-L2 one above, one below.

    They put two larger looking rods one to each side of the spine. Then run screws horizontally into each vertibray.

    My wife's problem was one of the screws developed an infection, 5 days after release from surgery she went back in via ambulance. Spent 10 days i hospital and another 40 days in rehab getting IV antibiotics which totally ripped up her shoulder veins.

    Now if everything is sterile I don't know how you get an infection around a screw. To my mind someone screwed the pooch.

    The worst of it is the whole thing is supposed to hold everything in place while the bone regrows.
    My wifes bones appear to be not growing. And the screws are coming loose. Couple of minor knocks and one thumped on her tailbone sliding off a stool.
    So it does not look good. Takes a month to actually get a chance to talk to the surgeon. So we are waiting.

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    Get GOD back in our lives and our country, find the courage of our convictions, or guts, and a willingness to stand up and fight for what we believe in. Guns.
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  11. #11
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    Had screws and plate put in on L4-5 in December. Doc would not touch any of the other dozen damaged discs as to dangerous and beyond repair. I couldn't really walk but he fixed it. I was bone on bone with a narrow canal. I begged them to let me go home that night and they did. I had medical supervision at home or else they would not have. Made me walk the entire wing before saying ok. Anyway. Mine went well. I was up and moving around and as others stated you cannot just sit there. Do what they say. Dont be an idiot like me who six months later tried moving a gun safe by myself. My girlfriend had almost same operation but a disc lower with a replacement put in two months later. She was in hospital for three nights and her recovery was weeks longer than mine. She still has some nerve issues. Best of luck and hope all goes well.
    Ron

  12. #12
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    Yeah, I had back surgery back on August 17. Laminectomy and spinal fusion L3, 4 & 5. Somewhere between 3 and 6 hours. Was in the hospital room less than 24 hours and then home. 3 incisions, nothing but steri-strips over them. First 10 days, great. Then, started having problems with pain. Didn't tell the doctor, should have, looking back. Pain is something I've learned to live with. Not that I have it all the time, but just the way I was raised. Went back to the doctor last week, he prescribed some meds, Bingo!, no pain. During the laminectomy, they had to play with some nerves, like move them. When they "woke" up, felt like a red hot wire down my leg. Tylenol #3 with Codeine wouldn't touch it. Don't let this scare you, just be smarter than me. With the right meds, not necessarily pain meds, it can be overcome. I'm feeling much better, walk like a human, rather than a duck, and well on the way to healing. Follow the directions and don't be a hero. You have to let pride go for a while. You can't bend over and put on your socks, maybe. Maybe you have to ask for help with simple tasks, people have to do for you. The end state is that you want to return to your old, healthy activities, it will take time. 6 months to a year, I'll be able to do everything, with maybe an exception or 2, like I used to. I have a wife, 2 daughters, and 3 grandsons over 6 feet tall and in their prime, to help me. I'm blessed.
    One of my father's favorite statements: "If I say a chicken dips snuff, look under his wing for the snuffbox" How I was raised, who I am.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Battis View Post
    That's the issue - 4 surgeries already (2 on that disk). Not much left to work with. They'll come in from the front. Good luck cutting through that gut. My height has always been 5'11 3/4". Maybe that spacer will give me the 1/4" to make 6' even.
    Coming in from the front is barbaric and not really done anymore except for thoracic vertebrae. My back doc said he quit using that technique in the early 90's...

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    They're doing another injection first to see if that might help. If it comes to surgery, I'll question that technique. I read online that it's less invasive and safer than from the back. I trust the DR - he's part of the oncology team that treated me at Mass General Hospital (where the surgery will be done).

  15. #15
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    i have been fused 3 times... 2 rods and a whole lot of screws and pins. i would say, if you need it, then you need it. i wished wasn't necessary. i have tons of pain each and every day no matter if I an working hard or resting, but the alternative was giving up my lifestyle, so it was a no brainer. i have had 7 spinal surgeries. most of you have seen my lifestyle, and I will live with the pain. yes I have had to adjust. adjusting life it will be. pain can be your friend believe it or not.
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  16. #16
    Boolit Man
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    I’ve had two back surgeries. The first was a total failure, just a discectomy, as I had an alignment issue an should have received a fusion. The second surgery, by a different Dr. was a fusion. 8 months later I was packing/dragging/ kicking a moose 1/2 mile down a ridge to our Polaris Ranger. Maybe I’m just lucky, but so far it’s been great. I do many things that someone 1/2 my age would be challenged with! memtb

  17. #17
    Boolit Master Traffer's Avatar
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    I just read this post and glad I did. My doctor has been trying to convince me to get fusion. Been living with other pain for the past 40 or more years. Thought I "pulled a muscle" last year and back started hurting. Doc wanted me to get a xray "Just in case". They saw something on the xray and then needed a MRI...MRI showed "Wow this is huge..."says the doc. Disk pinching off the spine...doc called it a "cyst" he said "We have to drain that thing it is pinching off your spinal cord" (leg pain so bad couldn't bend over at that time) ......Long story here folks.........
    Went in for the "drain cyst" and folks looked at me funny, kept saying "injection". Ended up that it wasn't a drain the cyst deal, It was an "inject the cyst with steroids" ...not a real good experience. But it helped ...for a couple of weeks....Doc said you are going to HAVE to have the surgery (fusion) ...In the mean time I run into a guy who told me his experience... All his docs wanted to fuse after an accident at work. He went to a doctor who had a really good reputation and that doc said "operation but NO FUSION" So he gets the operation (removed the disk) ... he goes to physical therapy and does it RELIGIOUSLY. He said because of the PT he is stronger now than before the operation.
    So when I went back to my doc i tole them that story and got into PT. For me PHYSICAL THERAPY has been a MIRACLE. As long as I continue with it NO PAIN. They also gave me an exercise where I roll my back against the wall with a tennis ball in a pillow case inbetween. So the tennis ball can push directly against the disk. That exercise MAY have ruptured the disk and took the pressure off the spine. because I no longer have a sore spot and my legs are no longer numb and "electric pain"
    One other note, a friend's wife works at a nursing home for soldiers "KING Wisconsin". She said that the PT folks there use a devise called a "Sacro Wedgy". I got myself one of those and it seems to HELP A LOT. I use with my PT exercises that I do laying down.
    So for now, my back is stable. IF it gets bad again, I have a second opinion Doctor lined up...Certainly NOT going to let the guy who keeps badgering me work on it. His office laughed at me when I told them that the PT was helping...."OK call us when it gets bad again" NOPE.

  18. #18
    Boolit Buddy Static line's Avatar
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    I had back surgery where they just scooped out all the mushy bad disks and took a couple cists off of my spinal cord and it took me ,well.t's still taking me almost three years to get to the point where I won't have pain. I don't think it will ever happen though cause I ain't as tough as my mother. She had disks fused when she was 97 years old and at 99- 1/2 , she is doing pretty good. Her mind is going but her back is strong.

  19. #19
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    My dad ended up injured at work a while ago, and they were telling him he needs a fusion. He told them no way, and did physical therapy, and still does it on his own. He gets around as good as he ever did, can lift well over 50 pounds, no pain at all. My uncle, younger than my dad by about 7 years, on the other hand was in a minor car crash, and did have a fusion. He can't turn very far now, is in pain, and needs a cane to walk. I also have a distant relative who was in a bad motorcycle crash with a deer. He had a number of vertebra fused. Now in his case, I'm not certain he had an alternative. He can barely turn now, he must have had at least one fused in his neck, as he can't even turn his head. He can still walk ok, and even still rides motorcycle. I'm sure he has some pain, but I'm not sure there was another way.

    If there is no choice, there is no choice. I'd say if there is even a the tiniest hope that physical therapy can help, it will be a better outcome, even if it takes longer.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    I've done PT several times. Once was after a car accident and my ankle was messed up. The first physical therapist I went to tried to strengthen the ankle instead of making it flexible. Guess what? He made it worse. PT never helped with my back, nor did chiropractors. They're dangerous.
    This will be my 5th back surgery if I decide to have it. When it's bone on bone, and little space for the nerves when they exit the disk, the choices are limited. PT won't help. I do go to the gym, now that it's opened, and do mostly pulldowns, and that stretches everything to a point.

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