How many members have had back surgery/bad backs?

Discussion in 'General Conversation' started by catfishjohn, Jun 24, 2006.

  1. catfishjohn

    catfishjohn New Member

    Messages:
    10,217
    State:
    Greenup Co. KY
    I had lumbar fusion surgery(L4-L5 fusion) in Aug.2003,and am biding time until I have the same surgery on my neck(broke C6 in 2000 in a car wreck).Just wondering If anyone else has went through this and how it is now.I stay in chronic pain from this and am now disabled due to the injuries and failed surgery.If you have went through this,how do you cope with daily activities and do you ever get to the point of giving up? I keep plugging along the best I can,thats all I can do.Lets hear from you all...
     
  2. Phil Washburn

    Phil Washburn New Member

    Messages:
    7,680
    State:
    Shawnee OK
    john, when i was in the first grade i fell ten feet out of a tree and landed on my back...have had trouble with the 3rd vetebra in the lower lumbar ever since. chiropractic manipulation is the only thing that has ever helped. it is usually ok, but sometimes it is pretty uncomfortable. i have learned to live with it.
     

  3. catfishjohn

    catfishjohn New Member

    Messages:
    10,217
    State:
    Greenup Co. KY
    Phil,
    for the most part I've learned to deal with it also,the last couple days its getting almost unbearable.I also went to the chiropractor for years,never did much for me though.I also don't take narcotics for the pain,tried them and the side effects were worse than the relief-addiction,kidney,stomach damage,ETC.I now only take tylenol,its better than nothing.Its got to the point that I can't even think about fishing!!!
     
  4. catfishjohn

    catfishjohn New Member

    Messages:
    10,217
    State:
    Greenup Co. KY
    I know there are more ppl that have this problem,lets hear it...
     
  5. ryang

    ryang Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,328
    State:
    Blacklick, Ohio
    Name:
    Gary
    Ive got a bad back but no surgery. I just deal with what pain I have (which usually isnt bad) and asprin/tylenal usually will help enough
     
  6. catfishjohn

    catfishjohn New Member

    Messages:
    10,217
    State:
    Greenup Co. KY
    Sorry to hear that,I hope you don't have to go through what I've been through.Best of luck to you!!!
     
  7. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    Had one surgery for a bulging L-4 L-5.
    I went the laminectomy route and dont regret it a bit.
    I lived 18 years of my life in chronic pain needlessly.
    It finally came to a head 2 years ago this coming September.

    I couldnt begin to tell you how much dirt I've moved with a shovel in the last year down at the barn.
    I try not to get real foolish, I work a sensible pace and I dont pick up anything heavy that is awkward to handle.
     
  8. catfishjohn

    catfishjohn New Member

    Messages:
    10,217
    State:
    Greenup Co. KY
    My fusion was L4-L5,wish I was as lucky as you!!!
     
  9. duxsrus

    duxsrus New Member

    Messages:
    1,014
    State:
    SW Ohio
    I hurt my back 15 years ago lifting something heavy and have put up with it ever since. Finally this Feb after much persuading from my wife and mom, I went to the doc to see what's going on. In short, my neurosurgeon says a L4-L5 fusion is what I need but said that as long as I'm able to work, if he were in my shoes, he wouldn't do it right now. Ain't gotta tell me that twice.

    I actually made an appointment just yesterday with a pain management specialist to see about any non surgical alternatives like some kind of shots in my disk. Just the thought of that makes me quesey.

    After 15 years, I'm totally fed up with the daily pain. I've been seeing a chiro for the last six years and he's the only thing keeping me mobile. Any more I take narcotic pain releivers to make the pain go away as well as ease my mind from the nearly constant state of worry that I'm in.

    Did your fusion surgery have to be done through the stomach? Was that your failed surgery that you mentioned or was that what fixed it?

    What was that you had done Mark? I don't remember hearing that in any of my appointments.
     
  10. catfishjohn

    catfishjohn New Member

    Messages:
    10,217
    State:
    Greenup Co. KY
    they went through my back and put titanium plates and screws in,wait till u absolutely have to have it done!!!
     
  11. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    The laminectomy consists of a one inch or less incision going in from the back.
    Once the incision is made they take a spreader and pull the muscle and tissue back.
    They take out the power tools and trim the bone around the openings in the disk where the spinal cord and nerve bundles are.
    In my case and guess most cases the surgeon can visually see the nerves jump when they get freed up enough. Other then that he pushed my bulging disks back into place and closed me up. I was on the table for 2 hours and 45 minutes and the results were immediate from the time I opened my eyes.

    That procedure is not even an admittance procedure. It is a 23 hour stay.
    I went from not walking into the hospital at 6am to surgery at 8Am.
    When I was wheeled into my room after recovery I slid myself unassisted off the gurney into bed.
    By 1 PM I was walking to the bathroom.
    The nurses kept calling me on the bed speaker asking if I needed pain meds and I'd say no. They commented to my mom about me not asking for them.
    In short I lived through and worked through alot more pain in 18 years then what any surgeon could bestow on me in just 2 hours and 45 minutes.
    When I went into the hospital I had lost alot of feeling in my legs and had a foot that felt like it was on fire. I was eating Neurontin and 800mg ibuprofen like candy and passing blood from it.
    I walked out of the hospital and never slowed down.

    I think what really helped me was I went ahead and took 2 months off work and used that time to strengthen my back by walking.
    Each morning I would go for walks and in the evenings the same, each day increasing my distance without pushing myself.

    Let me say that at the time I was 37 years old and had never been in the hospital other then to visit someone.
    My primary doctor looked at the MRI I had done and she said it wasnt serious and she didnt think surgery was required but she set me up to see a surgeon.
    When I saw him and told him some of the problems I was having he wanted to operate in 2 days. He gave me just a 5% chance of recovering on my own or by any other form of alternative therapy. I knew he wasnt BSing because I had tried them.

    Anyway surgery scared me, especially back surgery. I declined the surgery with some excuse just so I could go home and research this cat and this procedure on the internet. Last thing he said was, you'll be back. I checked him out through the state surgeon boards and found out he was one of the best and highly recommended surgeons for the procedure. I called my Physical therapist to ask if she had heard of him and she told me without any doubt go with him.
    In 2 short weeks not working I got to the point of extreme pain. Thats when i made the phonecall to setup the surgery. That day couldnt come fast enough.

    I still have a day here and there that I have some discomfort mainly due to riding in a vehicle for long periods or long strenuous hours of physical work but I would do it all over again. I feel the best I have in a long time.
    Not only do I again want to do things I do them.
    Its been a life changer.
     
  12. catfishjohn

    catfishjohn New Member

    Messages:
    10,217
    State:
    Greenup Co. KY
    thanks for the replies,i still need some more info please!!!
     
  13. teaysvalleyguy

    teaysvalleyguy New Member

    Messages:
    9,751
    State:
    GC, OHIO
    My Back hurts alot, but that is because I was extremely overweight. I am sure that the years of Baseball, Football, Wrestling, Weight Lifting did not help either. Or the fact that 10 years later after I have graduated I still go wrestle with the young kids about every day at school. But, it is getting better and hope to continue weight loss so pain will continue to subside.
     
  14. SilverCross

    SilverCross New Member

    Messages:
    1,562
    State:
    Fairbury, Illin
    I've had C5- c6 fusion, c7- t1 fusion and titanium plate and screws. Yep it is always uncomfortable, I have learned how to live with the pain, plus I take the strongest pain pills without narcotics I can get. They gave me the ones with narcotics, but I turned them down and take the others. They had me on 1800 miligrams of pain medicine a day but am down to 300 to 600 a day now. Hurts a lot more but that is just part of life. I have so much nerve damage that it doesn't matter to much anymore. The drs wanted to operate on my lower back years ago with only about a 30% chance of being able to walk again. I told them when I couldn't walk then they could do it, and so far so good. When I had the problem with c7 and t1 I never knew a person could have that much pain, well now I know, don't like it but made it through. Been disabled since 2001, I have a small easy partime job now and probably will till I die, can't stand to just sit around, drives me nuts and that's a short trip.
     
  15. pk_powell

    pk_powell New Member

    Messages:
    3,485
    State:
    Missouri
    John:
    My husband Steve ws hurt in July 2004 working for Union Pacific Railroad as a Locomotive(diesel)Mechanic.
    He popped a disk in his neck,felt fine and then 2 weeks later lost his grips and arm strength,took 3 specialists to find out what was wrong. Well after much physical therapy and still no relief,in December 2004 they did surgery and fused C3&4 He still continued in pain so a year later did what they call a disk-o-gram(they put you to sleep,and then place needles into each disk,then they slowly wake you up. They apply pressure to each needle on an individual basis,if there is pain thats the bad disk,so in November 2005 they opened him up again said the disk below first fusion had failed,this one they plated with screws. After several months still no relief,so we went to a brand new doctor(NeuroSurgeon) and was told he didn't think my husband's pain was due to his neck but he felt he has a torn rotater cuff,we looked at each other totally dumbfounded. As far as pain pills he has had no choice but to take narcotics,but some of them gave him Peptic Ulcer Disease so now instead of codene,he takes Percocet,and is constantly asking me to rub Icy Hot on his neck and shoulders. It has left us on welfare as our daughters also has health issues. We retained a lawyer out of St Louis Missouri that strictly does railroad cases and we are still waiting for his disability checks to come in. He has been denied twice,2nd time with our lawyers help,so now He and his attorney when we are given a date to do so has to stand in front of a Federal Judge and appeal face to face,plus we are waiting to go to court with the railroad to see if they will settle with us or if that has to go to a jury trial.Mean time he can't set for long periods of time due to the pain,and in order to sleep at night he has to take sleeping meds. I wish you all the luck in the world you will be in our prayers,please keep us posted. I lost my fishing partner over this cause he just can't set very long. I sure wish I had someone I could go fishing with,going alone isn't as much fun as going with somone.You take care and strive to get the very best doctor you can find. Catfishin in my dreams----------------pk(Pat):sad2:
     
  16. fishinpals

    fishinpals New Member

    Messages:
    547
    State:
    Virginia, Illinois
    Back in the 70's had the muscle scraped away on part of my spine. They used a dagger like needle that they put in along my spine and then moved it back and forth cutting the muscle away. Man did it hurt. The muscle finally did reattach and am ok now.
     
  17. zappaf19

    zappaf19 New Member

    Messages:
    1,574
    State:
    Monticello,IN
    2 fusions in my neck. 1st one was bone used from my hip. Man my hip hurt worst than my neck when they were done! Then had to wear the neck collar to keep from moving my head hated that too! Second on was a donor bone with the titanum plate and screws.
    Which meant no collar! They went thru the front of my neck both times. The scars are pretty well hidden because the surgen cut in the right spot. My spine is degenerating I am told and will need 3 more in the future.
    THANK GOD FOR INSURANCE!
    Bill
     
  18. catfishjohn

    catfishjohn New Member

    Messages:
    10,217
    State:
    Greenup Co. KY
    Thanks to all for sharing the stories,I guess i just needed to hear from others to show that there are people worse off than I am.I am abt ready to go back to ER as mine is just getting worse.I'm having trouble doing anything at all and about to go CRAZY!!!!!
     
  19. tatersalad

    tatersalad New Member

    Messages:
    438
    State:
    Clover, SC
    Sorry to hear about your back.
    I haven't had surgery, although it was suggested.

    I have 4 herniated discs, and 5 collapsed discs (maybe 1 more herniated, felt like it but didn't get it checked). The ones they wanted to operate on are all high, and when the doc said "we'll go through your chest and neck.....", i decided to pass.

    The pain comes and goes, drinking lots of water does a lot of good in controlling disc pain. Also, the one thing that really helped me was accupuncture. I know it sounds crazy, but it really helped me. PM me if you want to know any more.

    good luck, tatersalad
     
  20. BamaCats

    BamaCats Member

    Messages:
    337
    State:
    Alabama
    i can realte to the back surgery thing, i had back surgery in 98. they removed L4-L5 and S1 things were fine for about a year then it went back to like it was before i had surgery now i am having hte same pains again. went to the doctor adn he says i have an extra disc in my back unfourtanley they cant go in adn do surgery again (50% chance of coming out in a wheelchair) so i am going to a chronic pain doctor for injections and different kinds of therepy. Cant even work any more so trying to draw my disabilty and makes it even harder to play with the kids. :sad2: