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    back surgery
    backbreaking posted:
    Is there anyone on this site who are satisfied with the outcome of their back surgery? Just wondering.
    davedsel57 responded:
    Hi, backbreaking.

    Usually folks who have successful back surgeries stop posting here, unfortunately. One of our members, Di, has had a successful spinal surgery (a fusion, I think) and does occasionally post.

    How are you doing?
    Click on my user name or avatar picture to read my story.


    dianer01 responded:
    Hi Brenda,

    I am here on and off as time permits and yes, I have had what I believe is successful surgery.

    About 5 years ago I woke up with a familiar pain in the butt (which I had bounded back from several times previously) and a few days later the pain was so bad I could barely walk and it was radiating into my right leg. I went to the doc and after the usual predisone pack, anti inflamitories and vicodin for a few days it was worse than ever. I was sent for an mri and straight to the hospital because I had ruptured 2 discs between L3- L5 so badly you couldn't tell where one ended and the other began. I had a laminectomy and discectomy on two levels and cried when I came out of surgery because it felt so good to be pain free.

    About three months later I was sitting down to put on my shoes, bent over to pick up my shoes and felt like someone put a knife in my back. Back to the surgeon and after additional xrays and mri determined I had 3 additional ruptures. We discussed more conservative options but knew I would only be delaying the inevitable. I had L3-S1 fused in October 2007.

    I have always lived life at 100 mph and typical for me, went back to work 6 weeks later. I overdid everything and found myself in major pain by the holidays. I struggled with the pain issues and finally about a year out found myself pretty much pain free.

    I walk for exercise, drive a sports car which is too low to the ground, and I sit on my butt all day at work....everything your doctor would rather you not do. I can pick up my dog who weighs about #20 and we go to the water park a couple of times in the summer. Oh and I schlep a stuffed briefcase every where I go....and when I get home some days I get out the ibuprofin. I work full time in a sales position, am in grad school and do some volunteer work. Have we talked about stress?

    I am now 51 and there are days I wonder why I do what I do to myself and I also understand there may be a day when I cannot keep up this pace. But until then I am grateful for a very talented surgeon and for the strength to keep going. I do have some nerve damage, I have little feeling in the toes of my left foot and little feeling in my right foot and the front of my right shin. So far this hasn't held me back but I do find some nights my feet are more "annoyed" than others.

    I made many choices on blind faith. I did not find this site until after the second surgery and was in pain. There are many people who have had successful surgeries but if you are considering surgery, ask lots of questions, ask about risks, options and what if's. You can never go back. And either write down the answer or take someone with you to listen. If you do not feel good about who you are taking to, leave and find someone else if possible.

    I don't think I have ever written so much in one post. But like any other endeavor you must understand what you are doing, the risks and possible rewards and weigh the options. I did not go through many of the more conservative treatments because the first time I saw the doctor, the disk rupture was so bad, there was no option other than surgery.

    Keep doing research and asking questions. There many questions I do not chime in on because I have not struggled with treatments for years as some of the members here have.

    I wish you the best

    backbreaking replied to dianer01's response:
    Thanks Di for your answer. I have had scoliosis surgery with rod implants from 5T to 3L 25 yrs. ago. Now all the pain is below that fusion and going down into my legs. some days I can hardly do anything because of the pain and my legs and feet cramp so easy.Right now I'm having some facet injections done and I think it has helped some with the pain. I wanted to avoid more surgery if possible because I remember how painful the rehab was after.
    I'm so happy you have had a successful outcome from your surgery.
    It seems like every one who has back surgery has to go back and have a second or third one done. I'm 66 and don't know if it would be best to live as best I can with the pain or go through another major surgery.
    The last Ortho Spine surgeon I saw (3mos.ago) said he could tie onto the rods that are already there and go down into the pelvic area with more rods and screws. He said it would alleviate some of the pain but couldn't guarantee it would get rid of all of it. My concern is why go through all that and still not be pain free. Guess I'm just looking for excuses because I'm afraid of having it done again.
    Thanks for responding to my question and I wish you the best.

    backbreaking replied to davedsel57's response:
    Good Morning Dave, thanks for asking. I'm having some Facet and epidurals done to try and stave off any more surgery. The Epidural didn't help but I think the Facets have alleviated some of the pain on my left side.

    Hope you are well and life is good for you.
    dianer01 replied to backbreaking's response:
    Hi Brenda,

    I think the thing to look at in your situation is what is your quality of life? and are you having problems such as incontinence, foot drop or uncontrollable pain.

    If you are finding satisfactory relief from the the facet injections and epidurals, I think I would stick with them as long as possible. There is of course no guarantee surgery will relieve pain.

    my best to you

    backbreaking replied to dianer01's response:
    You're right Di the quality of life is what matters. I find if I try to do things I once enjoyed doing it puts me out of commission for a while until I can get the pain down somewhat. I've had a good life but I have fought these back problems since I was 13 yrs. old. That's when I had my first surgery for the scoliosis. I got busy raising a family and the scoliosis progressed. I'm sure if I hadn't had the second surgery my spine would have collapsed and I wouldn't be able to breathe.

    2 or 3 times a year I go on the medrol dose pack to get some relief. I don't like taking opiates because they make me feel so wiered. I've probably eaten my stomach up by taking so much Ibuprofen, acetimenaphin and aspirin over the years but I think I'd rather do that and be in my right mind.

    I'm going to keep working with pain management and see if that works for a few months before I make a decision about the surgery.

    I hope you and yours will have a "Very Merry Christmas" and a great "New Year"

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