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Have a question concerning back surgery
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Have a question concerning back surgery

[2]
Apr 18, 2022, 7:55 PM

Have any of you guys ever had surgery concerning laminectomy and foraminotomy? If so what can I expect and also recovery time. Have read several things but would like to hear from someone that has had that type. Thanks.

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Re: Have a question concerning back surgery

emoji_events [6]
Apr 18, 2022, 8:33 PM

Unless you can't move, don't have back surgery.

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Re: Have a question concerning back surgery


Apr 18, 2022, 8:55 PM

my father had a laminectomy - never really recovered

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Make sure you have exhausted all of the more conservative options first

emoji_events [5]
Apr 18, 2022, 9:19 PM

such as physical therapy, chiropractic, pain management, and all outpatient procedures before having back surgery.

Back surgery is typically a huge risk in terms of significant/permanent side effects. Don’t do it unless you have to. And if you have to, find the best surgeon and go there even if it requires travel.

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Cobbox on Brad Brownell: “His only problem is he has to deal with turd fans questioning every move he makes.”


But listen to your doc, if he says you need that surgery

[1]
Apr 18, 2022, 11:45 PM

then no amount of shots, physical therapy is going to fix a blown disc. Bulging disc might can be helped. But if it's blown, it's blown. Like a flat tire.

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Of course, listen to your doctor.

[3]
Apr 18, 2022, 11:49 PM

But also get a second opinion from another doctor who doesn’t do back surgery for a living. You might get a totally different opinion.

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Cobbox on Brad Brownell: “His only problem is he has to deal with turd fans questioning every move he makes.”


Ain't THAT the truth. They might have been able to put

[2]
Apr 19, 2022, 8:25 AM

Humpty Dumpty back together again with duct tape and bailing wire, but there ain't no really happy ending from an actual blown disc. And, you WILL need the surgery to alleviate some of the pain.

I agree with the posters who advise chiropractic, PT, whatever to avoid surgery for a "bulging" disc. Some of the times, those things work. Once you cut on a disc in surgery, there is no going back to what it was.

When a disc surgery is done to remove a "bulge", the disc surface has to "scar over" at that point to retain the portion that is left. A disc is actually similar to a balloon filled with water. It's not an exact analogy, but close enough that you can see how careful you will need to be to allow that necessary scarring to occur following the surgery.

I can only tell you what MY L4/L5 disc looks like. The other discs show up "white" on an x-ray, with approximately equal spaces between the vertebrae. L4/L5 shows up dark, and only has about half the height worth of space between the vertebrae left. Since you have the same amount of nerves exiting that area that you always had, this is a problem. It's like a jigsaw puzzle with only ONE perfect solution. If either of those vertebrae shifts out of the "perfect" alignment one iota, severe nerve pinching and pain results.

So, I know it may feel like you ar dying from the pain of a disc that is "bulging". I have several of those as well, lucky me. But, trips to a good chiropractor, and ceasing to do stupid stuff like lifting things that weigh much at all, and normally, you can get a resolution to those. Surgery is forever, and should only be done when all other options have been exhausted. Take it from someone who lives daily on both sides of that fence.

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Re: Have a question concerning back surgery

[4]
Apr 18, 2022, 9:26 PM

I had a foraminotomy September 22, 2016 as a last resort. The Dr. opened up L2, L3 and L4 because of pressure on the nerves causing numbness in my left leg/foot. I had calcium deposits from fractured L4 and L5 in a auto accident in 1996 when I lived in IL. He also cleaned up a disc at L5.

I had the surgery in the afternoon, stayed overnight (watched Clemson beat GT from the hospital bed), and was released before lunch the next day so it was considered outpatient surgery. I could get up, dress my self and do the basics before I left the hospital. It took about a week to start feeling stronger and taking care of my pets but was limited pretty much at home for a month. Within 8 or 9 months, I was doing more than I was before.

However, it was 3 years before I tried golf again and really slowed down and tempered my swing.

Update:

I have seen several posting about long recoveries and I feel fortunate to have had feeling back (no numbness or pain) within a couple months. My doctor told me up front that there is no way to know how much time it will take for the nerve to recover. It could be a month, could be up to a year, and maybe never depending on how bad the nerve was pinched/damaged. He also told me there was 10% to 30% chance of it not working at all or more nerve damage was possible due to the surgery. After weighing the options (drop foot, numbness, pain, not being able to function) the risks were worth it to me.


Message was edited by: saddis56®

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Re: Have a question concerning back surgery

[2]
Apr 18, 2022, 10:04 PM

I agree with Judge. Several of my friends have had back surgery (don't know to what extent) but it did not help them. Just an observation. You are the one having to live with it.

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Ok, I didn't understand what the fori-whatever surgery was.

[1]
Apr 19, 2022, 8:39 AM

My surgeons evidently don't go for the fancy names. I always called that the "Roto-Rooter" surgery. Because, essentially that is what the surgeon does, he opens up the nerve channels to provide a greater area for the nerves to exit without impingement.

That one was my SECOND major back surgery, done in 2003. Basically, I had most of the lumbar ones done. I think maybe L1 escaped.

That surgery provided what I call "relative" relief. I shall explain. Before the surgery, if I did anything much of a physical nature (A day of raking leaves, hoeing in a garden, playing a round of golf, etc), I knew in advance that I would be in for about 5 days of excruciating back pain starting the following day. AFTER the surgery, if I did those same things, the excruciating pain would still come, but it would usually only last a day or at the most, two. Relative relief.

Speaking for myself, and my father, who had the same back issues I have, you will never be the same after back surgery. That is just a hard fact of life. But, if you have a GOOD back surgery, you WILL be better, by far, than you were before the surgery.

Speaking of my father, if you don't believe back issues can be hereditary, listen to this, and then go whistling past the graveyard. My father had the same back surgery, on the same disc, on the same SIDE, as I did, at the same AGE as I did. Oh, and the surgery was done by the same surgeon, many years apart.

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Re: Have a question concerning back surgery

[4]
Apr 18, 2022, 10:02 PM

I had that exact procedure (L4-L5)about 9 years ago & it was a huge relief. prior to surgery I couldn't walk for any distance & it felt I'd been kicked in the crotch every day because of the nerve pinch. It took me 2 years to convince the neurologist something was wrong because nothing showed up on MRI, exct. Even Johns Hopkins missed it. Doc opened me up & said it took him 30 secs to see the issue. I walked out next day pain free.-- Do you trust the doc?
Do it.

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You were VERY lucky to find a surgeon who was willing to

[1]
Apr 19, 2022, 8:44 AM

do what had to have been called "exploratory" surgery on your lower back. Most Docs avoid that area like a minefield, because, it is!

Welcome to the L4/L5 club. I joined, however unwillingly, all the way back in 1992. See some of my other replies if you want the sad details.

:(

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Yes! I'm in the L-4 L-5 club, about 3.5 years ago

[2]
Apr 18, 2022, 11:41 PM

I spent Labor Day weekend '18 lying on the floor. I could barely walk and was stooping over with major leg nerve pain, loss of strength in my leg. I had mine done and I was walking around upright an hour after the operation. They gave me some pain killers, but I only took a few, didn't like them. Tylenol/Motrin and a muscle relaxer was the best.

I sat at my computer and worked some the next day. Worked all the following week. Nerve pain flared up occasionally after and the doc gave me some meds. Everyday it got better. Wore my back brace for about 6 months after when driving, riding the mower.

Walking is the best thing for recovery. Sitting is bad, driving is the worst. The surgery was well worth it. Be careful right after surgery when sleeping in the bed if you turn over often, use pillows to support your leg.

I hurt mine learning/trying to surf, almost 50. Not the smartest thing but made a good story. I keep telling my kids about treating your back better and not maxing out when lifting weights.

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Sounds like there have been a whole lot of advances

[1]
Apr 19, 2022, 8:09 AM

in disc surgery since my L4/L5 partial disc removal in 1992. You said you blew yours learning to surf at age 50. I literally pinched a piece off mine at the age of 38, playing golf on a cold day without properly warming up. I actually felt / heard it when it happened. But, at the time, it was not more than a minor *clink* and a twinge. By the time I got to a specialist, I had already progressed PAST some of the major leg pains, and had developed a drop foot on the right side due to the disc fragment impacting the nerve exit channel.

I guarantee you, it is scary when the Doc tells you to do the old "get up on your toes, now get up on your heels" deal in his office, and you suddenly realize you can't do EITHER ONE with your right side. And, when he did the old knee tap "reflex" test, my whole right leg didn't even twitch.

That's why I said in my main post reply, it took almost a year for MOST of the feeling to come back to my lower right leg and foot. Never 100% again, but I am EXTREMELY grateful for what did come back. The Surgeon made no guarantees that ANY of it would ever return.

He was an older Surgeon, actually deceased now, Dr. Daniel Paysinger. I still remember the exact words he told me when I asked him if I would ever get the feeling back in my right side. "I won't guarantee you any of that. All I WILL guarantee is, when you wake up from this surgery, you won't hurt NEARLY as much as you do right now." And, he was true to his word. It didn't hurt at all when I woke up. Until I moved the first time.

:(

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Have L-5 right now


Apr 19, 2022, 12:00 PM

had crippling sciatica until I got an epidural. I'm probably about 75% now and can function again. Still have a little pain but nothing like it was. The shot ain't a fix but I'll take the relief. Have follow up with surgeon in a few weeks to decide the course of action we'll take

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I have easily had over a dozen epidural shots over the


Apr 19, 2022, 12:18 PM

years. A couple of them helped a lot, but most did only minimal or NO good. As I lament all the time, an epidural can't make space where there isn't any. UNLESS the nerve problem is caused by temporary inflammation of the surrounding area. Then, the epidural CAN calm things down and bring some blessed relief.

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Re: Have a question concerning back surgery


Apr 19, 2022, 12:10 AM

Find the absolute best Dr you can, and get a second opinion. Consider going out of town or even out of state. Sorry to hear you are in such discomfort. Good Luck !

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Re: Have a question concerning back surgery

[3]
Apr 19, 2022, 6:06 AM

I had a fusion of L4 & L5, I tried everything before surgery but my pain was so bad I had no choice, my bone had grown into the nerve on the inside of the vertebrae. It took 3 years before I could travel & do active things, the good Lord has helped me tremendously since.

If you need it & have to have it then get it done but exhaust all other options. Water therapy has helped many recover from really bad situations.

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We keep getting better & better everyday, in every way!
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Re: Have a question concerning back surgery

[1]
Apr 19, 2022, 7:48 AM

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Have a question concerning back surgery [1]
Apr 18, 2022, 7:55 PM
Reply

Have any of you guys ever had surgery concerning laminectomy and foraminotomy? If so what can I expect and also recovery time. Have read several things but would like to hear from someone that has had that type. Thanks.

I MIGHT CONSIDER GOOGLE INSTEAD OF A BUNCH OF GOOBERS ON THIS BOARD. HAVE YOU NOT READ SOME OF THE STUFF THEY TYPE. LOL

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Re: Have a question concerning back surgery

[2]
Apr 19, 2022, 7:57 AM

deroberts said:

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Have a question concerning back surgery [1]
Apr 18, 2022, 7:55 PM
Reply

Have any of you guys ever had surgery concerning laminectomy and foraminotomy? If so what can I expect and also recovery time. Have read several things but would like to hear from someone that has had that type. Thanks.

I MIGHT CONSIDER GOOGLE INSTEAD OF A BUNCH OF GOOBERS ON THIS BOARD. HAVE YOU NOT READ SOME OF THE STUFF THEY TYPE. LOL




Very ironic coming from the the King of all Goobers himself.

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Don't be too hard on deroberts. I think he only comes on

[1]
Apr 19, 2022, 10:02 AM

here to take a break, when he gets tired of yelling at the neighborhood kids from his front porch to

"GET OFF MY LAWN!"

and trundles into the house to get a refill on his coffee.

:)

As Robert Palmer once said in a song "It takes every kind of people, to make what life's about, yeah."

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Yeah, because Google will ALWAYS give a non-biased,

[1]
Apr 19, 2022, 9:37 AM

helpful, doctor's opinion. The OP asked for other's experience. Posters here were kind enough to give him their experience. What was wrong with that?

What a gobberific response you provided!

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"When I was young, I was sure of many things; now there are only two things of which I am sure: one is, that I am a miserable sinner; and the other, that Christ is an all-sufficient Saviour. He is well-taught who learns these two lessons." -John Newton


Re: Yeah, because Google will ALWAYS give a non-biased,

[1]
Apr 19, 2022, 10:12 AM

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Yeah, because Google will ALWAYS give a non-biased, [1]
Apr 19, 2022, 9:37 AM
Reply

helpful, doctor's opinion. The OP asked for other's experience. Posters here were kind enough to give him their experience. What was wrong with that?

What a gobberific response you provided!

you people are so easy. so much fun. lol

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deroberts... what the f*ck is wrong with you, dude...this is

[1]
Apr 19, 2022, 10:15 AM

literally all you do, cruise threads and post something derogatory and stupid. You add nothing to this board, and never have. Zero, zip, zilch, nada. I realize you are shooting for some imaginary title of Board Curmudgeon, and the competition is stiff. But the guy is contemplating what could be major, life-changing surgery, and is literally asking for personal experiences. And that's what he is getting.

Do us all a favor and crawl back under your rock.

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"They talk most who have the least to say." - Matthew Prior 1664-1721


Re: deroberts... what the f*ck is wrong with you, dude...this is

[1]
Apr 19, 2022, 10:19 AM

hey dont be stealing my lines.

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I've had MANY back surgeries. But, when they took out part


Apr 19, 2022, 7:53 AM

of my L4/L5 disc in 1992, the mini-scopes had not yet made an appearance. They didn't call it a "laminectomy" back then, at least not that I ever remember. I don't know what your situation is, but I can tell you it was a solid year after that surgery before my back and legs started feeling relatively "normal" again nerve wise. So, don't be discouraged in the short term. It takes time.

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I've had a couple of cervical discectomies...


Apr 19, 2022, 8:34 AM

The recovery from the first one was a snap. The second one was not quite as smooth but that was largely because I was 10 years older and simply didn't heal as fast.

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Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.


Truth there. I once remarked to my current Chiropractor that


Apr 19, 2022, 10:05 AM

the one I went to many years ago had better results cracking my neck and back than he was getting. (The original one retired and passed away years ago.) He pointed out, rightly so, that the older Doc was getting to work on the 30 year old me, while HE was stuck working on the 67 year old me.

:(

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My second procedure was also more invasive..


Apr 19, 2022, 11:10 AM

and involved more than one level. That recovery wasn't any fun at all but, fortunately, I feel great now.

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Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.


One general comment. There are "artificial" discs out there

[1]
Apr 19, 2022, 8:48 AM

now, but I have yet to see an insurance plan that will pay for them. That alone should tell you something about what the risks of having them installed is at this time. And, as Mr. Gump said,

"That's all I have to say about THAYATT."

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Yeah, I had the ACDF cervical fusion surgery about 15 years

[1]
Apr 19, 2022, 10:40 AM

ago and artificial discs were available then, but insurance wouldn't pay for it. So I got a cadaver disc. It's kinda weird knowing you have somebody else's neck bone. I have wondered... who was he/she... how did they die? (LOL) I would've thought insurance would cover it by now... my surgeon said there were less chances of your body "rejecting" an artificial disc.

Now, my surgery was c4/c5 (neck) and I understand it's not as invasive as lower back... the discs are much smaller, and the spine is not carrying as heavy a load as lower back. The neck only has to support your head, etc. My symptoms were my right arm & hand going numb. The surgery did fix the immediate symptoms, but I lost some neck mobility... I can't turn my head easily and check the "blind spot" while driving. And I was told that if the symptoms returned, they'd have to go further down and fuse another disc. I guess then I'd look like D ick Riley and have to turn my whole body to look to the left and right...

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"They talk most who have the least to say." - Matthew Prior 1664-1721


It varies from person to person. There ARE some large


Apr 19, 2022, 11:44 AM

"punkin heads" out there that will weigh more, and be harder to support.

:)

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I guess I am one of the lucky ones….

[1]
Apr 19, 2022, 10:40 AM

I have had back surgery twice. Both on L4/L5. The first time was on the right side and ten years later the left side. The second surgery was twenty years ago and I live a normal life now. Like poster above said, I just avoid doing stupid things now. I am very fortunate to be able to do all the normal stuff without pain.

It is amazing how far technology has come. The first surgery required staples and a four day stay at the hospital. The second only a few stitches and I was back home the same day.

Do get a second opinion. One doctor wanted to fuse two of my vertebrae. I went for a second opinion and the doctor said no, I do not need to do that, only a clean up of the two bulging discs. Good luck and I hope all goes well for you.

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Re: Have a question concerning back surgery


Apr 19, 2022, 12:08 PM

A friend here in greenville, sc had the issue where his leg was numb/tingly. He went to the best back surgeon in town, had the operation, and was playing golf 6 weeks later. Shocked us all.

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Class of ‘71. Went through “rat season” and glad I did.


Re: Have a question concerning back surgery


Apr 19, 2022, 1:20 PM

My wife and I had always heard that you never have back surgery unless you absolutely need it! And if you do find the highest rated surgeon and hospital unit you can that has a long record of success behind them. With a long-standing congenital lower back condition for most of her life that was getting much worse, and experiencing more frequent pain episodes, we were fortunate to find in our local Philadelphia area a highly rated surgeon with a great success record at The University of Pennsylvania Hospital.

As Christians, and being covered with the prayers of many, my wife had this surgery on her first four vertebrae up from the tailbone at age 71 back in 2019. Her results were wonderful to say the least! After being advised that her recovery may take 4-6 weeks and maybe even several months, she was totally pain free and walking around for the first time pain-free within five days removed. And this is for a woman who has always had a low pain tolerance. Our prayers for her overall back condition had been answered far more than we could have ever asked for - a miracle in our minds! And she has not experienced any further pain in her back since!

While this surgery and her success with it may not work out for everyone, the process you explore here and the quality of those you consult with in your situation cannot be underestimated. I will pray that you will receive the appropriate counsel and direction to pursue in your particular situation!

God Bless!

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Re: Have a question concerning back surgery


Apr 19, 2022, 2:04 PM

I've had their PL procedure on damaged neck disks. My wife has had the stem cell treatment on a "blown" knee due to a skiing accident. These guys are worth talking to prior to surgery. https://regenexx.com/


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Re: Have a question concerning back surgery


Apr 19, 2022, 5:26 PM

I was supposed to have that same surgery, but got a "Teeter" inversion table instead, no surgery, no pain!

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Re: Have a question concerning back surgery


Apr 19, 2022, 7:51 PM

Yesterday, I asked my primary care provider what I should do about my back pain caused by degenerative joint disease on multiple levels. She told me to avoid surgery and believe this or not sent me to see an acupuncturist. I went there today and had my first treatment. They told me it will require regular visits, but I do feel better after just one visit.

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