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Spinal Stenosis

Started by hurrysundown82 on 01/19/2010 10:07am

I am getting surgery for this condition of spinal stenosis on Feb 9 2010. I am scared to death but everything I've tried hasn't work for this, epidurals and now i am losing balance and falling. I just recently fell down the steps about a week ago. I want to know if anyone has gone threw this surgery and what is the outcome of being better.

Any advice would be great. I feel like I am alone in this fight

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Sorry to hear about your condition... I am familiar with this condition and the surgical options, what surgery are they performing? My understanding is the newer surgeries for spinal stenosis work pretty well.

I thought this article gave a good description of things. Surgery for Spinal Stenosis

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EXACTLY WHAT KIND OF SURGERY ARE YOU HAVING??

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I totally understand. Got up out of a chair to board a plane and fell down. Fell down 4 more times getting down the jet way and across the tarmac to the plane. That was Jan 2. Have gotten some of my leg strength back and am not falling down any more. Spinal Stenosis is the diagnosis (L-5). I am trying acupuncture now but surgery seems imminent around 10 Feb. I have absolutely no pain whatsoever but my left leg is numb inside from mid Thigh to bottom of my knee and around the knee cap. The surgery they have mentioned is something like lactimectimy? basically a rooter job on the nerve canals. I too am scared wondering if it is just changing one problem for another.

Does anyone out there have any experience with all of this?

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I also have spinal stenosis and disc degenerative diesease. I have had trouble for 3 years and now been unemplyed since Jan of last year. My pain was so bad that I could not walk to the car. I recnently had spinal injections done at the Advanced Spainal Clinic in Calgary,Alberta. For the first time in 3 years I am almost pain free. I know this is not a cure but my God just to be pain free for awhile is worth it. I will keep posted on how I am doing. Best of luck

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Thanks. You know everyone I talk to is dealing with or has dealt wih pain. I have had zero pain except for about one day the day after my right leg caved and i went down. (Jan 2). This is what is confusing to me. No pain and yet the numbness and weakness is lingering. Seems to be getting a little better. But everyone keeps talking about surgery or else I risk permanent and irreversible nerve damage. Any of this ake sense?

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Hi there hurrysundown82,

I had surgery on 12/11 - a decompressive lumbar laminectomy at L3/4. I had been in constant severe pain for 14 months, weakness, heavy leg, horrible burning and sensitivity to touch. I could not even have the sheets on my leg in the beginning. After three months they started me on gabapentin, which saved my life. It probably rid me of 60% of my pain, but the remaining 40% - 24/7 was really getting to me. I had two epidurals and they did nothing for me; tried chiropractic, acupuncture, massage, nothing helped. I graduated to crutches, then a cane, and then could walk on flat surfaces without help but no inclines, no up or down.

I had lost enough quality of life to know that I would try almost anything, if it had a chance of helping. My surgeon was young and enthusiastic, he gave me a very good prognosis and I knew the damage was progressing as I had fallen (more than) a few times and then had a car accident.

The surgery was not very painful at all. I've had c-sections and I had carpal tunnel surgery and this hurt less! I felt pretty good immediately and have had a few set backs. I live in Seattle and the climate is not conducive to healing, for me. We are moving to a sunny place in the spring. It is all hills here and I can't do hills well.

My doctor told me it could take up to a year to know how much the surgery helped. At seven weeks, I had hoped for better, but had to be reminded that nerves need a long time to regenerate and to try and be patient. I had so much arthritis that the L3/4 nerve was crushed. From the back, down the cheek, over the front of the knee (the worst) and down the calf, no sensation but pain.

When I woke up after the surgery, I felt great (dilaudin) and immediately felt my Chi moving. I felt the energy run through my whole body, for the first time in fourteen months. In weeks to come, I saw improvement in skin pallor in my leg, response to touch, edema down a little on my knee, a little more mobility and strength. Still have pain, a little bit less I hope each day, and I am starting PT to get the motor skills back.

I would do it again tomorrow. Don't be afraid. You have made the decision to do this, now do it well. You will need family/friends around for weeks after to help you. NO housework, laundry, cooking, etc.

Please let us know how you are. I hope your experience is as good as mine was.

best,
Donna

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Just wondering about anyone' thoughts on this laminectomy operation. I hav absolutely no pain but hve all the symptoms - numbness, loss of mobility, falling down. Some strength is returning but doc is still recommending the surgery - any thoughts.

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Im also due to have an operation this month for spinal stanosis. I do have pain in my leg which brings me to tears it is so bad. I also have pins and needles all the way up from my foot into my buttock, weakness, tightness in my leg, foot drop and stiffness. I dont know if my op is the one you are having (hopefully they will tell me soon!) but I just hope it will make a difference.
I seem to have had all sorts of opinions about what I will be able to do afterwards, but dont know who to believe.

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how are you doing now? where did you have your operation?

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Hi, I dont know which operation you are having, but I had a laminectomy last March. Like you I could hardly walk and was in terrible pain, I felt about 90.
Before my op I was worried that I wouldnt be able to walk afterwards, but it wasnt a problem at all and I was walking about as soon as I could get out of bed. I thought I might be in hospital for 3-4 days but was sent home the day after my op. I had 30 metal staples in my back and they came out after 10 days.
After my op I felt better straight away although I found sitting for more than a few minutes quite hard for a while.
Now 11 months later its hard to believe I ever had anything wrong with me. I feel really well and havent had any symptons since the op.

Please dont be frightened, it is over quickly and you can get on with your life. I was off work for 4 months afterwards mainly because I am a primary teacher and spend a lot of time stood up. When I went back to work I had a few weeks of working half days which was good because by lunch time I was tired out.
I am so glad that I had the op.

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My laminectomy also gave me my life back. I am glad to hear you had such good results. I am not 100% better, but most of the pain and ambulation problems are improved a lot. I still fall if I am not careful as there is a bit of nerve damage that will not regenerate as I am almost 14 months post surgery.
I cannot even imagine what my life would be like now if this surgery were not available. I think I would have died from the pain. I don't believe there is a non-invasive way to make calcified tissue turn back to soft. My surgeon took the lamina and scraped me clean and I would do it again but hope I don't have too. I have the stenosis in my neck and mid back also and surgery there is probably in my future.
I am so happy to hear another success story.

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The only thing I have got left over from before my op is that I have loss of sensation in my right foot. It doesnt cause me any problems though and Its nothing compared to the awful pain and walking problems I had before the op. I know that some people dont have such a complete recovery, but I would reccomend having the surgery to anyone.

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Hi, I am also in the "same boat." In the next month or so I expect to have surgery to remove synovial cysts from L4 L5.

Doglove, I am very happy to hear the positive results from your Decompression Surgery. I also live in the Seattle Area and would greatly appreciate knowing the Spine Specialist that performed your surgery.

Thanks so much for your help.

al

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I am having surgery for spinal stenosis. I would like to know if anyone has had the surgery - they go in through the front of the neck, take out a disc, put a fake one in and use a metal plate to join the disc above and below the one removed.

I would like to know how your range of motion in your neck and head is after surgery. Are you able to look up and down? I heard you cannot look at your feet after having this surgery. I heard that it is very difficult to drive. After wearing the brace for two weeks, your neck muscles are very weak and the pain becomes intense again until you can get the strength back into them.

Please provide any information you have - I'm really scared. My stenosis is a result of an automobile accident. Its already taken seven months of my life I'd like to know how much more it will take.

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