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Spinal Stenosis, Scoliosis, Parkinson's, and Deciding on Next Step

Started by mandlkelly on 08/04/2010 10:44pm

Hello All -

My mother is 65, has adult scoliosis, has Parkinson's, and has experienced increasingly painful back and leg pain as a result of Spinal Stenosis for nearly 1.5 years. She's worked with two doctors, had two rounds of epidural injections, and two rounds of physicial therapy, to no avail - the pain has gotten worse. At this point, really the only relief comes from being in the water. After speaking with the two doctors, it seems the only next step would be a Laminotomy. We are trying to become as informed as possible around the surgery itself and the recovery process.

I am posting to see if I can hear feedback on the following:
1. Feedback on Laminotomy? Success/failure? Recovery?
2. Other possible treatments?
3. Anyone have any information on possible issues around Parkinson's - surgey, recovery or other?

Any information/post is great - Thanks in advance!

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8 Responses

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1.5 years is not long
i have spinal stenosis for over 20, i WENT TO PHISICAL THERAPY it helped somewhat, however the exercises for the lower back helped the most. on floor knee to chest and very slight crunches
swimming is great along with walking in water
have mom join the wmca or another that has a swimming pool
threw my laymen research if mom needs surgery try spinal laser surgery first they have great results with lumbar spine

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Hello Rosey -

20 years is a long time for sure. Yes, she does spend some time in the water, and thats really the only time she has relief. PT and other exercises have not helped.... the next step seems to laminotomy according to her docs... We'll see.

I hope you are feeling better! Hang in there and thanks for posting!

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dear mandlkelly
im telling u that the exercises i recommened will work, but u must give them time to strengthen the stomach. it took me 3 months of exercises 2x a day

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Hello Rosey -

I am happy to hear that texercises have helped, and sounds like you have a good regimen going. I'm not sure my mother has the energy as a result of the Parkinson's to execute as you have. But, as mentioned, I very much appreciate your feeback!

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I had two MRI's several years ago which showed severe spinal stenosis; however, I had no problems until 2009 when I began to experience pain when walking. After seeing a psychiatrist in Seattle, she prescribed PT. After about 6 months of PT, my condition suddenly became worse and I was unable to walk for more than a block without my legs feeling like spaghetti and experiencing severe pain when walking. I then had a series of 3 steroid shots, two with no effect and the third relieving my symptoms for three days and then I was again in pain and unstable when walking. I was then referred to an orthopedic surgeon who told me that without surgery, I would spend the rest of my life in a chair, unable to walk and in pain. At that time I was 68 years old. I had a laminectomy in September of 2009 and unfortunately, the 5th lumbar nerve was damaged because the stenosis was so severe. Immediately after surgery, the spaghetti legs disappeared, as well as the pain. Although nerves are very slow to heal and I have to use a walker when going outdoors, at least I am able to walk with a brace on my leg indoors and use a walker and brace when outdoors. I have also had two courses of PT since the surgery and now use the therapy equipment on what is called a ticket prorgram on my own, after training by the therapist.
I would suggest that when talking to the surgeon, ask about possible complications like drop foot, which I experienced, as well as follow-up care. I was not referred for follow-up care after the surgery, but finally did receive therapy. Be sure to read the information given to you at the hospital. Medicare provides in-home care when one is unable to leave the home. The surgeon did not order this, and when I called our local hospital about in-home therapy, they immediately made arrangements for it. After the operation, I had reactions to the pain medication Vicodin and Oxycodone. I had panic attacks and hallucinations as a result of the medication, which took several months to recover from, even though I only took them for about a month after the operation. Be sure that your mother has someone to take care of her because luckily my husband was here with me and friends brought in meals. I was extremely weak after the surgery and would not have been able to take care of myself. I am still having difficulty receiving information about the healing process. I have had two electrodiagnostic tests, the first one six months after surgery which showed the nerve damage; the second one in June which showed some improvement. I was also examined by a neurologist a couple weeks ago who felt his examination was more valuable than the diagnostic tests, but who also could not answer how long the nerve damage would take to heal, saying it was usually within a year, but since it's been almost two years, he did see some improvement. Last year I was diagnosed with central sleep apnea which could have affected the healing process, so sleeping better may have also contributed to the healing. I know that each person heals at a different rate, but at least I have hope that eventually I'll be able to walk normally. Best of luck to your mother. I believe finding an experienced orthopedic surgeon to peform the laminectomy, asking how many successful versus unsuccessful operations he/she has performed and if there will be follow-up care if there are complications, would be important questions to ask, plus asking about possible reactions to pain medication.

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I have pd and severe stenosis. I had lamenectomy and fusion in march 2012. I do not think it helped.

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hi mandikelly My surgeon looks at it like does it interfear with your life then its a prob. I have been in pain for 40 years. Last year and a half i had a L1thruL4 fusion and they fused my back where I broke 40 years ago. and I felt good yes after surgery you have pain I cant bend down anymore. I have 8 screws and 2 rods in my spine also. this last fall I have had 2 more cushions go bad L5 S1. the tops of my legs at times just hurt so bad I cant stand it. I have been taking alieve and that seems to help me. nice hot showers I have a tense machine therpy is good walking helps me at times not to much. the straighter I keep my back the betr I feel.. get your mom a grabber good luck ps they also found arther on my spine also.

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