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Failed back surgery are the percentages right.

Started by Sam227 on 05/01/2010 8:41pm

I am having a fusion and leminectomy in July. My pain management doctor said I have a 33% chance of being pain-free after surgery. Does anyone think that percentage is off a lot because people don't want to go back to work? You think people are just looking for the free services for life? Back surgery is a major surgery for all of us. It would be a lot nicer if the percentage was a lot higher that get better. Please let me know your thoughts. I am unable to do almost anything now. My choice is surgery even at 33% .

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Randy, that's a good point you made about being able to "activate" your pain. It's so simple I guess I never thought about it. Certain movements induce my pain, or at very least makes it worse. I will bring this up at my next app.
Thanks for posting. It's encouraging to know there maybe something that can be done for me.

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Hi Guys, I just wanted to say Hi. Sam

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Hello back&neck pai sufferers I have been doing a lot of reading on having the rods removed. I have had a fusion from S1L5,4,&3 now the dr. says L1&2 are bad and thats what causing my pain the problem is I just don't believe him my biggest pain comes from bending forward while doing house work I would like to return to work but after just a few bends I have to lay down for 30 min. Any body have there rods removed and had good results I'am in my fifth year since fusion and fusion seems to be solid . thanks spineman

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hi sam I know what you mean about the percentages, but are we doing everything rite once we get out of the hospitai. I read a article in here about someone that had spine surgery about two months out and was moving a box with there feet broke a screw. gosh my dr told me it would take a good year to heal to becareful. just walk and do your exercises. most people think that after they do the surgery everything will ok. also another person got out of the car and broke a rod. not long after surgery. takes time for the bones and the fusion to grow. I cannot bend over anymore I wonder how many are bending , I myself have muscle issues I keep over stretching I put my brace on and I feel betr. My posture is prob a prob. there are reasons why we hurt but how many are the drs, fault. , there are reasons why we hurt, so think what did I do that may of caused this pain. If I do the laundry I get my brace out,

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6 weeks after my lumbar fusion I was released back to work w/restrictions. After 3 months I was released with none. You read right, NONE. I guess the surgeon figured there was enough metal in my back holding me together. I will also tell you what he told me 3 months post op. "You're lumbar is now the strongest part of your spine, nothing you can do can hurt it. Unless it's a car wreck and even then, if what I just did gets broken, believe me, you have bigger problems." What he said was the truth, just not the while truth. I got 4 yrs of relief from that fusion, and would do it again in a heartbeat. Not so much with this c-spine fusion, in fact, not at all!

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It's been about 2 years since I wrote on this thread, so I wanted to update with some positive. After 4 months of physical therapy, low dose steroids, and swimming, I finally became pain free in May of 2012. The pain actually went away very quickly too. I was actually about to be scheduled for more invasive ALIF surgery at L5-S1 and L4-L5. Literally the month the doctors agreed on that plan, I started getting better. The bad pain actually went away very quickly, but took a long time after that before my back felt "solid". As of now, the only problem I have left from the fusion surgery is piriformis syndrome on my left side. There is no pain in the actual lower back, and I successfully went from 100mg oxymorphone daily to no prescription pain killers in a space of about 3 months (slow taper).

My point in writing this is not to brag about my own recovery. It is to provide hope. I had been on prescription pain killer and walking with a cane for a year prior to surgery in 9/2010, and the pain and disability continued after surgery until 5/2012. I had some breakthroughs during that time. For example, I had chiro pop my left S-I joint back into place, which was what finally allowed me to go back to very light physical therapy. But even then, I did PT/core strengthening for months with little to no improvement in pain. Then all of sudden, it started getting better quickly.

In retrospect, I think a lot of failed back surgeries are more a failure on the part of spine surgeons to educate their patients on the realities of recovery. In my case, I had been in massive pain for over a year prior to surgery and walking with a cane. I believe the nerve in question sustained a lot of irritation. The surgery may have corrected the pressure on the nerve, but that does not mean the nerve healed right away. Nerves are very slow to heal, months-to-years.

Just one year ago I felt hopeless and was submitting to another very invasive surgery. As it turns out, the original surgery fixed the problem. It was just the recovery that took time. I recommend to everyone not to lose hope, and to find good physical therapists that work with chiropractors and massage therapists. This was what finally got me there. In addition, I think steroids can be beneficial. While pain killers handle pain, they rarely take enough away to allow a person in severe agony to perform physical therapy. Steroids like prednisone can actually reduce inflammation enough to make physical therapy more tolerable.

In the end, I believe it was the sustained blood flow to my lower back that allowed it to heal itself. It took months. And I honestly believe that without that sustained blood flow, the situation would not have improved.

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What your doctor is trying to say.
Is about 2 out of every 100 people he operates on comes out maybe with
Not being able to walk. Or can't use one leg.
Or scare tissue may cause you more pain after wards.
There really isn't a percentage to go by. Every surgery is different for everyone that has it.
No I had a L4 to L5 stabilization. Then a L5 fusion to the pelvis.
So six screws two rods. One disc removed and tried for the fusion.
The surgery was a success. Even though I didn't fuse.
Here's why. I didn't come out of it with anything that went wrong.
Meaning he didn't make it worse. Two scare tissue didn't affect anything in my case.
Now the same guy next to me in a example. May have come out with a nicked nerve.
Or they could have cut his spinal fluid sack. Ect.
There is no percent other then. One or two out of a 100 people come out more mest up
Then when they went in.
Hate to put it this way.
But it's what I know.
Doctor won't tell you that. He don't want to loose a 80,000 dallor paycheck.
You have to be sure this is your last resort.
Of you can't take the pain or pain pills anymore.
And you know even before you go in.
That you can't work no more.
Then do it.
Because after. You won't get a job.
Your a risk after surgery to companies.
Not just do to pre existing conditions.
But being on pain meds.
They won't let you do anything.
I know this because I'm there now.
I have been threw it all.
Yah if I wanted I could work.
But not every day.
And if I break the hardware.
They won't cover the surgery again.
So. Like a turd in the fruit bowl.
Hope this helps.
Ray
P.s. sorry if I come off strong. But. My life has been hell ever since I got sick.
And I'm in a anger period. So please. Don't take it personal.
God bless you.
Ray.

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What if your a heavy smoker like me? Should i have a tlif done? or just stick to narcotics?

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5 failed surgeries, us navy service connected, am I better in the long run, I think so but on permanent pain management but at least I can walk again,

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Hi Everyone, I just wondered if any of my old friends were out there. This was my discussion 4 years ago. My surgeon said he was going to fix my pain problem. My pain today is as bad as pre surgery. I had a open fusion at L3-4 and he did a lot of work in there. I can sit in a chair so I don`t have that Raw pain. I would go to a laser surgeon now and have it done. But many of them are ROBBERS. One took my friend`s mothers money @ 70 in Pain would do anything. If your health plan won`t pay a laser center at all don`t you. There are some good places in orange NJ. It`s sad because I was hoping pre surgery that people just didn`t go back to work after back surgery to get SSD or SSI. It`s so hard to believe in this world the we can`t get fixed. I number`s are more like 20% that go back to work. Make sure you save a open fusion till the last thing you ever do. Your true friend Sam

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Different surgeons can have very different ways of handling this surgery. Please be selective in who you choose. When you feel confident in your doctors, you will feel much better about this surgery.

Thanks,
www.spinesurgeryindia.com

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This is for the person asking for bed and or chair recommendations. Before my 4th surgery I bought a Temper Pedic bed with an adjustable frame. Oh my gosh this bed has been amazing. It was going to be my first posterior surgery. I wanted to be able to get in and out of bed without needing assistance . The bed is almost 10 years old and i still love it!

Ive had 6 cervical spine fusions with instermentation. Basically have a hardware store in my neck at this point. LOL I had metastatic cancer at 16 as a result I was given massive amounts of radiation treatments for 3 years, at 35 had a recurrence with additional radiation. Radition is the culprit for my failed procedures. It's interesting how many people told me I should sue the surgeon for malpractice. Even before I was told about the radiation being the cause i never thought my dr did anything wrong. After my 3rd surg failed my surgeon said my case was getting complicated. My Dr referred me to a surgeon who pretty much was the best of the best in the country. That dr had to do 3 more surgeries on me. They did the best they could with what they had to work with.

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33% leave you the same, 33% leave you worse off 33% are succesful and a number of those require repeat surgeries for parts that move or wear out. Surgery is an absolute last resort for back issues after having exhausted all other methods of managing pain.

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