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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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Hi, if you want to have disability chose surg. T Goradia In Mercy Hospital clinic also in Oakland and San Ffrancisco he promised 60%.. and .... nervana.. Your surgeon sound like honest, you lucky usually possibility be less then 33%'

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Aliusha
my surgeon looked at me and told me I needed fusion, he had a look on his face of total disgust. I asked him would I be fixed with surgery? He said Pain could come from a lot of different places. I was in so much pain that day. He just said I think I can help you with surgery there is no promises from him. He Said if Had Broke a Bone He could Guarantee a Fix it. I am 10 weeks post up from fusion and a couple other procedures. I don't believe the doctor made any mistakes but I'm still in a lot of pain. I believe this will be lifelong. Last four days where I live has been 60° and rainy my body aches so much it's unbelievable. Just remember my I got percentages from my pain management doctor. The surgeons will lie and tell you 60 to 80% success rate from a fusion. I'm sorry you didn't read this to start with. 33% Get worse also after surgery. keep looking you will find someone to help you . good luck Sam,

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hi Sam, hang in there buddy. W'e're all in this together and it does start to feel better but takes a lot of time. I'm rooting for you!! Best

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hey sam and everybody else

Boy, my surgery is takeing forever
waitin on perrmission of car ins or medical ins
Sam, how much are you able to drive now?

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Hi Guys,
My driver came back to work .Now I will work 3 hours this week.The ten hours last week was real hard. I`m on the same pain meds as persurgery. There is no way you could drive a bus yet because the meds. I went to my pain docter she said I should be doing better than I am at this point. She said work real hard at pt and I will get better. My neck she said it`s not bad enought to do anything. But the surgen wants to see me, He told her there`s something wrong that needs surgery.So I hope pain Doc is right! I have been in a lot of pain for a week now. I hope Anne D. is right if we keep working at it we will get better!!! Roesy you could have it easyer than me. Maybe my surgen didn`t do something right. If I stay like this I will Quit working for good than my life will really suck. Sam

Anne D. and Riverhawk how are you doing?? I hope ur well.

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I am still having a hard time with the pain, now it is really severe in my left buttock and right down my leg. First thing in the morning I have to use a cane to get around. But after I move a little it seems to get better. Man I sure hope you don,t have to have surgery in your cervical area. A friend of mine went through a terrible time after. Make sure you get a second and third opinion. Coincidently the pain Dr that I went to advised me not to have any surgery in that area.

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Roesy and Riverhawk<,
I`m about ready to give up ! I had this surgery that just changing the pain to a different spot. I went into this knowing it was a tough surgery and saying I would do every thing asked to recover and feel better, I never would of thought I would have been one of the 33% that would of got worse. I was in good shape other than spine problems..At what point do I give up and live with pain for ever? I no its to soon to give up but after nov 6 I think will be the time to face real deal and give up. I wish I was strouger than what I am I can`t put shoes on or socks yet !!!! I`m a49 year old man and there is alot more that I can`t do of simple things. I need help or is it time it give up???? Sam

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Sam, don't give up the ship yet. Maybe you should go back to therapy. About all I could do is tie my shoes . I could not do "land" therapy and they put me on aqua therapy which I thought was great, I was improving, my knee swelled up and I was off it for a week when I went back the Creature from the Black Lagoon told me that since I could tie my shoes and take a shower without assistance that I met my goals and medicare would not pay any more. Since then I really have not been doing any pt. Just today I went outside to do some stuff and although it was painful, mentally it helped. You need to find out what kind of pt you should be doing, as doo I.

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I am doing the PT 3x 2hrs a week the man is trying hard to help me!!! A bad night for me tonite.In lots of pain. Sam

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I too am hurting tonight Sam, Just took a pain pill. That is another thing I have to change they are starting not to work I notice I am taking more and more. I must start the PT again but I don't know where to begin do you know of any on line sites that gives instructions. I lost the papers they handed me at PT. Looks like another long night. Hang in there Sam at least you are working at it. I have had several operations from broken bones to heart surgery and never went this long with problems. Gotta be an end to it.

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My problem now I have given up HOPE . Till now I thought just a long recover but persurgery remeber when started thread, I new the real % not the lyes the surgen says 80 to 90 % get better,.I just always thought I would of got better. I really thought the % of getting worse would of been the lazy poeple saying lies to get free money. I` m just about 3 months post surgery and i am worse. I have other things going on with my Hips and neck. It could be my back is getting better and the Hip pain is right there to take its place.So its time to go and rest an hour, now I will be able to sleep 6a, m after a painful night !!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!! Sam

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Hi guys, You're still pretty early into your recovery which typically takes a year.. 3 months isn't a long time. Sam, try a second opinion from a neurologist.The pain you're feeling could be due to peripheral nerve damage which is treated with high dose Neurontin. Also you didn't say if you had a bone graft from your hip during the fusion surgery. If so, this causes pain for up to a year .
Look on line under abs exercises to learn good body mechanics.You have to strengthen the abs, quads and hamstrings to do the work of your back. Tensing and releasing the abs 50x several times a day makes them strong.My suspicion is that you're not using good body mechanics and aren't aware that you're still. using your lower back It also sounds like fresh oxygenated blood isn't flowing into your back. This can only happen by standing moving around and walking. Sitting for long periods decreases the blood supply makes the back stiffen causing pain.Frequent icing reduces pain. Keep your chin up, I promise it gets better!!

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Thanks Anne, you are the second person to day to mention sitting too long is not good . One of my daughters came today and said every time she comes here I am sitting in my chair. She suggested that I get up and walk around more in order to get the blood circulating.What ablut stretching, they were making a big deal about that when I was in PT saying that my hamstrings were very very tight.

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Does anyone have a burning sensation around spin area. My mother had surgery five years ago. Started with S1, L5, L4. The back fractured above hardware. another surgery and more hardware. The back fractured again so another surgery and more hardware. She developed and infection that never went away. She has had 12 surgeries and she got worse each time. She lives in severe pain, can barely walk, spends alot of time in bed because it's to painfull to be up to long. It took us four years to convince doctors she was allergic to the metal. They finally removed it when the infection was taking over and her chances of living were slim. So check if your allergic to metal before putting it in. Doctors can't tell us what causes the burning feeling. Does anyone have this feeling also. She lyes with ice packs around her everyday, it's nonstop. Would love to hear from others not getting answers from doctors.

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Susan M,
You should start a new discussion so every one reads it. We are post surgery poeple on this thead we are having troubles with our surgeries.It sounds like ur mother needs to get to a docter that can get her moving again. I`m in massive pain but with heavy pain meds I can do about 25% of what i need to. Your mom should be able to get out of bed. Presurgery I was in pain it was more pressure on my spinal cord. Now its more all over still bad like I traded 1 pain for another. As Anne D. says. I think sometimes I wish I didn`t do this Surgery. Your Mom I bet wishes the same. Sam

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hey guys
finally got a date for my cervical sugery Nov 1
I have extreme burning down my arms into my wrist all the time
if i reach or move my right arm the wrong way the burning pain turns into excricating pain
Like u guys i have alot of pain now, and think that it is better to have pain after trying to fix my problem.
15 years ago my back pain was really bad, i needed surgery, but chose not to have it.
i started doing gentle crunches knee to chest on floor. also did standing on knees bending down to floor ( LIKE A MUSLIM PRAYING) at that time i was in alot of pain doing these exercises After i while when my stomach tightened up the back pain was greatly controlable aLMOST GONE
To this day my back pain is tolerable, When i feel a burning pain i lean foward and wait for it to disapear, and it does.I did these exercises for atleast 10 years morning and night everyday!
I feel u guys should talk to ur therapists about these exercises.

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Great Rosey,
I think you no what you are doing.You will have a new number of pain level soon it will make 10+ a dream. The recover time of neck surgery is alot faster than lumber spine. The first two weeks will be tough though. I wish you the best of luck. Sam

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hi guys, when we routinely follow what;s being taught to us in PT, we feel better. Ab tightening for every activity we do including getting in and out of chairs, bed, car etc.takes the strain off the back. Hamstring stretching looks like this: hold on to a counter and place one leg behind the other as far as it will stretch, pull in the abs toes pointing at floor and stiffen and lift the leg 10x rest 10xs more. both legs always with abs tightened.
In same position while leg is extended bend it at the knee like a hinge.20Xs both legs 2-3x/day
for quad strengthening, lie flat one leg bent, tighten abs,stiff lift leg engaging the quads 20x 2-3x a day. Stay off the chair!!!! it stiffens you up and ice the back 8or9x/day. Walk as much as possible because it brings oxygenated blood into the back and lessens the pain. Hang in there, we'll all get thru this together!

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Thanks Anne, just what I needed, I printed it out now I am going to tighten my abs, get up from my LAZY BOY and go upstairs and get the print out.

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guys im telling you

knees to chest, light crunches and on knees bending to floor
thats all u need!
tighten stomach, tighten back!

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hey guys
surgery moved up till oct 19
soon i'll be a post - surgery
not prepared
last minute notice
how is everyone?

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Hi everyone,

Sam, in particular, since you are 3 months post op, strengthening your core muscles is the VERY best thing you can do for yourself. It is true for everyone. And I'm just throwing it out there, b/c I do NOT judge anyone's pain, but the more pain meds you take, the slower you heal. I learned that from an a friend who was orthpod resident but real smart.

Here are a few links to exercises that would be of benefit to all of us:

http://www.thatsfit.com/2010/09/16/pilates-lower-body-workout/?icid=main%7Chtmlws-main-n%7Cdl3%7Csec3_lnk1%7C171275

I said 'links" above but lost the yoga band one. Do what YOU can do as long as you do your best. If too painful stop. And try again later. These will be painful or feels like a lot of pressure at first but I do everyday and I was back doing them with out the pressure or pain within a few days.
You can google yoga band or pilates and there are a number of video exercises. 20 mins a day will make you feel so much better faster. I think you will find you can cut back on your pain meds and not even realize it. Just a suggestion and I hope y'all feel better real soon.

p.s. I'm still a problem chid and will be until they take out screws and hardware. So believe me, I feel your pain. Downward facing dog is a wonderful stretch for your back and I often stay in that position for a while because it feels so good on the back exept where screws are. But I suck it up and focus my mind on other things.

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carrie
I will check the website out you recommended. I go to physical therapy six hours a week now. I think I'm Doing a little better now. Rosey five days good luck your recovery should be a lot faster than mine. I bet you're a little scared? Sam

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HI Sam, I also go to PT twice a week. But I am highly motivated as I have other issues going on. So I consider the exercises I mentioned above as homework. I will sometimes find a link like the one I gave you and email my PT for her yeah or nay. She loves the links and thinks they are great for us. My current problem is in oblique muscles (which surround hip. I'm very loosy goosy there so my hips tend to turn out) which I would imagine is yours as well (the obliques not the loosygoosy hips!). What I found real helpful was I show her my homework and then she is able to point out where I am not stretching leg enough or hips are rotating too much. She decided yesterday that I am trying to do too much of very complex fast moving poses and I should slow it down to holding the poses to gain stability.

I'm only offering as suggestion. But I find it is helpful to have 'homework" and then compare with PT. It also gives her more moves and exercises she can share with other patients too. I'm also a small person (my PT calls me tiny because I am so thin) so I feel the screws and hardware which most people don't. That is that pressure feeling as tho someone is kicking me in the back. Having been cut anteriorly as well, I want to build up the somach muscles so I don't have a pouch!!

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Best wishes Rosey for successful surgery!! I would suggest you stay away from that awful dilaudid.
Tell them you want demerol. or morphine (altho I personally do not like morphine and it doesn't like me).
Or my personal fave percs 10/325. But in hospital I think they limit you to 5 a day b/c of liver.

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Daniel Cocks,

I wouldn't go to a chiropracter on a bet. My old neuro told me so many horror stories of patients he had that went to chiros only to become instantly paralyzed.

It is unethical of you as well as self serving to suggest surgeries rarely work. That is just not true and you know it!

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Hi guys, Dr Cocks suggesting that "his modality" of chiropractic is the therapeutic one and that surgery and PT just chases symptoms is simply beating his own commercial drum. He has an agenda and listing his website is flatout advertising. He needs to be reported to SU and banned from our message board. This message board is strictly for suffering civilians who are sharing our experience, strength and hope with each other not a vehicle to get more business. Fact is that post op healing and recovery from spinal surgeries take a much longer time than most people will accept. Those who suggest that we do painful exercise are uninformed. No MD or PT involved in the spinal field would advise a post op patient to perform exercises that produce pain. Doing painful exercises have no therapeutic benefits and may actually cause harm. It's steady as we go at a slow pace over a long period of time. We'll need to be doing these exercises for the rest of our lives. A walking program 3 or 4 times a week , gradually increasing distance is free, doable and very therapeutic. Let's all hang in there together and keep the faith. We're going to get through this together!!!.

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Anne D,

I am not uninformed rather I am very well informed. ANY exercise is going to be painful at the beginning as a result of the surgery. (I exercised daily before surgery and was very fustrated and unhappy I could not immediately after surgery). But the ultimate goal is to build up core muscles. Nothing beats pilates in accomplishing that. I know this from my own research having done for years, my PTs and my neurosurgeon were shocked at my flexibility, particularly in light of my other medical issues.. Of course NO yoga or pilates exercises should be done before 3 months and w/o surgeon approval for exercise which is usually when they send you to PT Finding a good PT is really the key to recovery.. But any neurosurgeon or PT will tell you they are the best exercises for back surgery recovery patients.

That said, if you have any pain doing them other then the initial stretch, then stop. These are not done with the attitude of 'no pain, no gain.' Some of the links, Sam may be a little advanced for you.
Denise Austin has a dvd that is very slow and she explains what muscles you are trying to do and how to hold your body in alignment. Here is a link at Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Denise-Austin-Workout-Based-Pilates/dp/0784018235/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1287242761&sr=8-3

I like her dvds because she has such positive energy and takes the time to explain what muscles you are working and why. Of course, there are many other ones out there just as good I am sure. So I am not here to push Denise. If you use the ones online Sam, make sure the link includes the goal of the exercise, ie what muscles you are working and demonstrates visually proper alignment.

But Anne D. you are quite right about walking. Excellent exercise especially immediately after surgery. Walk even tho it hurts (altho do NOT overdo). I love to walk, but did not do as much as I should have which resulted in a disc bulge in L3 and S1 joint syndrome I also used a walker (a cool one with all bells and whistles) which was a huge mistake b/c one tends to lean forward which is not good in fact very bad. The disc bulge I got rid of thru pilates in apparently a few weeks according to my radiologist and my SI is improving with it altho my PT wants me to focus my pilates on the lower body rather than full body so that I can gain more stability.

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