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need help spondy L5, bulging disc,degenerative discs.

Started by rayg2011 on 07/27/2011 10:17am

need advics. was told i had sondy of my L5 and back in 2000 they said it was a grade two. in 2008 i learned for the first time i had spondy of the L5. In 2008 they said i was a grade 1. my family doctor knew i had this spondy in 1996 but never told me. in pain clinic now. MRI was done and showed 3 bad discs spondy of L5 and arthriris of L5. and now i learned my L5 is cracked in the nerve opening. i'm asking anyone if you could show me a xray of grades 1 2 3 of the L5 spondy. and i'm being talked out of surgery. but i heard a guy that had what i had and he got the surgery and he went back to work yestarday. i just had the " shot " and i got mean as all hell. i see the surgen augest 3rd. i want it done so there wont be any more nerve damage. but pain clinic doctor i think just wants to make a buck from me. i will put up a xray of my back soon here. anyone that went threw this please i need all the info i can get.
thank you ray.

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Does anyone know if the first visit to a surgen is just to talk about the problem.
Or will the doctor set me up with a day to do the surgery if he thinks it needs done.
I see the back sergon for the first time in two days.
I just don't want to waste money here.
I was told that if he feels it can be done that he would set up the surgery date then an there.
Is this true.
Any advice will be helpful.
And any help with questions I should ask at this visit would be grateful.
Thank you.
Ray

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Hi Ray!
It seems like you've gotten some clashing diagnosis' on your Spondy and that your docs didn't explain things all the way for ya. I'm certainly not a doc, but I also have spondy - grade 2-3 at L5, as well as pars fractures (instability), ruptured disc and severe impingement of both L5 nerve roots, so I can relate some.

As for the surgery for spondy - most docs don't want to operate on you (which is actually a good thing) until such time as it becomes unstable and/or you are facing nerve damage, or develop cauda equina syndrome. Most surgeons who are worth a damn absolutely will try to exhaust all the "conservative" measures first. This often includes physical therapy, epidural steroid injections and meds for pain/muscle spasms/nerve symptoms.

Spondy often has "flare-ups" that can be calmed back down with the above conservative measures, but in other cases they don't. If, in fact, they don't help alleviate the pain, then surgery is an option. So, if a surgeon is trying other things first - that's generally a good thing.

As for the docs visit - generally, it is a chance to meet, go over your films (xray/mri) and discuss where your spondy falls on the "severity" list and whether they feel you are a candidate for the corrective surgery - which generally involves a fusion.

If you want to see pics of Spondy's, do a google "image" search and you'll see all different grades of them. I think Spondy's go to grade 4 - at which point, it completely "falls off" the spinal column. And of course - this site has a lot of information, too! Not only on the condition, but also from other people who have nearly the same thing.

When you said you had "cracked" nerve opening - did they use the term "pars defect" or "pars fracture?"

I hope that my rambling helps you a bit! Good luck and keep us posted!

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Not sure the term he used.
But were the disc sets on the vertebra it is separated from the boney flaired part.
I'm having bladder an bowl problems.
Plus pain an shocking sensations down both legs.
I have done physical theripy an it cause more pain.
I had the shots and only lasted two weeks.
He was informed of my progress will I was being treated for all of this.
An as I knew it has moved.
The doctor even seen it.
He feels I have done all I could. And he said he would even do the surgery if I hadn't tried.
He agrees with me. The only way to stop any more damage is to fix it so it no longer can more.
I know I may or may not have pain or problems after the surgery.
But I'm hoping im one of the few that can make it with little pain.
He operated on my sisters neck.
An she was so bad she was loosing spinal fluid.
And she is pain free now.
She has some soreness every now an then.
But I can live with that.
I just want to be able to have normal bow movement.
Normal bladder.
And no shocking pain in my legs anymore.
I trust this doctor.
I drilled him with questions.
An I got the right answers that no one else would tell me.
Plus I got good news from him.
I was told by other doctors I had spondy of all my lower back.
And he said no.
Just my L5.
As for the deteriating discs he said we all have them at our age.
I was just wondering if you had the same metal.
I have done alot of looking into my back issues.
Just scared out of my mind because I want to stop any more damage from waiting.
He said it's bone on bone right now.
This was the first site I found an yes very helpful.
An yes I have checked other sites.
And I spoke to dozens of people in person that had these kind of problems.
Yes I know the risks.
An yes it doesn't work for everyone.
I just hope this works for what I want it to do.
I know I'll never be able to do the things I want to do again.
But if I can get threw a day at least with half or less the pain I'm in and it don't get worse.
Then I'll be happy.
I hope and I pray the doctors will go in an repair your back.
An that you can get threw your days better.
But any in put in truly grateful for.
Thank you so much.
Ray.

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Sorry so doped up on meds.
I ment the doctor said he would not do the surgery if I had not tried all I could.
He feels it's time to do this.
Sorry I just can't think right.
The medicine is so strong I can't spell right.
No mind to mouth or hands is working right.
Ray

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Hi hon,

Wow...well, it seems to me that if you are having bowel/bladder probs that you might have the cauda equina syndrome, which normally does require surgery right away. Have you communicated those problems to your doc?

That has me worried for you, because my docs told me that if incontinence occurs - that I should plan to have surgery asap.

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going to have posterior lumbar interbody fusion PLIF of my L5 on september 6th.
scared..............
have been looken at videos of the sergury all night.
i don't like that my spinal cord won't be covered with bone.
i know this is how they do it but i don't like knowing it.
plus they will use titanium hardware and i was under the impression it would be better.
then i learn titanium is a brittal metal.
so now it makes me wonder if i will end up with problems down the road.
i know the fussion is what is the main thing that needs to happen.
the main goal is less pain after this is all done.
i have gone threw all treatments that one can go threw before surgery.
i still have pain and shocking sensations in my lower back and down my legs.
i have the best doctor doing the surgery and thats one good thing.
but i worry about everything and i can't stop.
there is nothing else i can try at this point.
i have no insurance and it makes it hard.
the hospital i'm going to has me on medical help.
that will pay for the surgery and one other that will cover the rest of the cost.
i know i have alot that is going for me.
but i have never had surgery before and worried about the outcome.
spondy realy sucks.
and my family doctor.
i won't be the same with or with out the surgery.
the only difference is i may be able to cut the pain and problems down by 75 to 80%
if i'm lucky.
deep breath going to do it.
ray signing off.

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Keep seeing on here alot of people breaking screws
In there backs.
Makes me unsure of myself if I should or shouldn't
Get the surgery.
Monday I have to have surgery on my left leg.
Not bad enough I have to have PTIL surgery in September.
Had a peace of steel hit me like a bullet in my left leg just below the knee.
Didn't feel it till a hour later.
ER doctor couldn't reach it.
It's up against the bone.
Now I have to wait four days to get it out.
I'm always shit out of luck.
Tired an just fucken fetup.
Ray.

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Have to wonder about these doctors.
Seen a plastic surgeon about my leg.
Explained the metal peace in my leg had to be removed.
Do to the fact I was to have surgery in September an I would
Be going threw a few MRI.
Then he explains.
Well we normally let them in.
I said well.
When it runs up the length of my leg an flys out an hits the inside
Of the MRI.
Should I let them know you wanted it left in.
Unreal.
Been in my leg since the 10th.
Haveing it taken out on the 16th.
Driving me nut.
Every time I bend it.
It feels like it's cutting mussel.
The good lord real is putting me threw it good.
Wish I knew where this is all going.
Two surgerys in 30 days.
Man

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Hi Ray
I had a fusion at the L5/S1 level back in 1992, mine was because the spine had become unstable as a result of 2 previous surgeries for ruptured disc. My surgery involved anterior and posterior fusion with instrumentation, some 7.5 hrs. Obviously as with any surgery there was pain, but with time it eased and given what I was like before the surgery and up until a few years ago, I would go through it again if I had to. I now have 4 bulging discs, spondylitis, stenosis, a cysts and a bunch of other stuff going on. Surgery isn't an option right now as they don't know exactly what is causing the pain.
I agree with the previous person, if you are having incontinence issues then surgical intervention is warranted.
Make sure when sign that consent form that it is the surgeon you want doing the work and not his resident.
All the best.

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I thank you for the posative input.
Was hoping there was some left out there.
Yes I've been threw all the treatments to ease the pain.
Im very grateful.
An yes there is some releif.
Also august into September is a time of worry
Do to fresh doctors coming into the field an we are there first
Bit of practice.
But my doctor asored me he would be doing.
I really won't know because I'll be out.
But like with everything.
I have faith in god an the doctors to do there best for me.
I have drove my girlfriend nuts with this.
An as I agree with her.
Nows the time.
If I wait I might not have any medical coverage.
If I decide to do it later down the road.
And I'm a grade 2 an if I reach a grade 4 it will be a bigger
Mess if I wait.
I guess like all of us we are looking for someone to say
Yes do it an all will be as it was before.
I know I won't be the hard worken fool I was before.
But I it gets rid of the pain in my leg
And the shocking pain.
Gets rid of back pinching an pain not to mention
Bladder problem an bow movement issues.
If it get rid of 90% of that. Then it's worth it.
Thank you for sharing your posative input on your surgical
Out come.
Means alot.
I just got home today from my leg surgery.
It went perfect.
The doctor got the peace of metal out.
And I hope to be walking ok in the next two days.
I am truly scared out of my mind to do the back surgery.
An I still have time to think more about some issues
I have with it.
But in the end.
I know I have to do this.
I just hope my future will have a bright outcome.
Right now I feel used up.
An at 39 it just isn't right.
But most of my life has been a up hill fight.
I might have lost my bark.
But I still have one hell of a bite.
Hope, faith, trust and patients.
It's what I have.
Thank you again for lifting my spirits.
Thank you.
Ray

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Thank you.
bunnynox.
An pollywolly.
Your concern an input.
Plus posative uplifting info an story of what you've been threw.
Have really helped.
Forgive me if it seems I've been a deer in the headlights.
But I've had time to think.
An I check here an read messages again an again.
And I'm taking it all an putting it together.
Information is a powerful tool.
Thank you all.
Ray

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Trying to get things done around the house before I go on the 6th.
Back is really killing me tonight.
Meds just aren't helping now.
Makes the 6th seem like I'm waiting a year.
Tired.

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Got the stiches out of my leg today.
One surgery down one big one to go.
Doc side if he didn't have the xray machine
He wouldn't have got the peace of metal out of
My leg.
It was against the bone.
Nice 3inch scare bellow my knee now.
I hope someday when I'm old an grey.
I can set back an shit my pants an yell for the nurse to clean me up.
Lol. Just joken.
Ray.

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go for pretesting tomorrow.
so not looking forward to the pain after the back surgery.
got everything in order.
i'm ready.

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Just a couple more days.
Past two days have been bad.
Pain has gotten so bad the pills just don't seem to work.
Not sure why I write here.
Guess it's all I can do.
Come out of this good or bad.
Going to pick myself up.
Dust off.
And move on.
Have ideas but waiting on the out come.
Ray

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Good luck with your surgery Ray. I am now 8 weeks post surgery after having a TLIF for my previous grade 1 Isthmic Spondylolisthesis at L5/S1 level. In addition to the mechanical pain from spondylolisthesis, I had Neural Foraminal Stenosis which was causing intense intermittent sharp radicular pain down my right leg.

I must say that, my post surgery pain levels are certainly much better than the pain levels were prior to having surgery. Though, from post surgery to approx 7 weeks PO, I was experiencing intermittent neuropathic burning pain behind my left leg which was apparently due to the nerves settling down after surgery.

At this stage, I am planning to return to work for 3 days part time at 10 weeks post-op. What I can highly recommend is regular walking (straight after surgery) as this is the best form of rehabilitation for your back. You will just need to start off with some shorter walks and then gradually lead up to 45 minutes or so. I will be starting hydrotherapy in another week which will be also great.

In the meantime, I sincerely trust that you have a very successful surgery and I will look forward to hearing about your progress. Please do not hesitate to ask me any questions regarding my post surgery experiences.

Take care & best regards,

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Thank you Robert I will.
I go in tomorrow at 7am.
This has to work.
Ill keep in touch.
Ray

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Well I'm done.
Was worse then the doctor thought.
Fused L5 to pelvis an the added two more rods from
My L5 to my L4.
He said it was unstable.
He was amazed how I was able to get around with it the way
It was.
But. All's good.
Hurts butt,,, I was up an walking,
a hour after the surgery.
All good
Ray.

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Hi Ray,

Good to hear that your surgery has been undertaken, now you have the great journey of recovery and rehabilitation. Yeah, the physiotherapist's/nurse's tend to get patients up as soon as possible given that walking is the best form of rehab for the spine. Prompt movement is also beneficial as this reduces the risk of blood clotting after surgery.

Out of interest, what pain meds are you on? Upon discharge from hospital, I was prescribed Tramadol 50mg and Oxycontin 10mg. I took these for 7 days post surgery, then, I was taking 1-2 oxycodene 5mg per day as required (the meds were great!)

Did the hospital give you a toilet frame to aid with ergonomics? Do you have to wear a corset/brace?

Remind me what sort of procedure you had?..was it TLIF or PLIF? Was your stay in hospital only 1 day? How long will you be off work for?

I am now at 8 weeks post surgery and I barely have any mechanical pain now, it is just a little bit from the muscles still repairing. My intermittent nerve pain seems to be abating as well. I am very glad that my TLIF surgery was a success.

Kind regards,

Robert.

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Well rob there just to much that went on.
Damage was worse then they thought.
Cut me over 6 inches to do repairs.
All an all I was up an moven 3 hours after recovery.
I felt so good I over did it an I caused some bleeding.
But got bed rest an I'm good again.
They fused my L5 to pelvis. The disc was all but gone.
After that he decided to include the L4 do to it not being
Stable enough.
I will get out tomorrow.
A stay of three days.
Pain meds. Perc an morphine an another I don't remember.
They had to mix it because of my over activity.
But they will send me home with percs and after that back on morphine
Baclofen an a pill for the nerves in my back.
All an all it went well.
They went in from the back.
I'll fill you in when I get home an have some rest.
Ray

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felling so much better today.
can shower latter today.
i had washed up earliy this morning and man it was great.
funny.
i know everyone that has this kind of surgery is in alot of pain after.
mine has realy only been were they cut me.
NO MORE PAIN in my legs.
peeing very well and my bows are slowly comeing back to normal.
i know i have to remind my self even thoe i feel better i have to just set and don't do any thing.
my girlfriend has been so wonderful threw all this.
we had some flooding problems tonight over the heavy rains we got.
it washed away alot of our hard work not to menchin all the money she put into her yard.
we were out there in the dark me her and her son all working together to try an direct the water away.
i got so damb mad........
i directed them what to do.
took everything i had not to pick up the pick.
but we got it done.
i can in wet head to toe.
and while i was in the bath room i siad out load.
god gives and god takes i just don't understand.
i was very angry.
i couldn't help them.
but after thinking about it and praying for forgiveness.
i thought it's gods way of just showing us that there is a water problem still.
after we thought it would be ok.
i have realy blown the doctors minds on how well i bownsed back after the surgery.
i'm shocked me self.
i pray every momment i can in thanks to god for makeing this all possable.
doctor told me when i was at the hospital it was so bad in the he couldn't believe i went that long with that much pain.
he siad my L5 was so loose he could shake it with his hand.
yes he added the L4 to it but he siad if he wouldn't have i would be back in a year later.
my hat off to you doctor zitny.
well i'm tired and going to bed for now.
ray.

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well been alittle since the surgery.
i have had some time to think about all this.
well it was worste then what they thought it was.
so now i have six screws in my back and the two pines.
he siad if he didn't do my L4 I would be back in a year.
i didn't put enough time into the after.
only about a week and i'm climbing walls.
back only hurt where they cut it.
i dropped all pain meds cold turkey after i got home and was so backed up.
it took 3 hours to clear me out.
with draw is a big mother fucker.
but i was pist.
so half way clean of pain pills and tobacco.
i feel like one of the dogs.
just set around or lay down all day.
hope this gets better.
RAY

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Things are alot better now.
Sept 8th I went home. Sept 11th I stopped all pain medications cold turkey.
Was he'll for a week and a half. But I'm drug free now. I was up an walking 3 hours after the surgery.
Was more damage then they thought. Ended up with six screws. They fused the L5 to pelvis an screwed to the L4 because it was unstable. He said I would be back under the knife if he didn't.
I get around wonderfully. Still sore were I was cut. The cut is about 8 inches.
Walking a mile a day now. Were my brace all I can. Taking all I can to be patient but I have always been very active. So I climb walls alot. I have a hard time being still. But one day at a time. October 5th I go for my first check up. Hope it goes well. Still haven a little hard time sleeping do to being off all the pain meds. But last night I got 6 strate hours of sleep. Felt good. Well all I want to say right now. I will report later. I do want to share some things yet.
Ray

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I have a week an a half to go before my first office visit after surgery.
Has been very hard. I talked to my girlfriend tonight. I tried to explain how I'm feeling.
I'm lost and I look in the mirror an I don't see me. I feel invisible. Post depression I'm told.
Feel lost is the only way I can say it. The days have been better. I drove for the first time yesterday.
Was nice to be able to leave the house an walk around Walmart for a bit.
But I have slept on the sofa since the surgery. An I feel detached from this family.
There coming an going an I'm just here with my dog an hers.
I walk alot. Today was the first I started to listen to music again. I just feel so strange.
Man I wish I knew why I feel like this. I hope things get better.
Ray

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well not sure ill be on agian.
i came here looken for answers and support. yes a few people gave me some good info.
and i thank you all for that. but i guess if you are going to go threw this surgery or any for that matter.
your best bet is to research as much as you can on your surgery.
i found youtube helped me with how the surgery is done by watching it done on others.
also people post how they are doing after there surgery. i have suffered from the age of 23 to 40 with spondy of the L5. i never knew i had it till 2008. after reading alot about it. researching how the surgery is done. what problems i would be faceing after. the long term out come. i think its best if you are reading this looking for answers . do as i sugested. and by all means........talk to your surgen about everything and anything. for my my sister told me of my surgen. he repaired her neck. she was so bad he told her if she would have moved wrong she would have been dead from the neck down.
i met with this doctor. i talked to him. showed him xrays from 1996 to 2008. other doctors and my family doctor told me that my back had not moved since 2008. i seen it , my girlfriend seen it. along with everyone i knew. it took this surgen two minutes to see what i seen. finauly.......i know i have been blessed do to the good lord helped me find a way to have the surgery and not to mention help from the pain clinic. all i can say is don't stop fighting to get better. i have no idea what my future is goind to be after this. i'm told i won't be able to work again. do to how bad my back was. the surgen had fused my L5 to my pelvis and then he had to screw into my L4 do to it all being unstable.. now i'm waiting to see if i will be cleared to be able to work agian. and waiting to see if ill be on dissablity. but until then i am doing very well. off all pain pills. all bodyly functions are back to normal. i do get alittle sore in my back but i think its more from the brace. but i hope in the future i don't need to come back to this site. if i do it will because something went wrong. but i see a bright future for me now.i hope and i pray for all those who come here. i hope you all find a way to get help and to heal. thank you all.
ray..........

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Month an half post op.
Doing well.
Looking forward to a promising future.
Thank god.

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second month post op.
back is getting sore.
getting more exerciseing in.
xray shows good bone growth.
haveing some siatic pain down right leg.
anyone have any ideas how to get rid of it would be helpful,
useing ice packs.
ray

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Hi Ray,
I have been reading all your posts,you are a trooper for sure......and yes our God is an awesome God!But like you said God gives and HE also takes away,and regardless we need to Praise Him for who He is........remember good old Job?Well my long story short is i am a registered nurse ,did my job 29 years,loved it most of the time.In June 2009 i was flipped off a defective chair while i was charting and slammed on a tile floor,smack on my butt on an outstretched arm.Two cervical and l5-s1 disc herniations and injured right shoulder.In that split second,career done and ended,and chronic pain every day of my life.Finally after fighting work comp and exhausting all conservative measures i ended up with an l5-s1 fusion March of this year and waiting to see what we will do with my neck.Like you i was extremely active person in my before injury days,i get it ,it is very hard.I have been slowly progressing with my back,so glad i did it.But,when i was at the same point as you in my recovery and overdid it i too ended up with reoccurring leg pain.You MUST slow down,let your body heal on it's own timing and listen to God.I can hear your frustration and i can tell you have been to hell and back in your lifetime,but this i know,God is growing us in many ways through our pain,even if it is to help others who are going through all this crap.I do not know what is in my future either,waiting for my social security hearing before the judge.You hang in there and i will say a prayer for you.Take Care.
Many blessings,
Nurse Nancy......ps. hope i didn't come off as being preachy, but it seems you know God already and what He is capable of doing in and through us,

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ATT: NANCY
Seems the good lord is working his blessing threw
Your message.
Sorry to hear you had to go threw this too.
Well yes I had my second visit with my surgen.
I explained what was going on.
It's just apart of the healing part.
And yes I was over doing it.
I have had to use my morphine again but only on a as need.
After a few days of bed rest an pain pills.
I'm back to no pain again.
I started to walk again and so far no leg pain.
I am taking it as slow as I can.
I told the surgen I know I will make it.
And that he threw the good lord gave me a mircal.
I know I'll go back to being strong and health.
Just struggle every day with not being able to do what I used to.
Some depression. Anger. And allot of stress of trying to figure out
What I will be able to do for a living after I heal.
I have two girls to support an I know I won't be able to do it on low wages.
I hope I may be able to find something I can survive on.
I'm in counciling again. It helps. It's Christian based.
I will pray for you as well. I hope an pray you have a full recovery.
I too have hit a brick wall on how to pay for all this and to find more help.
Even so. I'm truly greatful god helped me get the surgery.
I do feel so so so much better. I pray it stays that way.
Two of my family members also have back problems.
One is pill dependent and it breaks my heart to see her in so much pain.
And the other my mom won't get herself help. And she isn't able to take care of herself because
She is in so much pain she can't hardly move now.
I know I'll have to give up the life I have now soon.
I'll have to move home again to take care of her.
She's my mom.
But thank you for taking a moment to read my page.
And for words of hope.
Means allot.
Seems like no one understands what it's like to go threw this.
Much less understand how much this changes everything about you
After the surgery and for the rest of your life.
If you ever want to talk.
Or just to up date me on your progress.
I would be happy to have a friend that knows what I'm talking about.
Ray

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ATT: NANCY
question......ive seen something on bone groth stimulation.
is this something i should look into to help my healing prosses.
or is this for someone that is haveing a problem fuseing.
i can't seem to find the answer to those questions.
i put a call into my phisical theripist and i'm waiting to hear from them.
thanks.
ray

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