Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • olyclimber

      WELCOME TO THE CASCADECLIMBERS.COM FORUMS   02/03/18

      We have upgraded to new forum software as of late last year, and it makes everything here so much better!  It is now much easier to do pretty much anything, including write Trip Reports, sell gear, schedule climbing related events, and more. There is a new reputation system that allows for positive contributors to be recognized,  it is possible to tag content with identifiers, drag and drop in images, and it is much easier to embed multimedia content from Youtube, Vimeo, and more.  In all, the site is much more user friendly, bug free, and feature rich!   Whether you're a new user or a grizzled cascadeclimbers.com veteran, we think you'll love the new forums. Enjoy!
Sign in to follow this  
kweb

Any low back surgery success stories???

Recommended Posts

I had my surgery on Monday (21st). Im felling pretty good now, of course I'm on a high level of Percocet. Once the doctor opened me up and pulled the muscles away, he found my back to be worse off then the X-rays and MRI's showed. From what I understand he ended up doing a 3 level laminectomy and 2 level diskecomy. I'm not 100% sure this is what he did cuz my wife is the one he spoke with after suregry and she was more worried about me rather then listening to his mumbo jumbo. I spent 2 hours in recovery before she was even able to see me. Sounds like I was in pretty bad shape. I will know the details of what he did when I go in for my post-op appointment.

For now the pain in my glute and down my leg is 100% gone. Most of the pain is at the incision site and its just from the sore muscles. Im up walking around as much as possible but need my walker to get in and out of bed or up and down from sitting.

Thanks for everyones words and advise. I'm looking forward to a succesful recovery.

 

I am so glad you are feeling so much better. My boyfriend is 6 months out and feels so great. he is like a different person. he picked me up and tossed me over his shoulder the other day ago. I thought i was going to have a heart attack, but he was having a great time. no pain at all. I hope you continue to heal!!!

 

sunshine and hugs!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good to hear. I am 9 months post-op (disc/lamin), and a little advice would be that even if your surgeon gives you the thumbs up and clears you in 8 weeks, thinking that you will be 100% pain free is just not realistic. I still have some low back pain, and expect to for the next few months. My job is pretty physically demanding, and some days I feel it more than others. I had trouble with this concept. Pushing through pain is an interesting thing to get used to.

 

Remember to walk a little more each day at the beginning. I dealt with my sciatica for waaaaay too long before surgery, and my muscles are slow to heal in this recovery phase.

 

Good luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So far I'm doing just as the doctor ordered. Walking 3 times a day every day since surgery. Started with 10min each walk, up to 20mins each now. Staying on my feet as much as I can and icing every 1-3 hours. Still no sitting for another week.

 

I was able to take all of the surgical dressings off today. Looks pretty cool.

 

The pain now feels like extreme muscle tightness in the low back. It gets a tiny bit better every day. My walking pace is almost up to speed. The first few days the old man that schuffles past my house every evening was a tad faster then me.

 

I don't expect to be pain free again but hope for the best. Aside from the herniations, I had some torn ligaments and the foramen on 3 levels was almost fully closed around the nerves. So given that info, I should be much better off now.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So far I'm doing just as the doctor ordered. Walking 3 times a day every day since surgery. Started with 10min each walk, up to 20mins each now. Staying on my feet as much as I can and icing every 1-3 hours. Still no sitting for another week.

 

I was able to take all of the surgical dressings off today. Looks pretty cool.

 

The pain now feels like extreme muscle tightness in the low back. It gets a tiny bit better every day. My walking pace is almost up to speed. The first few days the old man that schuffles past my house every evening was a tad faster then me.

 

I don't expect to be pain free again but hope for the best. Aside from the herniations, I had some torn ligaments and the foramen on 3 levels was almost fully closed around the nerves. So given that info, I should be much better off now.

 

sounds like you are coming along like a true Rock Star!!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a FYI....

NEJM studies examine benefits of surgery for sciatica relief

 

 

05/31/2007

 

 

Patients who undergo surgical interventions to relieve a common back problem experience a substantially greater improvement in pain and functional mobility than those treated non-surgically, according to a study in today’s NEJM. The condition, called lumbar degenerative spondylolisthesis with spinal stenosis, affects approximately 600,000 Americans and is caused by one lumbar vertebra in the back slipping forward and pinching the spinal cord, causing pain or numbness in the legs known as sciatica. For the study, researchers from Dartmouth Medical School in New Hampshire compared the self-reported outcomes of 607 patients treated at 13 medical centers in 11 states, 372 of whom underwent standard decompressive laminectomy with or without fusion and 235 of whom received conventional treatments such as physical therapy, steroids, and anti-inflammatory drugs. At three months follow-up, patients who underwent surgery showed a “significant advantage” over those who received conventional treatments in pain, mobility, and satisfaction; that advantage increased at one year and narrowed only slightly after two years. The study’s lead author notes that the results could “give patients a better sense of their [treatment] options.” Meanwhile, in light of the study’s observational design, an accompanying editorialist from the University of Washington calls for a randomized-controlled trial to verify the findings and cautions that patients’ self-reported progress may not be an objective indicator of clinical success (Weinstein et al., NEJM, 5/31; Tomsho, Wall Street Journal, 5/31; Los Angeles Times/Houston Chronicle, 5/30).

 

In a second NEJM study, Dutch researchers found that sciatica patients who underwent early surgery reported achieving faster pain relief and perceived recovery than those who opted for “conservative care,” although the differences leveled off after one year. Based on the study—which involved 283 people who had experienced sciatica for up to 12 weeks prior to the study’s onset—the researchers conclude that “the major advantage of early surgical treatment is faster relief of sciatica.” The study’s lead author recommends that patients wait until three to six weeks after symptom onset to make a decision on surgery but notes that if sciatica is impairing patients’ daily life, “early surgery remains a very good option and is safe” (Peul et al., NEJM, 5/31; Gordon, HealthDay, 5/30; Emery, Reuters, 5/30).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's very useful for those with degenerative spondy's and stenosis. I'm assuming everyone on the board besides maybe Fred is in the clear for that.

 

And did you see the punch line. Conservative vs. Surgery were the same results after one year. Hmmmmm.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
And did you see the punch line. Conservative vs. Surgery were the same results after one year. Hmmmmm.

 

I think the punch line is a bit muted by the fact that the studies in question were both observational. There was likely a large amount of bias on the part of patients and doctors as far as choosing surgery or conservative treatment. One possibility is that the equivalent outcome at 1 year shows that the doctors (or patients) were experts at deciding who would benefit from surgery and who would get better without it.

 

A randomized-controlled trial would be much better but I would doubt you would get patients or doctors interested in enrolling. A case-control study may be helpful but still wouldn't eliminate bias.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This isn't the 1st study that's come to the same conclusions. But as far as research goes, yeah it's all in the quality and the quantities of the studies

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had the same surgery you've been prescribed, 5 years ago. IT SAVED MY LIFE! This was the absolute best decision I could have made. For the 3 years leading up to surgery, I tried everything, chiropractors, pain management including 22 epidurals, physical therapy and nothing really helped. It came to a point where I was wheelchair bound. After being in the wheelchair for 3 months, I walked a mile the day after surgery. I have since been able to resume the physical activities I hadn't been able to do in years. You MUST feel comfortable with your surgeon and research their experience with this type of surgery. I'm sure there are websites in your area where you can do that. Best of luck no matter what path you take.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm 7 weeks post op now. Walking daily at least 1 to 2.5 hours total. My PT says Im still a month away from using the Stairmaster but that Im making great progress. I feel so much better then I did before the surgery. Its hard to pull back the reins and keep my activities at a minimum but I gotta remember, my back problem was 7 years in the making.

 

So you also had a laminectomy with diskectomy? On how many levels?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a laminectomy and percutaneous discectomy on L3,L4 and L5.

 

I have some light pain when I over do it these days, but nothing like I experienced before. I'm preparing now to climb Mt. Shuksan with Summit for Someone in August and as long as I remember that the surgery didn't give me a new back, then I can do anything I want...carefully of course.

 

The PT is right...although you feel like leaping tall buildings in a single bound...don't. I went back to work and working out 7 weeks out from surgery...just at the point you're at now and it was too early...way too early. Sounds like your recovery is going well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't imagine going back to work now. I'm curious to know what my recovery time will be compaired to yours just based on the fact that I had the procedure done on three levels not two. Obviously everyone is different but I wonder if there is a general guideline. Time will tell.

I have already started changing my ideas on climbing and working out. No more kicking ass first and asking questions later :(

But at least I should still be able to do everything I could before, just slower and smarter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
changing my ideas on climbing and working out. No more kicking ass first and asking questions later :(

But at least I should still be able to do everything I could before, just slower and smarter.

 

man i don't even have a major injury. I am just getting older and thats what i am all about these days :moondance:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

×