Thank you for the reply Sailgirl. I am glad to learn your surgery went well. Are you now able to walk, hike, bicycle and run without pain or weakness in your leg muscles? Did your surgery include fusion?
I looked at your thread on Chrons Disease. Wow! What an incredible list of medical challenges. The only feeble advice I can provide is to analyze and research everything you can about the medicine you are taking. From personal experience, I was prescribed medicine that exacerbated another medical condition. My pcp prescribed medication at a time I was under the care of a specialists. Each doctor was treating a different condition and each doctor was keeping each other informed about the condition and treatment. However, when I started taking the med prescribed by the pcp I noticed it was aggravating the condition the spec was treating. I looked up the adverse effects of the med the pcp had prescribed and saw that one of the side effects could cause the problem I was already having before the pcp prescribed the medicine. DAH! I called my pcp and explained the situation. However, the pcp insisted that I should continue taking this med and to put up with the side effects. To make a long story short a call from the spec to the pcp convinced the pcp I should not be taking this med. The point of this rambling is that your meds may be counter productive. So make sure the meds are not exacerbating all your health problems. Good luck.
I was reading about your situation. I suffered horribly from spinal stenosis the entire year of 2007. Finally, I researched and interviewed 4 spine surgeons and all they wanted to do was cut my back open and insert a rod, plates and screws. I had a very funny feeling that I would be a good candidate for laser surgery. Although it's a longer process surgery than the regular way of going into your back but the healing time is much less and you only have a very little scar in the back.
So after consulting with some of these physicians I decided to send my MRI reports and x-rays to only spine surgeons that specialize in laser. One group was in CA the other was in Tampa Fl. They got back to me immediately and told me that I was a candidate for the surgery. So that tells you something right there about the other 4 surgeons I consulted with. To buy myself some time I got some pain management in my back, that was a big mistake. So the end of September 2007 I finally went down to the University of Miami school of Medicine and I met with Dr. Michael Wang who only dose laser surgery. That is his specialty. I met with him again to set up my surgery date because I felt that he was the only honest one and he was associated with a very large group of physicians that only deal with neuro surgery at Jackson Memorial, Miami. It was worth it to me to travel the hour to go see the best.
On November 7, 2007 I was scheduled for a 6:00 PM night operation with Dr. Wang and his team. The surgery took 6.5 hours and I had a double L4-L5 fusion with a metal plate and 3 screws. This was supposed to help take the pressure off the sciatic nerve. Well it did. The operation was a success, but three weeks later I came down with severe acute RA and some other illnesses which I did not plan on. I was already set to go back to work and well I won't be able to work no more. I am not in good condition. The RA caused me to have severe COPD, Asthma, Eye tisssue disease and ulcerated stomach. But I am hopeful and positive that soon I will be in remission.
All I can suggest to you is make sure you interview and consult with several doctors who specialize in spinal stenosis and then make you big decision. It will pay off in the long run.
Take care good luck
First of all for ayone considering back surgery, this is serious stuff. Please get second opinions anfd consider all options as there seems to be many different ideas on what is the best type of surgery for spinal stenosis. Fusions result in lack of motion and this is definitely something to consider.
Having said the above, many people do well but there remains a significant number of people who do not so be extra careful. The Cleveland Clinic has an entire floor dedicated to "failed back surgery" patients.
Simply put stenosis is a choking of the spinal cord as the bones encroach on it.I think of it like a snake closing in on me. Not a great visual but helps me understand.
Good luck to all in the quest for pain relief.
Dear Spring Butterflies,
My best wishes for you following surgery. Please let us know how you are doing?
Hello, I had a laminectomy and fusion on Jan, 24th this year. I returned to work last week. I am doing really well and glad I had the surgery. Spinal stenosis is where there is narrowing of the spinal cord. It happens as we get older but I just naturally had a small one to begin with. My only advice is ask whether you will be given a pain patch. I was overdosed by duragesic patch 25 mg. A week after my surgery there was a recall on the patches due to a leak and causing overdose. This is not to scare anyone but to let others be aware of the dangers. The patches had been pulled but there may be some dr.s going back to using them. You will be in my thoughts and prayers. Good luck.