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Back surgery part 3 ?

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by 635 G, Jan 15, 2010.

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  1. 635 G

    635 G Well-Known Member

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    Well-"Vegas Blaster"--you were right on with your PM to me, the Band-aid of epidurals are not working I knew they wouldn't from the get go. Been working with this back problem since 95'.

    However, yesterday I went for my final consult with the pain mgt. doc and he said he believed I would benefit from a procedure called a "percutaneous discetomy"---the rub is he also said for some reason this procedure isnot often available in North Carolina.

    Now the question has any one out there had this procedure?

    Where did you have it done?

    Did it work?

    My insurance is meicare & Tricare for lif.

    thanks

    Phil Berkowitz
     
  2. fooldawg

    fooldawg Member

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    This may not help but I'll throw it out anyway...

    I had cervical spine work done by Dr. Adamson at:

    http://www.carolinaneurosurgery.com/

    He perform minimally invasive when possible and is an excellent surgeon. Give him a call if you need another opinion.

    Dave Moreland
     
  3. Baron23

    Baron23 Well-Known Member

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    Phil - the procedure your reference is a sub-category of discetomies. There are several types of dicetomies...from WebMD

    "Percutaneous discectomy is different from conventional open discectomy or microdiscectomy. There are several percutaneous procedures. All of them involve inserting small instruments between the vertebrae and into the middle of the disc. X-ray monitoring is used during surgery to guide the movement of the surgical instruments. The surgeon can remove disc tissue by cutting it out, sucking out the center of the disc, or by using lasers to burn or evaporate the disc. The disc material that has herniated is not directly removed in these operations."

    I don't think ANYONE can tell you which procedure would be best for removal of the piece of herniated disk that is causing the problem except for the surgeon after he reviews your film...and even then, perhaps that changes once they get in and take a look.

    I had a chunk of disk removed 1 1/2 years ago..it was pressing hard on the nerve root to my left leg and doing damage to the nerve. I went to see the best back neurosurgeons I could find in my Washington DC area (I consulted with two of them). I have a very small 1" scar on my back, so I don't think it was the Percutaneous type, but the key is to look for a GREAT neurosurgeon that specializes in spinal procedures (versus drilling holes in heads). Go to more than one for an opinion, but ask for references for the very best, I personally believe that the differences in outcomes of spinal surgery are due to many factors, but one of them is quality of the skills of the surgeon.

    My outcome is great and I had the worst type of disc herniation...one that went right into the tunnel from which the nerve root exits (foraminal herniation).

    If you ever want to come to DC for an opinion (bring your MRI films) I recommend:

    Dr. Arthur I Kobrine
    2440 M St NW
    Ste 315
    Washington, DC 20037
    (202) 293-7136

    or

    Dr. Alexandros D. Powers
    4927 Auburn Avenue
    Bethesda, MD 20814
    (301) 718-9611

    Remember, pain means impingement on the nerve with very real danger of permanent damage to the nerve.

    Best of luck.
     
  4. 635 G

    635 G Well-Known Member

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    Baron 23, It appears I have the exact type of problem you had. My neuro said it would be a 1" incision.

    Now some questions for you.

    How much pain after surgery, ( too subjective)?

    How long before you could shoot competetively again?

    Thanks--Phil Berkowitz
     
  5. g7777777

    g7777777 TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    What about more simple stuff?

    Like an inversion table- 200 bucks or so

    Or wading in a pool neck deep at a health club

    Then improving your core muscles

    The first two treat a flareup- last night I had one and just a couple of minutes upside down- I felt something pop and the muscles loosen( you mentally think loosen and try to do that) and I was 90 percent better.

    Wading in the pool- neck deep often helps me also

    Epidurals are a waste of time and usually physical therapy is also unless it goes to working on your core muscle strength at a gym

    regards from Iowa

    Gene
     
  6. Baron23

    Baron23 Well-Known Member

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    HI Phil - well, the surgery was at 4pm and they stood me up at 8am the next morning....as they were standing me up, I had a definite moment of buyer's remorse...that hurt! LOL

    I had the surgery on Aug 12th and went home the next day. First day home I walked around the block with a friend to make sure I could do it (they wanted me to walk, so there it is). First 3-4 days hurt quite a bit...don't argue, take the percocets and muscle relaxers and lay on your back with pillows under your knees and drool for a for a few days...it ain't the end of life...pain decrease significantly thereafter. I live alone, but was able to take care of myself...feed myself, dress myself, etc from day one.

    I went to phys therapy for 8 weeks...that started probably a week after surgery. I flew to the mini-world (skeet) in San Antonio on 2 Oct....not allowed to shoot yet, but I was able to travel and I needed to attend the BOD mtg and see some friends. I can remember while there walking in the mornings with a friend...we would clock 3-4 miles so I must have been in pretty good shape by then.

    I was cleared to start shooting lightly by 9 Oct...started out with 410 just to see then quickly went up the gauges.

    The big initial pain is from the fact that they basically strain all the muscles in your lower back pulling them out of the way. Hot baths (allowed after 5 days to a week I think...showers were right away), heating pad, a muscle relaxer, and a glass of vino in the evenings helped tremendously LOL. That went away rather quickly.

    I got off of the narcotics rather quickly as I found that 4 advil gel caps worked really well...800 mg is the therapudic dose. I still had pain to manage but it was from damage to the nerve from the herniation, I had both compress (squashed) and displaced (kinked) the nerve root (did a really great job on that)...the longer term pain was from damaged nerve, not the surgery...and nerves heal very slowly...but they do heal...in my case to a pretty good degree.

    I just got back from shooting four rounds it the cold with a 10 lbs K-80 and we skeet shooters twist alot, right? Last weekend I went goose hunting two days in a row...150 decoys out, in and out of the goose pit, 28 degree weather. No problems. Last tournament skeet season I ended up with the best averages I had. Early in the season I would sometimes shoot the first day and pull out the second because I aggravated the nerve damage. By mid-summer I was shooting all 5 100-bird events.

    The best advise I can give is to follow your Doctor's directions absolutely to the letter...particularly about what activities you will be allowed in the first two weeks after surgery. You don't want to screw it up after they just got done fixing it. Your surgeon will have a post-op protocol for you to follow....do it.

    As far as inversion tables, floating in pools, none of that would have taken the pressure off of the nerve. For me, the key was to stop the damage to the nerve and regain full use and function in my leg. I go to the gym twice a week....I work with a trainer and maintain form rigorously, we work on a lot of core strenth exercises, I do cardio on an eliptical trainer and stretch ham strings, quads, and gluts at least 3-4 times a week. My left leg is now as strong as my right one and I can put a leg up on a bannister and reach down and grab my toes to stretch. I mark this up as a stunning success from where I started before surgery....which was basically agony and loss of muscle response in my leg.

    For me, this worked out well. I'm 57, I would not consider myself to be any kind of enviable physical specimen..but I do work a bit at things that will help ensure I never have to have this done again.

    Best of luck...any more questions about my experience...just let me know.
     
  7. CharlieAMA

    CharlieAMA TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    Hello Phil- This may or may not help you, but Iv'e had two back surgeries in the last 8 years. The epidurals are a waste of money. Mine lasted a day and a half. Find you a nurosurgeon that specializes in backs. Some won't touch them.
    My surgeon was Wayne Paullus. My wife's surgeon was Brett Gentry. They are together at Southwest Neuroscience in Amarillo, Texas. My last operation was called a '360'. He went in my front, took out L4 and L5 discs, and put titanium discs (cages) with a screw each to hold them in. He put all that back together, and rolled me over and put two rods in and six screws. Takes two surgeons for that procedure. My wife has two rods and four screws in her back.

    You may not need anything this drastic. My recovery went well, but my wife's recovery went slow and she had alot of pain. I was home with her for 40 days. Everyone is different during recovery. Their phone number is 806-353-6400. Good Luck. If you need more answers, email me. Sincerely, Charlie Henderson
     
  8. CharlieAMA

    CharlieAMA TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    O.K. Andy, I was thinking of a comeback on that, but we are supposed to keep it clean here. But no matter, I hope Phil finds a good neurosurgeon, and not an orthopedic surgeon for this. Have a good weekend. Charlie
     
  9. Barry C. Roach

    Barry C. Roach Well-Known Member

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    Anyone had any experience with the "X-Stop" implant? My doc says I'm a candidate for it. I have severe pain from buttocks down to my feet. When I walk or stand sometimes my legs go to sleep as well.
     
  10. Texshooter

    Texshooter Member

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    With the X-Stop "Physical limitations may include no heavy lifting, bending backward, stair climbing, jogging, tennis, golf, or swimming." I don't know how well trap shooters would do, since we do lean back some tracking a clay as it goes up. And we lift a lot of heavy trap guns and gear. AJ
     
  11. Barry C. Roach

    Barry C. Roach Well-Known Member

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    Tex, I read the same thing but my doc says that's only during healing.
     
  12. Texshooter

    Texshooter Member

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    Barry, I'll ask someone that will know Wed. It's a little hard to catch Neurosurgeons at lunch. AJ
     
  13. Vickie

    Vickie Member

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    While we are on the subject of back surgery, have any of you heard or had any experience with the Laser Spine Institute? They have a clinic in Tampa and one in Mesa, AZ. and I think they are opening one in Philadelphia.

    You can send your MRI report, and they will evaluate your condiditon and then let you know what they can do. We sent an MRI in and they said they would perform a percutaneous discetomy among other procedures.

    Just wondering if anyone has heard of them.


    Thanks,
    Vickie Larkin
     
  14. 635 G

    635 G Well-Known Member

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    Yes Vickie, I have heard of them. Look at their web site. They require alot of non-refunable cash upfront. Appears to be a very slick sales orientated operation. Furthermore, they are a LLC, if anything goes wrong their liability is limited to what amount of investment the principals have in the corp. Lots of complaints with the various agencies.As far as the Tampa operation is concerned.

    Phil Berkowitz
     
  15. Vickie

    Vickie Member

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    Thanks Phil, They were recommended to us by a shooter that was very pleased with what they did for him. Tom has terrible back problems, and now his leg is going numb. We got to the point that they wanted the financial information, but another problem occurred and he is on blood thinners for a few months, so we did not go ahead with them until this other deal is over. But he needs to have something done. His primary care Dr. wasn't too enthused with them. Said something about "snake medicine" or something.

    Vickie
     
  16. 635 G

    635 G Well-Known Member

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    If I had confidence in LSI, I would have used them-I'm fortunate enough enough that money will never be an issue in anything that I want or need. But years of being in business have made me extremely cautous about slick sales operations.

    The Dr. I'm going to use is 4 stars across the board in every category. He is fairly local. He did not want to cut as his first choice.

    Phil Berkowitz
     
  17. baflstang

    baflstang Member

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    Phil, I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night and I will be glad to perform this surgery for you for a very nominal fee. We will just have to re-name it something that is easier to spell. All joking aside,I hope all goes well for you and I will keep you in my prayers for a fast and successful recovery.
    Bill Weaver
     
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