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Back surgery

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by 635 G, Apr 24, 2012.

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  1. 635 G

    635 G Well-Known Member

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    Well, you have all read my constant threads about my bad back, for quite awhile. I've finally found a Doc that I have total confidence in in. He is cross trained in ortho & neuro. He uses a minimal invasive technique which does no damage to muscle & surrounding tissue. Will get it done after the NC state shoot. He says it will take 12 weeks before he says I can get back to zero restrictions.

    With luck look out for me in the fall AA27AA here I come--yea right


    Phil Berkowitz
  2. cubancigar2000

    cubancigar2000 Active Member

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    Best of luck Phil
  3. grntitan

    grntitan Well-Known Member

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    Since I have had two major back surgeries I feel I should tell you that even though they call it "Minimally Invasive Surgery", there is no easy way to access the spine. Depending on where your issue lies and how many discs are affected and to what degree will determine just how "Invasive" your surgery will be. My first "Minimally Invasive Back Surgery" involved an incision from belly button to my pecker and (4) small incisions on my back. That required an additional surgeon to remove my guts and set them to the side so the Neurosurgeon could access the discs involved. The second "Minimally Invasive Back Surgery" required a 3" incision on my back and several small incisions. You will be sore no doubt. Good luck, you will be fine.

    P.S. Demand a Bone Scan if they don't already plan to do one. Osteoprosis can be a bad deal with back surgery. Trust me, I know.

    Note: I am not trying to scare you away, only to give you first hand account of what "Minimally Invasive Surgery" actually means.

    My "Minimally Invasive Back Surgery"
    grntitan_2009_2503192.jpg
  4. Remstar311

    Remstar311 Member

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    That is one sad looking L5-S1 joint!

    I would never go to an orthopedic surgeon for back surgery, only a neurosurgeon.

    They can see osteoporosis in your xrays if it is a concern. The bones look darker because there is less bone to stop the xrays.

    Nick
    (Xray tech, not a dr.)
  5. southjblue

    southjblue Active Member

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    Vern----That's a great attitude----I played golf yesterday in cold wind and cartpath only---Shot a 104 and 4 putted the 1st green---If there was a rope hanging on the cartpath I'd be with digger-O-dell----This is the day after and I beat digger----Is'nt it great to be on this side of the grass---gL----George
  6. bjk1972

    bjk1972 Member

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    Twelve years ago, at age 28, I had surgery to repair a disc at L5/S1. The repair was done through a laminectomy and extraction of disc material pinching on my sciatic nerve.I had a neurosurgeon do mine and am happy with the results.Given Matt's surgery above, mine was as "minimal" as it gets.I'm still factory stock minus a little lamina! LOL.I wish you the best of luck and a speedy recovery.Welcome to the club.Brad
  7. avery53

    avery53 Member

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    Ouch, My pictures look just like that. I think 12 weeks is pretty optomistic, and I was put on a 10lb restriction for life.
    Mine was done almost 12 yrs ago, I suspect things are more advanced these days.

    Good luck!
  8. grntitan

    grntitan Well-Known Member

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    I was told absolutely no heavier than 50lbs the rest of my life after my first surgery. After the second surgery, the Neurosurgeon said it was best that I find a new profession as "Blue Collar" work wasn't gonna agree with me anymore. He said the 50lbs the first Surgeon told me was about 25lbs too much. How in the hell do you go the rest of your life never lifting over 25lbs again?? Hell 50lbs?? Shit a gallon of milk weighs about 8.5lbs.
  9. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I'm six weeks into getting three vertebrae in my neck fused. Operation took 45 minutes. Hope to come off of light duty by mid May. Two discs were protruding into my spinal cord, compressing it by a third. This caused migraines, up to three a week typical. I've had none since the operation.
  10. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

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    grntitan, wow, Skeety would be in trouble. He posts about 50 pounds of manure at a time.
  11. Setterman

    Setterman Well-Known Member

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    Matt, Those can't be your X-rays.

    Trapshooters are not suppose to have brains.

    How is your recovery?
  12. goony

    goony Member

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    I wish you luck. I had my third and final back surgery in August of 2011, second one that month. I had the disc trimmed after I blew it out in December of 2000 at work. That worked fine for about 5 years until the scar tissue formed and was pressing against the nerve. Then on 5/5/11 I was working on a Mack truck pulling a heater hose off when I blew out the disc again. After 3 months of treatment, injections and therapy, I had disc fusion surgery on 8/2/11. Everything went fine until the staph infection that resulted from the surgery resulted in two more stays in the hospital. I had to undergo the third surgery on 8/31/11 and I was sent home with a infusion line in my left arm that went into my heart. They wanted to put it in my right arm but I resisted, you can't shoot trap right handed with it in your right arm. Two weeks of home infusion and I was told the infection was gone and the line was removed. Two weeks later the infection returned. This time I took oral antibiotics. Long story short I went back to work for three weeks and was unable to do the tasks associated with working on diesel trucks. I was fortunate to be able to retire. The infection has resulted in pain in the nerves that the fusion was supposed to have taken care of. Some days the pain is pretty severe. This has definitely altered my lifestyle. Pick your surgeon carefully. I don't believe my experience is the norm but the exception. Again good luck.

    Mike
  13. Jerry944t

    Jerry944t Active Member

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    As someone who is facing extensive back surgery I will make one statement that is indisputable. It is unpredictable. If anyone tells you that they can completely cure you with "minimally invasive" or any other kind of surgery surgery then run from that person.

    This is assumingng that it isn't something really simple like one bulged or herniated disk. The back is incredibly complicated and one unfortunate choice during surgery can ruin your life.

    I have seen way too many doctors who have way too many opinions to have much confidence that anyone can promise to "cure" me. My favorite orthopedist to date at the well know Rothman Institute in Philadelia promised a 60% chance of "some" relief. I believe he is most honest doc I've seen and has a steller reputation.

    Since I can still walk, albeit not shoot trap, I will put this off until there is no other option. I wish you the best on your upcoming surgery and I'm sure you've done all your homework.

    This walking upright thing is way overrated.
  14. grntitan

    grntitan Well-Known Member

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    Jerry944t,

    Excellenent Post.

    My first Doc(Neurosurgeon) promised me the world as my back is concerned. He threw out numbers like 98% success rate. After the surgery didn't give me the results he promised he had every excuse under the sun.

    The second Neurosurgeon I chose very carefully and actually went to three different ones for various opinions. The Neurosurgeon I chose stated almost to the "T" what you just said. He told me the back is the most misunderstood joint in the body. He stated that so much research has been done to understand why some people never have back pain even while having disc issues and others lives are completely ruined by pain. He said it is NOT a perfected science and results vary greatly from person to person. He said back surgery success rate is much closer to the 50% area and even minor single disc surgeries have a success rate of only between 40-80%.

    Keep in mind, when the word success rate is used, it doesn't necessarily mean the person receives relief or no relief. It is not that cut and dry. Most patients receive at least some relief.


    I will concur with your statement above 100%. If any Suregon(Neuro or not) tells you they will completely cure your back with any procedure involving surgery, RUN REAL FAST.

    That said, there is a point when nothing other than surgery is the answer. I and many others reached that point. You will know.
  15. g7777777

    g7777777 Active Member

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    Statistically after 5 years as a group the people that have had back surgery's to correct pain and degenerative probelems are no better off than those that did not

    However, there are a lot of bad outcomes

    On the other side, doctors will tell you that in individual cases those statistics mean nothing and they are probably right

    But are you going to be the same after undergoing this painful and debilitating procedure or possilby worse? Or are you one of those that the doctors talk about that will be better?

    Once you have it done- you cant go back

    Regards from Iowa

    Gene
  16. trapshooterjoe7

    trapshooterjoe7 Member

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    Man i feel for you guys, i herneated L3-4-5 back in 1993 and have been on light duty "50lb weight limit" ever since.Doing Yoga and stretching i can do most things if i take it easy. After looking at that x-ray i am going to take it easy.Best of luck to you guys. Joe
  17. 635 G

    635 G Well-Known Member

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    I'mlosing strength & feeling in my left leg, the nerve is almost completely shut off, the pain is not that bad--its the use of my leg that worries me. The Doc I'm using is a partner in Gulf Coast Spine. They put in a very small pipette & thru manipulation they expand the opening to 22mm. This opening gives him adequate working room to hit 3 verterbre if necessary. He's going to remove the disc that left between L3-4, put in a plastic block & brace it with hardware. He says I'll be walking a mile & half with 5 days.

    The docs name is Frank Bono

    Phil Berkowitz
  18. grntitan

    grntitan Well-Known Member

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    Phil,

    My left leg and foot was completely numb when I decided to go for it. Within four months of the surgery, I had gained almost all of my feeling back in my leg and foot. I now have complete feeling in both. The nerves had been completely pinched by the discs bulging. I also had extreme low back pain. That aspect I got minimal relief from the surgeries.

    Matt
  19. handlepuller

    handlepuller Active Member

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    Grntitan,

    I don't know if that's a Seitz-worth of hardware in that back but it's at least a Guerini! Nice!
  20. grntitan

    grntitan Well-Known Member

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    handlepuller,

    I would say given that the two back surgeries combined are near $250,000, I could have bought quite a few Seitz. Thank God I had coverage under multiple insurance companies. Who would have thought Titanium screws and rods could be so expensive.
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