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Back surgery

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by fordtech, Jan 31, 2010.

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  1. fordtech

    fordtech TS Member

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    I am having extreme back pain.Diaged with degenerative disk disorder.L5-4 effected,ruptured and others bulged.My question is how many of you have been through a disk fusion surgery?Was it effective?Was you able to return to working a physical job?I am a auto technician an affraid my career may be over after surgery.Are you still able to shoot ect.Just wondering(scared)i am 43 and unable to stop working at this point.Thanks for your input, Don
     
  2. ken a

    ken a Member

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    I had about the same problem with the 5 and 4 about 15 years ago but they didn't fuse the area but cut out the bulge that burst causing extreme pain. I did have a month or so therapy and then followed doctors orders to walk and walk some more for the first 6 months. Ask your doctor what he thinks about your chances. Ask around and see what doctors have the best reputations. Not all mechanics are equal right? Mine said you will be able to do anything within reason, just walk and don't rush the healing process. Good luck
     
  3. whopper1

    whopper1 Member

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    I had L4,L5, and S1 fused on Nov.9, 2009. The surgery was a success. Doc said 3 months off work and no trapshooting for 3 months.Still not back to work-next doc appt is feb 18 at which time I will be released to return to work. Phisical limitation after surgery was nothing heavier than a gal. of water.
    Therapy was walking-each day further than previous. I shot trap last Fri. night for the first time with no ill effects. Previous to the surgery, by the end of the night I could hardly walk and the next day was a disaster because of pain. I had none of this after the surgery. Recovery was 3 days in Hosp. then released to home. Stayed on couch for 2 weeks as it was more comfortable than bed. First days after surgery were pretty painful but narcotics were prescribed. They get you off them ASAP. I recomend the surgery.

    Dave
     
  4. g7777777

    g7777777 TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    Read up on this- for nearly 20 years different doctors have wanted to do this on me-- but I did get better each time

    There are a lot of studies and even books on this type of surgery- and they seem to indicate that there is no statistical difference on the positive side after 5 years between groups that had it and those that didnt but there were some negative outcomes

    The negative outcomes ranged from the mild that being a lack of mobility and now pain in other parts of the spine to severe

    You cant fuse one part of the spine without changing the mechanics of the entire spine on the mild side- to very bad outcomes on the very bad side

    Someone above said they had surgery in November and it was a success but in the same post they said they arent back to doing things??????????????????? It is a success because the doctor said it was? Doesnt compute-- 5 years down the road or even next year- tell us if it was a success--

    So the bottom line is read up on this yourself and then get another medical opinion after you know enough to ask the second doctor probing questions

    You cant undo it

    regards from Iowa

    Gene
     
  5. Shoot-at-em

    Shoot-at-em TS Member

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    Surgery would be my last resort. I have a hurniated L5-S1. Severe pain down left leg to the foot. Neuro Surgon recommended therapy prior to surgery. I happy to say that it worked. Been 7 years now and still no surgery. Left foot is 1/2 numb on the bottom but it doesn't effect me. Keep your weight under control and keep up with daily PT and aviod surgery at all costs.

    Forgot to mention that I finished my career as a firefighter last year. So a good life with back issues is possible.
     
  6. GW22

    GW22 Active Member

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    Don: Shoot-at-em gave you some sound advice. Fusion and other radical back surgeries are done WAY too frequently and should only be done after all other options have been thoroughly exhausted. Do yourself a huge favor and find a reputable, experienced physical therapist who specializes in treating back problems. If you follow their program religiously, there's a very good chance you can recover and be able to work without resorting to surgery.

    Good luck and God Bless.

    -Gary
     
  7. goose2

    goose2 Well-Known Member

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    It has been 13 years since I had my operation and I don't intend to have another. Like posted above I am in pain 24/7 365 days a year. Some days are worst than others but never any real good days. I would say that 97% of the people I know that have had any kind of surgery on there back are not better than they were before the surgery. I am a firm believer that once your back goes south on you you will always have a bad back. I wish you luck on what ever you decide.
     
  8. Barry C. Roach

    Barry C. Roach Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    I'm planning a less invasive procedure where titanium adjustable spacers, called "X-Stops, are placed between the vertebrae and spread them apart to relieve the impinged nerves. They become permanent in about 6 weeks.
     
  9. g7777777

    g7777777 TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    There is no less invasive in that approach Barry-- maybe a little less cutting but no less invasive

    Dont kid yourself-- you are making the exact same decision

    Just a thought

    regards from Iowa

    Gene

    PS--- I used to nearly be a lone voice here- now people that have had less than desireable results are posting and I applaud them

    Just read up and study up on this-- books are out there on back surgery- and lots on the internet also
     
  10. avery53

    avery53 Member

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    Location:
    Northern Michigan
    I had L4-L5-S1 fused on 9/12/01, total failure.
    I have been on pain killers since, just to get through the day.
    Try everything else first, and only use surgury as a last resort.
    The Nerosurgeon all but guaranteed a successful outcome, don't believe it. Get 2nd-3rd opinions, then procede with caution.
    Good luck Don, hope things work out for you.
    Steve
     
  11. Baron23

    Baron23 Well-Known Member

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    I did not have fusion...but I did have a laminectomy to remove herniated disk chunk that was severly pressing on major nerve root to my leg along with severe loss of leg function.

    I consider my surgery a success as I am fully functional again and can participate in full weekend shoots. Is my back the same as before the injury...of course not. But I was in agony for three months and was having muscle atrophy and further nerve damage, now I just have sore or achy days.

    The statistics I have seen for surgery vs not had to do with the outcomes of sciatica....the pain. For the majority of cases, sciatic resolves itself as most of it results from bulges or minor herniations and the disk tends to shrink back after bulging/herniating and thus relieves pressure on the nerve. But that statistic is not applicable equally to all the kinds of possible back injuries. Many types of injuries (including my herniation into the left foraminal tunnel) will absolutely NOT resolve themselves and in my case if I left it alone then the damage to the nerve would have become permanent.

    The best I can tell you is that shooters, including myself, have no real level of expertise on the subject no matter how authoritatively we present. Go to a neuro surgeon, then go to another two. All surgeons are not created equal so do your research...find GOOD ones, even if you have to travel for the consultations.

    Best of luck.
     
  12. MtnGun

    MtnGun Member

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    I had two discectomies that failed. The third Surgery was a fusion. I can at least work part time now.
     
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