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Lower Back Surgery

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by whopper1, Jan 10, 2010.

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  1. whopper1

    whopper1 Member

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    I had L4,L5, and S1(tailbone) fused 9 weeks ago. The doc told me 12 weeks before shooting or return to work. Actually feeling well enough right now to do about anything including shooting. I called the doc Friday and begged to shoot but he still says 12 weeks so that is what I will do. I feel the surgery was a sucess as the pain down my leg is gone as well as about 98% of the back pain. I was very apprehensive about the surgery-the doc told me 3 days after surgery I would want to kill him and I did. It was very painful but each day got better. I highly recomend the surgery and wish you good luck with it and a speedy recovery.

    Dave
     
  2. g7777777

    g7777777 TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    If you have already made up your mind dont read this but I have had several docs want to do that surgery over a period of 25 years at different times

    Each time I "recovered" without it

    Statistically people are no better after 5 years with or without that surgery but some are a lot worse- and you have a much less flexibility plus are more prone to troubles higher up in your back

    There are a couple of books which detail the above- based on many studies- you should at least read those or do your own internet research- it isnt too late to change your mind--

    The person above recommending the surgery-- how would he know? he is still in the recovery phase--

    regards from Iowa

    Gene
     
  3. Baron23

    Baron23 Well-Known Member

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    As the population of target shooters seems to be getting older and older, this topic keeps coming up.

    I had a much less invasive surgery....removal of a chunk of a herniated disk...I'm with the responent above...the first few days were not a lot of fun but the result has been worth it.

    To me, the main issue is why you are having the surgery and what other consequences you and your doc are tyring to avoid. In my case, I severly impinged the major nerve to the front of my thigh...those muscles quit responding and began to atrophy. I was in tremendous nerve pain which may have gotten better over time, but would do so simply because the nerve would have been permenently damaged. For me, it was worth it to get function back in my leg and that has indeed come to pass.

    It is true that most disk herniations resolve themselves without surgery....but not the kind I had.

    You are having disks fused....I would suspect that the damage to your back, and possible consequences of doing nothing, are even greater.

    In the final analysis, my opinion and those of others on this board are not of real value as none of us are doctors. My advise is to find a neuro surgeon you trust, get a second opinion if you are still questioning the need for surgery, and make up your own mind.

    In my case, I was able to start shooting light loads (i.e. 410 and 28 gauge) 8 weeks after surgery but I took it very, very easy. I also found it important to not only rigorously attend the physical therapy that was prescribed but to continue to do stretching and exercises that strengthed my core and support my back.

    I don't think my back will ever be the same as it was before I injured it....if you want very good repair, go to a very good doctorbut...if you want good as new...well, only God does new backs.

    Its now been 1 1/2 years post surgery. I have spent the past two very strenuous days out goose hunting...putting out and picking up 150 or more decoys in the cold, sitting all day in a cold goose pit, getting all the gear in and out of this pit, walking snowy fields to go get the birds we killed, etc. I am very gratified that I can now do these things and don't have any after effects today. What more could I ask, eh.

    Good luck and let us know how you are doing.
     
  4. goose2

    goose2 Well-Known Member

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    I had the lower back operation 13 years ago. You ask how long it took to shoot again. I should have shot the next day because my back has never been the same since. I have a lot of back pain and a lot of pains down the back of both legs and both my feet are numb. It seems that once you hurt your back it never will be the same. It is all I can do to shoot a round of trap but I keep forcing myself to do it because it is something I enjoy and it does help keep it off my mind. I will also say that there is times during the year that I just cant shoot. I am going to try again as soon as the weather warms after I took 5 months off because of it.
     
  5. g7777777

    g7777777 TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    JGS - dont get me wrong- I am not a doctor but I did study up on this and same area of the body as yours and I actually had some serious injury-

    This is one of those things you cant undo- if you end up with a less than desireable outcome you cant go back

    Ask the doctor how many "bad" outcomes he has had- and ask him what the probability is that in 5 years you are going to be better off than you are now.

    You still have time to get a second opinion- but you might have done that already--

    Do an internet search also- you will be surprised-

    regards from Iowa

    Gene

    PS- epidurals never work in the long term- and physical therapy is about the same but sometimes your body just stabilizes itself- at a much lower cost and with less downside than surgical fusion.

    Read Goose's post above

    remember- you can always have it done but you can never have it undone
     
  6. Baron23

    Baron23 Well-Known Member

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    In no way am I trying to contradict or argue with Gene...I guess my experience has just been different that some others. If I did not have the surgery, then the pain and numbness I was experiencing would have become permanent, much as Goose2 is describing as his post surgical result.

    The one thing I will add is make damn sure you have the best doctor possible. Not all surgeons are alike. Me...I went for a neurosurgeon, no insult to the othopedic guys but to me neuro's are the top drawer and I did a LOT of reseach on who in my metropolitan area was the best of the best for back surgery.

    Best of luck to you no matter what you decide.
     
  7. Skeeix

    Skeeix TS Member

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    I had l3,l4,l5 fused in 1994 and l1 and l2 done in 1995 and would do it again in heart beat. It took some time for the recovery to be complete but it was well worth it for me.



    Clyde
     
  8. darr

    darr Well-Known Member

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    I had disc and bone removed on L4 and L5.After the surgery the pain in my leg and back was gone.BUT,I felt so good that in about 6 months I started living my life like I did before surgery and now it is back .Maybe if I would of went with a fusion I would still be fine I don't know.The bottom line is you have to change the way you live and put limits on what you can do.I have also had c3 and c4 fused.I don't notice much less flexibility but that is much higher up.Good luck with your recovery and make the changes you need to make to stay healthy.

    Darr
     
  9. BIGbill

    BIGbill TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
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    I don't let people shoot trap for 3 months after a fusion (TLIF) with instrumentation.

    If I just do a laminotomy and discectomy, I let people go back to anything they want to do at six weeks after surgery.

    It really depends on what procedure is performed to estimate when you'll be back to shooting.

    Bill Payne
     
  10. SilverShooter

    SilverShooter TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2009
    Messages:
    275
    In July 2009, I had a disk rupture and about a dime-sixed piece was removed. Doc said it was the biggest intact peice he ever removed. A laminectomy (sp?) was also performed on L4 and L5. Relief was instant and I was walking normal in two days, and was about 95% in a week.

    On day 15 or so, I took one bird then 3 more. I noticed I was exhausted, a bit woozy and light headed after the effort. Came back a week later, shot a round and went home exhausted. At no time did I have back pain or discomfort whatsoever. I fessed up to the doc and his rx was no heavy yard work for 6 months and said that I could shoot but should stop when discomfort set in. So I got a landscaping company to do the yard and about 30 days post-op, I was shooting 300-400 a week with no side or ill effects.

    Good luck in your recovery. I still have the landscape company!

    Rudy
     
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