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Old 07-24-2012, 12:12 PM   #1
black2002ls
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Default Back Surgery...

I'm going to try and condense this as much as possible.

This all stems from a slip on the ice when we had the ice storms early last year, from the best I can remember. That is the only trauma type accident that might have caused this. As these issues started not too long after that. I started seeking medical help in April of 2011 IIRC. I started with my family physician, thinking I had an issue with my hip. After a round of X-Rays and a crappy MRI, it was determined I had a bulging/herniated disc. I was referred to Spine Team Texas. I have been treated by their Rockwall facility ever since, Dr. McPherson specifically. I spent 6 or 8 weeks (I can't remember) in Physical Therapy, which included traction. It got me some what active and able to perform my normal duties at work. I went the rest of 2011 without any follow ups, feeling generally well and able to cope with minor medication. I was VERY active in December, as it is our busiest month (retail sales). In January I started seeing a Chiropractor. This kept me pretty mobile and active, though I didn't do any spinal decompression. About 2 months ago, I did something to cause me a lot of pain. It was somewhat constant so I returned to STT, after a new MRI for better images and to make sure there wasn't any further "damage". After the MRI I got a steroid shot. This lasted about a week, and then I was worse off than I was before I got the injection. Another follow up appointment, and we decided I should see their neurosurgeon. Dr. Jaun Bartolomei, He used to be an instructor of neuroscience at Yale, so I feel he is well versed in his field. Dr. Bartolomei feels that surgery is my best option, given my response to the steroid injection. The procedure he is recommending is a minimally invasive laminotomy and discectomy.

I definitely want to seek a second opinion, any recommendations on who I should seek an appointment with?
Also, has anyone had this procedure, or know anyone who has? They are going to "open up" the opening in my vertebra where the nerve roots exit and remove the offending portion of disc.
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Old 07-24-2012, 12:21 PM   #2
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I'm no doctor or former EMS but I see a lot of back injuries and surgeries in my line of work (workers comp adjuster). Surgery, especially back surgery, should always be your last option. I do have people recover fully from back surgeries but I have just as many, if not more that end up the same or even worse after surgery.
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Old 07-24-2012, 12:25 PM   #3
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I'm no doctor or former EMS but I see a lot of back injuries and surgeries in my line of work (workers comp adjuster). Surgery, especially back surgery, should always be your last option. I do have people recover fully from back surgeries but I have just as many, if not more that end up the same or even worse after surgery.


Yup. Seems like you might as well be flipping a coin. I'll go as long as I can before I let any one cut on my back.
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Old 07-24-2012, 12:25 PM   #4
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I had a double fusion when I was 25, on L4/L5 and L5/S1. I lost some range of motion, and my back is a little sore from time to time, but I am very glad I went ahead and had the surgery.

It was bad enough that anything more than about 10-15 minutes of standing/walking was causing some serious pain. They tried injections and therapy and all I got out of it was a stack of bills.
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Old 07-24-2012, 12:26 PM   #5
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My story is almost identical to yours...I saw 3 different doctors before getting to STT (Dr. Rothbart at the Southlake location)...I finally got to the surgery stage as well, and went with it...was the BEST decision I ever made. In my situation it literally gave me my life back...I suffered a lot of pain and limited mobility for a couple years prior and now I'm back 100%....surgery was 6 years ago.
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Old 07-24-2012, 12:37 PM   #6
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I had back surgery almost a year ago in september for 9mm herniated disc. It was killing me. Had surgery and had instant relief! Back is great to this day. I am more careful about lifting and when working on the car now. Its great, no second thoughts about having surgery.
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Old 07-24-2012, 12:40 PM   #7
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I went to 5 different dr's to get opinions about what I should do for a 11mm herniated L5S1. I settled with Dr. Guyer @ Texas back insititue and having an artificial disc replacement surgery. I was walking around the day of the surgery and I was fully recovered in 8 weeks, no restrictions. 4 dr's wanted to do a fusion and I didnt read very many stories about people getting a fusion and not having any other problems. I decided on the adr surgery becasue it can be removed later down the line if needed. Once you have a fusion your done and most of the time it sets off a chain reaction in your spine. The artificial disc retains all flexibility but no cushion like the actual disc. I think later down the road they will have invented a replacement that has cushion and flexibility so if I have problems I can go to that. I was on light duty at work and only had a few hours of work a day to do so I spent a lot fo time on the web reading medical studies, watching youtube vids and emailing people that had both. I have no regrets about my surgery and it was done on Oct 6 2007.
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Old 07-24-2012, 12:55 PM   #8
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Don't take this the wrong way, but I'm glad to see a large pool of you here that have had similar situations, definitely glad to see someone else who has been to STT (albeit a different location). Up until now, I had heard from most anyone who had surgery that they had to have consecutive surgeries. I understand that everyone is going to react differently to the surgeries. I've always been in pretty good physical condition, so I'm not too worried about recovery time. The issue that concerns me, and I know there is no way to see into the future, is the build up of scar tissue
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Old 07-24-2012, 01:56 PM   #9
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As I stand in the kitchen, preparing some cupcakes for a wedding cake tasting, the more I'm beginning to realize that if my cake/cupcake venture is going to survive/thrive, I'm going to have to get this fixed, I can't keep putting band-aids on it.
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Old 07-24-2012, 07:35 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by BlueCoupeRedVert View Post
I had back surgery almost a year ago in september for 9mm herniated disc. It was killing me. Had surgery and had instant relief! Back is great to this day. I am more careful about lifting and when working on the car now. Its great, no second thoughts about having surgery.
x2

11mm L5/S1 Right side lateralization
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Old 07-24-2012, 09:00 PM   #11
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My brother works with/sells to surgeons. He has always said the worst thing you could do is have back surgery. It will never be the same once they cut on you.

Get second opinions.
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Old 08-07-2012, 01:21 PM   #12
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Well, I had my surgery yesterday, everything went really well. I have no pain related to the herniated disc, the hip/outer leg pain is all gone. The only pain and discomfort I have at this point is that local to the incision and where the doctor was playing around. I know there is still a long road ahead, but so far I feel like I made the right decision.
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Old 08-07-2012, 01:22 PM   #13
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Good luck and please keep us posted!
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Old 08-07-2012, 01:29 PM   #14
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Will do. The toughest thing for me to keep focused on is to not rush my recovery. Then once I'm back up and going, I'm going to get back to working out regularly so I keep myself in better physical shape and hopefully help prevent future problems.

Also, When they went in for the surgery they found that the reason I has such a sudden onset of severe pain this time around was that my disc had ruptured and that is what put the increased pressure on the nerve roots. (IIRC this was what my girlfriend was told in the post op consultation)
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Old 08-07-2012, 02:51 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by black2002ls View Post
Will do. The toughest thing for me to keep focused on is to not rush my recovery. Then once I'm back up and going, I'm going to get back to working out regularly so I keep myself in better physical shape and hopefully help prevent future problems.

Also, When they went in for the surgery they found that the reason I has such a sudden onset of severe pain this time around was that my disc had ruptured and that is what put the increased pressure on the nerve roots. (IIRC this was what my girlfriend was told in the post op consultation)
Like you I felt great just moments after the surgery. Take all the time you need for recovery, that's the key to keeping that feeling.
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Old 08-07-2012, 05:22 PM   #16
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Good news! Like you, the only real pain I had afterwards was the incision. I pinched it in my backbrace a few days later and thought I was gonna die! Get a piece of memory foam (I had a tempurpedic sample) and place it between the brace and incision. It helps. Don't try to do too much too early.
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Old 08-07-2012, 05:44 PM   #17
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Get a second opinion. Once they hack you back up, it will never be the same.
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Old 08-07-2012, 05:51 PM   #18
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Get a second opinion. Once they hack you back up, it will never be the same.
You're a little slow on this one, Barry. Read a couple posts up. He already had the surgery.
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Old 08-07-2012, 07:09 PM   #19
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Good news! Like you, the only real pain I had afterwards was the incision. I pinched it in my backbrace a few days later and thought I was gonna die! Get a piece of memory foam (I had a tempurpedic sample) and place it between the brace and incision. It helps. Don't try to do too much too early.
No brace here.

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Old 08-08-2012, 12:43 AM   #20
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make sure you follow through with the physical therapy.. I cut mine short because I got tired of the co-pay thinking I'd maintain at home and didn't follow through.. Stiffness and weakness in tender areas being the result however 4 years later though everything is good now, mostly aside from not being able to sleep on my back anymore...
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