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How have spinal fusions gotten?

Old 01-10-2019, 07:16 PM
  #21  
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My father in law and a fellow retired coworker both in their mid 70ís had lower back fusion about 2 years ago. Both with were in severe pain, could barely walk, etc. They had a long recovery period but both of them are leading very normal lives now. My father law had the cadaver bone implanted to grow and say he has no hardware. My retired coworker had the hardware. Both of them couldnít be happier and state they should not have waited as long as the did.

Recovery was stay at home 30 days, no driving or car rides at all. No lifting, just stay home and heal. Both had to wear the bone growth stimulator during recovery due to their age. After 30 days recheck, then light duty. After another 30 days the light duty was lifted.

Iím 47 and a year ago I had an incident (hanging blinds for the admiral). Iíve been diagnosed with bi-lateral stenosis and they believe one of my lower back vertebrate is moving forward. Iíve had nerve pain in my feet and lower legs steady for a year now. Itís managed through NSAIDís but now Iím tired of the pain. It just never stops and prevents you from doing the things you ought to be doing.

I just started seeing a neurosurgeon and at the initial consult he said they will take care of the stenosis however thereís a plethora of issues down there and spinal fusion with hardware is recommended. I have an appointment in March for another MRI and the doc reads the MRI immediately following. There is risk with everything but sometimes you have to believe itís going to get better.

Search out the best neurosurgeon you can find. If it means waiting 3 months so be it. Iíve read other posts of surgeons replacing vertebrae with titanium one and they go through your front side. They say less evasive and quicker healing. I think itís relativey newer concept.
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Old 01-10-2019, 07:25 PM
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What he said about the nuerosurgeon. Get the best you can. Ask around. Ask your dr. Ask the surgical nurses who they would use. Lots of horror stories. I heard bad stuff about 1 guy. Then my buddy had the similar surgery I did with this bad dr. He was in better shape to start. He was 10 years younger. Now he has had 4 more surgeries and is unemployed and can hardly walk.
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Old 01-10-2019, 08:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Windwood View Post
What he said about the nuerosurgeon. Get the best you can. Ask around. Ask your dr. Ask the surgical nurses who they would use. Lots of horror stories. I heard bad stuff about 1 guy. Then my buddy had the similar surgery I did with this bad dr. He was in better shape to start. He was 10 years younger. Now he has had 4 more surgeries and is unemployed and can hardly walk.
why neurosurgeon? You donít ask an electrician to perform carpentry work. Orthopaedic spine surgeons typically are better trained in bone fusion procedures than neurosurgeons. Certainly individual skills vary amongst surgeons, but making the blanket statement that a neurosurgeon is the person to perform the procedure is unwise. Case in point post #5 on this thread by johnb48. By all means ask around for experiences of other individuals in similar circumstances, but no need to categorically exclude the physicians best trained to make bone heal
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Old 01-10-2019, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by tkramerv View Post

why neurosurgeon? You donít ask an electrician to perform carpentry work. Orthopaedic spine surgeons typically are better trained in bone fusion procedures than neurosurgeons. Certainly individual skills vary amongst surgeons, but making the blanket statement that a neurosurgeon is the person to perform the procedure is unwise. Case in point post #5 on this thread by johnb48. By all means ask around for experiences of other individuals in similar circumstances, but no need to categorically exclude the physicians best trained to make bone heal
Save orthopedic surgeons for broken bones, shoulder surgery, hip replacements and shoulder surgeries. They are so busy that they really don't have time to deal with neuro issues.

My wife inherited some kind of syndrome, and she suffers with arthritis all over her body. With spinal stenosis, she had a neurosurgeon do a laminectomy where the bone was cut back from the top of the backbone and it was very successful. She has had dozens and dozens of steroid injections and had back nerve ablations. In June, an orthopedic surgeon that specializes in joint replacements replaced her knee and it's doing great. She now has mid foot arthritis, and the fix is 8 weeks in bed after pins and screws immobilize the bones on top of the feet.

After going through so much, my wife is a big believer in using the very best surgeons--either ortho or neuro. Every medium or large medical community has the superstars, and they cost the same as poor quality surgeons. If you are in pain, go to a high quality pain management clinic staffed by an anesthesiologist with a fellowship in pain management. They are capable of giving relief from most pains quickly and efficiently. When you are miserable, do something about it and quit being a He Man.

We are fortunate to have 4 major medical communities within 2 hours. And my sister and brother in law are close friends with perhaps the premier spinal surgeon in the world. He looked at a MRI report on my sister and quickly said it's time for a fusion. After spending 20 ski seasons in Aspen, she'd used up all her ski crashes on her back. She came out of the surgery okay, but she's really a wimp and doesn't accept minimal amounts of pain. My niece has upper neck injuries (from cheerleading), and the doctor said there's nothing he can do to help her--other than refer her to an incredible physical therapist. Her problem is inoperable, and she's often miserable.

So if I'm having back problems, it's neurosurgeon. If it's joints or skeletal, it's orthopedic surgeon. And if in severe pain, go to the pain management doctor immediately. Don't wait on back problems until they cannot be fixed surgically.
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Old 01-11-2019, 04:34 AM
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When I started looking into what to do with my back over 15 years ago..talking with people, yeah most of them also said "Use a neurosurgeon". Reason is...your spinal column...those bundles of nerves, needs extra special handling in the surgery. Even people in the medical field said to use one.
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Old 01-11-2019, 04:42 AM
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Contact the Hey Clinic at Duke Univ. Dr Hey inserted 2 rods and 30 bolt to correct genetic scoliosis for my daughter. He is a genius. Duke thinks highly of him.....they are building a new clinic for him.

https://heyclinic.com/
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Old 01-11-2019, 05:04 AM
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Originally Posted by bhc6085 View Post
Contact the Hey Clinic at Duke Univ. Dr Hey inserted 2 rods and 30 bolt to correct genetic scoliosis for my daughter. He is a genius. Duke thinks highly of him.....they are building a new clinic for him.

https://heyclinic.com/
My Dr is actually researching this doctor to see if he would be able to help me out! Kypho-scoliosis and degenerative








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Old 01-11-2019, 05:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Rolandt03 View Post
the problem is this shot is just a band aid, then he is back doing what killed his back to start with! kinda like a foot ball player getting a knee injury, going in the locker room, getting an injection, then going back in the game! fine now, but the long run is going to be hell!
yea very true. I did shots on my knees and prolonged the inevitable replacement which Iím sure pales in comparison to the surgery and recovery of spinal surgery. I just through it out there as a possible option for the OP.
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Old 01-11-2019, 06:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Hasbeen View Post


yea very true. I did shots on my knees and prolonged the inevitable replacement which Iím sure pales in comparison to the surgery and recovery of spinal surgery. I just through it out there as a possible option for the OP.
its definitly an option to consider! i would probably take that route before the knife! the one thing i would do different is not return to activities destroying my back!
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Old 01-11-2019, 06:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Vantaredoc View Post
My Dr is actually researching this doctor to see if he would be able to help me out! Kypho-scoliosis and degenerative








how the hell do you even function on a daily basis?

you need an alignment!
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Old 01-11-2019, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Rolandt03 View Post
how the hell do you even function on a daily basis?

you need an alignment!
Pain killers and a very strong drive! I was born with it and doctors said I would be 100% disabled but that doesn't pay enough to buy toys! I have to watch everything I do. My spinal cord is intertwined within my spine so they aren't interested in straightening it! I have to chuckle sometimes when I hear my employees complaining of back aches..lol
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Old 01-11-2019, 10:49 AM
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Dr Hey's work. This was immediately after surgery 10 months ago. She begins PT in 2 months. First year...only walking a lot.


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Old 01-11-2019, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by bhc6085 View Post
Dr Hey's work. This was immediately after surgery 10 months ago. She begins PT in 2 months. First year...only walking a lot.


it will be interesting to see how its doing in 10 years! hopefully it continues to provide relief for the rest of her life.
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Old 01-11-2019, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Rolandt03 View Post
it will be interesting to see how its doing in 10 years! hopefully it continues to provide relief for the rest of her life.
That's what I have always been afraid of. I think I will wait till I can't take it any longer or something gets paralyzed and I have to get those rods
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Old 01-11-2019, 11:47 AM
  #35  
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Both my mother and MIL had lumbar fusions in the last 3 years. My MIL is doing well and is greatly improved. My mother on the other hand ended up with a numb right foot and hasnít walked unassisted since. She traded back pain for a walker.
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Old 01-11-2019, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Vantaredoc View Post
My Dr is actually researching this doctor to see if he would be able to help me out! Kypho-scoliosis and degenerative








wow, you are one bad ass mofo.
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Old 01-11-2019, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Vantaredoc View Post
That's what I have always been afraid of. I think I will wait till I can't take it any longer or something gets paralyzed and I have to get those rods
that is my recommendations! once your bed ridden, then the knife!
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Old 01-11-2019, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by tkramerv View Post

why neurosurgeon? You donít ask an electrician to perform carpentry work. Orthopaedic spine surgeons typically are better trained in bone fusion procedures than neurosurgeons. Certainly individual skills vary amongst surgeons, but making the blanket statement that a neurosurgeon is the person to perform the procedure is unwise. Case in point post #5 on this thread by johnb48. By all means ask around for experiences of other individuals in similar circumstances, but no need to categorically exclude the physicians best trained to make bone heal

Because my ortho, whom is incredibly talltented and was the Cincinnati Bangels ortho referred me to a neurosurgeon. My ortho operated on both my knees and surgery on my wrists. Hell if heís good enough for the NFL then what the heck! He knows his limits and doesnít mess with surgery on backs. He helped diagnose my back but referred me to the expert.

Last edited by lyman24; 01-11-2019 at 03:48 PM.
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Old 01-11-2019, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Windwood View Post
wow, you are one bad ass mofo.
Originally Posted by Rolandt03 View Post
that is my recommendations! once your bed ridden, then the knife!
One day at a time! Actually I stay focused on business and keep busy. I'm a believer that "when you slow down you go down"!! I'm a work horse and do not believe in "can't do"! Here are a few more... Take note of the last pic, that is a side view. My Scoliosis not only is a "S" curve from side to side, I have it front to back also. Very rare...




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Old 01-11-2019, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by YeOldeStonecat View Post
So I'm approaching my mid 50's...and for the past >20 years my lower back has been shot. Severely degenerated disks l2/l3, l3/l4, l4/l5, and l5/s1. My l4/l5 and l5/s1 are super shot. Last MRI I had about 1 year ago, disks are like a potato chip, darn near bone on bone. Already did a discectomy l4/l5 right side because that bulge made my right leg nearly a dead leg. Helped right away...did that about 10 years ago.

At that time, fusions still seemed very primitive to me, and had a 50/50 chance of making things a little better, or much worse.

Getting to the point where each day is about a 7 or 8 out of 10 on the pain scale. Slowed down riding the Harleys a few years ago and sold my last favorite one a few months ago (had a sweet Evo Springer, was into Shovelheads before that). Miss my bikes but riding would have me bed ridden for days after.

Anyways, with daily pain getting up there...time to re think the fusion I think. I had already gone through a treatment at a chiro last spring that helped, but insurance didn't cover it, and was 200 bucks a shot 3x days a week. Some fancy new back stretching machine you'd climb into and get harnessed into...sorta like a super-traction thing. Helped for sure....but just can't swing that cost. Got an inversion table for home, just gotta get in the habit of using it more.

Anyways...back to modern versions of fusions....what we got for peoples experiences in new methods?
I want to apologize. I didnít mean to derail your thread. Itís not every day someone posts about spine issues. I live through constant pain and getting worse as I get older. I know this site has some of the brightest and highly talented folks on the internet and maybe just maybe my case might peak someoneís interest. I wish you well with your quest as well.
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