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After 17 years of constant back pain, We finally got her to a back specialist surgeon. He had such a positive attitude and took his time to review and understand the issues with her lower back.
The L4-L5 disk was unstable and would move around, would click in and out some pain but not too bad.
L5-S1 disk had completely collapsed causing severe pain and lately causing numbness down her legs. Pain meds were not effective controlling pain.
Monday she had 5 hours of surgery to do "ALIF" procedure. Surgeon removed both disks, spread the vertebrae and inserted titanium disks. These were inserted and screwed in place. This procedure was from the front of her body, Then he went to the back and used 6 more screws to insure no movement of the titanium disks that will eventually fuse to the vertebrae. There are channels in the titanium disks where bone graph material and bone stem cells were inserted to provide a mechanism for fusion.
We are home now and she will begin 12 weeks of rehab, Doctor says if she does her duties during rehab, after 12 weeks she can pretty much do what she has always done but with out pain. She has done very well so far and I hope she continues her path to complete recovery.
We have relatives coming in to help her along this process. Unfortunately I have to leave for my last race event in Texas (Beeville) on Sunday but she will have a lot of help while I am away.
Hopefully next year we will make a GTG and she will be pain free to enjoy future travels.
94 30' Breakaway #3864
30-BS-6B side entry
230 Cummins, Allison 6 speed
Hi Ed. Glad she found a qualified doctor. Hope she does well.
1978 Barth 17' Cabin Fever
1997 Barth 23' 4 door Command Center
'94 28' Breakaway: MilSpec AMG 6.5L TD 230HP
Nelson and Chester, not-spoiled Golden Retrievers
Sometimes I think we're alone in the universe, and sometimes I think we're not.
In either case the idea is quite staggering. - Arthur C. Clarke
It was a woman who drove me to drink, and I've been searching thirty years to find her and thank her - W. C. Fields
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Great to hear Ed. I'm eager to hear how your wife progresses as I'm a big time sufferer of back pains related to disc issues. Because of my vocation and license I'm unable to take anything stronger than Advil if I want to work.
I long for vacations where stronger prescription's, a little alcohol and rest gives me better relief from these pains. But I'm not a drinker and I don't like to take pills. Medical advances are what I'm hoping for.
Currently I'm scheduled to get a few shots in my spinal area and they are then going to burn off a few pain receptors. The arthritis and disc issues combine have made my last few years almost unbearable. It feels like it's sciatic, but I'm told it's not.
I'm too young to feel this old.
Ed, Here is the best advice I can tell you for your wife. Do EXACTLY what the doctor says. If the doctor says no steps, there is no exception. If the doctor says buy milk in half gallons because one gallons are too heavy to lift, he is right.
I had back surgery 6 years ago. I followed the doctors exact specifications to the tee and even slept with my back brace as a cautionary measure. I have seen hundreds of folks complain about the surgeon, but they themselves have caused the problem. Most have caused injury again by not listening to the doctor. I work out at the after care facility where I had my rehabilitation. Patients complain about the surgeons. In 95% of the cases after taking with the patient personally, I have found that the patient is not following the surgeon's orders. Not following the surgeons orders, whatever they may be, not driving, no climbing steps, stretching procedures, and etc. is NOT the fault of the SURGEON. He did his part it is up to the patient to recover. Recovery is slow, but be patient, it will be worth the time and effort. Do not try anything that your doctor has not told you to do.
LISTEN AND OBEY WHATEVER THE SURGEON OR REHABILITATION SPECIALIST REQUIRES YOU TO DO.
Following the doctors requirements, no matter what is required will ensure full recovery.
ED : Betty's back was classified last week as one of the top five worse backs he has cared for. Her problems are similar to your wife's and Bill NY but compounded by age (82), severe Stenosis, severe Arthritis, three disks that are fused together and an extended belly. The only treatment that works,(due to bone spurs on the spin), are injections in the Tail Bone and pain killers every six hours. We are praying for your wife's recovery.....Betty & Carl
Owner of the Coachmen "THE TOY"
In thoughts and prayers, from the heart of Texas.
Prayers for a safe journey, as well.
My last 3 disks are bad. Scans say "partial boney fixation", meaning the bone spurs are fusing around the bad disks. Actually some relief from the pain, as well. VA isn't about to operate, and I can't afford it, otherwise. Had the steroid shots until they caused more pain than they helped with. HD minor surgery to remove scar tissue, that caused total foot-drop on the right, and had been in a wheelchair. Sometimes need a cane, but less than 30% of the time.
As others have said, follow the physical limitations S specified. Also, she should continue the exercises she learns in PT, to maintain mobility and strength.
Notice: do what the Dr and therapists say... Gov't tells employers other things, so I am unemployable, and have been for almost 30 years. It's hard, but doable.
'84 Custom Commercial Euro
Cedar Creek, Texas
Jeff & Greta Frusha
Cedar Creek, TX
'84 Euro Special
Sounds like we have a new club within our club! As a fellow back sufferer, all the best to your wife Ed. I think everyone is echoing similar messages of following doctor's instruction for full recovery. Surgery is always a last resort and I hope your wife's pain is removed completely.
I have a couple of herniated discs and have not done an MRI yet to get more information, but I have begun physical therapy to learn how to control the pain better. I still sometimes use either ibuprofen or Aleve to get me from morning into the afternoon. In addition to the stretching/exercise regimen recommended by my PT's, I have found that an inversion table provides relief on nearly an instant level. If you don't suffer from high blood pressure and your weight does not prohibit it, I would encourage anyone suffering from spinal compression issues (not bone spurs/degeneration) to try an inversion table. Bill, you might benefit the most, as we are somewhat closer in age and still working daily. I do all I can to remain comfortable while working, but you are really in a tough spot with likely lifting and crawling under trucks.
1989 22' Regal
Formally known as "Humbojb"
Ed, send my best wishes for a speedy recovery to your wife. As I recall, Jane is a fantastic cook. Wish I could remember those delicious morsels she made for Tere and I at one of the GTG's.
Like so many others, I have deteriorating disc disease. So far, it manifests itself with numbness down my right leg. But no pain, so I'm really fortunate. Eventually, there will be something where you can just replace parts like they do for knees and hips, but that will probably be in another decade or two.
Bill, so sorry to hear of your problems. You're right, you're too young to be in such a pickle. OTOH, with your talent in computers, websites and IT, perhaps this is the opportunity to go into a business that is not so demanding physically. Just sayin'--
So sorry to hear about Jane. Am praying for quick and complete healing.
Don't mess with us old folks, we don't get old by being stupid!
1968 Barth trailer, 1975 Barth Motorhome and 1985 Barth Motorhome
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When needed, my doctor says to take 4 Advil each time instead of two. I also went the route of PT with little success. I just turned 50 in June. An inversion table... Maybe. Wonder if I should start a topic in swap meet central for one?
Good luck to Jane, hope it works out for her Ed. Prayers sent.
Anything that will gently unload the discs will help.
Years ago, the neighbors had a "bucking bronco" made out of a 55 gallon drum suspended about a foot off the ground horizontally on 4 ropes, two on each end, attached to the ends at the sides. The idea was to have somebody try to ride it while others yanked on the ropes.
Any way, when my back was sore I would lay over the barrel on my belly. It was just high enough to keep hands and feet off the ground. If I let my back relax, the weight of the arms and legs would stretch my back nicely. Relief was almost instant. A few minutes draped over the bronco did a really good job of relieving the pain. Strange concept but it did work well.
86 Regal SE 33 Tag axle--"98" Monarch 37
Chev P3(7) 454TBI--------Cummins 8.3 300 hp
400 hp fuel injected-------6 spd Allison, Spartan MM
I used to hang from the cross-bar of the swing-set, or monkey-bars.
Jeff & Greta Frusha
Cedar Creek, TX
'84 Euro Special
We wish Jane a speedy recovery and no more pain (and good luck on the next TSA check point)
Former owner 1989 Barth Regal 25'
Home of a 1976 "Swedish Brick" (Doris' childhood campmobile!)
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