Question for those who have had back surgeries or know someone who has

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Tiapet, Jul 14, 2012.

  1. Tiapet

    Tiapet Old Hand

    My mother had to go to hospital last evening as she could not use her left leg at all. She had been having problems with her sciatica. Turns out at some point she fractured her back at L3/4. She does have osteoporosis. She has compression on a nerve that is causing this not being able to use her leg. They are talking wanting to do surgery and she is very Leary of undergoing it.

    Since she has 3 knee replacements (yes I said 3). One was a a failed attempt in the left side but also a day after they did it when transferring her to the bed the nurse dropped her in trying to get her into bed (long story). The second one had to be done because she had one of the faulty recalled knee parts. Then she had her right knee done. She never liked doctors/hospitals, etc. to begin with and that whole experience left lasting bad terror in her, not to mention the ongoing battles she has had with her old regular doctor and psychiatrists (dropping her off pain medications cold turkey and psychiatric medications the same). I can't tell you how bad it's been really, just what I have. I've had to intervene states away to help her it's been so bad with NAMI's help for the psychiatric end.

    So you can see why she would be so hesitant even more so then ever and especially with the back knowing that it's just a dangerous place to go messing around with.

    My question to any of you is what is any of your experiences with this? Is this something anyone has had done or know someone who has had done (releasing pressure of nerve in spine)? What was the procedure like, the recovery like, etc? Anything she should know (heads up) going into this if she does it? If she doesn't do it what are the reprecussions?

    She is VERY stubborn and at this point unless someone gives her very compelling evidence towards getting it done, she may very well NOT get it done and just deal with her leg the way it is which is not a good thing.

    Thanks for any thoughts, advise, etc.
  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Tia, my dad had back surgery for what sounds like something similar. He had disc's that actually fractured or turned into little pieces in his back about the same area and he was in real pain. They went in and cleaned it out and put some kind of gel and I believe maybe an artificial disc in. He did well but my dad always did well and never complained about anything. He had excellent doctors in Richmond VA and my step-sister made darned sure of it. That was one plus to her being in the picture. She is a supervisor at Children's in VA but she has pull at VCU/MCV.
  3. lmf64

    lmf64 New Member

    Yes. I ruptured L3 L4 and L5. I dealt with the pain and near crippling fear of the surgery by living on vicodin and darvocet. We got the swelling out by using corticosteroids and once the swelling was gone I was fine. It flaired 3 times in 10 years and the first two times the steroids did the trick, the third time no such luck. For the next 9 months I took either a vicodin or darvocet every four hours just to be able to live. It took 9 months of fighting with the insurance company to get them to agree to pay for the surgery or I wouldn't have gone so long. The day after surgery I was walking the halls of the hospital and within a week I was walking 2 miles pain free. I was told right after coming out of the anethesia that I would have to have the surgery again, as doctor said might be one year might be 20 years, and I told them hell no I'll live with the drugs. When I went in for my recheck 2 weeks later I told him I would do it again in a heartbeat and I will. If I begin to have radiating pain again I will call to schedule the surgery again.
  4. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    My sister is currently undergoing several back surgeries. She's had one on her cervical part of the spine, this coming week she's having one on the lumbar part of her spine. Once she recovers she will need one more on her cervical and another on the lumbar. She had surgery on the lumbar, I want to say L3-L5, and the dr was old school and did a very outdated procedure...he cleaned out the shattered disc but also removed the bone, yes, bone as in spine. She has a gap there that eventually caused the cervical part of her spine to shift, which subsequently caused her to need the surgery in that area or risk permanent paralysis from the neck down.

    That said, her advice is to be certain that the dr performing the surgery is using the latest technique and surgical certain that whatever the surgery, they are not causing another problem.

    My sister is flying from CT to CA to have her surgery done by one of the top spinal surgeons in the country...her H can afford that. Most of us cannot. Prayers to your mom!
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    That is my get what you can pay for. My dad was older but he had good insurance even though he had medicare...he had a great medicare co insurance that came from his former employer. They were extremely loyal to my dad. He also had VA benefits. He also had access to some amazing hospitals.

    If I was doing this type of thing, I could also get it done and covered well in NC at some darned fine hospitals but that is because we have some pretty good medical facilities here. I dont think my NC Medicaid would cover me leaving the state though for surgery. would for 35 miles outside the state...but not more I dont think unless it was an emergency.
  6. Tiapet

    Tiapet Old Hand

    Thanks everyone. Seems for some reason she was in ER room for 24 hours and told dr she wanted to go home to discuss with family to make decision about surgery, which she did. But this morning the pain was just too much and after doing quick discussions she called dr back as he said she could and they are doing a direct admit to the hospital and will schedule surgery and take care of it. The oral pain medication isn't cutting it, which probably ya'll knew it wouldn't. She has a high threshold for medications too which I knew was going to complicate it as well.

    As I type this she is probably being admitted to her room. Not sure when the actual surgery will be but the dr said it will be a quick procedure and he can fit it in pretty quickly to his schedule.

    Thanks for the info. ;)
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Good luck to her. I will keep her in my prayers.
  8. Tiapet

    Tiapet Old Hand

    Thank you Janet. She did go in and yesterday she had her surgery. It was slated for 230p and was suppose to be rather short but she didn't end up out until 730p but she did overall well. I haven't received an update today but I don't expect any bad news. I only got a quick call to say she was fine that it took longer then expected and they removed a disc.