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Who's had back surgery?

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by Pugsly, Dec 5, 2013.

  1. I find myself in the unfortunate predicament of a buggered back.

    I've no idea how I did it, but the CT scans show problems with the lower discs/vertabrae which is putting pressure on the sciatic nerve. It's been getting progressively worse to the point where I'm now more or less incapacitated and an intense pain if I'm standing or sitting or doing anything but lying on my front, and even that's not a sure thing.

    The GP is pumping me full of painkillers and anti inflams with the hope it will go away of its own accord, and I've started seeing a physio who doesn't seem to be making much difference. He's done the deep tissue stuff, dry needle, tens...

    There's talk of getting a cortisone injection in/near the spine and potentially surgery if that doesn't work.

    Has anyone else been through this? Is there light at the end of the tunnel? Because I'm feeling like a miserable useless prick right now. I can't work, I can't even sit down for a meal with my family, I can't ride and the drugs make me drowsy.

    • Like Like x 1
  2. Yup, done all that, what would you like to know.
    Have you had xrays and or scans done?
  3. CT scans / xrays done. Shows sciatic nerve is coping it. what are the side effects or injections/surgery? I don't want to leap at it, but the way things are hurting right now I'm not sure it matters.

    And did it help?
  4. Yup, like Mcsenna, be there, done that, got the T-shirt, and it ain't a borrow load of laughs.

    Dunno how it shows on you, but for me, it was pain in the leg, even tho the leg was fine. When I say pain, I really mean PAIN!

    Your GP is also likely adding in some anti-depressants, I know mine did, and I know fine why he did it. :(

    Couldn't comment on the cortisone business, it was never offered to me as an option, but then again, there have been many advances in medicine since I had my back "cut and shut".

    OK, I had my back chopped and channeled some 45 years ago.

    AFAIK, the surgeon basically removed three discs which were buggered, and fused the vertebra together.

    The immediate result, for me, was that the pain stopped and, after about a week of stuffing about with physio, I could walk, sit, stand and all sorts of luxuries that had been out of the question before the operation. :)

    So, 45 years later, would I demand my money back on the operation.... Not a chance! :)

    Were there any long term negative effects... yup!

    Riding any of the sports bikes with "nose down, bum up" attitude, I just can't do.

    If you imagine the spine like a piece of engineering, if you remove the flexibility from one bit of it, it can throw more strain onto the remaining flexy bits, and I have had to be a wee bit canny about what I try to do.

    Over the years, three of four times, I did something silly and ended up in bed for a few days. The worst occasion, I ended up laying in a hospital bed for two weeks until my back calmed down.

    Just lately, I have been having a bit of difficulty walking, but, TBH, I was never that keen on walking anyway, and I have no idea if this current difficulty is related to my back or not. I'm not game enough to ask a doctor.

    So, basically, I'm pretty positive about the operation I had, and have no long term complaints about it.

    Hope this helps.
  5. My situation was a little different to Cam's in that I had no fusion of discs done so theoretically I didn't lose any mobility.
    The thing is it depends what is causing the sciatic pain, is it a bulging disc or, as in my case 16 years ago, a piece of vertebrae sticking into the nerve or degradation to a point where fusion is the only real option.
    A bulging disc is often treated firstly with a n injection which shrinks it back into place, in fact in many cases it will fix itself in time if you are lucky and young. This is why doctors generally will recommend it as a first course of action. The injections are painful but not unbearable and work well for a lot of people.
    The spur or damaged bone is a very different matter and will usually require surgery as was the case with my back once 16 years ago and again in a different area some months ago.
    This problem is also sometimes missed with xrays and scans and often only shows up with an MRI, any amount of injections and physio will do bugger all good and physio can make it seem worse.
    So step one identify the cause and a referral to a good neurosurgeon is the best step in my view. Your GP should arrange the appointment for you.
    If you can be bothered read my recent blog it will give you a run down of how mine went.
    Short term anti inflamatory drugs may help, and some people suggest relaxants like valium but I don't like that sort of stuff it can be habit forming and can also have a negative effect on your gut not to mention your state of mind.
    Is it worth it ? Absolutely, living in constant pain is the pits and backs have a habit of getting worse not better. There are risks of course with any surgery and the specialist will point these out to you and you can make a decision based on medical fact not what you read on a motorcycle forum.
    Having said that I hope this has been of some help to you.
    PM me if you want any more info or I can help in any way.
  6. My pain presents like Cam's. Intense pain in the glute, hammy, calf and ankle down the left side. Feels like a cramp but worse.

    No anti-depressants in there Cam, unless you count diazepam. I'm also on Targin (oxycodone) and Celebrex for anti inflam. I know some of these are addictive. I want off ASAP.

    According to the CT scan, I've a bulging disc. My GP has gone with the "fix itself in time" idea, but it's getting worse, not better.

    I checked in with my GP today. She's referring me to a neurosurgeon. MRI will be next cab off the rank, and I'm fully expecting an injection in my immediate future.

    Mcsenna, I won't be making decisions purely based on any forum. :) I do want to understand what it's been like for people that have been through it. @crazycam and @mcsenna, thanks for sharing your experiences.
  7. Sounds like you are on track, the injections work really well for some people let's hope that's the case for you, good luck with it. They inject a local anaesthetic in first usually so it's not too bad, the thought is worse than the actual treatment I found. I had it done twice before a decision was made to operate.
  8. I had a similar experience, but my bulging disc was between C5/6
    Had unbearable pain (couldn't put a coherent sentence together), started getting "altered sensation" in my left arm, which ended in loosing all feeling in the fingers in my left hand.
    Didn't go for the injections, was straight to surgery for me with a 2 day wait with pain relief managed with OxyContin and Endone tablets.
    Woke up after the operation to fuse C5/6 with no pain (apart from the sliced open throat complete with staples and a drain)
    Took 6 months to get the feeling back into my fingers.

    Had no problems since the surgery, but the slightest neck or shoulder pain makes me quite nervous

    Hope it works out for you mate
  9. reach arounds ?
  10. How kind of you to offer. I really thought you were a don't give anything back kind of guy.
  11. They seek him here, they seek him there, that elusive pimpernel.
  12. T1 thru T12 fused. 10 years (or there about) no dramas, but I am still young so who knows what joys await me in the next 20/30 years.
    Still sorry to hear about your bad luck, some of the treatments seem a bit barbaric but for the most part they work. Best of luck.
  13. Thanks guys. This give me hope that this will be sorted soon.
    Seeing the neurosurgeon on Tuesday, and MRI sometime before that.

    I'll pass on the reach around for now @Blabbs, maybe next time I'm in SA. :p
  14. I know three people that have had back surgery (spinal fusion in two cases, I'm not sure about the third). All said it was great and gave them great relief.
  15. Saw the neuro today. Going under the knife Thursday. Having a Microdiscectomy.
  16. Ok, I had that as well as a laminectomy at the same time and I'm still alive. Good luck and do what you a re told, physio in the hydrotherapy pool if they have one is great, don't be fooled by the first day or two, day three is a biatch.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  17. About 10 years ago I had a microdiscectomy on L5/S1. L4/5 was bulged too, but, not as bad, and they didn't want to destablise 2 discs at once. At the time, I had similar issues to you. Down my left leg mainly, but, also my right thigh. Every time my pulse went, I had a shock down my left leg. I couldn't sleep for more than 20 minutes at a time. I could manage an hour occasionally if I slept face down over a foot stool. Basically, it was hell. The night before the surgery, I walked around the hospital all night, because while walking didn't really "help", at least I was moving... doing.... SOMETHING.... I remember waking up from the surgery and the first thought I had was that I was laying down, and there was NO pain shooting down my legs. I was up on my feet later that same day and did a small amount of walking (a few steps... felt like throwing up). I still have to manage my back, but, it was certainly worth it!

    I've also had similar issues with my neck about 1 year or 2 ago. Once again they suggested surgery, but, this time, I was able to work with an osteo and get it under control. I still have some small issues with it, but, when it first presented, my left thumb was completely numb and things were not great at all. Treatment seems to have worked great in this case.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  18. Good luck with the op today, break a leg as they say.
    • Like Like x 1
  19. Thanks. Still waiting for my turn.

    Will report back in when I'm in a fit state to type.
  20. well, I just slept on my back for the first time in months and despite the inflateable socks pumping up every few seconds and hourly obs I reckon it was my best nights sleep in weeks.

    Op site is vaguely tender, but otherwise all good.

    So far, so good.
    • Like Like x 1