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Back Surgery UPDATE!!

tobefitt

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Mar 2, 2007
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Well, first and foremost I hope everyone here at PM had a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving Holiday!!

I underwent my back fusion L-4 thru S-1 on Novemebr 23rd, and according to the four doctors they are especially pleased with the outcome thus far. They were able to go in and repair the first fusion, by removing all the rods and screws previously placed in during the surgery in 2007. Once inside they were astonished as how I actually made it the past three years the way I have. The first fusion never took and I had bone spurs that were crushing my nerves and I had tendons that were just a total mess. Although the rods and screws were in place I had movement in the disc itself which would have caused a ton of pain over time. They went in and cleaned everything out, did a ton of scraping down to new fresh bone and refused that section. Then they went down to L-5/S-1 and removed what was left of that disc which was minimal. They placed a spacer in and then fused that one up as well. I now have 2 new rods and 6 screws. They said my nerve roots and tendons were absolutely some of the worst they had ever seen. They removed "Lamina of the vertebral" which is the bone section directly at the back of ones spine. This was to open up a canal for any future scar tissue and or swelling that may occur. They said by doing this that the nerve roots themselves will have more space and I shouldn't get that serious leg pain I had previously. They did say I had a lot of scar tissue damage from the first surgery and based on that they could see why I was in so much pain.
The doctors said that my tendons and nerve roots were double in thickness compared to the average size due to my history of lifting and the amount of pressure they have endured through time.
Well, needless to say I was in and out of surgery within 5 hours and I was placed in my room fairly quickly. I woke in extreme pain, which was expected and I remained there overnight. I wasn't able to eat anything except a couple spoons full of soup. I do not do well with pain medicine and I was getting a lot at this point. The following morning, Physical Therapy came in and they had me up and walking by 8:30 AM. They were impressed, as I got right up, walked with a walker of course and walked the entire floor. I even did a set of stairs up as far as my IV would allow me to go. I then went back into my room and sat up in a chair for the next 5 hours. After dinner I was exhausted and requested to go back to the bed, and oh that hurt really bad. I then had occupational therapy come in and they made me show them I was able to use the toilet on own and get dressed without assistance. All of this was a joke as I really new that they were just not trying to come in on Thursday the holiday to have me do this stuff. I did it, as trivial as it seemed.
Thursday came and I was released to go home, I was happy! Although I still had another new set of challeges to meet. The dog wanting to jump on me and me wanting to all the things that I can't do!! I am in a pretty restrictive back brace which is to remind me that I am to do NO Bending, Lifting and Twisting! Easier to say then to do when in the house.
All in all, I am weening myself from the pain meds to the bare minumum, just because I don't care for the way it makes me feel. I like to know what is going on around me and for a while I don't remember much at all.
I will go back to the surgeons in 2 weeks to have the drain removed, yes rather a hardship but they claim that it really helps in the healing process. I will also need to have the staples removed. This time I have a 10 inch incisision right up the center of my back where last time they did it minimumly invasive and I had two 3 inch incisions. So by them being able to get me opened up they claim it was a much better outcome compared to the last time.
God willing, I will continue to recover and have positive feedback over this long recovery process.
I hope to enjoy some turkey today, better late then never!!
Take care and everyone be safe out there!
"Semper Fi"
Michael
 

maldorf

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I hope the surgery is a success and that you can lead as normal of a life as possible. Do you know what caused all of this damage? Did you have some kind of accident or do they contribute it to many years of heavy lifting or just bad genes? Im curious to know what they think caused it.

The lamina is a thin bridge of bone that connects the transverse process to the spinous process of the vertebrae. It does lie toward the back of the verteba, and the spinous process is the part right in the middle of the back that you can feel as you run your fingers down your "backbone". Im wondering if they put any kind of protection over the gap left over where the lamina used to be. They must have only removed one lamina because each vertebra has 2 of them, one on each side and the spinous process is in the middle.
 

massmonster32

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Wow thats alot of stuff can only imagine the pain you must have been in before the surgery. Not to mention right after. Guess I better slow down on trying to squat a elephant all the time and be thankful for my health. Im glad that you are on your way back to a healthier you. Wish you luck and a speedy recover. Thanks for sharing makes you think sometimes. Take care MM
 

tobefitt

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Mar 2, 2007
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46
I hope the surgery is a success and that you can lead as normal of a life as possible. Do you know what caused all of this damage? Did you have some kind of accident or do they contribute it to many years of heavy lifting or just bad genes? Im curious to know what they think caused it.

The lamina is a thin bridge of bone that connects the transverse process to the spinous process of the vertebrae. It does lie toward the back of the verteba, and the spinous process is the part right in the middle of the back that you can feel as you run your fingers down your "backbone". Im wondering if they put any kind of protection over the gap left over where the lamina used to be. They must have only removed one lamina because each vertebra has 2 of them, one on each side and the spinous process is in the middle.
I have to go back and get a CT and Xray to make sure the hardware looks good but they will not do that until about 4 weeks post surgery. According to the pre surgical evaluations and pictures they showed me they talked about removing both lamina because it would open up so much more space. When I go back to the surgeon on the 6th of Dec. I will confirm this and hopefully have some sort of picture to post as to what it now looks like compared to what it looked like before. I have the pre surgery X rays, disco gram and MRI's that show the issues I had.
My initial injury was caused by squatting, bad form and too much weight after a domestic. In house gym and after that injury I never ever kept a gym in the house. I may have a few pieces here and there with some cardio equipment, but I learned to seperate that lifestyle from my home lifestyle a long time ago. It may work for some but it wasn't for me. I also have degenerative disc desease where I worked in K-9 for many years which caused a lot of back and shoulder issues while working with the dogs. All in all, just years of abuse has just caught up to me. Only one week post surgery and am in a ton of pain, and I have a very long road a head of me. I am up for the challege, I just want to really follow the doctors orders this time and heal correctly. This surgery is not a walk in the park and with a one year recovery time, it is a huge set back in ones life. I am looking forward to just being able to do things that I really coudn't do before without such pain. Now I am focussed on getting off the pain meds and just trying to get the proper rest. It is hard to sleep right now more then a couple hours at a time, just because the pain and discomfort from laying on my back. Time will tell. I will find out about the lamina and get back to you. Take care, off to see if I can sleep a bit. Everyone at PM have a great day!!
 

tobefitt

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Mar 2, 2007
Messages
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Wow thats alot of stuff can only imagine the pain you must have been in before the surgery. Not to mention right after. Guess I better slow down on trying to squat a elephant all the time and be thankful for my health. Im glad that you are on your way back to a healthier you. Wish you luck and a speedy recover. Thanks for sharing makes you think sometimes. Take care MM
Thanks MM, I just hope it all is worth it. Trust me, I am not a huge guy, I used to hold my own but nothing compared to the "Big Guys" here on PM. Lifting is a great sport and a great lifestyle, unfortunately like anything else it has its side effects. A healthy back would be one that I wish I would have thought about 15 years ago, when I did things that were a bit crazy, but I was looking at the immediate effects and not the long term ones that I now have to deal with. Lift strong and smart!! Thanks for the words of a speedy recovery, but speedy will not fall into my recovery! It is a slow process that will take at least a year! Thanks, take care bro!!
 

massmonster32

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Jun 5, 2002
Messages
1,568
Well hopefully during this time you can find a hobby or something that might not require alot of physical lifting and bending and stuff. I dont have the injury but often times I find myself unable to train due to the army and missions.

Just keep the flame and goals burning and desire to come back once you get healthy and it will in time and without all the pain. Maybe some spending more quality time with loved ones etc.

Hey and of course joining us here whenever you can. Take care and I do wish the best in your recovery maybe some GH, and deca to aid in recovery. TTYL MM
 

maldorf

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Mar 16, 2007
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I have to go back and get a CT and Xray to make sure the hardware looks good but they will not do that until about 4 weeks post surgery. According to the pre surgical evaluations and pictures they showed me they talked about removing both lamina because it would open up so much more space. When I go back to the surgeon on the 6th of Dec. I will confirm this and hopefully have some sort of picture to post as to what it now looks like compared to what it looked like before. I have the pre surgery X rays, disco gram and MRI's that show the issues I had.
My initial injury was caused by squatting, bad form and too much weight after a domestic. In house gym and after that injury I never ever kept a gym in the house. I may have a few pieces here and there with some cardio equipment, but I learned to seperate that lifestyle from my home lifestyle a long time ago. It may work for some but it wasn't for me. I also have degenerative disc desease where I worked in K-9 for many years which caused a lot of back and shoulder issues while working with the dogs. All in all, just years of abuse has just caught up to me. Only one week post surgery and am in a ton of pain, and I have a very long road a head of me. I am up for the challege, I just want to really follow the doctors orders this time and heal correctly. This surgery is not a walk in the park and with a one year recovery time, it is a huge set back in ones life. I am looking forward to just being able to do things that I really coudn't do before without such pain. Now I am focussed on getting off the pain meds and just trying to get the proper rest. It is hard to sleep right now more then a couple hours at a time, just because the pain and discomfort from laying on my back. Time will tell. I will find out about the lamina and get back to you. Take care, off to see if I can sleep a bit. Everyone at PM have a great day!!
Wow, both lamina. I'm wondering then what holds the spinous process in place and keeps it from coming down on your spinal cord. I suppose all the muscle and ligaments/fascia around there will hold it? Sounds scary to me because then your spinal cord would be exposed since the lamina isnt there anymore to guard it.
I'm wishing you a good recovery and hope that this surgery you had will be the last. I had hernia surgery once and thought that was painful and also had a defibrillator implanted in my chest after my heart attack, but im wiling to bet that the pain youre having now trumps what I went through.
 

tobefitt

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Mar 2, 2007
Messages
46
Well hopefully during this time you can find a hobby or something that might not require alot of physical lifting and bending and stuff. I dont have the injury but often times I find myself unable to train due to the army and missions.

Just keep the flame and goals burning and desire to come back once you get healthy and it will in time and without all the pain. Maybe some spending more quality time with loved ones etc.

Hey and of course joining us here whenever you can. Take care and I do wish the best in your recovery maybe some GH, and deca to aid in recovery. TTYL MM
Thanks MM, I have been looking into the GH, at least for the next 6 months or so. I think I woulkd benifit from it. The hard part is trying to eat clean when I have little to no appatite due to the pain meds. Girlfriend is a fitness buff to so she is helping, but sometimes frustration sets in!!

Plenty of time to read up on articles and fill the brain with info, so will be here often.

Yesterday was a rough day, I hope for a better one today. The docs say that the first 6 weeks will be the toughest, many mor bad days to good. Trying to stay positive but it is frustrating when one can't do the simpliest task like get dressed without assistance. But it could be worse!!

Not sure what your missions are but you be safe where ever and whatever your doing!! Godspeed!!
Thanks
 

tobefitt

New member
Newbies
Joined
Mar 2, 2007
Messages
46
Wow, both lamina. I'm wondering then what holds the spinous process in place and keeps it from coming down on your spinal cord. I suppose all the muscle and ligaments/fascia around there will hold it? Sounds scary to me because then your spinal cord would be exposed since the lamina isnt there anymore to guard it.
I'm wishing you a good recovery and hope that this surgery you had will be the last. I had hernia surgery once and thought that was painful and also had a defibrillator implanted in my chest after my heart attack, but im wiling to bet that the pain youre having now trumps what I went through.
Maldorf, I guess I wasn't totally clear on one thing. along with my hardware, I have a cage that is keeping the nerve roots and spinal cord safe. The doctors said this is the best way to prevent me from having issues in the future. They removed a ton of scar tissue and obviously with any injury there will be more eventually. I think I have a very high pain tolerence and the doctors agree, but I wouldn't wish this pain on anyone. I am sure your pain was bad in its own way and lets hope my next 5 weeks go by quickly. The doctors state that is the most painful part of the recovery. They said not many good days within the first 6 weeks, then between 6-12 weeks I will start to see some positive changes. I keep on hoping for the best and looking forward to the next part of the recovery process. I am very restricted on allowed movement right now, as little as poosible when it comes to bending, liftng and twisting. So it make daily task very difficult. Well, once again I am encouraged from your kind words and I hope all your health issues are on the mend and you are doing much better now! Saty safe!
 

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