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HelicopterOff Topics › Back Surgery - Non Heli Related
06-06-2004 04:43 PM  13 years agoPost 1
PAHelipilot

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North Western Pennsylvania

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Anyone here had back surgery? I'm going in for partial removal of lower disk. I am not going for the full fusion just yet, trying to find out if this will provide the relief I need.

Let me know how things turned out for you, successful or not? What type of procedure did you have? Thanks.

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06-06-2004 10:34 PM  13 years agoPost 2
Fullagas

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Michigan

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.
Good Luck ! !

My sister-in-law had back and neck surgery without getting other surgical opinions. She still has pain, and wished she had at least gotten 3-4 other opinions.

Constant pain is hell, but do your best in the pre-op research. Best of luck, and I hope it goes well.



.

Flying helis since gyros had springs.

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06-07-2004 03:15 AM  13 years agoPost 3
Andrew_S

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Gaston, South Carolina

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My inlaws had some kind of spine surgery where they went thru the neck, Now my father n law only can walk with a cane and has the voice of a 12 year old girl and my mom n law kinda hobbles....Get about 30 opinions.....

Drewskie

www.congareeflyersinc.com

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06-07-2004 03:20 AM  13 years agoPost 4
Jared J

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Harrisonburg, VA

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A friend of mine had the whole disk removed. They had to go in the front to remove half and through the back to remove the other half. Now he has a titanium cage around those vertebrae. He only has discomfort when he is on his feet all day without resting.

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06-07-2004 03:21 AM  13 years agoPost 5
11290

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Evansville, IN and Orlando, FL

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Wife had two herniated disks worked on 7 weeks ago. Going back to work tomorrow but still has some pain and can't sit very long at a time. Hoping that some additional time will help. Currently can't ride in car more than about 1 1/2 hours. Hope yours is better.

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06-07-2004 03:30 AM  13 years agoPost 6
Wally

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San Diego, CA

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Unfortunately you'll probably be fighting this the rest of your life.

My first disk herniation/removal was from an accident, it blew out one disk and bulged the two above it out in 1991.

I didn't get fused, but over time it fuses on its own (mine fused around 1996), then two years ago the disk above it blew while I was working on one of my motorcycles.

I had that one removed, it'll probably fuse on its own in 5-6 years and the next level will probably blow...

The good news is that we are probably only a few years aways from a synthetic disk replacement (they have them in Europe now), so that will help many.

Don't let them fuse it, it will likely accelerate future issues above the fusion.

I have chronic back pain, and have since the first surgery, but it is amazing what you get used too... Now I rejoice when it occassionally doesn't hurt!

The Big Wally

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06-07-2004 08:31 AM  13 years agoPost 7
nheather

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Horsham, West Sussex, UK

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Back in the 80's I long suffered with back pain. It started with sciatic pain in the lower back and down my left leg and would last a couple of days once or twice a year. As time progressed, the duration and frequency increased though generally it would be over in a week.

Then in Jan 91, it reached the stage where it didn't go away. At this point in my life I was entitled to private medical care and saw a specialist. He did a CT scan and told me I had a prolapsed disk and that he wanted to 'remove' it. He described the operation and it scared me so I took physio instead. This eventually eased the pain but it was a sad existence. The feeling of immenent pain was always there, I couldn't run, any prolonged walking would bring on a bad ache, and when I stepped down from something I had to do it very very carefully - more often than not when my left foot hit the ground I would get terrible pain and collapse onto the floor. I learnt to 'live' with this but it was not a nice life.

In Oct 91, my company sent me to work in Armenia for 6 months. I lasted for 4 weeks - my back locked up completely and all I could do was lie on my right side. I was taken to an Amenian hospital - not at all nice. The hospital was dirty, and although the staff were very attentive spoke no English. The real low light was when they gave me what I now know to be an epidural. I'd never heard of them at the time, nothing was explained to me (except in incomprehensible Armenian) I was taken to an operating theatre, had this thing stuck in my spinal area and then brought back to my bed and left alone. My whole body when numb, no one could explain what was happening - man was I scared. I was eventually seen by doctor who speak a bit of English and he told me that he wanted to operate - I rejected his offer - and after 2 weeks in the hospital I was taken by Air Ambulance back to the UK.

The happy ending ...

I was taken to a UK hospital and seen by the same specialist I had seen earlier in the year. He had an MRI scan done, showed me that my disk had actually burst and that he was going to have to go in, and remove the jelly from around and inside the disk. As I was immobile this time I consented. The operation was performed the next day. Within a few days I was walking about. I ordered to take 3 months off work to recover but after 6 weeks I felt fine (still had the time off though - made a great christmas vacation). I have no ill effects from the operation. I can run, jump, play sports without giving my back a second thought.

I would recoimmend the operation to anyone in a similar situation. Coping and managing with the pain results in a miserable life. I can understand being nervous - I was too - and for me, I glad that my back did go fully making the choice for me - if it hadn't who knows I could hobbling around coping with the pain to this day.

Cheers,

Nigel

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06-07-2004 09:57 AM  13 years agoPost 8
Stet

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Key Largo FL

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My buddy had a lower back lambodectomy 10 years ago and he is doing very well, no problems. They removed his disk and etched the bone in its place to create scar tissue on the bone that is now the bearing surface. I am under the impression that fusion is being used less and less these days.

I had 2 disks bulge in my neck 2 years ago, a vicious experience that kept me flat on the floor for about 4 months (could get around 30 minutes at a time), and cost me my career. I refused to get epidurals, hearing that surgery would not be far behind. I worked with physical therapists, and through patience, excercise and lifestyle changes (sold the motorcycle, lifting limited, ergonomic chair and posture) I was fortunate enough to recover to the point that my pain can be managed with a couple ibuprofens once a week to once a day at worst.

It never ceases to amaze me how good the doctors are when the serious stuff happens, despite the bemoaning of the HMO system.

Make sure you follow up with lifestyle issues, the most important being your weight, and excercise. With my neck muscles properly excercised, I have no pain. When I slack off, it comes back. If you modify your lifestyle to avoid stressing the area, and stay strong, there is no saying that you cannot recover and hopefully live without pain.

These are viscous injuries that no one really understands until it happens to them. Good luck, take good care of yourself.

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06-08-2004 04:37 AM  13 years agoPost 9
crash1953

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Washington State

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I have been disabled by severe back pain now for almost 4 yrs and have off work now for almost 2 yrs.. I have tried it all and surgery is all that is left .. I dont want that to happen, because a friend of mine that got hurt at the same time had surgery on his back and the doctor doing the surgery accidentally winged his spinal cord .. Now he is worse off than he was before .At least I am still walking .. On the plus side ,my wife had surgery on her back on T2 down and she manages pretty good now .. She still has some real pain and has to take hydrcodine all the time ,but she is walking again and working and pretty almost a normal life..Another thing I have done is I went to a pain clinic that is like going to drug rehab,live in and all. It helped me alot in learning how to manage my pain .I credit that for still being able to walk and go flying ..That may be something you might try even if you do have the surery and still have pain..

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06-08-2004 08:08 AM  13 years agoPost 10
nickt919

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New Orleans, Louisiana

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In Feb. 1996 I had a Lamonectomy & Disectomy and 2 weeks later they had to go back in to repair a leak in my spinal cord. In the process of removing an exploded disc the dura got torn open. Gross stuff, I know, but never the less it happened. I learned a lot about the spine real fast back then.

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06-08-2004 04:44 PM  13 years agoPost 11
PAHelipilot

rrApprentice

North Western Pennsylvania

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Thanks

Thanks for everyone's input. Some of the stories raised the hairs on the back of my neck but that is the reality of it all. Living with pain every day is a real drag. The pain killers only work sometimes and leave you in a haze for most of the day. I'm hoping to at least get an 80% improvement from my current condition, and of course get it all accomplished in a time frame that I can maintain my employment, that has me worried too. I have got back into RC due to this condition, I can no longer ride my motorcycle or do track days on the bike I built from the frame up on my own, motorcycles are my true passion. They sit in the garage and everytime I look at them it is another reminder of this whole problem.

Thanks again, at least I know now that I am not alone.

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06-09-2004 07:35 AM  13 years agoPost 12
crash1953

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Washington State

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Dont feel that you are the only one that has had to almost or totally give up his motorcycle.. Mine has sit in the garage and pulled out to wax and charge the battery now for the last 2 yrs .. I sure miss riding alot ..If it wasnt for R/C I think I would be in the rubber room....Good luck if you have the operation

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06-09-2004 08:25 PM  13 years agoPost 13
wolfdad

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Southern Maryland

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PAHelipilot,
I had a laminectomy approximately a year and a half ago and my one piece of advice is don't do it until you can't stand it any longer and be sure YOU make the decision and not somebody else. The guys and gals that have told you that life ain't gonna' be the same and it's still gonna' hurt are telling the truth. Yes, if the surgery is done properly, you will get relief, but it will not be complete and once you start down that road, you can count on more surgery.

By the way, I would get a second and maybe a third opinion before I made the decision.

Good luck!

wolfdad sends....

"There are those who have...and, those who will" IRCHA #2117, AMA #70068, Turbine Waiver #105

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06-10-2004 12:55 AM  13 years agoPost 14
Stet

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Key Largo FL

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I know what you guys mean about giving up your bikes

This '92 VFR 750 was in better than showroom condition when I sold it in 2002 to my buddy who was nice enough to give me $4K for it. He is really enjoying it, but one whack on a bike and it would be all over for me so lifestlyle change required it to be gone. I had a Harley, a Suzuki, but this bike was by far my favorite. I guess I was lucky, in 20 years of street riding I never wrecked.

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