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Old 01-19-2013, 09:27   #1
jdsumner
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Laser Spine Surgery

UPDATE post #17

Had it?
Results?
Opinions?
Pros?
Cons?

gonna need lowback surgery (again), just trying to sort out what path to take.

dan

Last edited by jdsumner; 03-21-2013 at 19:21.. Reason: update
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:40   #2
Kingarthurhk
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Originally Posted by jdsumner View Post
Had it?
Results?
Opinions?
Pros?
Cons?

gonna need lowback surgery (again), just trying to sort out what path to take.

dan
Laser surgery? Are you doing a nerve oblation?
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:44   #3
jdsumner
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King,
MRI results show herniated, extruded disc. Left side, L4/L4. Fluctuates between mindblowing pain down sciatica, and numbness on bottom of left foot and toes.
Did this once already, same disc, resulted in laminectomy/discectomy in Jan of '07. Went w/ traditional open back neuro surgery. Just trying to see if there is a better path.

dan
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:58   #4
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King,
MRI results show herniated, extruded disc. Left side, L4/L4. Fluctuates between mindblowing pain down sciatica, and numbness on bottom of left foot and toes.
Did this once already, same disc, resulted in laminectomy/discectomy in Jan of '07. Went w/ traditional open back neuro surgery. Just trying to see if there is a better path.

dan
My back and neck look like an errector set from the many, many times I have been knocked around on the job. Of course, they find a way to weasle out of it, so I end up on my own dime on my own time. If I was in the military, I would probably be medically retired by now. They are usually cooler about that sort thing on the other side of the house. So, pain and I are constant companions.

I am sorry you went for the the operative route right away, I have been avoiding it at all costs. As has been explained to me before, they can take stuff out, but they can't put it back in.

I would consult, obviously, with your spine doctor/neurologist. It may be something less invasive like injections, or a never oblation where they fry the nerve and it doesn't bother you for a good while until the nerve reroutes/grows back.

My father has had never oblation for his low back due to military injuries. He sems happier with that.

I asked for the possibility of one for my upper/neck area should I need to get injections yet again in 6 months. I was told on that area of the body that only fusing the neck bones together was a permanent solution. But, that would be a career ender. I am not sure this far into my career I want to try to figure out what to do this far along to switch horses, or be the "house husband". That would be a tough pill to swallow, after 10 plus years of being the sole bread winner.

Lower back, from what I have lived vicariously, through my father; however, can usually be done with a never oblation which has provided him with a ton of relief.

Weigh your opitions before leaping in. I know very well, what it is like to have your back hate you and give you nothing but agony as lifetstyle. You want it to end no matter what, but the "no matter what" may not be the best solution.

I know it is hell sleeping, I know it is hell for you sitting and working. I understand. Really I do.

But, I would high recommend you ask for the injection (often temporary) or the never oblation (often more long term), and avoid surgery if you can, because there is no comming back from that one. Once, bone is removed. It is removed.
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:28   #5
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Well , I'm 60 years old , slightly limited , slightly uncomfortable, (If I choose to think about it) yeah it hurts !

I don't think about it ! My "Cervical spine " was so bad , I went coma!1-rst. surgery , 30 days later , staph infection and another surgery.

18 months , I'm the luckiest , happiest man I know !
I have scrap value , 12 Titanium screws , six plates , (vertebra-C-1-2-3-4-5-6- , fused to C-7.

I've been off pain meds. for months , a week ago , I went back woods skiing , today I"m going shooting after I carry in fire wood for three fire places.

Pray if that is your thing but no matter what my friend , you decide how this will affect you and your future! Only you have the power to choose how you will recover and weather it is a good ending or a bad ending , your choice !

Good luck and keep the faith whatever that may be !

PS: Next year , I have upcoming lower lumbar surgery coming.
Same happy ending no doubt.........!

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Old 01-19-2013, 10:33   #6
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King,
it's not the bone, its the disc. The disc has apparently split (again, this time to the left of center, 07 was to the right), and some material has escaped and is in the canal.

I spent almost 2 yrs in pain in 05/06 as the docs would simply tell me I'd strained my back, give me a day or two off, and load me on painkillers, muscle relaxers and anti inflams. Finally my wife took me to her chiro, who, after hearing my story, literally went with me to an MRI facility. It was there the first injury was isolated, and then the surgery was performed as I was at max capacity for vic's, demerol, lortabs etc.
Right now, its same thing, right side. I just pressed the genprac into the MRI, as I knew what this felt like right away.
I'm gonna consult w the neurologist, neurosurgeon, and laser spine doc as well. Hell, if there was a witchdoctor local, I'd see him too.
At the time of the first surgery, I was a copper cable phone repair tech. Hanging from hooks, or ladders, or sitting in a spice pit or manhole. Now, I'm a residential fiber comm installer (voice, video, data). I spend most of my day crawling in attics and under trailers. Right now, I'm out as I can't feel the bottom of my left foot or the four outside toes, and the leg is loosing strength by the day. The docs all want the piece of disc out asap, as it can move, thus causing further damage.

King, I really appreciate the input. I will definitely inquire about the oblation route, but as I understand it, that piece of disc has to come out, or risk further nerve damage. I will keep you posted, and I truly appreciate the info.

dan
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:02   #7
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King,
it's not the bone, its the disc. The disc has apparently split (again, this time to the left of center, 07 was to the right), and some material has escaped and is in the canal.

I spent almost 2 yrs in pain in 05/06 as the docs would simply tell me I'd strained my back, give me a day or two off, and load me on painkillers, muscle relaxers and anti inflams. Finally my wife took me to her chiro, who, after hearing my story, literally went with me to an MRI facility. It was there the first injury was isolated, and then the surgery was performed as I was at max capacity for vic's, demerol, lortabs etc.
Right now, its same thing, right side. I just pressed the genprac into the MRI, as I knew what this felt like right away.
I'm gonna consult w the neurologist, neurosurgeon, and laser spine doc as well. Hell, if there was a witchdoctor local, I'd see him too.
At the time of the first surgery, I was a copper cable phone repair tech. Hanging from hooks, or ladders, or sitting in a spice pit or manhole. Now, I'm a residential fiber comm installer (voice, video, data). I spend most of my day crawling in attics and under trailers. Right now, I'm out as I can't feel the bottom of my left foot or the four outside toes, and the leg is loosing strength by the day. The docs all want the piece of disc out asap, as it can move, thus causing further damage.

King, I really appreciate the input. I will definitely inquire about the oblation route, but as I understand it, that piece of disc has to come out, or risk further nerve damage. I will keep you posted, and I truly appreciate the info.

dan
Yeah, I apparenetly broke one, because when I first got my MRI done, my GP, they are usually not supposed to have shocked looks on their faces-but she did. "What have you done to yourself?" She said, "Did you know you have a remodled disk?" I asked which one, and I remember how that happened.

Let me preface this by saying I am not a sexist person by nature; however, there are a great deal of women who have no place in the LEO world. There are few exceptions that I have been proud to work with. But, by-in-large my experience has been negative.

A group of illegals busted through the brush on one side of a road, (back woods highway, little to no traffick), and I was in hot pursuit on foot.

On the other side of the road were two other female BPAs who were standing around gossiping to one another about something pointless. These three guys ran right past them. They could have stuck out a foot and tripped one, or pushed another to stop their flight. Arms crossed they just looked on disinterestedly as we tore by with me, declaring, "What the F!?" I wa pissed off pretty bad by then, and I had my eye on the prize. The group scambled off intot he brush on the other side. I was in a pretty straighline pissed off mode by then, and kept on trucking. It was then that I realized what Whily Coyote feels all the time.

What goes up, or is up, must go down. A few paces, and I was in air and not by the ground. I feel right beside a rail road trestle, and flet a hellasish pain in my low back. Banged up, radio knocked out of its holster by the impact. I roared in both pain and anger, got up and kept on after them.

I got back, the two girls were still completely uninterested. I had to remind myslef they were still ladies, or some ass kicking might have commenced. As I recalled those two juniors got an ass chewing from me upside and down the other, though.

One of many inuries over the years.

I guess I can say, long story short, the low back hurt for a long time, but at least the bone knitted back together on it's own.

I get the trapped nerve. My latest injury has one trapped fromt he thorasic through the neck. No oblation unless I was to lose the completel use of my left hand. Another career killer.
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:42   #8
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dango, awsome recovery.
After my first discectomy/laminectomy at L4/L5, I went back to work a month ahead of schedule. Hired a friend who does diet and exercise biz (Mr Olympia competitor), and in 12 weeks, went from 248lbs to 196lbs. I'm a telecom installer, so I spend my day crawling thru attics and under trailers for a living. I will recover, I'm just looking to the most advantageous treatment to get back on my feet. The way the nerve is impinged, its killing the signal to me foot, and now my leg. The strength is no there to stand on my left foot by itself. Pain is not usually an issue. I've lived in about 10% pain since the procedure. But, if I can't stand, I can't work. That's the biggest issue, is removing the extruded disc material, to allow the nerve to send signals properly.

oh, and dango, I've read some of your posts whilst you were apparently still under the influence of painkillers. Very entertaining.
Your story is the kind that keeps me looking forward to the recovery stage.

dan
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:08   #9
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Like I said bro, anytime I can help w prayers or other, lemme know.
If you ever end up here in sunny F-L-A, holler at me.

dan
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:18   #10
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Like I said bro, anytime I can help w prayers or other, lemme know.
If you ever end up here in sunny F-L-A, holler at me.

dan
I appreciate it. brother. I like Florida, I used to live in "Lower Alabama" on the Peninsula. Florida also has good gun laws. i answered your PM too.
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:12   #11
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My father had lamenectomy/discetomy done 2x in Tampa for his cervical spine... 2 separate levels. The first time he had severe radiating pain down his right arm prior to surgery with strength loss and muscular atrophy, surgery helped instantly and according to him has continued to be 95% better since, that was 5 years ago.

Second surgery was about a year later, felt the same symptoms going down his left arm but not nearly as bad. Right after surgery when he still had swelling symptoms got a little worse and within a week he felt much better, no residual issues from that surgery.


My stepfather had his cervical spine done in Philly, similar issues and he too was a success. I'm also a psychiatry resident and as a med student I'd seen many people have residual issues from fusions. Based on my first hand experience I'd feel confident having the surgery.
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Old 01-19-2013, 14:45   #12
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Laser spine surgery is a scam
The Laser SPine Centers have been investigated by the Feds..

Don't Do It

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-0...omplaints.html
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Old 01-19-2013, 15:00   #13
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Laser spine surgery is a scam
The Laser SPine Centers have been investigated by the Feds..

Don't Do It

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-0...omplaints.html
Just because the Feds investigate them doesn't mean anything. Under Obama I've learned as a future attending physician I can expect run ins with the DEA, FBI and IRS... If you only knew some of the stories I do, FBI closing Dr.'s offices mid day to investigate when no wrong doing has occurred, DEA kicking doors down in full tac gear pointing rifles at Dr.'s and patients heads... And as a gun owner I've learned probably the ATF as well. I'm feelin pretty gangster right abor now for trying to do all the right things and obey the laws, funny how that works.
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Old 01-19-2013, 19:02   #14
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The laser outfits are tremendously profitable, well marketed and not well respected in the medical field. For a herniated disc in low back, the right ortho is best advice and, state of the art as it is, regular surgery is what seems the recommendation most often.

I just had my low back fused standard style after evaluating laser and all other options. I am a friends with my ortho, have known him for 20 plus years and trust him completely. We, together, looked at films and discussed options. He explained that I had so much crap going on and he would have to dig out other neural foramina along with the herniation, that fusion was the best choice. I agreed. Post surgery, he told me it was a real mess, worse than he thought from the films.

I was stubbing my toe and occasionally falling from the herniation. That stopped day of surgery. My gut and research told me the laser thing was not the answer. It does not sound like you're a candidate for nerve ablation, you just have a bad herniation with an extrusion into the spinal canal which is directly impinging the nerve and the herniation needs to be removed for the radiating pain to stop. The question might be fusion or not because of instability after just removal of the disc.

The right doctor is so important here. Nurses, other doctors, anesthesia folks and hospital risk management people are good sources for discovering who is the preferred "cutter" locally. Find out who your local doctors treat with, not just who they have a referral arrangement with.

I wish you luck and success with the surgery, but laser doesn't seem the answer.
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:03   #15
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MILD is a solution for lumbar stenosis and is very successful for people that have that problem.

http://www.vertosmed.com/
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:45   #16
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Ahhhh.... the back and neck.

I can only say - Get A Sports Medicine Based Back/Spine Doctor!!!

I am a 3 level cervical surgery candidate - C4/5, C5/6, C6/7 - for a "laminectomy". It was *urgent* that I get this done... Got the news on November 27th, and they could have me in and out on Dec 15th! If I don't get it done I would probably never walk again if I was involved in an auto accident... Recovery would be 6 to 8 weeks.

That was 13 years ago.

I got a second opinion from the 2000 Olympic Ski Team Dr - He remarked that the proposed surgery was a very effective and efficient surgery - for the surgeon.

But Mr. Seeber the proposed surgery has nothing to do with what you need.

He proposed discectomy with micro fusion - 2 to 4 days out of work with lifting restrictions (that's a given)

Got lots of PT and a Pain Dr - and got about 10 years in that way...

Moving to Arizona was THE *Silver Bullet*.

No pain. Issues are not resolved, but at least I don't hurt.

The real *proof* for me was my Dental Hygienist got the laminectomy - called me and begged me to get it done! I was almost going to go for it, but the second opinion really got my attention.

Within 3 months I found out that the Dental Hygienist was now permanently disabled - she returned to work early, and it screwed up the work.

THE WHOLE POINT IS - Get The Second Opinion!

I will have to get surgery one day, and I am headed back to Reno Nv which may change my current pain status... yet to be seen. At least I will be back in the area where they know my issues.

I guess I will have to get it done before Dr. Rappaport retires... (LOL)

But GET the second opinion from the Sports Doctor if at all possible.

God Bless
Patrick
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Old 03-21-2013, 19:20   #17
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UPDATE: (for anyone who is still interested , and I truly don't blame you if you're not).

Did not go w/ laser, but with the neurosurgeon who performed the surgery in '07.

Checked in Tuesday, March 19th around 11am, back home by 1045 Wednesday March 20th.
When I was wheeled into my room, I immediately got up to pee, and made one lap around the floor with the kind nurse pushing my morphine/monitor/tower.
Added two laps every two hrs. Doc showed up at 720am, said I could go. I can feel my foot again, and can even stand on my toes.
Thanks for everyone's input. It was all truly appreciated.

dan
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Old 03-21-2013, 21:12   #18
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Here's a dirty secret: "robotic" and "laser" surgery are generally marketing ploys more than anything.

Sure, there may be some benefits but their are also compromises. EVERYTHING in medicine has a down side.

Have the laser surgery if you like but make sure you know why it's better than the conventional surgery or what you expect to gain over conventional surgery.

A good answer may simply be that you like your surgeon and he prefers or is more proficient w/ laser surgery.
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Old 03-21-2013, 21:44   #19
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Laser Spine Institute looked over my records and symptoms, said they could help me. $5000 cash up front. Thankfully I was already broke. A month later a Neurosurgeon in El Paso said that there was no indication for surgery, said I had all the signs of one of the Muscular Dystrophy problems. Took his advice, got to a rheumatologist, diagnosed in about 5 minutes, confirmed the neurosurgeons opinion.

Saw an article last month about Arnold suing The Laser Spine Institute for doing unnecessary surgery on him.

Listen carefully to what TX OMF says.
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Old 03-22-2013, 05:30   #20
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"Did not go w/ laser, but with the neurosurgeon who performed the surgery in '07."-jdsumner

Was a 'traditional' surgery. Discectomy/Laminotomy L5/S1.
Thru my own research, as well as feedback from this and other sites I frequent, I decided against LSI, and to go with my neurosurgeon.
The UPDATE was to state as much, as well as a quick note as to how the recovery is going.
And to thank those who had contributed.

dan

ps. as an aside, based on what I found, I personally, would NOT recommend LSI. At least not at this point in time.

Thanks again.

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