View Full Version : greetings from NYC

04-12-2010, 07:34 PM
went to NYC today to see Dr Lonner...in his new office on 2nd and 43rd st with fancy security i dont like & almost busted thru by accident! :rolleyes:...but i digress....
the good news is, my curves are essentially the same..thoracic 42, lumbar 61...the bad news is my discs are worse...
the good news is Dr Lonner can do minimal invasive like the LA doctor...2 or 3 small incisions on side, clean out discs and put in spacers (which he said are really cages, but "call them spacers if you like...same exact thing")....then put in rods and screws thru back using "poking thru" as incisions....would do all in same day, rather than 2 separate days as LA doctor does...said he would use some BMP i think....says very little blood loss, though i would need to have some on hand :)...he said EVERYONE cuts thru muscles, no matter what they say :eek:...but this method keeps that to a minimum....
the bad news is, he would go to pelvis, while LA doctor would stop at sacrum...Dr L. said he could "try" (if i want him to)to stop at sacrum once he opens me and looks, but feels he would need to go to pelvis for support, and casue i have lousy bones (osteopenia)...some folks on forum warned me going to pelvis would probably be better...

the bad news is i weighed in at 94.5 pounds & he gave me lab orders to test for chance of malnutrition...& also to see his pain mangement doctor....i dont/cant eat cause of pain meds....

also, for first time i was told, when i asked, that i need some "otomies", as i called them...Dr L. said a couple of osteotomies, and a couple of lamenotomies or ...ectomies or whatever....he was also excited about something on my back he could make straighter...i was a little dazed by then and he was talking to a doctor who was visiting him....

anyway, sorry i rambled so long...but this is first time i am seriously serious about scheduling surgery...depending on timing...
and the good news is...it is with a doctor i like very much (& have known several yrs) who does minimal lumbar, who takes my insurance...

if you're still reading...thanks very much for listening!


04-12-2010, 07:41 PM
and the good news is...it is with a doctor i like very much (& have known several yrs) who does minimal lumbar, who takes my insurance...

Wow Jess, it sounds like the ducks are all lining up in a row for you! Very scary but also exciting. Maybe this is kismet. :)

So did Dr. Lonner say you have to gain weight before he will do the procedure?

I'm glad things worked out in your favor. It sounds like he can really help you.

LOL on the 'otomies. :D I just like the sound of that. I think I'm going to name my next animal "Otomy." :cool:

So glad for you.

loves to skate
04-12-2010, 07:56 PM

I'm so glad that you have decided to go ahead and that Dr. Lonner will be doing the minimally invasive surgery on you. My ugly scar is on my abdomen. You won't have that. I doubt that you will notice a difference from instrumentation to the pelvis and sacrum. Pain is pain and once you are healed, you shouldn't feel a difference. You will have much more stability and there won't be a difference in your flexibility with both pelvis and sacrum instrumentation. You shouldn't have any issues with the sacroiliac joints either. My thoughts and prayers will be with you. I had a lot of those otomies and unfortunately still need more.


04-12-2010, 08:08 PM
thanks, Sharon....my ducks may be lining up...but what i meant was that i am seriously CONSIDERING scheduling the surgery :rolleyes:....i'm kinda sorta a little bit sure...i mean, i'm ALOT more comfortable with the whole idea after today...i mean...you know...i kinda sorta think i will...kinda...:)

also...Dr L. is concerned about malnutrition...when i asked if he would operate on someone of my size at 94-95 pounds...he said "as long as you were not malnourished"...thus the lab orders...but he wants me a little heavier...to offset the weight loss after surgery....
he wants me to see his pain doctor guy to see if there is a way for me to take a different pain med that would allow me to have an appetitite and EAT...but when i asked Dr L....i said..."how can people take pain meds after surgery and eat...when i take them before surgery and cant eat?"...he had no answer...i dont know that there is a less narcotic...narcotic...that i could take for the pain....:rolleyes:

you are so funny Sharon... i think "Otomy" is a great name for an animal...and you made me laugh!! first time today!!

Sally...thanks for the reply...and you are right...probably wouldnt be much difference stopping at sacrum/vs. pelvis...in flexibility...or pain...

oh...i had to do bending x rays today...first time on a table...ouch! & now i see the difference gravity makes! so much for feeling flexible! :(

thanks for the replies...


Tall Paul
04-12-2010, 08:39 PM
Thats great news Jess. Thanks for the update. Dr Lonner is one of the best so your in great hands close to home. I think the reason Dr A does his surgery in two days is because he used the AxaiLIF to fuse L5-S1. I'm not sure if I like that approach. While you didn't indicate how Dr L will approach the L5-S1 I'm assuming he will use a TLIF but you may want to ask. Best of luck.

04-12-2010, 09:59 PM
Hey Paul
i just had to look up what all those initials stand for....:)

i see the difference in where the incisions are...is there something wrong with any of those approaches...?

anyway, both Dr Anand and Dr Lonner would do a side incision and a back incision...Dr anand would do 2 different days...Dr L. would do all in one day....

i expect to come around to surgery with Dr Lonner...in awhile...i have to check into nutrition...Dr L wont operate on me if i am malnourished...which he suspects at my weight...he also would like me a little heavier to allow for some loss after surgery...and pain management doctor visit...and a few other things...i was planning cataract surgery this summer...:rolleyes:
ahhhh...so many details...and the body just keeps falling apart!! :eek:


04-12-2010, 10:12 PM
Hi Jess. I'm so glad your visit with Dr. Lonner was so encouraging! It's good to know that he is constantly growing in his approach to surgery. Does he say that there is a good chance that you will have much less pain after surgery? That sounds like a huge consideration for you. I'm sure i would have the surgery if that were the case. All the best, Joy

04-12-2010, 11:57 PM

You are close....

With all those great restaurants back there, I donít see what the problem is? I would just explode in New York. I miss the food.

Have you tried protein smoothies? They taste great and are very good for you.


04-13-2010, 12:05 AM
thanks for the encouragement, Ed...and believe me, with the lack of appetite from the pain pills, no restaurant tempts me...none! i used to be able to eat sugar...flourless chocolate cake...i thought it had to be illegal, it tasted so good to me.....now, i can get sugar down occasionally...nothing like the sweet tooth i used to fight off like a junkie :rolleyes:

Joy...we didnt discuss pain stuff, aside from my current situation...years ago, Dr Lonner told me that there would be less pain after surgery...hopefully alot less...i just figure the less muscle cutting the better....
and thanks for the good wishes...wondering if you have your surgery set up....?

thanks for the replies, guys


04-13-2010, 01:06 AM

Processed sugar is death, and it ruins teeth. And talking about teeth, they made me go to the dentist and I had a major scrape job done.(Root planing) They didnít want toxins and major bacteria cultures in my mouth going into my surgeries. Made sense.

I always stare at the bakery when I food shop. I will stand there for a minute or two and stare, like a deer in the headlights. 99% of the time, I do an about face. Usually the girls that work in the back are slow, and thatís a good thing.

The protein smoothies worked for me, they are good for you and easy to drink. I had those battles, and it worked for me. Puts on weight fast and they taste great. Only the best ingredients.

Its seems that you stand to benefit quite a bit with surgery. I delayed for so long, then when I was close, all it took was one more pain event and the decision scale slammed down. It had been too many years, with too much pain. I walked in and said "Im ready" I walked out in shock. They asked if 01/29/08 and 01/31/08 would work for me. Like it really matters.

10/30/07 I will never forget that day.

04-13-2010, 01:20 AM
Hi Ed
yeah, i know about sugar being bad...the dental implants (they look good, though) i am getting now are a reminder :rolleyes:
sugar was always my drug of choice...that was one reason i understood addicts well enuf to be a drug counselor (2nd job) before the pain had me in early retirement! the good news (?:rolleyes:) now is that i dont even want sugar....i can get some yogurt down, so i guess i can get to mixing up some shakes...used to drink them back in the good old days in NYC at my fancy schmancy gym i used to go to 4 times a week...before the pain got so bad that the idea of a gym makes me laugh and cry at the same time :(

thanks for the encouragement and advice..i'm getting to that "one more event" point...may have already reached it...how many injections can they try before it sinks in that nothing is relieving the lumbar pain...not the epidurals, facet blocks, SI shots, nerve ablation, etc etc....i've been waiting for a less invasive approach...looks like it is here!


04-13-2010, 03:48 AM
Ah Jess! You ground-breaker you! I am so glad this visit to Dr. Lonner went off so well. You sound....nearly there! A little shove should do it. ;)

I had lots of otomies and ectomies and they seem to have worked. Worry not about going to the pelvis, you may very well need the extra stability with your bones, but I am sure he will know the best thing to do once he gets in and sees for himself.

The next step, seeing Dr. Lonner's pain specialist, may see your appetite eventually return. Things are looking good Jess!

04-13-2010, 02:58 PM
Thanks so much for the kind words, Jen....i am so glad that you are well and happy with your results...i hope i am as lucky!

you are right about the little shove...my question for myself now is whether it is do-able this summer or next year...i worry about the winter cause we live on quite an incline...to a native New Yorker, we live on a hill...to my CT native husband, it is barely a bump :)

best regards

04-13-2010, 07:33 PM
I'm so glad you got the answers you have been waiting so long to hear...I suspect you may have less pain post op than most due to the minimal invasive so that may not be as much of an issue as you might think. I just had pelvic fixation and an osteotomy and neither bothers me 3 1/2 weeks out. I had fusion to the sacrum the first time and notice no difference at all with anchoring my pelvis. And best of all, you have found a great surgeon who you feel comfortable with! Only you can make your decision, but know that you have your friends on the forum supporting you 100% however you decide...

04-14-2010, 08:16 AM
thanks, kristy...

so glad your revision worked out! and thanks for the words of encouragement...much appreciated!