Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 20

Thread: Needs Encouragement

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Harrisburg, Pa.
    Posts
    85

    Needs Encouragement

    Blessings to all......I am waiting to hear from Dr. Bridwell's office in St Louis for an appt for a surgical consult. I have severe neural foraminal stenosis L2-S1, lumbar rotational curve of over 40 degrees and now have found out I have a broad base herniation at L4-L5 and also L5-S1. At the age of 13, I had a fusion T4-L2. I am freaking out because I have a fear of these two herniations rupturing and having to have emergency surgery here in Pennsylvania without scoliosis revision experience. I guess my question is this. If I take it easy and rest until I get surgery scheduled, should these herniations not rupture? I know you can have herniations for a long time, but I am having leg pain and I just feel at the age of 61 I have pushed my luck by not having surgery before now and as a result, I have these two herniations. I have an epidural injection scheduled tomorrow morning. I hope this helps with the symptoms. Also, for those of you who have had Dr. Bridwell, have any of you experienced that he in some cases will push up the surgery date or if he does have cancellations, were you able to take advantage of that. Also, has Dr. Bridwell not expected any of you to return to St,. Louis before the surgery to have a CT myelogram? Do you know what the CT myelogram shows that the MRI doesnt. I would appreciate any help here......if you can answer one or all of my questions, I would certainly appreciate it. I am starting to panick over everything now that I finally have the ball rolling towards surgery.

    Pat from Harrisburg, Pa.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    2,755
    Pat,
    I'm sorry to hear that you are in pain and are anxious. I don't have any experience with Dr. Bridwell or spine surgery for that matter. As far as the CT/myelogram vs. MRI goes, the difference is in what they can see around your spinal cord. During the myelogram part of the CT/myelogram a small amount of spinal fluid is removed via spinal tap and replaced with a contrast dye. They can actually watch how the dye flows around your spinal cord as the procedure is done. Then during the CT part, that contrast dye gives them a much clearer picture of your spinal cord and anything that may be impinging it than an MRI does. I have had two epidural injections for a bulging L5/S1 disc. I got near 100% relief. I hope you get the same results and you feel better soon.

    Rohrer01
    Be happy!
    We don't know what tomorrow brings,
    but we are alive today!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    104
    Hi Pat,

    I am a patient of Dr. Bridwell. As for as pre-op procedures, he only requested the MRI. I didn't have a myelogram and perhaps that was because mine was a fairly straight forward case. As for as scheduling, I had my initial consultation in March 2011 and my surgery was then scheduled 6 weeks later. So perhaps you may not have to wait for a cancellation in order to have an early surgery date. Plus, now that school will be in session soon, his schedule may be more flexible to your needs since a lot of kids wait until the summer months for their surgery.

    It seems like time stops when you have to wait for your surgery date to arrive. Hope you can get things arranged for your needs.

    Donna
    Female - 49 yrs old at surgery
    Surgery 5/5/11 - Dr. Bridwell, St. Louis
    Fused T3-L3
    60 degree thoracic curve corrected to 30 degrees
    Tennis player & returning to the courts!
    http://s1050.photobucket.com/profile/walkingmom1/index

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Harrisburg, Pa.
    Posts
    85

    Thanks Walking Mom

    Wow, only 6 weeks. That was music to my ears. I hope I get an earlier surgical date...maybe he will consider that since I have thse two herniations. Thanks to all for replying!!!!!!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,797
    Hi...

    A herniation is essentially a ruptured disc. If you can exercise, I'm guessing that most surgeons would tell you that there's great benefit to any activity that will result in you going into surgery in the best shape you can. If I were you, I would just avoid activities that put a lot of stress on your lower vertebrae (like running, impact aerobics, etc).

    --Linda
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Dilbert
    I'm sarcastic... what's your super power? --Unknown
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    If you've signed up and are having trouble posting, please check your spam folder. An email was sent to the email address which you subscribed. You have to follow the instructions in that email. Done that and still having trouble posting? Contact Joe O'Brien at jpobrien@scoliosis.org.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Harrisburg, Pa.
    Posts
    85
    Thanks Linda.....the only exercises I can do are in the water. I plan to keep that up especially if I am going into surgery. I got an epidural this morning so hope that eases the pain a bit.
    Pat

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    3,535
    Hi Patty

    I had 4 CT verified herniationís and battled the crippling pain for 6 years. The one thing that worked was swimming in the ocean. De-weighting and exercising worked quite well. I had better luck in the ocean vs swimming pool, I donít know if the salts and minerals had anything to do with that. I did this out in Hawaii. Maybe its time for a trip!

    After ocean therapy, I would be ok for a few months till I re-irritated it again, then the flame thrower on the top of the ankle came back.....

    All that pain went completely away after my surgeries.....it was instant. But of course traded for surgical pain.

    I had a few sets of CTís....with Iohexol
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iohexol
    with Barium Sulfate.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barium_sulfate

    They also use Barium Sulfate in Oil well drilling fluid. Its multi purpose stuff. There are probably really large tanks of it in Texas. LOL

    My comedic effort for today.

    Try to hang in there...things will happen soon.
    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 58, the new 53...
    Pre surgery curves C12,T70,L70
    ALIF/PLIF T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Harrisburg, Pa.
    Posts
    85
    Hi Ed..Thanks for your response. I am lying here on the couch with burning pain and keeping ice on my back. Will I make it to surgery in 3-4 months with Dr. Bridwell or am I going to have some permanent nerve damage, drop foot, etc, from these 2 herniations. Do you think I will be ok if I just stay off my feet and do next to nothing for that amount of time other than stretching in the pool which i do 3-4 times a week. I just have a horror of a local inexperienced spinal doctor having to do emergency surgery. I have two broad based herniations L4-L5 AND L5-S1. The nerve pain is bad. Did you have chronic nerve pain from your herniations? who did your surgery? Thanks, Patty

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    El Centro, CA & Baja California, Mexico
    Posts
    193

    CT/myelogram, MRI, and flouroscopy

    I had the flouroscopy in the OR with Dr Bridwell. After that, we met the next day. He then ordered the CT/myelogram (MRI was done on prior visit) and to see a shoulder specialist because of my right shoulder pains. The CT/Myelogram was awful. It was at 8am after 3 days without my 20 years taking Effexor (anti-depressant prescribed for pain) I was quite bonkie and I had experienced going cold turkey because I went 2 days without because I ran out. The doctor who came in to talk to us (my daughter present) was a 'fellow doctor' i.e. graduated and doing his year of specialization. He talked very fast. I asked him to please slow down for me to understand and comprehend. He then apologized and asked if I needed a translator. Him being foreign (arabic accent) and my race being chinese, born and raised in Panama with fluent spanish and my living in the U.S. after college, marriage, career and raising 2 wonderful daughters.

    My daughter was furious and explained that he was using too many terminologies and talked too fast. That I needed to assimilate his instructions because I was scared about the procedure involving my spinal cord.

    The other doctor who came in was a bit nicer but it turned out to be a resident (I found out later). His hands were trembling all the time going in. They had to give me extra pain numbing stuff. The fellow came into the room and was guiding the resident by loudly saying: No, too deep, stop, go to the right, not that mich. I was in so much mental and physical pain! but was not going to stop it because it had to be done all over if this one did not do the job. I had tears and was screaming it hurts!!! Later, I was a total basket case when I went to another floor for MRI or something quick scan through a ring that moved but not the table (soundless) and the technicians were extremely nicer and a bit older.

    I did tell Dr Bridwell and he heard me while looking at the results. He said noted and will deal with it.

    Not to discourage anyone, but at my age I don't want to be experimented with. Go get a cadaver or take something to avoid your hands shaking into someone spinal cord.

    All good now. But leg pains and left hip much more in pain than before going to this visit.
    Gardenia
    Baja California, Mexico & El Centro, Ca
    pre-surgery 75į and 89į - post ?
    Dr. Bridwell Nov 27, 2012 @Barnes Jewish @62yrs
    T11 to Sacrum Dural leak at L2 & L3 ccmail4g@gmail.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    3,535
    Quote Originally Posted by yacpatty View Post
    Hi Ed..Thanks for your response. I am lying here on the couch with burning pain and keeping ice on my back. Will I make it to surgery in 3-4 months with Dr. Bridwell or am I going to have some permanent nerve damage, drop foot, etc, from these 2 herniations. Do you think I will be ok if I just stay off my feet and do next to nothing for that amount of time other than stretching in the pool which i do 3-4 times a week. I just have a horror of a local inexperienced spinal doctor having to do emergency surgery. I have two broad based herniations L4-L5 AND L5-S1. The nerve pain is bad. Did you have chronic nerve pain from your herniations? who did your surgery? Thanks, Patty
    I donít think that waiting a few more months will matter much since we waited decades....the damage is done, the disc might be pushing on the cord, and the area is inflamed.

    The pool therapy is a great way to get some exercise. Sitting around doing nothing is probably not too wise....we always feel better when we move something somehow. Getting the disc to retract, if thatís what it does, or having the area thatís inflamed settle down is pretty much the idea. Celebrex works well in this regard, but scary to take....you donít want to abuse this one....

    You also donít want anyone touching you that isnít a first class scoliosis surgeon. My surgeon is Dr Men-Muir. Itís a good thing he came to town because it wouldnít have been too long before I would have gone to UCSF.

    I have no pain, and have been working like a dog. I think that explains it all. We talk about our golf swing or our skiing form, with me now its about my stroke on the paint brush. Iím painting my house. It feels good.

    I take it you have Harrington rods since you were done in the early 60ís. Is there any talk about removing these and revising the whole thing? Any discussions on procedure?

    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 58, the new 53...
    Pre surgery curves C12,T70,L70
    ALIF/PLIF T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Harrisburg, Pa.
    Posts
    85

    Needs Encouragement

    Hi Ed....No, I actually had a bone fusion, no rods, T2-L4 in 1963. Ed, did you have any bulging discs and if so, where? Did you have foraminal stenosis? What were your pain symptoms like prior to surgery? I am in such pain and can only be on my feet 5-10 minutes. I am waiting on a call tomorrow for a consult date. My husband has been begging me for years to have surgery, and now I am panicked that I have waited too long and I will develop some severe neural deficit before getting to the operating room. Do you think hanging my legs in the pool would help retract the bulge? I belong to an indoor pool Pray I get help soon. Thanks for your input. Patty from Harrisburg, Pa.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    3,535
    Quote Originally Posted by yacpatty View Post
    Hi Ed....No, I actually had a bone fusion, no rods, T2-L4 in 1963. Ed, did you have any bulging discs and if so, where? Did you have foraminal stenosis? What were your pain symptoms like prior to surgery? I am in such pain and can only be on my feet 5-10 minutes. I am waiting on a call tomorrow for a consult date. My husband has been begging me for years to have surgery, and now I am panicked that I have waited too long and I will develop some severe neural deficit before getting to the operating room. Do you think hanging my legs in the pool would help retract the bulge? I belong to an indoor pool Pray I get help soon. Thanks for your input. Patty from Harrisburg, Pa.
    I see....

    I had 4 CT verified herniationís in my Lumbar in 2002, and no stenosis issues that I know about. Severe DDD and vertebral degeneration in two, 70 degree balanced curves. Good plumb line in all planes.

    My sciatica pain all started after skiing down pillows. These are sequenced 20-30 footers in the back country, and I hit especially hard on one of them. I was used to hitting hard through the years on skis, but this one was the last one. Jan 2002. Funny, it took 2 weeks after those jumps till the sciatica hit me. I am beginning to think that the stress of all the jumping through the years played a huge part in my scoliosis, especially down low in my lumbar.

    I had major 10 level pain in my right greater trochanter (1Ēcircle) and the flames on the top of my right ankle. I couldnít sit down. If I did, the pain would go through the roof! Standing and laying down were ok.

    Chiropractic did not help at all....and I used Chiro for over 20 years for normal scoli aches.
    I took Celebrex and Bextra for 9 months in 2002, it worked well till I discovered the ocean therapy then I quit. I was good for about 6 months then it would hit again, that all familiar pain. Hot tubs, hot soaks, and massages were the norm. Sometimes, I would get a massage, be completely out of pain, hop in the car, sit down and 3 seconds later the pain would come right back. After 6 years of this, it really tipped the scales of decision, and my curves were getting worse. I also had problems getting pain relief from Chiro, we would try and try and it became fruitless, this was in 2007.

    Right now, you cannot assume anything...and it doesnít make sense. There are those who come through just fine having surgeries in their elder years....I would just wait till you have your consult, and play it by ear. Hanging out in the pool sounds like a good idea....Many places have warm pools also, those are nice. I like hot hot 106 degree water for heavy duty pain. It has always worked well for me and used hot water in my recovery....

    I found my last x-ray before surgery that Dr M marked up as 70/70. This was in Oct 2007. My L5 was in really bad condition....

    Ed
    Attached Images Attached Images
    49 yr old male, now 58, the new 53...
    Pre surgery curves C12,T70,L70
    ALIF/PLIF T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    So. Calif., near Palm Springs
    Posts
    64

    Question about Effexor

    Quote Originally Posted by gardenia View Post
    I had the flouroscopy in the OR with Dr Bridwell. After that, we met the next day. He then ordered the CT/myelogram (MRI was done on prior visit) and to see a shoulder specialist because of my right shoulder pains. The CT/Myelogram was awful. It was at 8am after 3 days without my 20 years taking Effexor (anti-depressant prescribed for pain) I was quite bonkie and I had experienced going cold turkey because I went 2 days without because I ran out.
    Hi Gardenia,

    I hope you're continuing to do well in your recovery. I love your attitude and your posts here on the forum! I have a question for you. Were you able to continue taking your Effexor like usual before and after your spine surgery?

    I missed this thread back in August, and just found it now, by doing a search. I've been taking Effexor XR for years, for depression. As a plus, it also helps with social anxiety disorder which I also have (always just thought I was shy - nope!) and it can help with pain too, so it's practically a miracle drug for me. Haha. I haven't been able to find out if Effexor can be taken with this surgery or not. Apparently, some antidepressants are blood thinners and have to be stopped before surgery. I'd love to hear that Effexor isn't one that has to be stopped.

    Lisa
    Age 44 (now 48). "Mild" curve (and pain) at age 16.
    No x-ray, brace or followup as a teen.
    Told curve wouldn't progress or need treatment.
    Chiropractor said I had a 22-degree TL curve, at age 20.
    Non-SRS surgeon said curve is 46 to 51 degrees, at age 44.
    SRS surgeon thinks curve is 42-degrees thoracic, 39-degrees lumbar, age 44.
    Also have bilateral pars defect at L5.
    Considering surgery due to pain.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    El Centro, CA & Baja California, Mexico
    Posts
    193

    I wish I get notifications so that I know there is a question for me...

    About the Effexor XR - no changes. I took it for pain related depression and I continued it thru the hospital and after. I am also taking Alprazolam (an anti-anxiety) and it was never stopped.

    The only med that I had to stop a week prior and most likely for the next 6-8 months is CELEBREX. No major side effect of not taking it. I do have minor joints uncomfort but then all my body is whacked up.

    To update: I am on my 6 wks post op. Seeing Dr Bridwell next Monday and hopefully he will let me go home to Southern California and car rides with stops before arriving at our home in San Felipe, Baja California on the Sea of Cortez. Just found out that the richest man in the word (Carlos Slim) has likely purchased a lot of the that empty pristine coastline and is planning to associate himself with other wealthy folks to develop resorts (like Cancun and Cabo). It is sad but it is what it is.

    So my rod is very noticeable on my mid back (mostly I could sense it and feel it inside) my right back is hard or inflated. Both my hip bones and buttocks are sensitive to touch and have a strange feeling when touched, like the nerves are acting up slowly.

    I am walking the corridors on this apartment building hopefully enough but the back sensations change every several days.

    I was told by Bernie the nurse the Dr Bridwell might cut me off the Vicoden soon so my husband has been giving 1/2 a pill + 500mg of Tylenol and it seems to work every 4 hours.

    Let's say I am not in a lot of pain but I am uncomfortable and sometimes laying down I have positions that might be pulling wrong and it worries me.

    Monday, Monday.... well see..
    Gardenia
    Baja California, Mexico & El Centro, Ca
    pre-surgery 75į and 89į - post ?
    Dr. Bridwell Nov 27, 2012 @Barnes Jewish @62yrs
    T11 to Sacrum Dural leak at L2 & L3 ccmail4g@gmail.com

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Harrisburg, Pa.
    Posts
    85

    Gardenia

    Hi Gardenia,

    I hope your visit with Bridwell goes well Monday. Be sure and have your questions and hopefully you can get some answers. It concerns me that I am having some of my old pain in my legs....pain around ankles and sensations in my legs that I thought i would be rid of. I go Feb 4 for an appt and I hope I am not intimidated and am able to ask questions and get straight answers. I wouldn't be surprised if I would have to have further surgery in the future but don't want to be traveling the rest of my life to St. Louis. I do have better standing, sitting and walking further abilities...but when I go too far then I start with those old sensations as before but not to the degree. I hope you continue to get better Gardenia. We are still early in the healing process. let me know how your appt goes. It was nice meeting you and your husband.

    Patty
    1963 Fusion T4-L2 for congenital scoliosis. It was a bone graft and not instrumentation
    1989 to Present....Have had chronic pain. MRI's show severe neural foraminal stenosis L2-S1, rotational scoliosis lumbar spine over 40 degrees, compression of nerve roots L5-S1, Broad Based Herniations L4-L5, L5-S
    Surgery scheduled with Dr. Bridwell on December 11, 2012
    December 11, 2012 Had surgery with Dr. Bridwell. He fused L4-L5 with rods and screws.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •