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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    6

    2 Surgeries and still problem walking

    I had 2 surgeries the last from L4 to L7 no rods or screws just fusion. My problem is not curvature but calicum build up in the spinal column. Since the surgery I still have back pain when walking and get short of breath. I have ruled out other things that could cause the same problem. I don't like taking pain pills but getting to my wits end because the condition is getting worse as I get older. Has anyone had any good result with Acpuncture? Or has anyone had the same problem and found a solution. They tell me to excerise but after a few minutes I am puffing like a steam engine so I have to stop.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    213
    Jkoehler,

    I'm so sorry that after 2 big surgeries, you're still having so many problems. I also hate taking pain pills but did fold to using high-dose codeine + ibuprofen in increasingly frequent doses in the years before this fusion surgery just gone (#3). I hated the druggy sensation - fuzzy head, poor memory, plummeting planning skills, etc. - but most of all, hated that I was so dependent on a pill to be able to get any semblance of a life back....but I had to use them. As my surgeon & GP both told me, being in major pain is a significant stressor on the body, and mind. I couldn't do much of anything. When it came down to it, I wasn't doing my body any favours by refusing meds. If you need to, I really hope your doc will be able to find one to suit you, even if just to take the edge off. That said...

    I was really taken aback in my recent 10wk check-up with my surgeon. I was talking to him about horrid neck problems that were causing "cervicogenic headaches with migraine features" (caused by nerve interactions activated by my extremely tight neck muscles). Was saying that my magnificent physiotherapist had used moderate pressure on very specific areas in my upper neck (where the cervical & trigeminal nerves run close together) - pressure caused agony maybe a minute long, then eased the headache SO much. And it's a method I've been able to use successfully at home, whenever needed. Anyhow, my surgeon was really happy about that, but also did mention acupuncture! This surprised the pants off me (well, almost ), because just a few years ago, it was considered quackery here. Yet, here was one of the most prominent spinal surgeons in Australia, telling me I should try it if I needed to! And I've since found out that a GP (general practitioner - family physician in the US??) who I know to be excellent is offering acupuncture.

    I've no idea of the extent of any clinical trials trials or their findings on acupuncture for spinal pain - but I do hold in very high regard the opinions of these two guys. My surgeon said that quite a lot of his patients had found relief with it. Sooo...after all that rambling (sorry! ), I guess really what I mean is if you want to try it, find someone who's experienced, preferably recommended by someone you know - and try it! Either way, it's not something that will harm you. At best it brings you relief (HURRAH!!), at worst it doesn't help you.

    Re. exercising - sure, it is great...but you can only do what you can do, and pushing yourself beyond your limits will bring harm, not improvement. If you can only exercise for a couple of minutes at a time - just do that, but do it a couple/few times a day. If there's one particular type of exercise that you find more comfortable, mostly stick with that. Work around your limits, & work to your strengths

    I'm sorry I can't be of more use...except to say, I'm thinking of you, & hoping you find some relief very soon.

    Take care, & please keep us posted.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    6
    Thank You for your reply! I have an Acpuncture office right around the corner. My wife is Chinese and one of my Sister-In-Laws swear by Acpuncture who is a Doctor, but I wanted an independent view. To have my Sister-In-Law work on me I have to go back to China, otherwise I might have tried by now.

    My Best to you and I wish good health for 2009!
    Jkoehler

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    213
    I'd be curious to hear how it works out, if you do give it a go. Hope you'll come back & let us know!

    Take care. And best wishes for health & happiness in 2009 & beyond

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    1,291

    Question Calcium build-up in spinal column

    had 2 surgeries the last from L4 to L7 no rods or screws just fusion. My problem is not curvature but calcium build up in the spinal column. Since the surgery I still have back pain when walking and get short of breath. I have ruled out other things that could cause the same problem. I don't like taking pain pills but getting to my wits end because the condition is getting worse as I get older. Has anyone had any good result with Acupuncture? Or has anyone had the same problem and found a solution. They tell me to exercise but after a few minutes I am puffing like a steam engine so I have to stop.
    by jkoehler

    Calcium build-up in the spine???? Who told you that? That's what a spinal fusion looks like on x-ray. Have you recently consulted a scoliosis specialist--not just an ortho? Your symptoms are what I had 40+ years after my 2 surgeries at age 14. I would get some second or 3rd opinions from scoliosis experts--especially if you get out of breath--like I did.
    Original scoliosis surgery 1956 T-4 to L-2 ~100 degree thoracic (triple)curves at age 14. NO hardware-lost correction.
    Anterior/posterior revision T-4 to Sacrum in 2002, age 60, by Dr. Boachie-Adjei @Hospital for Special Surgery, NY = 50% correction

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    6

    Calicum build up

    Thanks for your info.... the device that told me that there was calicum depoists around the spinal cord was my MRI's. also my Neurosurgent who had to use a hammer and chisel to remove the deposit that were so thick on the second operation. The Neurosurgent, I had is one of the best in Florida and came highly recommended.

    I wish your a healthy 2009 and beyond!

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