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  1. #1
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    Back issues. Recommendations.

    Has anyone ever had surgery on their back?

    Iíve had back issues for a while, chronic the last 4 yrs. an X-ray said I had degenerative disc disease. Insurance would not pay for an mri 2 yrs ago.

    So every 3 months or so Iím laid out for 2-3 days, unable to even stand.

    What Iím trying to figure out, is who do you go see? My latest doctor referred me to a pain management guy, by of course non of them take Obamacare plans. But should I be going to see an ortho?

    Shots? Surgery? What did you do and did it work?

    Thanks.


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  2. #2
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    Sep 2012
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    Back issues. Recommendations.

    How old are you? What part of your back? What do you do for a work? How many hours are you sitting a day?


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  3. #3
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    Mar 2006
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    My back is jacked. Itís a tough road getting surgery approved. If you are willing to follow all the steps you might be able to get a surgery. Steps include six months documented rehab and pt. I had facet shots. Did nothing.

    The interesting thing is my x-ray shows a healthy spine with good spacing. My internist recommended Rolfing.

    Pain management docs are often orthoís. You have to follow all the steps with documentation to get a surgery authorized.

    Basically, you have to spend a lot of money seeing doctors and therapy first. If you do that and constantly complain you might get somewhere. I can tell you that I have seen two orthos and both emphatically have said donít do surgery.

    I still want the surgery.

  4. #4
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    IMO you should see a good physiatrist (non-surgical back guy). If you're down for several days a month I would guess that might indicate surgery, but maybe there are other things you could do. My understanding (you probably already know this) is you want to avoid back surgery if at all possible, which is why a physiatrist could be a good call (too many back surgeons do too many surgeries, from what I've heard, and a lot of back surgeries don't end up helping).
    [quote][//quote]

  5. #5
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    Steve Kerr's advice to everyone is "don't have back surgery".

    I think chirporactors and physical therapists and rolfers can be very helpful, if you find a good one. I'm not sure the projected outcome is better from surgery than it is from doing proper exercises and PT.
    "fuck off you asshat gaper shit for brains fucktard wanker." - Jesus Christ
    "She was tossing her bean salad with the vigor of a Drunken Pop princess so I walked out of the corner and said.... "need a hand?"" - Odin
    "I'd eat a bag of Dicks and wash it down with a Coke any day." - iceman

  6. #6
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    Yoga worked for me. I would usually be out at least a couple days/month. No problems now as long as I do daily maintenance.

  7. #7
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    Mar 2006
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    Iím fit. Strong. They treat to average. Risk of a good outcome is better for me. I know it.. it was the same with my shoulder and elbow. Both surgical sides are better than original. Iím convinced laminectomy would help me for many years. Thailand or India?

  8. #8
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    Feb 2011
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    I've had two herniated discs in my neck that resulted in surgery, discectomies w/ fusion. I saw a back surgeon, and all the non-surgery options were exhausted first - PT, oral steroids, steroid shots. Then the MRI which told the surgeon what to fix. Surgery was around $50k each time, I paid the remainder of my $5k deductible and insurance paid the rest.

    While I ended up w/ surgery (twice), most folks don't require it. Stretching & strengthening the core, losing extra weight, posture, ergonomics and an anti-inflammatory diet can fix alot of issues. Also acupuncture can provide relief of symptoms.

  9. #9
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    Back issues. Recommendations.

    Quote Originally Posted by 4matic View Post
    My back is jacked. Itís a tough road getting surgery approved. If you are willing to follow all the steps you might be able to get a surgery. Steps include six months documented rehab and pt. I had facet shots. Did nothing.

    The interesting thing is my x-ray shows a healthy spine with good spacing. My internist recommended Rolfing.

    Pain management docs are often orthoís. You have to follow all the steps with documentation to get a surgery authorized.

    Basically, you have to spend a lot of money seeing doctors and therapy first. If you do that and constantly complain you might get somewhere. I can tell you that I have seen two orthos and both emphatically have said donít do surgery.

    I still want the surgery.
    This seems to be the truth. This morning I rolled over and the twisting creates a pop in my lower back. I could not stand, or even crawl. My entire lower left back and including hip is in a numbing pain. I took my son to camp with ski poles to walk. Iím now calling trying to get help, Inshould have kept some of that hydrocodone I had left over.

    My back X-ray says my L3,4,5,S1 disc space loss and arthropathy.

    Fucking sucks. 2 yrs from now Iíd be back on a season pass. Iíve had to stop running, biking and even swimming and now just peddle the recumbent bike. I refuse to believe it has to be like this.

    Iím just going start the PT and stick it to these fucking people.




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  10. #10
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    Back issues. Recommendations.

    Quote Originally Posted by Betelgeuse View Post
    How old are you? What part of your back? What do you do for a work? How many hours are you sitting a day?


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    46. 6í4Ē 215lbs. Stood all day for 10 yrs on the trading floor. Skied 100 days a yr growing up, but just swam outside of that. Family has back problems.

    Iíve tried everything. Yoga, stretching, I basically just manage my back all day now and since I quit swimming 3 months ago was actually pain free for a while. And yes, swimming is bad for your neck etc. breathing, rotating your spine. I canít even hit a bucket of balls. Itís that twisting motion.

    Ironically, the handful of days I now ski each yr has not messed me up.


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  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Squaw valley
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    Do you do crunches and back strength work?

    I have the same issues and my back acts up when I slack off with my workouts.

    I do 300 crunches about 4 days a week, can plus back with

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  12. #12
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    Jan 2009
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    Squaw valley
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    Back work

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  13. #13
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    Oct 2003
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    slc
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    "We were given a clothesline, and we're using it as a flagpole."


  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by rod9301 View Post
    Do you do crunches and back strength work?

    I have the same issues and my back acts up when I slack off with my workouts.

    I do 300 crunches about 4 days a week, can plus back with

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    I work out religiously. I mix it up every few months. Plenty of core.


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  15. #15
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    Dec 2007
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    I have a 20 year history of moderate to severe back pain that sounds similar to yours. MRI 10 years ago showed three bulging discs, two of which looked to be impinging on nerves. My primary doc said I was a candidate for surgery but that in his experience, back surgery is always a gamble because the back is so complicated and docs can never be sure whether or what kind of surgical treatment will help. His suggestion was that I try several non-surgical modalities and see if any were helpful.

    So I tried acupuncture, chiropractic, and cranio-sacral work as well as strengthening my core at the gym, stretching 3X a day and getting a stand-up desk. What ended up working for me was a guy that does a unique combination of chiro and Feldenkrais work - he doesn't crack anything, he just moves each joint in my back around gently to free them up and then he gave me a bunch of small movement exercises to do myself. Within a couple of months it felt better, and I'm now going on 10 years with very little back pain. (I've thrown it out a couple of times when I get lazy with the exercises and/or do something stupid like lifting a heavy box with my back and not my legs, but even then I'm able to get it under control quickly and it's back in good shape within a week or so.) I rarely go see the guy anymore, the exercises he gave me generally keep me going without having to do office visits.

    I'm not saying that this approach is necessarily for everyone, though it does make a lot of sense - the idea is that a lot of back pain is caused by weakness in the little tiny muscles that surround our joints, and then when they get inflamed all of the big muscles around them tense up to protect them and you end up with chronic inflammation. If you can gently work the joints to calm them and train them to behave normally again, then the inflammation goes down. Strengthening your core at the gym doesn't really help - those exercises work on the big muscles, but they don't tend to address the little guys that assist the subtle movements around the joints (of which there are many in the lower back), which may be the root cause of the issues.

    But my bigger point is that there are a lot of approaches out there that don't involve surgery, so I'd try several (or more) of them to see what seems to work for you before resorting to surgery. Nothing works for everyone - I know folks that love acupuncture, for example, but it does nothing for me. It was pretty clear to me as soon as I started doing my current approach that it was better than anything I'd done previously, so hopefully you'd recognize when you find something that works for you. Good luck!
    Outlive the bastards - Ed Abbey

  16. #16
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    Oct 2003
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    Dude = Gimp Central.

    But in short : Had issues after tomahawking into a rock. Fractures in pelvis and shattered disc. After few months of physio, cortisone shots, acu, physio and whatnot a hemilaminectomy and I walked away from the surgery 3hrs later, "pain free". With the pain free I mean I did not have pain from the disks but from the op.
    Walking normally that week and after few months of rehab things were million times better.
    Went back skiing mellowly the next winter, 2 years later full throttle with occasional shrimp/scorpion crashes.

    So those who say "surgery wont help" I beg to disagree a bit.
    Mileage might wary though.
    With some people the surgery might not work as well (depending on the surgeon, the damage, if the pain has gone chronic) and your personal investment in the situation affects a lot.

    If you are in the category of "every three months" you get sciatica attacks, the issue might be elsewhere. Like in your exercising habits, physio, massage, routines and bed.

    As stated above, gimp central has good info in all areas.

    Exercising : Are you doing anything? Like seriously? If so, what? If you do, do you keep yourself well rounded by going to yoga, stretching, core? Do you do too much one dimensional stuff, like golf or running?

    Physio : With this I mean have you ever gone to a proper sport physio and done the regime? Like the annoying stuff like rubberbands, slow core training etc?

    Massage : Ass, piriformis (sides of your hip), front and back thighs and lower back. No happy ending needed, just get things worked out 1-2 times a month by a good SPORTS massage geezer. Do you homework.

    Routines : Do you sit too much? Soft sofa, soft bed, soft car seat. Or sit on a stool posting too much on TGR? All affect, especially beds. People sleep on way, way, WAY to soft beds, imho. One night in a "soft and cushy king sized" bed in a hotel and I can be a wreck. Nowadays I sleep on a 10cm, cheap ass foam mattress and zero back problems. Zero. Grand Cherokee seats for 200km = Fukd. Volvo and 1000km = Zero problems.

    And shoes. After the op I have not been able to use shoes that have too much ramp angle for any extended periods of time.
    If you want to wear high heels, fine...just dont use them regularly. Nowadays most of my shoes are "zero drop" like Vivo barefoot shoes and while it make take time to get used to them, they have been brilliant, at least to me.


    And, not playing Freud here...but you have come across a bit "under the weather" in your posts lately. Headspace affects chronic issues immensely.
    If you are in the blue, things will get you. And with chronic pain issues that might be a...well..issue.

    The floggings will continue until morale improves.

  17. #17
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    Dec 2012
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    betwixt the Silvers and Saint Johns
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    Every back issue has a different solution. When I had really bad L4/L5 sciatica (imaging showed an extruded disk) I tried everything (short of surgery) and what worked was PT with traction, and behavior modification- no more softball, switch to curved-handled snow shovel, and got rid of a car with a worn out driver's seat.

    More recently I had a neck/shoulder issue that PT and chiro didn't help. I did the full 10-session rolfing treatment and I'll be damned it worked. I think the most important part of it was the posture lessons that got me to stand and walk with much better posture (the body manipulations themselves seemed sort of random, but it's a big part of it so who knows). Also got those big curved handlebars for my townie so I could sit up straight instead of being hunched over.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tele 'til You're Smelly View Post
    I did the full 10-session rolfing treatment and I'll be damned it worked. I think the most important part of it was the posture lessons that got me to stand and walk with much better posture (the body manipulations themselves seemed sort of random, but it's a big part of it so who knows).
    Yep, the "education" component of the 10-series of rolfing was hugely beneficial to me too.
    "fuck off you asshat gaper shit for brains fucktard wanker." - Jesus Christ
    "She was tossing her bean salad with the vigor of a Drunken Pop princess so I walked out of the corner and said.... "need a hand?"" - Odin
    "I'd eat a bag of Dicks and wash it down with a Coke any day." - iceman

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danno View Post
    Yep, the "education" component of the 10-series of rolfing was hugely beneficial to me too.
    yeah it was funny- she put me in a standing position that at first made me feel like a peacock with my butt poked out the back and chest poked out in front. She said "nope- that's how you are supposed to be"- and it took me months to stand and walk like that naturally (I did the 10 treatments over about 5 months rather than every week)

  20. #20
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    Feb 2010
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    I herniated my L4-L5, L5-S1 discs doing repeated twists. I was running a lot at the time and thought I had fractured my hip since that's where all my pain was located. I avoided surgery for as long as I could, but ended up having a bi-lateral microdiscectomy within 6 months. At first, I was all "NO SURGERY!!" Neurosurgeon, not ortho, entertained me by letting me go as long as I could without surgery and still be in the time frame that surgery would be a success since he was booked out 3 months. Finally, the day of the surgery, I couldn't get to the OR fast enough. The relief was immediate.

    I know I have to be careful of my back and have several stretches that PT figured out worked for me. I did aggravate the discs in that area once 9 years ago, and they said definitely no surgery at that time since I already had surgery once. They figured they were just bulging, not herniated. I ended getting one cortisone(?) shot. That, combined with PT, did get better, but it was slow. As long as I continue to do the stretches for my hips/lower back, it all seems good.

  21. #21
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    Oct 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pegleg View Post
    the idea is that a lot of back pain is caused by weakness in the little tiny muscles that surround our joints, and then when they get inflamed all of the big muscles around them tense up to protect them and you end up with chronic inflammation.
    Iīll just rehash the info from my back doc. She was a ‹ber brain surgeon that did occasional back operations.

    What she stated : The acute sciatica pain (The Shocks) is due to disc fragments, the disc or the membrane pushing on the nerves. Nothing helps here apart from the operation or time to things to heal and dissolve. The slow & dull ache afterwards is partially due to the proteins released that get attached to nerves and keep on the semi acute pain. After that the rupture itself might heal but the muscles around the area might have gone to protection mode, trying to stabilise the area (imagine a cast) and that is the stiffness one feels. The problem with that is the area might be "stabilised" in non optimal position as the body does not know that your spine is mis-aligned.
    It is there where the massage & physio might help. To get things straight, to say.

    But the core issue (pun intended) remains as your deep muscles, your routines and whatnot remain the same = Issues return.

    This is just my 0.2centimos, but have been around with quite a few athletes & individuals with the aforementioned issues.
    And almost always things boil down to living itself : Bed, Body maintenance, Work ergonomy, Headspace.

    Even today, a decade post op and 1000 days of skiing, running, mtb and whatnot = I get lazy I start to feel issues.

    The floggings will continue until morale improves.

  22. #22
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    May 2007
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    My sister had something done to her back, said it was the best surgery she could've had. I will see if I can find specifics, but I think lower fused vertebrae like Tiger.

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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danno View Post
    Steve Kerr's advice to everyone is "don't have back surgery".

    I think chirporactors and physical therapists and rolfers can be very helpful, if you find a good one. I'm not sure the projected outcome is better from surgery than it is from doing proper exercises and PT.
    This

  24. #24
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    Feb 2015
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    MA
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    Back issues. Recommendations.

    Been dealing with chronic back pain for 6 years. Mostly lower back - MRI showed herniation, bulging and height loss at L5-S1 (desiccation). When itís bad, itís bad - the family animals donít even recognize who I am, thatís how out of sorts I am physically, visually and socially.

    Tried many treatments throughout the years - PT, 2 other PT programs, chiro, massage, injections, western medicine (pills) but no surgery.

    To this point, if I had to only use one treatment provider, it would be my ROLF trained body-work massage therapist. Took me like 18 sessions total - he liked working on me because there was so much to seek and destroy. I seem like Iím down to about one acute episode / year which is a tremendous improvement.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
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    In a van... down by the river
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    I *blew* my back out back in 2011. Primary care wanted me to give it a few weeks, but nothing got better - my right leg was basically useless - I actually used crutches for awhile simply to get around. Horrific "fiery" pain on my right shin from my knee to my ankle.

    Got referred for an MRI, took it to a spine surgeon, and he basically told me surgery was the *only* option. And he scheduled me in less than a week.

    I walked out of the out-patient surgery and it was night and day. Almost all the symptoms were gone immediately. I had to be careful (and still kind of am careful with my back), but was back to regular activities (mt biking/skiing) within 6 months.

    I still have back issues (I have had them since I was in my 20's - mostly because I'm lazy) - but I'm grateful to have been "fixed" by the surgery back then...

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