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What do you think?Does this happen to anyone else?

Started by wwjcpd on 03/09/2010 1:40pm

I have been having back pain for 35 years but it came and went. But for the past few years a constant problem has come along.I can walk about the house usually pain free but if I walk the hundred feet each way to the mailbox which also includes walking two seperate staircases, pain develops in my lower back. However if I sit down for several minutes the pain goes away.An orthopedic surgeon said he could help me but there was a fifty-fifty chance I could wind up needing a wheel chair. If anyone out there has or has had the same symptoms I would like to discuss it.Lately I have thought of consulting a nuero surgeon. What are the thoughts of my fellow sufferers or those who escaped their problems? Thank you!

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2 Responses


I do not have the back pain as severely as you do, but I do get radiofrequency ablation, which kills (temporarily) the peripheral nerves within the facet joints. This gives me a pain free period for 9-12 months. I would DEFINITELY consult with a neurosurgeon, preferably one at a spine center. Another doctor to consult with is a physiatrist, who specializes in pain management and physical rehabilitation. Any time a surgeon talks about surgery on the spine, always get a second opinion. I would not have surgery on my spine without a neurosurgeon involved, and would not have surgery until all other options, including implantable morphine pumps or implantable spinal cord stimulators, have been tried. You need to know your diagnosis as well to be able to make an informed decision about treatment options.

I hope this helps - best of luck and let me know how things go.


I'm 58 years old and on and off over the years, I've had back pain, but nothing that didn't subside with taking it easy for a few days - and it was alway after I had done something - like home improvement projects - that involved lots of lifting, bending etc. Back in Sept, my "real" problem started after I cleaned my bathroom floor. I tried my usual approach which didn't work, so at my husband's urging, I sought medical help. I saw a chiropractor who diagnosed a compressed disc at L5/S1 and a herniation at L3. I tried decompression therapy with him & after the third treatment was in such pain that if I had a gun I might have ended it. That led me to an orthopedist who only diagnosed the herniation and had me do physical therapy and referred me to "pain management" for an epidural. The epidural only minimally relieved my pain and before the second one, I discovered information about a microdisectomy. The orthopedist refered me to a neurosurgeon who was about 80 and didn't do microsurgery & he wanted me to see his partner who did - neither was Board Certified. A friend recommended that I try to get an appointment with Barth Green who is the "Guru of Spine" at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and heads the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis. I called & their Spine Institue procedure is for you to submit xray reports and they interview you by phone about your symptoms & treatments and then they meet and review the info and assign you to the doctor that best fits your needs. My doctor was Steven Vanni. On 12/16/09 I had a fusion (T-lif) of L5/S1 and a microdisectomy of the herniation at L3. I am so glad that I had the surgery rather than taking the bandaid approach. I'm 3 months post surgery and well on my way to recovery.

My recommendation to you is ditch the orthopedist - or anyone who only gives you a 50-50 chance of successful surgery. Go see a Board Certified Neurosurgeon - the best you can find. If you go for your appointment & his waiting room is empty - leave. You want someone who is in great demand. At the Spine Institue at UM, I waited for up to 1 1/2 hours - but believe me it was worth it. My doctor fully explained the procedure he was going to do & the complications. He explained that at this stage, surgery would be elective, but that down the road I would definitely need the fusion; he also said my herniation might resolve itself over time and he didn't proceed with that portion of the surgery until he was ABSOLUTELY SURE that the herniation was causing the particular stabbing pain that was most bothersome to me. He isn't starving for business so he didn't have to push me into anything. Spine surgery in the right hands is a much less risky procedure than it was years ago and much less invasive. I don't know where you're located, but if you're near a Medical School associated with a major hospital that's where I'd look first. If you have to travel to find the best - then travel. People come to the University of Miami from all over the world - and the weather is great!!!