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Candidate for spinal stenosis surgery. Successful surgeries out there???

Started by vlawise on 02/02/2011 8:30pm

I have L4, L5 degeneration and a bulging disc which causes pain in my right hip, leg, and intermittent numbing in my big toe. Surgery may be necessary. Has anyone out there had a similar surgery that was successful? How long was your recovery time? How long before you could return to work. What did physical therapy entail? Any input would be helpful.

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4 Responses


I`m 44 my surgery was may 15th I still can`t go back to work. So when can you go back to work Never!!!The surgery was real bad,I`m in more pain now then pre surgery My fusion was L3+L4. I had the best doc in the state lol. He said I was doing great. Well as it`s said on that post Back surgery are the % right. No they said 33% its more like O%. Read all the post on this website. (BEWARE They work for the Lazer surgery centers)You will have someone come on here saying ( You had better beleive Lazer surgery Works ) That`s a bunch of BULL my friend had it done it cost her 50,000$ it was like they put novacan in her spine it worked for30 days. Don`t fall for that crap. Sorry I`m so mad. I`m in so so much pain I wish I was dead..You Think your pain could never get worse trust me 10+ go`s to a whole new level. Ask everyone thats had a fusion.Best of Luck to you. Melanie



I am so sorry you're in pain and your surgery did not yield any relief. Thanks for your reply.


Sorry, I have to agree with Melanie. Can't give you a success story either. My condition was very similar to your diagnosis. Had a decompressive laminectomy fusion (L4,L5 level) over 20 yrs ago. Still in pain. Of course they now claim I have mild spinal stenosis. Most elderly people do, but they are not necessarily in pain. The doctor said 'you may become paralized if you do not have the operation. I had delayed having it for 13 yrs. The doctor was also supposedly the best in my area.
Strange thing, I had a therapy called vax-D, which gave me full relief before the surgery. Insurance would not cover that @ $100 a session, but were happy to pay over $60,000 for operation. Wish I had stuck with the vax-d even though my insurance claimed it was not AMA approved. Found out later it had been approved several years before I had the therapy. My advice: Try everything else before resorting to surgery. They cannot guarantee surgery will eliminate the pain.


My first spine surgery was also on the L3-4-5 region. That was in 1978, since then I have had 5 more on the lumbar region alone and 3 on my cervical spine. The disease has now progressed up into the Thoracic spine. I would be sort of safe to guess that my entire spine will probably be overtaken by this disease because at this point is sure looks like it is. My most recent lumbar surgery was a spinal fusion, that was 3 years ago and I am still waiting to see the doctor for the final release on that surgery, but I don't think he will be able to due to the fact that I am in so much pain that I end up bent over at a 45o angle within 1 minute of standing up. I had to have the surgery on my cervical spine since then because stenosis had overtaken most of the spinal column there and the doctor was more concerned that if I didn't have it taken care of first I would be paralyzed soon and once that was over with he would go back to the lumbar region. He knows already that the lumbar is giving me pain again. I expect that I will be permanently in my wheelchair before this is all over.
To answer your question as to whether or not the surgery was successful . I have to say that it was for a short duration. If the stenosis does not appear to be anywhere else even a small amount. If you have any sign of it anywhere else then I don't think that surgery would help for long because to me, it seems to grow faster each time it is removed. It grows almost like a cancer does...once it is exposed to air or surgery it just seems to start growing again.
Too bad we can't get put into a study group of surgeons about it for "Finding a way to stop Stenosis" altogether. I would be the first to volunteer!
Good luck to you with your decision. Please let me know how it goes.