Thursday, October 09, 2014

Backbones, Nerves and a Health Report

This morning I had an appointment with Lisa Roberts, a PA, over at the Guthrie Clinic in Sayre, PA. We discussed the pain in my back and went over the X-rays and MRI results in minute detail. I'd never had anyone go into that kind of detail before--even when I had my knees replaced. (Although to be fair, that might be because the knee is relatively less complex than the spine--both bone and discs--and the nerves, muscles and ligaments that.

Ms. Roberts showed me that the central passageway through the lumbar vertebrae was not, indeed, aligned. There was a noticeable curve and one vertebra in particular was shifted out of position. That meant that the nerves passing down the central core are getting pinched. As bad, or worse, were the bony protrusions on three of the lumbar vertebrae and the bulging discs which are pinching other nerves when they get irritated in the slightest. These nerves are not the spinal cord. That ends where the lumbar vertebrae begin. These are individual nerves that run done the leg. (Apparently those nerves are not damaged beyond repair because I still have reflexes as witnessed by the small kick I gave n both legs when Ms. Roberts whacked tapped me just below the knee cap.)

After going over the pictures slice by slice, Ms. Roberts laid out my options:
1) shots of pain killers in the affected area.
2) physical therapy.
3) surgery to get the one disc back in place and to remove some of the bone and open up the channels.

Option #1 would relieve the symptoms (pain) but would do nothing to correct the problem which will continue to get worse.

Option #2 might--with an emphasis on "might"--alleviate some of the symptoms but, again. would not correct the source of the problem.

Option #3 would go right to the source of the problem and would--with almost certainty--correct the problem for the foreseeable future.

So we discussed surgery. Depending upon what the surgeon actually finds in the film and in reality, he could merely go in and, basically, ream out the channel with a minimum invasive technique.If it warrants, he might have to get in and remove--temporarily--a section of one of the vertebra, lift it like a lid and then work on the bone and ligaments.

In either instance, Ms. Roberts said should there be no complications, it would be an overnight operation.

I've an appointment with the surgeon, Dr. Gregorie, on the 30th. I've already said that since the surgery would require a minimum of three months for full recovery, it will have to be put on hold until after January 1st. No way am I missing Christmas in Disneyland!


Rev. Paul said...

It does indeed sound like you should go for the corrective surgery. And I wouldn't miss that Christmas trip, either! :)

joated said...

Just want to be rehabbed by the end of March.

'Cause another trip to the west coast might be required in April.

Old Radio Cat said...

My wife had similar problems with her back and found relief with yoga. I certainly don't know the severity of your pain, but I thought I'd share that. It did help her avoid surgery.

If you go that route, your mileage may vary. But whatever course you choose, I wish you the best as back pain can really sap your energy and make your day miserable.

Stay tough.