Monday, January 19, 2015

Just a few more days...

...until I go into the hospital to have surgery on my lower back. Can't say I'm not apprehensive about the whole thing. But, it's either get the surgery or live in pain that prevents me from being on my feet for more than an hour at a time.

I may have explained this before but let me do so again. I've been suffering from pain in my lumbar spine for some time. Even before I had my knees replaced, the back has been a problem. Last summer I tripped while working in the woods up at the Bolt Hole and came down hard on my buttocks. The pain persisted through the month of July and August and in early September I went to see my primary care physician about it. He sent me to a neurologist who had some x-rays and an MRI done.

Long story short, my lumbar spine is rife with all sorts of stenosis, arthritis, thin discs and misplaced vertebrae. Nerves are getting pinched, squeezed and irritated on a constant basis but especially when I'm standing/sitting upright.

X-rays show vertbra L4 (or maybe it's L5) sliding forward 1.8 centimeters from where it should be. As the entire vertebra is only about 4 cm thick front to back, that's a little under half way.
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-x-wbRUsSWnA/TiTfYlBSukI/AAAAAAAAAfs/pafAr3aZe8A/s1600/01_lumbarsacrum_spinal_chart.jpg

The solution, according to the neurosurgeon is to go in there and scrape some of the bone spurs out, remove the (almost non-existant) discs, pull the wayward vertebra back into position, and then use some screws and pins to hold the whole mess in place until new bone can from fusing the vertebrae in place. He said he will definitely be fusing the L5, 4 and 3 vertebrae but may have to include the L2 as well depending upon what he finds when I'm on the table.

Post op, I'll be in the hospital for a couple of days. Long enough to insure there's no infection and that the surgical wound is healing well. Call it three or four days. Then it will be home where I'll be pretty much confined to the first floor for four to six weeks. No heavy lifting. No snow shoveling, No driving.

I'm sure physical therapy (aka PT, aka Pain and Torture) will become part of my routine some where along the line. But when ever, that starts, I'll still be pretty much confined to quarters through February and March.

I'm just hoping that all goes well and the result is a pain free lower spine.I might even be able to enjoy another visit to Disneyland.

******

Meanwhile, Terry goes to see the podiatrist tomorrow to find out why she's having persistent pain in her feet.

Getting old is just soooooo much fun!

4 comments:

threecollie said...

Hope all goes well...you'll be in our thoughts!

JDP said...

Will keep you and your Doctor in my prayers. You should be fine. Hope you have an ample supply of Bourbon on hand!

Tina Marie the Willow Witch said...

Sending you much healing energy for a speedy recovery.

Rev. Paul said...

Prayers for a quick recovery, friend - and a "well done!" to Terry for those smocking projects.