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#199264 - 03/25/18 12:54 AM Current Status
goobee Offline
Regional Pro Contender

Registered: 02/25/15
Posts: 543
A/S/L: 58/M/Sunny California
I've been away from bowling for a while, thought I say a few words. I bowled an ABT event in Vegas at the end of January and experienced pain beyond belief (on a scale of 10, with the being the worse) about 9.5. I had a MRI scan done and it showed that I have multiple disc eruptions, arthritic nodules and spinal canal stenosis. Suffice it to say, bowling has not been my prior at this time. My doctor referred me to a neurosurgeon specialist but I don't see him until May 10 due to his booked up schedule. My PT therapist thinks spinal surgery will be necessary.

Anybody else gone through this? I haven't been able to relax since the MRI came back.


Edited by goobee (03/25/18 12:55 AM)
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Legend

Registered: Fri Aug 27 2004
Posts: 10100
A/S/L: Mountain View, CA
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#199266 - 03/25/18 05:32 AM Re: Current Status [Re: goobee]
82Boat69 Offline
Touring Pro Contender

Registered: 06/24/16
Posts: 662
A/S/L: 70/M/California
What kind of surgery are they suggesting? I had surgery to fuse L3,L4 and L5 four years ago. I now have 2 plates and 6 screws holding my lower back together.

Prior to the surgery, I couldn't be on my feet for much more than a couple of minutes before the nerve pain began to build and would eventually force me to find a seat to unload it. Since the surgery, I've been pain free. I've lost about 5-10% of my lower back flexibility but that's about it.

There are many surgeries to cure back ailments and most can be watched on the internet if you know the flavor they're recommending.

Mine took 5 hours. It's very high tech now. They used acupuncture needles all over your body hooked up to oscilloscopes to let the surgeon know if he's near any nerves. If the disks between the vertebrae are too damaged or have simply worn away, they simply fuse them directly. If they're just damaged, they will replace them with a substance to enhance bone growth.

They also have surgeries to repair specific disks which don't involve fusing them.

I was up and walking around the next day. I went home the day after that. I had more problems caused by my catheter than I did from the surgery :-) When the nurse ripped it out, she irritated my urethra enough to cause inflammation and I had to have it put back in for a week. I recommend you have a 'male' nurse remove your catheter if you have the surgery. Someone with an appreciation for the pain involved :-)

I had one week of PT, then some strength exercises. I plan to begin playing golf again this summer. I could have played after 2 years but put it off. I was 66 when I had mine done. Younger people come back even faster.

The only problem I experienced was after my first walk, I got a cramp in my lower back and until they gave me a pain pill and it kicked in, I was in serious discomfort. No morphine drips anymore :-)

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#199279 - 03/25/18 10:47 PM Re: Current Status [Re: goobee]
82Boat69 Offline
Touring Pro Contender

Registered: 06/24/16
Posts: 662
A/S/L: 70/M/California
If you go to youtube.com and do a search on 'spine surgery', it will show a number of animated and real surgeries. Enjoy!

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#199280 - 03/25/18 11:48 PM Re: Current Status [Re: goobee]
goobee Offline
Regional Pro Contender

Registered: 02/25/15
Posts: 543
A/S/L: 58/M/Sunny California
I really don't know at this point, I don't get to see the neurosurgeon until May 10. My regular doctor didn't hazard any opinions and just referred me to see him. Apparently this guy is good, my therapist's dad is his patient as well.
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#199281 - 03/26/18 12:46 AM Re: Current Status [Re: goobee]
82Boat69 Offline
Touring Pro Contender

Registered: 06/24/16
Posts: 662
A/S/L: 70/M/California
Right after my surgery, my surgeon had the same operation. When I went in for my 6 month follow-up, I had been pain free. My surgeon said he was still having issues. When we talked at my 1 year follow-up, he was also pain free.

A lot of people go through a lot of pain because they've heard this or that about back surgeries. Today, it's very high tech and the success rates are much higher.

Other than the pain from my incision, within 2 days, I wasn't hurting at all. I was given 5 Oxycodone pills and never used any of them.

I've also had rotator-cuff surgery and shot a 300 game 30 days later. Albeit, with a 15 pound ball instead of 16. That surgery was much more painful. They basically bandage your arm to your body for 10 days until they take the stitches out. Then they send you to a PT to have them break your arm loose. I bought a device that fits in a door and broke my own arm loose. PT went really smooth after that.

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#199286 - 03/28/18 01:33 AM Re: Current Status [Re: goobee]
goobee Offline
Regional Pro Contender

Registered: 02/25/15
Posts: 543
A/S/L: 58/M/Sunny California
Yeah, I'm a bit hesitant when it comes to operating on my spine. frown
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#199290 - 03/28/18 10:52 PM Re: Current Status [Re: goobee]
champ Offline
Virtual League Champion

Registered: 11/30/10
Posts: 2127
A/S/L: 30/M/AZ
Sorry to hear about your back goobee.

I have a very close cousin who was a football star in high school and college. He had numerous back injuries that caused him to spend his 20s and 30s in constant pain. He had gotten to a pretty dark place, barely able to work, needing lots of pain medication etc, but was too scared to have the surgery.

Finally he got the surgery (a series of three spinal surgeries in fact) and he said he felt like a completely different person after the first one. Able to smile for the first time in a decade. No need for pain meds. Able to be active and have fun again. He says he sincerely wished he knew how easy it was because he never would have hesitated.

These days, surgeon have become so good, almost everything is routine. I wish you the best of luck, and keep us in mind with updates.
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#199303 - 03/30/18 12:53 AM Re: Current Status [Re: goobee]
Jason_C Offline
Junior Master

Registered: 11/15/17
Posts: 34
A/S/L: 41/M/New York
I had a spinal fusion (L4, L5 and S1) a few years back. Well more than a few years it was 20 years ago. I have a titanium scaffold, 5 plates a bunch of screws. They took out one of my disks and put in a metal wedge to limit my ability to bend at the waist. The surgery back then took a little over 9 hours. They went in the front and the back so I have a 15" scar running down my stomach that now makes my belly button off center (A source of great amusement for my kids) and 2 scars on my back. Back then I was not allowed to lift anything more than a half gallon of milk for the first 8 months. Then at the one year mark I started physical therapy. My back was extremely messed up because of my rheumatoid arthritis and that caused the majority of the issues. The vertebra themselves had crumbled so much they did not have to harvest bone from my pelvis for the bone grafts. They just took the bone chips floating around and ground them up for the grafts. My surgery is definitely not the standard fusion. That said about 18 months after surgery I was pain free. That lasted a good 12-15 years until I had an accident and messed up the fusion and the bones above it.

These days it is MUCH better. my cousin just had L3, L4 and L5 fused. Just like 82Boat69 he was out of the hospital in less than 4 days. He was at therapy within a week. I was astounded by how quick they are able to heal now with the more advanced techniques for surgery.

I am unable to have surgery to fix any more of my back because of issues that I have but if I had the option I would do it. The good news for me was that this all is the reason I got back into bowling. My doctors recommended it as a good way to strengthen my core and stabilizer muscles for my back and also to help increase my flexibility for the RA. It has lowered my pain level a lot. I have been able to cut pain meds by just under 50% in the 9 months that I have been back bowling. Not to mention it is fun and I went from not bowling for over 20 years to now having a 175 average bowling my first 600 since I came back to the game and now have a high single of 254. So you may end up finding bowling to be a God send for you . It has been for me.
I hope and pray that it all works out for you. It is scary to think about surgery of any kind let alone on your spine.But Doctors today are great and technology and techniques are amazing. You will be back on your feet in no time. When I was 20 and getting ready for my fusion my biggest fear was the 2% chance of permanent impedance lol. Hang in there and IT will all work out

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