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Another update on hubbys back

Moms View Message Board: General Discussion: Archive April 2006: Another update on hubbys back
By Shann on Tuesday, April 11, 2006 - 01:40 pm:

We went to the Nurosurgen yesterday and he looked at hubbys mri report and said it looked pretty bad. He put him on 2 different meds and it going to see if it happens to get better in the next 2 weeks if hubby feels 100% better no surgery he has a 10% chance of getting better in the next 2 weeks. The Doctor said as it looks right now he is going to have to have it done. The surgery he is going to do is make a small insision and pull out the herniated part. He said that he has a real good chance of that working and will not have anymore problems but there was like a 15% chance of it happening again and would have to have another surgery. The other surgery it where the fuse the spin back together and the dr told him he would be out of comission for no less than 6 months but he said that the surgery will be the lesser of the 2 and will be out about 4 to 6 weeks. I really like the Dr. He was up front and pulled no punches. They also were not happy with Dh dr. down here. dh blood pressure has been out of control we called his dr here explained what was going on and have yet heard back from him. So the nurosurgern said we can't have that and made him an appointment with another dr. who comes highly recommended. so dh goes in this Thursday. we went back to his old blood pressure medicine it has been right at normal the older dr took him off of it bacause there is a one and 300 thousand chance it could cause his asthma to get worse he took him off of it put him on this new one and it has been scary high so I told dh if you don't hear from your doctor which was last Friday to go back to the one that worked. So as of yesterday it looked really good his blood pressure was normal and have yet heard from his other dr. So all in all things are going okay we are now set that he is going to have to have surgery. Its just kinda scary. to think of them cutting into his back.

By Tripletmom on Tuesday, April 11, 2006 - 02:43 pm:

(((HUGS))) My DH was 29 when he had his 1st surgery.It happened at work and couldnt go back to his pre-injury job(construction)He was retrained at another occupation(PTA)He ended up having 2nd surgery(just from coughing)8yrs later and now has permanant nerve damage in his left foot.He is presently working full-time and just had learned to live with the numbness.He goes for massage therapy now every 2nd week and it seems to control it a little better.Good luck to you and you're DH.My DH had herniations I believe at T4,T5(((HUGS)))

By Karen~moderator on Tuesday, April 11, 2006 - 02:51 pm:

Shann, our attorney just had a spinal fusion done at L4/L5 six weeks ago, and he was back at work last week. Mind you, he was working a VERY light schedule, but he's doing remarkably well, and says he feels 95% better. I don't think 6 months off sounds right.

As for being afraid of surgery, that fear is normal. But IMO, a neurosurgeon is the one you want if you're having surgery on your spine. The incisions are small - mine is maybe 2" long - and that is from 2 surgeries. Back surgery is much less invasive now than even 5 or 6 years ago, many, many advances have been made. Our attorney has this thing *implanted* in his surgery site that connects to this small case that attaches to his belt - whatever this thing does, it's speeding the bone growth at the fusion. It is not permanent, it will be removed. Amazing what they can do now.

If your DH's disk is in pieces, surgery is his best bet. In most cases, you want to avoid a fusion if possible, because you do lost mobility in that area. I have ruptured the L4/L5 twice, and L5/S1 once. I was told if I do any more damage to the L4/L5, I am facing a fusion, so I'm *really* trying to be good! I know you're worried, but as long as he follows this doctor's advice, I think he will do well.

{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{HUGS}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

By Tripletmom on Tuesday, April 11, 2006 - 03:37 pm:

OOOps I goofed I meant L4 and L5.

Karen-After 2 surgeries my DH only option would be fusion too.He's trying to be careful also.

By Karen~moderator on Tuesday, April 11, 2006 - 05:34 pm:

Sherri, I think most people end up with some kind of permanent nerve damage. My big toe on my right foot is permanently numb, the hamstring and calf muscle don't work anymore - hamstring is at maybe 10-15%, and the calf muscle is at maybe 30-40% - and that's the best they will ever be, and that's after much physical therapy and stimulating those muscles. I also don't have a reflex when you hit my achilles tendon on that leg. I had the opposite of *drop foot* after my surgery.

By Cocoabutter on Tuesday, April 11, 2006 - 05:38 pm:

Have no experience in this area but I am pulling for your dh and praying for a full recovery either way. :)

By Ginny~moderator on Tuesday, April 11, 2006 - 10:08 pm:

I agree with Karen and others, a neurosurgeon is indeed the way to go, and if it doesn't clear up soon it sounds like surgery is the only avenue to stop the pain and avoid permanent nerve damage. The kind of procedure you describe is a whole lot less invasive than the kind of surgery they were doing back in the early 80s, when my disk went, and I don't think mine was anywhere near as bad as your hubby's. (I didn't have surgery, because my problem was much less serious.)

I remember you talking about dh planning to use his vacation time, and it sounds like that won't be near enough. And it is really important that he takes the time the doctor says for a full recovery to help avoid future problems. Has he talked to his employer about taking Family Leave under the Family Medical Leave Act. Here's a quick overview from the Department of Labor: http://www.dol.gov/esa/whd/fmla/

If hubby's job employs 50 or more people, he is eligible. This saves his job for him for up to 12 weeks of leave, and the company must maintain his health insurance while he is out. If hubby's boss isn't clear on it or doesn't have a procedure for this program (assuming the company employs 50 or more people), check out the section titled Guides. I know it is very important to apply for FMLA *before* the absence begins, and the employer can require that the doctor fill out a form stating the need for absence from work - that's also covered on the web site, with a sample form.

I will be thinking of you and dh, and keep him in my prayers.

By Ginny~moderator on Tuesday, April 11, 2006 - 10:12 pm:

Oh, and I think you were very wise to change primary care doctors. I would be very frustrated with the doc who changed his meds, with bad results, especially if he didn't monitor how the new med was working. Unfortunately, far too many docs take the advice of the drug company rep and prescribe the newest medication (usually much higher priced because it is still under patent), even if the old one was working fine. If the med hadn't triggered your dh's asthma, I don't think there was a good reason for switching, although of course he should have warned dh about what to watch for if there was that 1 in 3,000 risk. Hope the new doc works out well for you - high blood pressure is something to take very seriously, and obviously you and dh do.


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