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back surgery info wanted(10 posts)

back surgery info wantedmdooley
Apr 10, 2001 8:05 AM
I'm scheduled to have a laminectomy (ruptured disc surgery)in a few days. Has anyone experienced this type of surgery and how many days/weeks did it take before you could get back in the saddle?

Mark
re: back surgery info wantedSpineGuy
Apr 11, 2001 3:17 PM
Ive never had the surgery, nor am I a doctor. I sell spine implants, so I am somewhat familiar with the territory. But, I am not as familiar with recovery time for laminectomies since they do not involve anything that I sell.

First, just ask your surgeon the same question you asked here, he will give you an answer.

I would venture to guess, that you would be out(no riding) a minumum of a month, possibly longer. I could be totally wrong though.

Good luck!
re: back surgery info wantedSkip
Apr 11, 2001 7:16 PM
Is it a cervical or lumbar disc? How old are you? Are you overweight? What is your general health and physique like? Activity level? Nutrition? How and why did the disc rupture? Is it a partial or complete rupture? Was it a sudden/acute onset rupture or did it happen over time (chronic)? Did it rupture anteriorly, posteriorly, or to the side? Are the dorsal or ventral nerve roots involved? Atrophy present? What type of repair is planned - fusion, implants (metal, bone, cement, etc.)? Plus many other questions need answering before you can render any generalities of a time frame for healing.

As an aside, I had an acute rupture of my C6-7 8 years ago from pulling 5+ G's, performing aerobatics. I had a cadaver bone fusion on Friday, checked out of the hospital on Saturday, and was back at work on Monday. Wore a cervical collar while driving for the first 3 months and was limited to lifting no more than 10 # for 3 months, but was otherwise "normal". But everyone is different, and will require more or even less time to heal. Best of luck and follow your Dr.'s orders.
You had....SpineGuy
Apr 12, 2001 12:56 PM
...an ACDF (anterior discectomy and fusion). Which is done with an apporoach through the front of the neck.

A laminectomy whether lumbar (most common) or cervical (not as common)is done with a posterior approach which requires muscle disection. Basically the muscle tissue is stripped away from the spine, in order to get to the posterior elements, i.e. the lamina. Either case requires quite a bit longer rehab than an anterior approach procedure.

I would be willing to bet that there is also a bit of stenosis invoved, along with the herniated/ruptured disc. A simple micro-discectomy is usually all that is done for a ruptured disc.

Either way, his doctor needs to answer these questions.

One other note Skip. If you were to have that operation today, you more than likely would have a titanium plate affixed over the 6-7 segment, and wouldnt have to wear a collar of any sort. Also, smart move having allograft instead of using your own Illiac crest for the graft. I hear bad things about post op pain from autograft harvest sites...pain that sometimes last forever.
re: back surgery info wantedJohnG
Apr 15, 2001 7:48 PM
Man I hope you have REALLLLLY thought about this!!

I had a "micro-diskectomy" (L5-S1) and I've never been right since! And this was from a top notch sports med surgeon.

Have you tried resting the injured area for AT LEAST 6 months??? One of the main problems with back injuries is that they take a while to heal..... MANY will heal if "treated" properly.

Sorry for the negative nabob post but I always try to discourage this course of action .... or at least use it as a VERY last hope.

good luck!
JohnG
re: back surgery info wantedWCC
Apr 16, 2001 1:54 PM
1st, let me say, that I am SpineGuy who posted above.

Not trying to make assumptions here, but. Just because someone is a top notch Sports Med. surgeon, doesn't mean he is a good Spine Surgeon. Most sports Med guys are work mainly in knees,hips,elbows...etc. Now, that being said, your surgeon may have had extensive spine training, and indeed be excellent. Another thing, that I would reccomend is getting referals from someone you know who works in the industry, like an OR Nurse, or a surgeon or anesthesiologist who is a personal friend. Not just a referal from a family doctor. Everyone I know who sees a Dr. for some ailment always says, "they are the best", or "he/she is supposed to be the best" Well, let me tell you, they are all not "the best" some are really bad.

But, I think JohnG gives some good advice. Get a 2nd opinion, maybe a 3rd. See if anyone reccomends a conservative approach. Surgery would bea last option for me, no doubt. I don't think anyone is ever "the same" after having back surgery. But sometimes it is the way to go.
re: back surgery info wantedJohnG
Apr 17, 2001 9:11 PM
Good comments....

My surgeon was a 'Spine only' specialist at one of most famous sports med "shops" in So Ca. Don't want to name names but you probably know the shop I'm talking about if you are in the bus yourself.

The point I was trying to make is that this is a VERY serious deal! Always get a second opinion and NEVER from a surgeon! Oh, I also had another surgeon recommend a lamenectomy(sp) and I nearly ran out of his office. These guys buy their Porches and trophy wives with the proceeds from these deals. Sorry for the cynicism but I think these types of surgeries are, in general, WAY overdone. I was sold on the idea that a little nip-tuck would put me back on the road and I'd be racing in 6 weeks. Not!

Fortunately, I can ride which turns out to be more 'fun' than running.

Once again good luck to the patient!
JohnG
re: BACK SURGERY IS OVER!!!!!!!!!mdooley
Apr 20, 2001 5:26 PM
My operation was a sucess. I'll have to stay off the bike for 4 weeks. Thanks to everyone for their reply.
re: BACK SURGERY IS OVER!!!!!!!!!Skip
Apr 20, 2001 8:36 PM
Follow Dr.'s orders, and best of luck.
re: BACK SURGERY IS OVER!!!!!!!!!JohnG
Apr 20, 2001 9:33 PM
Best of luck!!!!

Don't do any knucklhead things like barefoot water ski from a long line 8 weeks after the surgery..... ;o)

Rest, streatch, and follow the docs orders!

good luck again
JohnG