Barb had FIRST back/lumbar surgery yesterday

Barb was diagnosed with DDD (degenerative disk disease) decades ago. Over the last year, her lower back pain kept increasing. Her pain clinic increased the basal rate of her implanted Morphine pump twice at 15% each time. Didn’t help much.  MRI or CAT scan showed that L3 and L4 disks had “chipped”, shed, or something that caused one of her nerves to have impinged, causing increased/progressive pain in her lower back and down her left leg.

She kept hoping that there would be some “miracle” and things would improve.  She finally admitted that surgery was her only option. I reached out ( via his pt portal ) to the surgeon who did an excellent job with my partial knee last year, and asked “Do you know a neurosurgeon that is worth their salt”?  Those of us in healthcare, understand that all are generically educated and licensed, but not all are generically competent!

I talked to Barb’s surgeon after all was said & done, and he did not encounter anything unexpected, apparently, the MRI or CAT scan was extremely accurate. Back surgery is always a “crap shoot”, outcomes can result in the pt having no pain improvement, pain being worse or the pain being reduced to some degree. In reality, it can take up to 3 months to make a decision on how well the surgery went.

I reviewed Barb’s post-procedure pain meds prescribed with her nurse and it appeared that the surgeon prescribed ample opioids that should at least put a “significant dent” in her surgery-induced pain.

In the next couple of days, I become a 24/7 caregiver for an unknown length of time.

3 Responses

  1. Good luck to you and your wife on a speedy and pain free recovery.

  2. I found out yesterday I must have surgery. Dr said 60% closure at L1. I hope to put it off with denervations until I move to Idaho. Dr Christianson’s nurse and I had a long talk. Dr said discetomy then laminectomy. That will make c2 to T3, L5-6 then L1-2. I am not looking forward to it. I am glad Barb is ok.

  3. I’m glad to hear that all seems to have gone well in Barb’s surgery. Also, I am exceedingly happy to hear she’s being taken care of. I wish her a speedy recovery and the best possible outcome.

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