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Minimally invasive surgery
Old 07-02-2012, 08:40 AM   #1
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Minimally invasive surgery

Anyone had "minimally invasive surgery" on their lower back? I was diagnosed with a bulging disc in my lower 15 years or so ago. For about 2 years it hurt like hell. It felt like someone was holding a lighter up to my skin. It was always sore and stiff. Stretching and walking helped a lot. Eventually it more or less went away although it was still stiff if I didnt move around much (like on Sundays watching football all day).

Now, it seem to be coming back. My lower back is stiff all the time. At least there;s no burning this time so its manageable. Ive tried different mattresses. A very stiff mattress does help a bit but not enough for me to not be searching for answers. I can no longer sleep on my king size $2500 tempurpedic mattress because its too spongy. Ive been sleeping on a cheapo twin mattress laying on the floor for 3 months now because feels the best on my back.

I haven't been to a doctor this time yet because I already know what he will do and I can do it on my own. However, they didn't have this minimally invasive surgery years ago so I have no idea what its all about.

Anyone help me out with info....first hand hopefully?
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Old 07-02-2012, 09:07 AM   #2
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"Minimally invasive surgery" is a general term that can be interpreted differently depending on just what they intend to do. While I haven't had minimally invasive surgery on my back, I did have both hips replaced using minimally invasive surgery. The surgeon (in Cincinnati) used computers and visual technology to minimize the soft tissue that needed to be damaged in order to implant the prothesis. The scar was only 4 inches long, I left the hospital the following day, and there was no physical therapy (just walk). I couldn't be more pleased and I did some mountain climbing 8 weeks after. I hope that helps. By the way, I had chronic lower back pain prior to the hip replacement and the pain was gone after the surgery. It seems that my posture had changed in order to compensate for the arthritic pain in the hips and indirectly caused back pain.
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Old 07-02-2012, 09:58 AM   #3
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First you need to know if it is the disc that is causing the pain. Sometimes a bulge is present but not affecting anything important. Sometimes it is the facet joints. If you have a bulge causing compression on a nerve root it will give you sciatica. If the central canal is narrowed it can affect both sides. First figure out what the issue is exactly. If you have had a scan that will pretty much tell you in the report. Before jumping into spinal surgery, you could also consider CT guided steroid and local anesthetic injections. This is just a day procedure with local anesthetic. Facet joints, nerve roots and even epidural injections can be performed this way. Basic principle with any health issue is to start simple. Usually more invasive procedures come with associated higher and more significant complications.
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Old 07-02-2012, 01:36 PM   #4
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Three minimally invasive surgeries on my lower back in 1 year. The last one was about 15 months ago and was for lumbar fusion. The first 2 were to adjust for a buldging disc and later to make more room for the exiting nerve.
I understand the pain/discomfort. Before the surgery mine was pretty bad and nothing (in bed, sitting or standing) would relieve the pain. Meds worked marginally. Back pain and aching, my back to my toes on my right leg were so numb it hurt, it felt like my foot was in a vice, and I lost a good deal of control for walking and balance. However, I could do a great Joe Cocker impression.
Get multiple assesments and recomendations for correction. Minimal invasive techniques means they won't filet you open. Instead use computer assisted methods and keep the incisions to small openings for cameras and tools.
Results vary with each individual and their need. I was told that my fusion normally resulted in a 90% success rate but the initial damage was pretty bad. Still waiting to get back to normal walking and balance without so much chronic back and foot pain. I'm quite a but better than I was before but still have a ways to go assuming I will get there someday.
On the plus side if I sit on my motorcycle in the garage I get some relief from the back pain. The down side is my wife won't let me bring it into the living room to watch TV.
MRI to check out the soft tissue for assesment then see what can be done first with a good physical therapist, massage therapist, and swimming/exercising in a pool for a less-stress type of therapy before you submit to surgery. Most good health providers should say the same thing.

Good Luck,
Cheers!
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Old 07-02-2012, 07:12 PM   #5
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Have you tried a chiropractor?

I have had manageable lower back pain for about 18 months. I went to the regular doctor after a while and he wanted me to try exercises. That's as far as I got since I can still play sports. Still have the pain. Don't trust doctors to figure it out.
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Old 07-02-2012, 07:36 PM   #6
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I had minimally invasive surgery on my lower back for a herniated disc several years ago and I am completely better now. Was in severe pain prior.
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Old 07-02-2012, 08:16 PM   #7
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Yoga for the Rest of Us - Back Care Basics (2007)

Do the routine in the above DVD almost every day of the week for a month or two and then decide. You can find it on Amazon for $12.38.
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Old 07-02-2012, 09:45 PM   #8
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My DS suffered with lower back pain for a few years. He went to a bunch of different Dr.s all with different ideas of what needed to be done. Finally he got a lead on a Dr. who had great reviews and made an appointment. He put my DS into the hospital that day, did the operation the next AM and the following day he was walking around like nothing happened.

Very small 2 inch scar on the lower back.
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Old 07-03-2012, 07:24 AM   #9
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My DS suffered with lower back pain for a few years. He went to a bunch of different Dr.s all with different ideas of what needed to be done. Finally he got a lead on a Dr. who had great reviews and made an appointment. He put my DS into the hospital that day, did the operation the next AM and the following day he was walking around like nothing happened.

Very small 2 inch scar on the lower back.
I'm assuming the doctor did an MRI first?
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Old 07-03-2012, 07:28 AM   #10
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Yoga for the Rest of Us - Back Care Basics (2007)

Do the routine in the above DVD almost every day of the week for a month or two and then decide. You can find it on Amazon for $12.38.
Exercise and stretching does help so I'm gonna try this book. Thanks. I just wonder if the mini surgery will get me to the point that I am pain free most of the time.
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Old 07-03-2012, 08:00 AM   #11
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Exercise and stretching does help so I'm gonna try this book. Thanks. I just wonder if the mini surgery will get me to the point that I am pain free most of the time.
DVD
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Old 07-04-2012, 08:07 AM   #12
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DVD
Even better. I hate reading.
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Old 07-04-2012, 10:34 AM   #13
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I just wonder if the mini surgery will get me to the point that I am pain free most of the time.
Back surgery can be tricky. My best friend has had 5 of them, and to my eye anyway each one makes him a little worse off. If it were me, I would try almost anything else, including hanging upside down from the rafters first.

Ha
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Old 07-04-2012, 10:42 AM   #14
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Back surgery can be tricky. My best friend has had 5 of them, and to my eye anyway each one makes him a little worse off. If it were me, I would try almost anything else, including hanging upside down from the rafters first.

Ha
Has he had 5 regular back surgeries or 5 of these new fangled minimally invasive surgeries. I know I don't want to have a full blown surgery. Ive had surgery on my neck, elbow and shoulder and know what the after affects are. My main question is what exactly is minimally invasive surgery? Something involving a tiny laser that apparently involves less trauma? And are the long term results and recovery much better than old fashioned surgery that we all know about?
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Old 07-04-2012, 11:01 AM   #15
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. My main question is what exactly is minimally invasive surgery? Something involving a tiny laser that apparently involves less trauma? And are the long term results and recovery much better than old fashioned surgery that we all know about?
Minimally invasive surgery is basically surgery using either a scope or a microscope with very tiny instruments and tiny incisions . The recovery is usually much quicker than regular surgery . If it were me I would try a pain clinic , a chiropractor , exercises and anything else before I had back surgery .
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Old 07-04-2012, 11:02 AM   #16
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I had a couple of years of very bad sciatic pain that radiated from my lower spine down to my right foot, and I got no relief from the Dr route, albeit a GP. Then a trainer in my company's fitness center recommended a book called "Oh my Aching Back" which had about 10 exercises for such back troubles. I did those exercises for two weeks and bamm, the pain was gone and I've had practically zero recurrences. I couldn't believe it could be that simple. I definitely think the exercise route is worth a try before moving to more drastic solutions.
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Old 07-04-2012, 01:55 PM   #17
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After trying physical therapy & accupuncture I had minimally invasive surgery 8 years ago (I was 66) for a bulging disc, degenerated disc, sciatica and while they were in there they found that they had to straighten my spine. I was told it would take 8 months to a year for me to completely recover, it took 18 months. I have had no back problems since unless I try to lift something that is over 10-=15 lbs (then I feel some lower back strain). The sicatica was totally debilitating prior to surgery.

Good luck!
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Old 07-05-2012, 12:23 PM   #18
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I had a couple of years of very bad sciatic pain that radiated from my lower spine down to my right foot, and I got no relief from the Dr route, albeit a GP. Then a trainer in my company's fitness center recommended a book called "Oh my Aching Back" which had about 10 exercises for such back troubles. I did those exercises for two weeks and bamm, the pain was gone and I've had practically zero recurrences. I couldn't believe it could be that simple. I definitely think the exercise route is worth a try before moving to more drastic solutions.
Is this the book?
Amazon.com: oh my aching back: Books

The one written by Leon Root?
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Old 07-05-2012, 12:45 PM   #19
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Is this the book?
Amazon.com: oh my aching back: Books

The one written by Leon Root?
Yes, thats it. I know very well how debilitating some of these back problems can be, so hope you get some relief.
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Old 07-05-2012, 01:14 PM   #20
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Has he had 5 regular back surgeries or 5 of these new fangled minimally invasive surgeries. I know I don't want to have a full blown surgery. Ive had surgery on my neck, elbow and shoulder and know what the after affects are. My main question is what exactly is minimally invasive surgery? Something involving a tiny laser that apparently involves less trauma? And are the long term results and recovery much better than old fashioned surgery that we all know about?
I think he has had the old fashioned very invasive kind.

Ha
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