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L5-S1 fusion...

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  • #41
    I'm assuming your appt is 5/22? Not too long of a wait! Don't forget to bring all your MRI films.


    • #42
      Yes, taryn, 5/22. I was surprised I would only have to wait 3 1/2 weeks. I told them too if they get any cancellations that I can be there in 20 minutes, lol. Already carrying my films on disc, along with the reports, in my purse full time!


      • #43
        I wish I had had disks of all of mine. OMG dragging around 4 sets of films was a PITA!!! So glad you have an appointment. Hopefully a cancellation will come through and you can get in earlier!
        Logging Miles with the Biscuit 530.5 Miles for 2011 visit my trail riding blog at www.dashingbigred.blogspot.com


        • #44
          Holy crap, Alfalfa. I couldn't imagine dragging all my films, poor you! I would have told them that contributed to the back issues, lol!


          • #45
            Isn't that the truth?!!!! My hubby or my mom generally carried them as I was using a dang cane. My last visit before surgery I was by myself and dragging them but it was ok. I just can't wait for Monday to get here and get to the dr to have these dang staples out. I want to scratch my back until I feel better and get a massage where one muscle is not happy!! I want to go see my horses. I miss them terribly.
            Logging Miles with the Biscuit 530.5 Miles for 2011 visit my trail riding blog at www.dashingbigred.blogspot.com


            • #46
              Been a while, but checking back in to see how my taryn and TC are doing post-op. It's about a month now. How are you guys feeling?

              @PC: my advice regarding ortho or neuro surgeons is do your homework and find the best doctor you can. Don't settle! It's important that you trust your surgeon and feel comfortable with him (or her). When I needed to find a spine surgeon for my husband in 2005, I started by looking up the best hospitals for orthopedics, and seeing if they had a dedicated spine practice. He ended up at Hosptial for Special Surgery in NYC and had an incredible surgeon (ortho), who always worked with a neuro as the attending surgeon.

              When I had my surgery, I knew the surgeon from him saving my Dad from paralysis, and I knew what the hospital's spine unit was like (I went to Morristown Medical Center in NJ). Like my husband's surgeon, he was an ortho who included a neuro on the surgical team.

              Good luck on 5/22.
              Why do I like most horses better than most people?


              • #47
                Hi ShaSamour - Doing well here! Had an appt. with the surgeon yesterday; he cleared me to start PT. Need to get the left leg and my core stronger! TC, hope you're doing well!

                PC, please update us after your appointment. Thinking of you.


                • #48
                  Glad to hear you have been cleared for PT. I wish I could magically be stronger and my legs not be so freaking weak!
                  Logging Miles with the Biscuit 530.5 Miles for 2011 visit my trail riding blog at www.dashingbigred.blogspot.com


                  • Original Poster

                    Doing OK!

                    Well, it's been a bit crazy. I've been healing OK, just impatient with everything. I certainly do have more pain in my right leg, but it is the nerve waking up and swelling from the surgery...and it's slowly getting better. Otherwise the horrible spinal headaches are a thing from the past, very thankful for that.

                    I'm sad to report that my mare who was due to foal did so on May 7th, but very tragically had to be put down early morning on May 8th leaving us with an orphan foal. She was my baby, had her for 18 years, so it was so hard letting go and doubly hard not being able to do a thing to help. My husband and daughter have been real troopers...babe is now 12 days old and doing well on milk replacer. We tried two nurse mares and it didn't work out. She is a very sweet little filly and is good enough now with nursing from the bottle that I am actually able to help out with a few feeds. Then our wee miniature dachshund took sick and had to be rushed to the emergency clinic last week...thankfully he is on the mend...but left us with a few more sleepless nights.

                    So with all the craziness that has been happening, I've been a very good girl and have not overdone anything. I just can't say enough about my incredible family and incredible friends...they have been amazing!!!
                    Home of well loved ponies...


                    • #50
                      TwinCity...SO sorry to hear that your mare had to be put down. {{Hugs}} to you. Hang in there!


                      • #51
                        Update: saw surgeon 5/22, he took xrays in addition to the MRI I brought. YOu didn't need to be a doctor to read the films. I have essentially no space between L5-S1, and what disc is left is bulging. I am developing a bone spur on the back of the vertebrae from bone-on-bone contact. I am an ideal surgical candidate and go in for the procedure 6/20. They are going in from the front and the back, front doing the cage with the bone graft in it, then clamping and such from the back.

                        He said if all goes well I could be back in the saddle in 7 months. I have a trade show for work mid August, and a wedding the end of September I am in. At least he said he will allow me out of the clamshell brace the day of the wedding, lol. That would look LOVELY in the photos!

                        Twin City, so sorry to hear about your mare.


                        • Original Poster

                          Glad you have a date Personal Champ, now it's just hurry up and wait!

                          FYI - the others were right...the first week or so post-op isn't terribly pretty, so make sure to have lots of help and don't overdo anything. One thing that I should have had around was a picker-upper type device. I'm still not cleared to bending etc. at the waist...so we are going out this weekend to find one. But I am getting better at grabbing things with my toes
                          Home of well loved ponies...


                          • #53
                            I have incredibly dexterous toes, and have been picking up stuff like that for ages, lol. My mom called me monkey feet when I was a child. I also have one of those claw thingies, good thinking!

                            I figure this rehab cannot possibly be worse than the brain surgery I had in February, hopefully!


                            • Original Poster

                              You've had a busy surgery year... I'll be crossing fingers and dexterous toes for you
                              Home of well loved ponies...


                              • #55
                                My husband told my mother and father that I should have come with a Carfax Report, LOL.

                                30 is the year of improvements/upgrades, I guess!


                                • #56
                                  Originally posted by Personal Champ View Post
                                  My husband told my mother and father that I should have come with a Carfax Report, LOL.

                                  30 is the year of improvements/upgrades, I guess!
                                  That's funny; my husband's good friend (also a farrier) told DH he should have had me vetted before we got married!


                                  • #57
                                    Update: My insurance company has deemed my procedure "not medically necessary" and won't cover it, as of now. Nice of them to let me know 10 days before the surgery was scheduled.

                                    My surgeon did the "peer to peer" with the insurance's doctor (not even a spine surgeon!) and he still said that it was not necessary.

                                    So now I have to appeal. And there's likely no way it will be fixed for next Tuesday, which sucks, because of work and a wedding I am in, my timetable is so precise and I really can't wait without screwing myself royally at my job.

                                    Insurance companies suck. Bite me, Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield.


                                    • #58
                                      PC, I've been through the appeal process (with Horizon Blue Cross/Blue Shield). In my case, they deemed the removal of a tumor in my TMJ not necessary, also a week before the scheduled surgery.

                                      Best advice I can give you is to write a polite letter (don't get emotional!). Include facts & dates - basically, detail every single dr's appt / MRI / PT / etc. regarding your back. Go back to the very first appt (that was a few years ago, IIRC?) If you haven't had formal PT for your back, can you tell them you were given exercises to do at home and they caused more pain / were ineffective?

                                      I sent my appeal letter via fax AND overnight Express Mail - I wanted a record of who signed for the letter. These letters have a surprisingly high incidence of getting lost...

                                      It worked for me (I was able to keep my surgery date), so don't give up hope - just write your letter ASAP & mail it via overnight mail.

                                      Hang in there....
                                      Last edited by tarynls; Jun. 11, 2013, 10:16 AM. Reason: more info


                                      • #59
                                        I am in the midst of the appeals process, step 1, anyway. They claim I will have an answer today.

                                        This started when I was 19, so 11 years ago. I have done PT, Chiro, then nothing, then Chiro, then Injections, then nothing, now just want it fixed. I did detail what I have done in the past via phone to the nurse that is handling my case file, and also detailed what this injury prevents me from doing.

                                        I am going in this morning for flexion/extension xrays to further detail the problem, just in case I get denied. Hopefully they will come back today and approve me. Fingers, eyes, legs and toes crossed.


                                        • #60
                                          PC- a friend of mine went through the exact same scenario you are going through. It was mind boggling and only when friend said they were hiring a lawyer did suddenly BCBS change their tune and approve a necessary back surgery.
                                          "Sometimes you just have to shut up and color."