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Recovering from T9, T10 and T11 Laminectomy for severe spinal stenosis

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  • Recovering from T9, T10 and T11 Laminectomy for severe spinal stenosis

    I am post op one week today. I started having electrical shocks down my back and legs mid October. By late October I was wobbling when I walked. I had MRI that was odd...no ruptured disk. Some dark spots on spinal cord. Had a zillion blood tests and nerve shock tests and had to rule out MS as it was presenting somewhat like a demylinating disease. Ugh.. Spinal taps and several different doctors and 2 more MRI's. I got where walking was so hard - I looked like a drunken sailor. I could ride at a walk or jog but that was it. I was practically dragging my right leg - couldn't hardly raise it but a few inches off the ground.

    3 weeks ago they finally ruled out MS thank God and I was scheduled for surgery. Top notch surgeon said it was compressed even more than it showed on MRI's so he did T 10 and 11 and a partial on T9. I came off of my horse last year flat on my back. I actually pitched over the top of him and landed on a rotten small stump on soft dirt. It hurt a little but I got up and brushed myself off and got on my horse. They think this could have caused it as this is odd in the spot. Anyhooo.....my doctor said 2-3 months prior to the surgery and when I left the hospital Friday I said "ok...when can I run in an endurance race?" and he said 6 months. I don't know when I will be able to ride. I am 54 years old and was training to do just a low level LD ride when this started. I was so disappointed.

    I have a brand new endurance saddle that sets me to forward now that I have to sell because my balance is freaking way off. I can ride in a deep pocket (or my last two rides were in hubby's Billy Cook!) way better so I will be getting something else.

    Has anyone else had this surgery - no fusion - just laminectomy? The surgery was a major success. I can lift my foot up about 12" easily now and my walking is not normal but way closer than it was. My mom was ecstatic.

    My cousin and I ride together every weekend and now of course, I can't. Just wanting to know how long it took to get over this and back to riding - nothing fancy - just trail riding on a pretty dang gentle non spooky fellow. My cousin just happens to be the director of an ER so I do have a nurse at all times LOL

    I miss my horse something fierce - I won't be released to even ride in a car for 2 weeks. Hoping to hear good news for y'all that have been where I am at.
    Logging Miles with the Biscuit 530.5 Miles for 2011 visit my trail riding blog at www.dashingbigred.blogspot.com
  • Original Poster

    Ok...so maybe no one has had this exact surgery but anyone have surgery on their thoracic area of any kind?

    I am getting better everyday. Feet and lower legs are still numb but my toes are better today. The numbness is weird - it moves around. Tiny bit of drainage where the actual drain in my back was but that is almost done. I wanted to sit on one of my padded barstools last night to make a gum paste peony but that didn't work out so well. I am a cake decorator and have two weddings this weekend. Cake Friends are helping me thank God. I want to do everything I can to get better so that I can resume riding even if it is just slow riding on the flat!
    Logging Miles with the Biscuit 530.5 Miles for 2011 visit my trail riding blog at www.dashingbigred.blogspot.com


    • #3
      I don't have experience with your surgery at all or even thoracic, but wanted to say that I'm glad you're feeling better and getting better everyday. Hooray!

      It's good that you have friends to help you with your cakes - two wedding cakes for this weekend sound like a lot of work to me. lol

      Don't overdo it and best wishes for a speedy recovery


      • Original Poster

        thanks rubygirl.

        I am better. I didn't take pain meds or muscle relaxers at all today. I am supposed to take them twice a day. Yesterday they made me way too woozy. I don't do well on meds like that and I think they had built up in my system and POW...I was drunker than Cooter Brown for 2 hours.

        I miss my horses something fierce. I cake decorate to support them. Two weddings aren't bad unless you are ate up with the body rot and then yeah...wish I had been able to have this in February - I didn't have one wedding cake in February! If you would like to see my cakes they are at www.cakessospecial.com take a peek!
        Logging Miles with the Biscuit 530.5 Miles for 2011 visit my trail riding blog at www.dashingbigred.blogspot.com


        • #5
          Op just remember thAt its ok to take pain meds when needed! I have not delt with back surgery but as someone with chronic pain i can tell you that withtye layup it can really effect you emotionally.

          I dont do so great when im not riding it keeps me realatively sane, though im too broke to ride now snd uni is pushing said sanity and it comes out as physical stress for me
          Beyond the Ring-para dressage, training, coaching

          Proud Team Four Star Minion! Renegade for Life!


          • #6
            Wow - your cakes are gorgeous!!!! There are so many ones I love I can't even keep up --- the cherry blossom cakes, stars & moon, shells....... Gracious, you are talented!

            If I ever got a cake that pretty I wouldn't want to eat it. lol

            Muscle relaxers make me feel that way too. Like a limp noodle that could take flight at any moment. Hopeully you will continue to improve and be able to quit taking them soon.

            I'll bet you do miss your horses. When will you be able to go and visit them? Horse therapy always makes me feel better, even if it's just to watch them in the field and then give them a carrot

            Okay, I just saw that you have two weeks before you can ride in the car. I hope they go by very fast. But just think of all the homemade horse treats you can make for them in that time frame. lol


            • Original Poster

              Teddy, thank God I am not really hurting now except for occasional twinges. I took both meds last night when I went to bed. I do have one spot just to the left of the incision that feels like a tight muscle that needs a massage. UGH. The corset is I think causing that but like I said, that is to be expected. I think I am doing ok.

              Horses keep me sane too. I bought them so I could smell their horsey smell, run my fingers through their manes and kiss their velvety noses. I am pretty dang crazy about my horses. I have two Quarter Horses - Biscuit, a palomino about 15.1 and such a sweetheart. Good trail horse, non spooky and he has such a wonderful jog. Sarge is my husband's horse - he is 15 hh on a really good day, has been trained for team penning and is a great trail horse as long as he is in front. LOL hubby makes him stay in the back and that really annoys Sarge. Sweet as pie, coppery bay in color - and gives me kisses all the time. What is not to love about Sargent?

              Rubygirl, thanks so much. I work at it pretty dang hard. Two cake buddies are helping me get my cakes out because I can't lift or bend. I am doing a seashell wedding cake this weekend and a wedding cake with a big peony on top out of sugar. They will be here after lunch to help me.
              Logging Miles with the Biscuit 530.5 Miles for 2011 visit my trail riding blog at www.dashingbigred.blogspot.com


              • #8
                OP - I had thoracic surgery some years ago - as in lung surgery.(in thru back, under shoulder blade) Not sure it was anything like yours, but: drove the car about 2 weeks out. I think I was back on the horse at 5 weeks - surprised me, made dr. crazy, but I was feeling pretty good. Only walked him for maybe a week and slowly built up from there. Good luck!
                We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........


                • Original Poster

                  2tempe - OMG that would be wonderful if I could ride at even 3 months - 2 would be fabulous!!

                  I think I am doing pretty well - I am not taking pain meds or the muscle relaxer except at night. It is not so much that I am hurting - I just want to be sure and sleep! It is hard to sleep with staples in the middle of your back. It feels funny and if I turn on my side it twists it somewhat and that feels funny too. Ugh.

                  I went out and walked on the driveway today but tired pretty quick. I was up late working on cakes and then at it again this morning. I did have 2 friends help me with the cakes but I did all of the decorating on them. I was very tired this afternoon and I am about to turn in! Glad you improved so quickly - that couldn't have been very fun!!
                  Logging Miles with the Biscuit 530.5 Miles for 2011 visit my trail riding blog at www.dashingbigred.blogspot.com


                  • #10
                    Do what little walking you can, then take a nap. Little bit every day. Think like reconditioning the horse! My sleeping issue was that I had to sleep sitting up for a long time. My other big (ha ha) issue was that I could not wear a real bra for quite a while. Thankfully it was winter and I could layer stuff over the girls, and finally found a front zip, wide back sports bra that didn't touch the incision area and provided a bit of support!
                    We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........


                    • #11
                      Sorry, have never had to deal with anything more than a sprained back (horse related. Of course) but i hope you feel better soon and those cakes are FABULOUS!!
                      Today I will be happier than a bird with a french fry.


                      • Original Poster

                        Thanks Charimaryllis - I appreciate that. Sprained back doesn't sound fun either!!!

                        2tempe today is the first time I put a bra on. My mom's cousin came to visit and since it is a man I thought I would dim the headlights. The strap in the back runs right across the incision but it doesn't seem to be bothering me so it is all good.

                        I am going to take a nap now!!! My son brought me bar-b-que that he made yesterday and it was pretty dang good!
                        Logging Miles with the Biscuit 530.5 Miles for 2011 visit my trail riding blog at www.dashingbigred.blogspot.com


                        • #13
                          Was youtubing maybe look intto A reactor panel endurance, they are really popular and the dutch team uses them bonus of being adjutable

                          I can only give dressage and jump saddle opinions but generally the higher priced ones were more comfy

                          Ooh i want a chelderic soo comfy
                          Beyond the Ring-para dressage, training, coaching

                          Proud Team Four Star Minion! Renegade for Life!


                          • Original Poster

                            I am getting better but my gait is still a little off and I still get tired. Monday the 20 staples come out WOOT!!!!! My friend Betty is going to take me to Houston and we will certainly celebrate getting rid of the zipper in the back. I am under the weather today and was throwing up. OK....throwing up when you just had back surgery and can't bend over is not really a fun thing to do. Hoping I don't have a virus and it was just taking meds on an empty stomach. A nasty bug is going around!!!
                            Last edited by AlfalfaGirl; Apr. 30, 2013, 01:57 PM. Reason: wrong word! DUH!!
                            Logging Miles with the Biscuit 530.5 Miles for 2011 visit my trail riding blog at www.dashingbigred.blogspot.com


                            • Original Poster

                              I just got back from the doctor a little while ago. Staples are gone!! Woot!!!! I am improving and can now get out and about. I have to walk more every day and build up my core muscles again. I will add swimming in a week or so after the little holes from the staples heal closed. I will see the doctor again on July 1 and hopefully he will clear me for riding even if it is at a walk!
                              Logging Miles with the Biscuit 530.5 Miles for 2011 visit my trail riding blog at www.dashingbigred.blogspot.com


                              • Original Poster

                                I am clicking along but still get pretty dang tired. My daughter graduated from college a week ago and I had to climb up and down stairs. I did just fine with my back but it wreaked havoc on my knee where I had surgery almost 2 years ago. I can't walk too much right now because of my knee being super aggravated. Still a little wobbly, still numb but it is getting better. Looking forward to July 1 to see what the doctor says. Miss riding my horse so much!
                                Logging Miles with the Biscuit 530.5 Miles for 2011 visit my trail riding blog at www.dashingbigred.blogspot.com


                                • #17
                                  Good luck, AlfalfaGirl! I haven't had thoracic surgery, but I have had lumbar and two cervical surgeries. The lumbar was in 1995 and was a laminectomy without fusion. The two cervical surgeries were with fusions.

                                  The 1995 experience left me with severe cauda equina, which has left me with a permanent cauldal block. I can't feel my bum, the back of my thighs, my right calf or either foot. It feels really bad at first, but you do get use to it eventually.

                                  My problem is that my disc herniates inward, onto my spinal cord. So far I have had three surgeries to repair damage to the cord. The most recent was in October, when I ended up with a fusion with hardware at C-4, C-5 and C-6. I couldn't lift my left foot up high enough to take a step, either! Kind of puts a damper on getting around, doesn't it?

                                  I riding again about 4.5 months out from surgery. I started off slow, and then built up. I might have over done it though, since I a having some pain in my groin that makes it hard to mount. I can ride through it, stretching down into the stirrup on that side, and it seems to go away. I worry now that I have had this happen three times. It has made me paranoid. I don't know how I would deal with losing my horse and riding.

                                  Anyway, good luck with your recovery. I hope you regain your sensation and that your back in the saddle and stronger than ever.


                                  • Original Poster

                                    Thanks Sheilah. So sorry you are having such problems. Ugh. Nerve pain/injury is the pits.

                                    I joined a local Wellness Center on Monday and went the first time Tuesday to walk in the pool and then joined in a Water Aerobics class. I did ok and it didn't hurt my knee. I was pretty much able to keep up except for balancing on one leg!! I went yesterday and walked in the water - going from my waist to the middle of my neck. I so enjoyed it. I am going to keep going.

                                    I couldn't go Thursday and I can't till Monday. I have such a busy week with cakes I want to just bust. Three 4 tiered wedding cakes, a semi-sculpted groom's cake and a 3 tiered pirate themed quinceneara cake. Ugh....thank God I have two cake budding helping me. They are busting their butts for me. I baked cakes yesterday with the help of my friend and my other buddy made fondant and buttercream. They came at different times today. I iced cakes for hours today. I now have two 4 tiered cakes iced, covered in fondant and ready to decorate.

                                    I am also exhausted and wobbling like a weeble people. Not in pain - just so off balance and wobbly. I think the walking in the water/aerobics class gave my muscles a run for their money...and my muscles lost.

                                    I do not have another wedding til June 29 and so I will be going to the Wellness Center every day except when we go out of town next weekend. I want that doctor to notice a difference and let me ride....even at a walk would be blissful!!!

                                    Hope you get better....maybe walking in water would help you too. I relaxes me and that helps. My feet and lower legs are freaking numb and that makes me nuts!
                                    Logging Miles with the Biscuit 530.5 Miles for 2011 visit my trail riding blog at www.dashingbigred.blogspot.com