There is some truth to your statement that it sounds too good....there really isn't any good evidence based data in the medical literature to demonstrate significant long term benefit, especially in patients with moderate or severe stenosis. On the other hand, it is generally safe and is unlikely to hurt you unless you have severe stenosis in which case I have seen patients who felt worse from the treatment.
You can try this intervention, but please don't have false expectations of a miraculous long term sustained improvement. I wish you all the very best.View Thread
This is an excellent question, and one that I have to address with my surgical patients rather frequently.
First, your symptoms do suggest nerve compression which typically responds well to surgery after failure of conservative management, however, the indication for surgery is based primarily on your symptoms, in other words, you pain. If your pain at this level is still significant and compromising your quality of life, even if diminished from prior, surgery is very reasonable. If your pain is significantly diminished to the point where you have minimal discomfort, cancel surgery for now. Although a pinched nerve doesn't "unpinch" itself spontaniously, it can become asymptomatic when the inflamation resolves. Sometimes, if the the pinching is the result of a soft disc herniation or extrusion, the herniated disc may be disintegrated by the body over time.
In summary, let your pain and other symptoms dictate your decision. I wish you all the bestView Thread
Sounds like your Arachnoid cyst is fairly extensive, symptomatic, and progressive. Based on the symptoms you have been described, I am assuming the cyst is exerting appreciable pressure on your thoracic spinal cord which is why two neurosurgeons have recommended you should undergo the surgery. As for your specific question, although the information at my disposal is rather limited, given the 6 level span of the cyst (crossing the thoraco lumbar junction) I would give myself at least 12 weeks to recover. More than anything else, it sounds like you need to have a thorough pre-operative consultation with your surgeon to review your planned procedure, risks, post operative recovery, etc, so you have the most realistic expectations. I wish you all the best.View Thread
My response is late so I am hoping your problem has resolved by now. Based on your description it sounds more like an infection than a CSF leak. By now you may have had blood tests and clinical follow up to confirm and treat the infection early. The key to avoid complications from a superficial infection is early aggressive treatment. Sometime that means anti-biotics only, and in other cases, a surgical debridment is necessary.View Thread
The purpose of the MRI and CT myelogram is for diagnostic purposes, and definitive surgical intervention or any other invasive treatment is typically based on results of these studies. I agree that it is rather unusual for someone to have such great difficulty tolerating an MRI (including open MRI ?), but I assume you ended up having a CT without the contrast done. It appears to me that any treatment for your symptoms would be 100% elective based on quality of life considerations, and you should therefore discuss your options with your neurosurgeon based on the best information he has available to him. Please keep us updated. Wishing you all the best and a happy TG holyday.View Thread
First, I am glad to hear that you have survived cancer and that you are so motivated and determined to restore normal function for you and your family. You have the right attitude to overcome your pain.
Although you did not specify your exact spinal diagnosis, I can reassure you that Radio Frequency Ablation is an extremely safe and minimally invasive intervention that is extremely unlikely to put you at any significant risk for worsening pain or injury. The procedure is done as an outpatient with no incision, and has the potential to be therapeudic in that it may give you long lasting relief (even several months of pain relief would be most welcome.) Even if it does not provide you with long lasting relief, it could be diagnostic in the sense that it can localize your pain generator. That means it may help your surgeon identify and possibly treat the source of your back pain in a more definitive way.
For someone in your situation and degree of pain, there is no real downside to trying the procedure, and I would therefore encourage you to try it.
I hope you overcome your fear of this simple intervention, and I hope you derive excellent symptomatic relief that will allow you to restore a normal life for you and your family. Keep us posted.
The key to answering your question is much more based on your current level of symptoms and their correlation with specific MRI findings rather than being destracted by the report which indicates multiple findings, many of which may be completely clinically irrelevant. I am glad to hear that you have improved with the L4-5 micro-discectomy, and it appears that your surgeon feels that additional invasive treatment at this point would not be predictably helpful in releiving the minor symptoms you are still having. My advice is for you to hold off on any further surgery at this point, just as your surgeon advised you, and don't be fixated on the report which demonstrates primarily degenerative findings that do not necessitate intervention unless they become a problem in the future.
By now you may have already sought medical attention. In case you have not yet, and your symptoms have not resolved, you should. Based on the limited information you have provided, your symptoms appear to be more neurologic than vascular. Nevertheless, a blood clot is a serious condition that should be ruled out even if less likely. Good luck, and I hope your symptoms resolve soon.View Thread
Aa a spine surgeon, I share your frusration, Cidny. Though I am only minimally familiar with the specifics of your case based on your description, it is very true that there are too many patients with severe chronic back pain who cannot be predictibly helped with surgical intervention. I wish you the best, and I hope that as our field continues to evolve and advance, surgeons will be able to offer you treatment options in the future.View Thread
Your symptoms of chronic headaches and dizziness in the context of a known spinal fluid leak during your surgery, and in the context of your MRI demonstrating a fluid collection dorsal to the laminectomy site raises the suspicion of a possible ongoing slow spinal fluid leak responsible for your symptoms. Sometimes it is difficult to diagnose an active leak with absolute certainty, however, if your symptoms do not improve, consideration can be given to a blood patch, or even, as a last resort, re-exploration and repair of the tear. Your surgeon would be in the best position to direct your care as he knows the exact extent of your dural tear and its repair during the surgery. Your long term prognosis from a post operative leak is overall good, so do not get discouraged.View Thread