Spine Problem

  Bingalau 10:47 17 Jun 2007

I have been having back problems for some years now, which have been gradually worsening. After a recent MRI scan and seeing the consultant, He wants me to talk to a colleague of his to help decide whether to have an operation or to have a one off pain killing injection. The problem is two disks in my lower back, one of which is protruding forward and the other one back wards, causing an "S" shape in the spine and squeezing the nerve canal? So causing the pain. I'm reasonably fit apart from this but I am no spring chicken being 77 years old. I know we have medical type people on this forum and wondered if they have any advice about what to plump for before I see the next consultant and it becomes "make your mind up time". Maybe the FE will not allow this type of request, but I thought I would give it a shot. Thanks in advance ..Bingalau..

  Cymro. 11:01 17 Jun 2007

Things are forever changing in medicine and on the whole getting better all the time.

There was a time when they would never even consider major surgery on some one of your age.

These days they routinely operate on people of all ages right up to extreme old age.

No doubt they will take extra care that you are fit enough for the operation.

Checks on your heart, lungs and all other vital functions etc. But I would not think

they will operate on you unless they consider you fit enough to get through the surgery.

As with most things in medicine we have to trust the people we look after us and they

will not operate on you unless they consider you are fit enough to take the surgery.

  Forum Editor 11:15 17 Jun 2007

He will, provided you understand and accept that nobody here is qualified to offer medical advice, except in the most general terms. There may be forum members who claim to be medically qualified, and indeed they may be, but we have no way to check that, so we accept no liability whatsoever for the consequences of acting upon any advice offered here. My best advice is that you listen to your own medical advisers - anything you read here will simply be the personal opinions of other forum members.

On that understanding I'm happy to let the thread run.

  mikef. 11:18 17 Jun 2007

Sounds like they are recommending a Laminectomy or a nerve route injection, I was an Orthopaedic Radiographer for years so have seen plenty of both, the Laminectomy is a pretty major if routine Op whereas with the injection they inject the nerve directly with cocktail of local anaesthetic and long acting drugs, the choice varies, which deaden the actual nerve, this is done under X-Ray control.

If I had the choice I would initially plump for the nerve root injection and only go for the Laminectomy if that failed, but whatever happens talk to the surgeon and check out the pros and cons before making an informed joint decision

  Bingalau 12:04 17 Jun 2007

FE Thanks, and yes I understand what you are saying.
As I have already learned from mikef's bit here it seems that the injection may fail, which is something I hadn't known previously. I am wondering that if the injection is successful however, what other faults will it cover up in the future? I will of course ask these questions of the experts when the time comes to decide. But with the help of our forumites I may have a better idea of what questions to ask. God I am looking forward to walking straight again.... Thanks to all for the information so far.

  spuds 12:38 17 Jun 2007

Having been through the process of injections, the result was a failure, but the consultant's did warn me of this possibility. There is a fairly new procedure of 'plastic part' replacement, which seems to have had good clinical trial results. Your consultant or their colleagues should have details.

Always take the view, that what is good for one person may not be good for another. Surgery can have different results, and in my case the consultant's that I have contacted all offered similar advice. " If we do anything.The problem may get better,far worse or perhaps remain the same.Perhaps best to leave things as they are. Nothing can be guaranteed".

My saviour is the infrequent use of prescription only pain relief medication and rest in a suitable area.

  Bingalau 14:44 17 Jun 2007

pattoo and spuds. Thanks for your input, I fully understand the need to talk it over with the medical experts first and that is what I will do, but I knew there would be lots of previous experience on here. The last time I had a general anaesthetic I was as sick as a pig for about 48 hours after wards. Can they do the injection with a local? I don't mind pain but I hate being sick for hours.

  spuds 16:10 17 Jun 2007


The injections can be done with a local. I had one done once without either local or general. It all depends on the consultant, and the health and safety issue/risk.

If you were sick as a pig for 48 hours afterwards, then I would definitely mention this at the next consultation.

  TopCat® 16:15 17 Jun 2007

Here's some info on just about anything to do with back/spinal trouble click here I hope it gives you some insight into the various problems, and treatments, that can arise when all is not well. I trust you find these pages useful to you and hope the professionals can ease your pain. TC.

  Bingalau 16:59 17 Jun 2007

Spuds and TopCat.
Thanks for that information, I think I shall take my time reading it all.

  p;3 17:44 17 Jun 2007

things to consider;
how bad is the pain you have
can you live WITH that level of pain
what type of surgical operation has been offered/suggested to you as being appropriate to relieve symptoms

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