thorasic disc prolapse op

Discussion in 'Health' started by msblonde, 23 February 2009 Social URL.

  1. msblonde

    msblonde a new way of living!

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    hi everyone, just wanted to share about my experiences with my slipped disc. Problem shared = problem halved etc..

    I have always had prob's with my back, which is why i lost weight on LT last year, but just before xmas i fell down stairs when playing with the dog. I didn't really notice anything unusual at the time, aside from some numbness in my left leg. Little pain really. I mentioned it to my gp, who wasn't really that worried, so i left it.
    I do see a rheumatologist regular for fibromyalgia and mentioned it to him and he suggested an mri thinking i had a slipped disc. The mri come back showing a critical prolapse in the t10 area of my spine and i was told i'd need a 'routine' op to repair it and was referred to a neurosurgeon that day (privately). My gp rang with results of a blood test for something else and i mentioned this to him and he said 'its highly unlikely you need an op, prob just physio and antiinflamatory tabs... Final last words!

    Well i saw neuro surgeon, this was end me jan, and he said my disc was critical and i was at risk of being paralised from it and needed urgent surgery! Also the ' routine' op had turned into a, i quote, 'big big op' with a small but very real risk of: death, paralasis, pulmonary embolisn, infection, and a list of other stuff that sounded scary! I was admitted three weeks ago today and had the op the following wednesday. I was in intensive care for 5 days, high dependancy for 4 days, in a single room for 7 days and on a ward for 2 days. I was allowed to go home the day after the bed rest ended, mainly cause i kept nagging them to let me out! I had more bed rest and have to take more time off work than someone who has had open heart surgery or a triple bypass! I dont know how successful the op has been yet, the idea of spinal surgery is to prevent worsening rather than to repair. I am still numb. But it could take upto 2 years to see the full benefit.

    To do the op, it is very complicated. If i had a neck or lower back op it would have been easier, less traumatic and require less after care and time off. But because it was in the chest area of the spine, they had to operate quite close to the heart. To do this they removed a rib, deflated my left lung, removed the disc, put a titanium mesh thing in, and put me back together again. I was in theatre 10.5 hrs. Prob 8 hr op taking time off for anesthetic etc...

    When i came round i had 3 lines in my left arm, one in my neck, a lung drain, a spinal drain and oxygen. I looked a right mess.

    After 14 weeks on lipotrim to get a bikini body, i now have a 25cm scar from my left side to the middle of my back!

    Ever feel like you have wasted your time on something?!

    I am now resting at home, i need chair/bed rest for another 6 weeks so have borrowed a wheelchair so i can at least get out a bit. I am off work for at least 3 months, i'm a carer.

    Seriously. My message is this: never ignore numbness and dont always trust your gp!

    Thanks for reading.

    Love helen.
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