Wednesday, December 5, 2007

A Day at Fort Wayne Orthopedics




Patricia and I headed out to Fort Wayne around 11 this morning for a 1:30 appointment with the Orto Surgeon at FWO....the 65 mile trip usually take an hour and a half tops, but with the 5 inches of snow, we decided to leave early....taking her van, a smoother ride than the Jeep Wrangler...although not as sure in the icy conditions.

The roads in Ohio from Celina to Willshire(on the Indiana Line) were pretty slippery, less snow in the Hoosier state made things a lot easier and we got to FWO a good hour before the appointment. My recent MRI images were in hand....and after about 15 minutes in the waiting room Doc showed up and proceeded to go over the MRI with us.

I always like somebody that does not try to talk above your head and this guy(his name is not necessary to put out on a blog) let us get into the conversation....bottom line:

The canal space between the 3rd and 4th vertebra is starting to narrow from Spinal Stenosis...in short the flow space is closing....caused by age, activity, and basically is a narrowing of the spinal canal....this is pinching the nerve, and thus the pain in the ass(for lack of a better term) and the leg pain are the results......in addition, the 5th(or lowest) disk is pretty well squashed down on the two surfaces....this causes some back pain and stiffness, but is not the cause of the main pain.....surgery? Not yet....he thinks I have a good chance of alleviating the pain with a Epidural Injection to the 3 and 4 space. This will happen after a week off Ibuprofen and Aspirin....I can take the Celebrex, but probably won't....so a painful 6 days may be coming.

I go back to Fort Wayne next Tuesday at 3PM....and they invade the back with this procedure.....sometimes these work, if not, other options will be considered. I have had one before, back in the late summer of 1993.....one step away from open back surgery...it worked to perfection, and I was pretty well pain free for the next 14 years. I don't expect that long of relief this time...why? I am 58 not 44, and the damage is not going away...best I can hope for IMO, is for this to work, and possibly work for months....giving me time to look at other options....but who knows? Maybe I'll get another shot at long term relief.

I'm not as opposed to open back or laser surgery as I once was....hard core pain will do that to you.....but if I can avoid those procedures, I certainly would welcome that as well.


Updates coming as they happen on this breaking story......lol!

7 comments:

BRUNO said...

You have ONE of EXACTLY the same "things" as I do---spinal stenosis. Yes, it is degenerative---at least in my case---maybe some are different, due to previous complications.

I DO know what they call "aquatic-therapy" CAN "stretch" it more open---but only VERY temporarily, at best.

I don't need to weigh you down with "doom and gloom", so I'm shuttin' up! Keep us up-to-date on any "late-breaking" developments...!

pat houseworth said...

No problem Bruno....I have been reading up on it(ain't the internet great?)

Seems one cure(actually is no cure) is losing weight...sometimes surgery. I will go with the injection for now....one thing I did notice, I gained about 12 pounds over the summer....the goal is to get this off(never easy, let alone over the holidays)...but at least I know what I am facing...the MRI is a great tool...I could actually see the problem area...knowledge is a good thing....

The Hermit said...

Remember that song, I think the Stones did it, where part of the refrain was "what a drag it is getting old."

So true.

GUYK said...

Pat, my wife had back surgery a year and a half ago for about the same thing..it took her a few months of some serious physical therapy and she still has to work on her treadmill every day but she has nearly recovered back to a normal life..it was to the point where it was either surgery or a wheel chair.

pat houseworth said...

GuyK: Sometimes a wheel chair seems nice....I actually sat in my father-in-laws over Thanksgiving....he uses his on occasion.

I'm not that far gone just yet....my goal is to lose the 10-15 lbs...and be pain reduced by the start of baseball umpire work in late March.....hopefully I can hold off surgery for the time being....time will tell.

Buck Pennington said...

I'm not as opposed to open back or laser surgery as I once was....hard core pain will do that to you....

I hear THAT. I was begging my orthopedic guy to cut me at the end of my lil back-odyssey. And like GuyK's wife...the surgery worked. For me.

But, all in all...good news, Pat. I hope the injections work.

~Fathairybastard~ said...

Take care of yourself man. I hope everything works out and you heal up.