Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
736 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Gonn a get a Laminectomy of L-4/L-5 due to tons of bone/ligament build-up really hurting back and rt leg. My rt leg is very weak, really limiting my biking.
Any recovery info is greatly apreciated. Doc says 3 months off bike..............:madman: :madmax: NOT a happy camper when I heard that. I can still ride now just in lots of pain, can't ride anything real difficult, no hit in leg.
Thanks to everyone out there!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
413 Posts
I had a Laminectomyon L3, L4 and L5 last September for Spinal Stenosis. I had constant pain in my legs and lower back that put an end to riding at that time.It took me probably 6-7 months before I could ride again :madmax: and I have to say that was the longest 6 months.

After surgery plan on being in the hospital for at least 2 days. :madman: They will make you get up and walk the next day and trust me you will then realize why it will be at least 3-4 months off the bike. But the silver lining is you wont be in pain anymore! When you get discharged from the hospital your doctor will most likely tell you to go home and not lift anything heavier than the TV remote for two weeks.If you have a Lazy Boy type recliner you will find it is much easier to sleep in that because it will be difficult to lay down flat for about a week! The first two weeks are the hardest trust me but after that it gets easier everyday!

Best advice I can give for after surgery is to follow the doctors orderers to the letter. The key to this surgery is that you are going to build up scar tissue where they remove bone from your spine. If you do to much lifting you are going to build up to much scar tissue and than you will be back at square one.

Overall having the surgery was the best thing I could have done. I can ride harder now than I have in the past two years. Riding has once again become the one of the most enjoyable things I do and I didnt realize how much I was missing it when I tried ridding through the pain!

Good luck and happy trails :thumbsup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
736 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
hey Idriver, thanks so much for the info/help!! I sure apreciate it!1 Got one more week to go to getting cut on, can't wait to get relief!
I do understand ridding WITHOUT pain!!! I've ridden since '82 (road and tri's) and since '95 in the dirt. Ten years ago I was to have the operation but then a miracle the pain went away!! so no operation hey how old are you? I'll be 64 soon.
Thanks again!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
413 Posts
I will be 39 the end of September! I hope everthing goes well for you and if you have any questions or just need encouragment through recovery fell free to shoot me a PM. :thumbsup:
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
860 Posts
my personal war story

IRONMAN, Idriver's experience reminded me of my own, a bit. I was working as a prison guard in Sacramento when I ruptured my disc between L5 and S1. Whatever spilled out must have pushed up against my spinal cord because I had terrible pain, both localized and radiating down my legs, with numbness on the bottoms of my feet.

I had never known that level of pain. I tried prescription pills and when that failed, I drank some cheap wine and kept frozen bags of peas pressed against my low back, while at the same time, I tried to relieve the presure (compression) by laying face down on my bed draped across three stacked sofa cushions. I looked like an upside down letter "U". When the booze wore off, and I would wake up in pain, I'd get more frozen peas and more cheap wine and repeat the treatment.

Despite being a state employee, I had questionable medical treatmeant. I was sent to a doctor from Pakistan who ended up shocking me while trying to do some sort of electrical stimulation. He quickly gave up and said I needed an operation. I said I rented a video by a Harvard Doctor who said epidural steroid injections can get good results. He responded by saying that was correct and if I wanted, I could try that. I went to another physician and tried the injections but the damage was too severe and it was not helpful.

I ended up being sent to a Doctor from the Sudan, who had some difficulty speaking english. I remember being in his examining room, while he placed an MRI on the wall and turned on a back light to let me see it clearly. He said he was scheduling me for an operation the next day, to remove all the stuff that had spilled out of the disc and to clean up the area. I seem to remember him calling it a laminectomy, but I've since been told it was more likely a discectomy. What was frightening was that as I left his examining room, he stopped me and asked; was that your right leg that was giving you all the trouble, or the left," as he flipped the x-ray picture over to reverse the image. It was like he had only a vague idea of what was going on.

The operation was called a success. Despite being in hospital overnight, I pulled a typical move for me, and when discharged to go home with my girlfriend, I actually walked out the front door and proceeded to walk the four blocks back to my house. I was moving in slow motion. Even the slightest slope of peoples driveways was enough to throw me off balance and send me moving downhill and off course.

I went to rehab to get a hot ultra-sound treatment to the scar tissue, and follow that up with ice. The rehab doctor confided in me and said despite being unprofessional, he shared with me that the Sudanese surgeon was nicknamed; "the butcher", and was being sued by a patient because he crippled them while performing a similar spinal surgery. Still, I asked for very agressive rehab treatment and began swimming and then running, while keeping my core muscles strong and keeping my weight down, so I would avoid further problems. I spent six months recovering and waiting to return to work. Maybe I was lucky, in a way, because my surgeon refused to allow me to return to duty as a prison guard, because of the risk that wrestling with inmates could cause worse damage to my spine. Also because it protected him from any lawsuit that might result from further related injuries. I'm not an attorney but that is what I was guessing was his motivation. My Captain took my badge away and I was made a receptionist. After six months, I was told I could continue receiving prison guards wages for as long as I stayed on as a receptionist or take a medical disability retirement, where I would receive 50% of my salary each year for the rest of my life, with full medical and dental and a 2% COLA each year. I left the job and California behind.

To answer your question about recovery, I would suggest at your age (I was 33 when I was injured) you will want to keep your weight as low as you can. I think that is going to be most important, along with doing abdominal strengthening exercises and low back exercises. Everyone recovers differently. I spent most of the folowing 14 years unable to sleep at night on either my side or my back. I would experience a gradual increase in presure in my low back that went from a dull pain to a slightly greater pain, just enough to wake me after about two hours of sleep, forcing me to stand and walk around for 30 minutes before the pain went away. Then I'd go back to sleep for a couple more hours. By accident, I discovered that if I laid on my back and placed 2-3 pillows under my shoulders and head, and another 6-8 pillows under my legs, to simulate one of those hospital beds, I was able to release the presure from my low spine, where the surgery left me with very little space between L5 and S1.

Buy yourself large quantities of vitamin I, Ibuprophen. You will use thousands of them over the years. Be prepared for setbacks. Twice I have reinjured my spine in the area of my surgery. Each time it took almost 9 weeks of laying down to recover. I walked like Frankenstein, unable to lower my chin to my chest without screming level 9 pain. I still push the limits of what my body can do by running and biking and even doing volunteer trail work, but I can sense when I'm getting my low back inflamed and back off and ice it and take Ibuprophen. I imagine I will have a lot of difficulty when I hit 60. I may regret being too active and stressing my back too much.

It's also good to know that many people who have had back surgery, end up having additional back surgeries. I have a pamphlet on the kitchen counter that explains advancements in implanting artificial discs. I fully expect to go down that road one day, knock on wood.

Also, since me back surgery in 1992, I've had my second knee surgery, a foot surgery, a second spinal surgery, in my neck, that required a plate and four screws to hold it all in place, and this year I developed tendonitus in my left knee. I take pills daily for allergies and a disorder of some sort (once diagnosed at eocinophilic esophogitus?) that causes food to get stuck in my esophogus and block off my airway, which can be quite exciting if you are sitting near me at a restaurant.

Best wishes to you IRONMAN. Live up to your name and you will get through this. I hope you are married and your better half can be there for you during this trial in your life. See you back out on the trails.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
736 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the note Prodigal sounds like you've been thru the wringer!! I believe I am blessed, the doc I'm seeing comes with many years of grest results and many friends that have been worked on by him. He was my second opinion. The first doc came with good vredentials/experience I just wanted a 2nd opinion. I am very hopeful all will be well.
I've had 3 hip replacements (the 1st in '92 the cup loosened and had cup replaced in 2005). Had two herniated discs diagnosed in 200 and was to get them operated but then a miracle that the pain went away, no operation. For the lat 2 years the pain has been dealt with cortesone shots, but now it is time to get tit worked on. The cortesone doesn't work. I have arthritis/ligament buildup that is causing the spinal stenosis (closing of the nerve canal) and the pain.
I wish you well also and I'll keep you posted.
Friday morn is the big day!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
736 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Okay an update for anyone interested.............had my laminectomy three weeks ago today, had L3 thur l5 and the S1 done. Doc said I had lots of bone/ligament buildup and possibly some nerve damage. My rt calf hurts as before but a lot less. Most of my pain is gone I do have stiffness in the back. Had 12 staples and one stich removed yesterday and doc has me walking no pt yet for 2 months. I did get him to say it was ok to ride a stationary bike so am in the market for a new style wind trainer. (I have an old school original style windtrainer from about 24 years or so ago) But I guess one no longer bolts the BB of a carbonfiber bike into the windtrainer and the front wheel is left on the bike.
My recovery will take longer than I want it to but it is more serious than I thought. Thanks to all for your input and help!! More will be revealed as I go on.........I STILL wanna do a 100 miler in the dirt just not sure when.........
 

·
...2 wheel terror...
Joined
·
98 Posts
Ironman, glad to hear you are doing well. Great that your doc cleared you to ride on a trainer/stationary bike. Take it slow and easy. I'm going through something similar with my back and know both the physical and mental pain of not being able to ride.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
736 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hello Stover!
Thanks for the info/support. What did you have done, how long ago and what's your recovery program been?
Looks like you race/raced motorcycles also?? I did from '71 to '82. Desert raced, T-T, motocross, LOTS of flat-track and even some road racing, and then started biking in '82 and doing tri's no time for motorcycles.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
241 Posts
Avoid these operations if at all possible

I work in the medical field. I gotta say avoid spine surgery if at all possible. Spine surgery hurts far more people than it helps. Not only that but the techniques they are utilizing are becoming more complex and drastic than before.

This stuff is big business. The average spine surgeon makes at least a million dollars a year. Most are way to eager to operate. The amount of spine surgery in any given community is not surprisingly, directly proportional to the number of spine surgeons who live there.

Bottom line, avoid. If there is not way around it (ie you can't walk) go to a neurosurgery trained doc, not an orthopaedic trained spine surgeon.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
736 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hey Mastakilla!
I apreciate the input, my stenosis was REAL bad!! Even I an unschooled in medicine person, could see there was NO room in my spinal column area due to the bone/tendon buildup. I've been with this for over 10 years off and on............had epidurals that would help and then pain came back, did go to PT @ several places and that did help for a while........10 years ago I was to have a laminectomy but it got better and we cancelled it. I could still race my bike, and did so till last year. 2 Years ago I got asthma and my back started acting up bad...........so only raced one race but could ride, till a few weeks ago I could ride but leg and back hurt.
Just thought I'd pass that on.
 

·
...2 wheel terror...
Joined
·
98 Posts
IRONMAN1518 said:
Hello Stover!
Thanks for the info/support. What did you have done, how long ago and what's your recovery program been?
Looks like you race/raced motorcycles also?? I did from '71 to '82. Desert raced, T-T, motocross, LOTS of flat-track and even some road racing, and then started biking in '82 and doing tri's no time for motorcycles.
I have done lots of PT, swimming and Cortisone injections so far. Still dealing with back issues. My leg pain has been getting worse over the past 3 months so I am talking with a surgeon at Stanford. Yep. Did lots of racing in the past. Raced cars for about 5 years and motorcycles for another 5. Have always biked. Did lots of MTB racing up until my back giving out in march. Pain has been pretty bad and can't even ride my road bike for more then a few miles.
 

·
Bollocks
Joined
·
868 Posts
i too had this procedure done in '06 after 30+ years of rugby, 20+ years of biking, a serious car accident and plenty of self abuse! i was laid up for two weeks and never really looked back. i still have some stiffness occasionally but nothing compared to the pain prior to surgery. take it easy, you'll be back in the saddle in no time and your quality of life will be greatly improved!
 

·
pitbull592
Joined
·
151 Posts
Op I'm facing a similar situation The only trouble being I got hurt on the job. I've been out of work now 4 months and they're just finally getting me treatment for my back/knee. I fell on the job doing a 180 with my left knee & wrenching my back. I reported it to my boss & he offered no help. I worked 7 more hours doing heavy labor until I couldn't take the pain anymore. Luckily I belong to a trade union & they forced my employer to take me to the hospital.

My knee shows a torn mcl that's not healing, and my knee is so lose I can wiggle it side to side dramatically as it grinds. The only treartment given to my knee so far is cortisone injections. I recently had a emg test on my back that showed major nerve damage, which allowed me to get a back mri that showed 3 herniated disks l4,l5,s1. Workers comp is so slow & they don't want to give me the treatment I need right away. Heck, I haven't even received any pain meds for my condition. I wish I got hurt while not at work, but my private insurance won't cover because it's a work related injury. Luckily, I just got a lawyer & he got the ball rolling. I'm thinking I may need back surgery as well? The pain is severe, I tried to go on a few rides, but only last a mile or two, and that's on a fs rig. Hopefully, I'll improve & get back in the saddle like you guys before I get to out of conditioning?
 

·
FleshwoundGravityResearch
Joined
·
1,285 Posts
IRONMAN1518 said:
Okay an update for anyone interested.............had my laminectomy three weeks ago today, had L3 thur l5 and the S1 done. Doc said I had lots of bone/ligament buildup and possibly some nerve damage. My rt calf hurts as before but a lot less. Most of my pain is gone I do have stiffness in the back. Had 12 staples and one stich removed yesterday and doc has me walking no pt yet for 2 months. I did get him to say it was ok to ride a stationary bike so am in the market for a new style wind trainer. (I have an old school original style windtrainer from about 24 years or so ago) But I guess one no longer bolts the BB of a carbonfiber bike into the windtrainer and the front wheel is left on the bike.
My recovery will take longer than I want it to but it is more serious than I thought. Thanks to all for your input and help!! More will be revealed as I go on.........I STILL wanna do a 100 miler in the dirt just not sure when.........
I had the L4/L5 done and I did a whole lot of walking those first two months post surgery . I was on the trainer 1-2 hours a day within a month, and was back on the road bike within 2 months. I did not push it on the mountain bike as I was out of shape and not feeling up to it. 15 years in and I still have no feeling in my lower calf, but a lot of it did return.

BTW, the best thing you can do, is stay in shape. Core is key, but for me riding was/is required for good back health.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
736 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Almost 7 week update.

Not real happy, in fact was pretty bumbed a couple weeks back. I feel I got maybe 30% relief in my condidtion. I can use my foot going from the gas pedal to the brake easier than before. Can stand and lift rt foot up onto my lefdt thigh, (like crossing leg) a lot easier than before.
BUT......still have pain in calf, ankle and rt butt muscle and rt lower back. Still can't walk with out cane, VERY bummed!!:mad: Felt I will never walk again "normally" or ever ride again..........:eekster: Went to a prosthesist today to measure my legs and see if I need a heel piece. he gave me a 1/2 inch heel lift and it seems to help a little bit.
BUT wait theres MORE.........stil not going to PT doc said come in on 21 Oct then we will discusss PT............. EXCEPT........got a letter in the maikl from his office that he is moving to Louisiana by 4 Oct!!!:eekster: Calle office they reffered me to another doc got apoint for the 9th of Nov.........??? I'm still inna lotta pain can't really walk to far at all, definetly can't without cane. And still no pt............talk about Sh-tty doctor post-operative care!!:madmax:
My operation was on 6 August I'm sure he know he was gonna be moving soon and I guess just saw me as a "boat paymnet" that he'd not have to worry about, since he was leaving.........I'm pissed.........
ANYWAY have only ridden the trainer only twice the second time was for 10 minutes and felt goo, BUT.the next day I hurt like hell, could hardly just walk around the house.........have a nice day.
 

·
...2 wheel terror...
Joined
·
98 Posts
IRONMAN1518 said:
Not real happy, in fact was pretty bumbed a couple weeks back. I feel I got maybe 30% relief in my condidtion. I can use my foot going from the gas pedal to the brake easier than before. Can stand and lift rt foot up onto my lefdt thigh, (like crossing leg) a lot easier than before.
BUT......still have pain in calf, ankle and rt butt muscle and rt lower back. Still can't walk with out cane, VERY bummed!!:mad: Felt I will never walk again "normally" or ever ride again..........:eekster: Went to a prosthesist today to measure my legs and see if I need a heel piece. he gave me a 1/2 inch heel lift and it seems to help a little bit.
BUT wait theres MORE.........stil not going to PT doc said come in on 21 Oct then we will discusss PT............. EXCEPT........got a letter in the maikl from his office that he is moving to Louisiana by 4 Oct!!!:eekster: Calle office they reffered me to another doc got apoint for the 9th of Nov.........??? I'm still inna lotta pain can't really walk to far at all, definetly can't without cane. And still no pt............talk about Sh-tty doctor post-operative care!!:madmax:
My operation was on 6 August I'm sure he know he was gonna be moving soon and I guess just saw me as a "boat paymnet" that he'd not have to worry about, since he was leaving.........I'm pissed.........
ANYWAY have only ridden the trainer only twice the second time was for 10 minutes and felt goo, BUT.the next day I hurt like hell, could hardly just walk around the house.........have a nice day.
Ironman,

Sorry your not recovering as quickly as you would like. FYI, you don't have to have a dr. write a script for PT. I would check around on the web and see if you can get PT setup with a PT near by. I too just had surgery. I am feeling better, no real back pain but still a bit of nerve pain. Hoping it clears up over time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
736 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
More Updates

Went to doc last tuesday, he was really surprised that I had most of the pain and inability to walk as I did BEFORE the operation. (In my head maybe I got 20% easier movement in my rt leg). He immediately ordered an MRI, got it back on Thursday he said his work was done ok he relieved the pressure, He said he didn't know what was wrong with me.........:eek: He said MAYBE I had injured nerves that the pressure had been on and maybe might recover some time???

(ONLY cause I askedabout PT) sent me to PT. He really didn't care it was his last day here he is moving to Luoisiana, what the hell does he care, right?

Couldn't stand looking at my bike looking so beautiful, (I had torn it down to the frame and cleaned/waxed, re-lubed, re-greased every bearing etc, etc. So I took her out for a ride in the neighborhood, felt less pain in ridding than before, BUT when I went to get off the bike it hurt like hel!!!

PT lady today said I have 1' shorter rt leg than left and that caused over extension of my rt leg when I rode. That caused the pain. Sent me to the pool to do pedaling excercises felt ok. She said we may need to puil up pedal/shoes or go to a shorter crankarm.................:eekster:
Anybody out there with a 1 inch or so shorter leg? What did u do to be able to ride, please? Thanks to all.................hard to be optimistic right now still in old original pain and need cane to walk just short distances.
 

·
Bollocks
Joined
·
868 Posts
IRONMAN1518 said:
Went to doc last tuesday, he was really surprised that I had most of the pain and inability to walk as I did BEFORE the operation. (In my head maybe I got 20% easier movement in my rt leg). He immediately ordered an MRI, got it back on Thursday he said his work was done ok he relieved the pressure, He said he didn't know what was wrong with me.........:eek: He said MAYBE I had injured nerves that the pressure had been on and maybe might recover some time???

(ONLY cause I askedabout PT) sent me to PT. He really didn't care it was his last day here he is moving to Luoisiana, what the hell does he care, right?

Couldn't stand looking at my bike looking so beautiful, (I had torn it down to the frame and cleaned/waxed, re-lubed, re-greased every bearing etc, etc. So I took her out for a ride in the neighborhood, felt less pain in ridding than before, BUT when I went to get off the bike it hurt like hel!!!

PT lady today said I have 1' shorter rt leg than left and that caused over extension of my rt leg when I rode. That caused the pain. Sent me to the pool to do pedaling excercises felt ok. She said we may need to puil up pedal/shoes or go to a shorter crankarm.................:eekster:
Anybody out there with a 1 inch or so shorter leg? What did u do to be able to ride, please? Thanks to all.................hard to be optimistic right now still in old original pain and need cane to walk just short distances.
sorry to hear about your continued discomfort... i posted below about having had a similar surgery to yourself which has been pretty successful but part of my issue is caused by having one leg shorter than the other. i was hit by a car whilst hitch hiking and suffered a severely broken leg amongst other things. in order to set the leg they had to slide the broken surfaces together, shortening my leg by an inch or so. after the leg was healed, my final doctors visit was to measure for orthotic shoe inserts and lifted shoes! as i was 18 at the time, i walked out of there and never thought about that stuff again. there was no way i was wearing lifted shoes.

the difference in length of my legs caused my spine to curve and that combined with 30+ years of rugby and not taking care if injuries left me with bulging/herniated discs. however, i can honestly say that i never really noticed the difference in length of my legs. riding my bike was never an issue, i guess i just slid over on the seat to compensate. i did try wearing a really thick gel insert in one shoe only, which i think seemed to help a little when walking but not enough to make me do it consistently. maybe it would be an option to try for you?

can you not go see another doctor? just because this guy is leaving, it shouldn't mean you're left in pain. i would contact your insurance company and tell them your issues, that you feel like you are being mistreated and your complaints are falling on deaf ears. go get another opinion, more mri's, whatever is necessary but don't just take it that he says there is nothing else that can be done. i will say that although my back is 1 million times better than it was pre surgery, i still have problems that can have me walking like an 80 year old but it only happens one every couple of months and lasts for maybe a week. keep on fighting, there has to be someone out there who can help you. good luck.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top