Successful Surgery

Spinal surgery yesterday, going home today.

If you follow this blog, you know that I have been struggling to get a surgeon who would help me with my spinal and sciatic pain.  Although the surgery is simple (as spine surgery goes), my neuroendocrine cancer makes me a “special case” because there’s a tumor in L3 and the surgery is for L5 – L4. A surgeon who refused to see me told me to see Dr. Anant Kumar.  He takes us “special cases”.  He agreed to take me and it seems to be working well.

Here is the problem we are trying to solve. It is called spinal stenosis. It means that the channel that the spinal cord runs in is narrowing and thus squeezing the spinal cord.  In my case the canal Vertebral Foramen through the L5 – L4 was narrow for 4 reasons:

  1. Because of disk deterioration the L4 vertebra had moved one way and the L5 had moved another, thus narrowing the channel where they meet by quite a bit to 5.5 mm when it is supposed to be greater than 13 mm.  The procedure did nothing to attack that directly If more surgery  is needed later, it would be fixed by the complex of wires and screws.  We have done a simpler thing on Monday.
  2.  Due to aging, the material in the channel has expanded.  This is cells growing larger and is called hypertropy. The procedure was to scrape out much of the material in the L4-L5 vertebral foramen.
  3. There was a 14mm cyst on the L4-l5 facet joint caused by friction which happend because of the deteriorating disk.  That was removed because it caused pain.
  4. There was some bone spur caused by arthritis on these bones which was removed also because is caused pain.

The anesthesiologist, Dr. Santangelo took extreme care knowing that I had neuroendocrine cancer and that I had had a carcinoid crisis once before.  I am told that two times the blood pressure did drift down where it shouldn’t be and he had to put more octreotide in the drip and the BP came back. Remember “special case”?  It was good that the surgery took place at Presbytarian/St Luke’s Hospital where my neuroendocrine specialist, Dr. Liu works.  Dr. Liu has done much to train the personnel about neuroendocrine and carcinoid crisis.

Both of the doctors working with me were great.  I feel very fortunate.  The sciatica pain, the numbness, tingling and weakness in my feet is gone!

Dr. Kumar tells me the arthritis pain in the back will remain.  That’s OK, assuming that I can walk and fish again.

Thursday I can go to my sister Sarah’s for a huge Thanksgiving dinner.  Hurrah!

Namaste,

Cy

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Successful Surgery was last modified: November 21st, 2017 by cy

9 thoughts on “Successful Surgery

  1. Wow Cy, that’s a lot of info, but anyway, it sounds good so far. I have arthritis in my back, just have to keep moving, stretching and be smart. I think you can handle that. Lol. Love you
    Linda

    1. Yes , I thought it would be good to explain all the pain I had. Not just a backache or sciatica. Seems I never get the simple stuff!!

  2. So glad that you have gotten relief from most of your symptoms. Dr Kumar did my back surgery. In 2011 he fused my back from T10 to the pelvis for scoliosis and lumbar stenosis. Dr Kumar is a very gifted surgeon. It is amazing “to get your life back” after being restricted by pain. Hope your recovery continues as planned. Have a very Happy Thanksgiving

  3. So very happy it worked out so well for you. I feel your pain, I deal with the same issue but arthritis at the si joint is the worst. May you be pain free now!!!

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