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QOS 04-03-2013 01:47 AM

Spinal Stenosis Surgery and riding
I will make this as brief as possible. I started having shocks in my back/legs in mid-October. By November I was wobbling when I walked and balance was gone. My feet and legs are numb, often cold and still have electrical shocks. I have had 3 MRI's, Spinal Tap, Eye Tests, MS tests, Blood Tests. Lost 50% hearing in left ear.

Dr. that I trust says after ruling out MS that it is spinal stenosis. It can be treated with surgery which I am slated to have on April 15. Has anyone on this forum had this surgery and how long did it take to feel well enough to ride. I am supposed to have a laminectomy of T10-12.

I would love to hear from someone who has been there and done that.

goneriding 04-03-2013 07:16 PM

I have stenosis, bulging disk, and a bone cyst. I just had an mri done and the doc wants to do an injection. My stenosis is not that bad..yet. It could be weeks to months before you can ride. I understand your frustration and I wish I could be of more help....

QOS 04-03-2013 08:57 PM

Thanks GoneRiding.

So sorry you are going down this road too. My feet are cold most of the time and so are my hips. Ugh. I walk with a cane and now have a handicap parking tag. Ugh.....I am going for a second opinion tomorrow morning because I am a cautious chick.

tinyliny 04-03-2013 09:16 PM

How did it get this bad without you seeking treatment before? Or did you?
Did you try physical therapy? steroids or other treatemts? I had stenosis in my neck, and of course, it's still there. But, I had physical therapy , which included oral steroids to reduce inflammation, massage and special "stretching" type excersizes. I did not think it wouold work , but it did. As long as I stand up straight most of the time and don't over stress my neck, it stays in remission.

However, my case was not nearly as bad as your's sounds.

QOS 04-04-2013 01:03 AM

Tiny, this fell on me out of the blue like BAM! I woke up one morning and literally ran into the wall. I had knee surgery almost 2 years ago so that morning I thought my knee was being cranky.

I had my first "shock" feeling on October 14. I thought I had just turned wrong. The next weekend I had some more. On November 8th I was having an MRI and started on steroids. By that time I was wobbling when I walked - stiff unsteady gait. I saw my doctor and she wanted me to see a neurosurgeon here locally. I declined the local dr so I could see my hubby's n/s in Houston. He said then that I had indention's in my spinal cord and wanted better MRI's to see it better. Another MRI w/contrast at a place that was his second choice (gotta love insurance companies.)

He said at first visit it could be spinal stenosis, vitamin deficiency, several venereal diseases (LOL didn't have those!) or MS. He sent me for nerve tests - the ones where the needles and shocks are used and they tested my eyes for MS. He wanted another MRI at Methodist Hospital in Houston which I did and he sent me to a neurologist to rule out MS. They did a spinal tap and wanted MRI of the head. They did that at the same time as the back at Methodist.

That dr. said I didn't have lesions and he didn't think I had MS....but he wanted me to see a MS/Demylinating Disease specialist in Houston. I saw him and he didn't think I had MS....back to my neurosurgeon for last visit and he compared all three MRI's and said it was stenosis after ruling out MS. No bulging disks but last radiologist report said moderate to severe stenosis.

I am going for a second opinion in the morning. I do trust the N/S in Houston. He has operated on hubby twice - a very successful back surgery 20 years ago and a simple removal of a little tumor that had nothing to do with his back injury.

This came on fast. I was walking one day and literally overnight was stumbling, losing my balance. I walk with a cane and the MS doctor gave me a Rx for handicap parking and marked me a permanently disabled which was scary. My feet are numb and I am somewhat numb from the hips down yet the dr. that administered the electric shock test said I do not have true neuropathy and that the nerves and muscles in my legs are fine. 2nd dr. said it is all coming from the central nervous system - not peripheral.

Ugh...this entire thing has been a freaking nightmare. I just want to get better!! All of the doctors from the start have said I have "inflammation" in the back. I do feel a little better when I ride but I am actually not in pain which they find a little odd too. I am tender around the skin on my right hip but not in "pain". LOL maybe I have a high tolerance for pain!

cakemom 04-04-2013 10:16 AM

I have no idea about the surgery but I do know the lady...-and she's a strong one. I hope they get you sorted out soon girl so you and Fabio can continue your adventures with you safer and healthier.
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ericp502 04-04-2013 10:38 AM

I was diagnosed in December with Spinal Stenosis and Bulging discs. Back in February I started a series of three epidural injections. About a week after the 3rd injection I was back riding horses. I was pain free for about 3 weeks after the injections but its been slowing returning. I have complete numbness at times and sharp pains at times down my leg.

I go in for surgery to fix the bulging discs and the stenosis on April 15th and should be down for 6 - 8 weeks. After that the doctor seems to think I will make 100% recovery. I have a friend that just had this surgery and he said he was pain free immediately after surgery except for the soreness from the surgery itself. He is a few months after surgery now and still feels 100%.

The epidural shots are $1,000 each and you can get a series of 3 shots every six months. Even if they work for you your going to max your deductibles out every year and still have to deal with pain at some points.

I'll let you know in a few weeks how the surgery goes.

texasgal 04-04-2013 10:52 AM

Well, QOS, I can totally relate.

I was 17 and having shocks down my legs and pain where I couldn't sit for an hour in High School. My condition was different from yours (spondylolesthesis) and congenital. My surgery, at 17, was a spinal fusion of L4-5 -- so lower than yours.

This was in '80 and I'm sure surgeries are lightyears different than back then .. lol. And I was only 17, but they told me it would be 1 year before I could ride again .. I was on a horse 4 months later... walking only, of course.

My parents had hoped upon hope that I would "give up" horses for good after that ... NOT.

It wasn't an easy surgery, but I recovered and never let it slow me down .. I'm only slowing now because I'm 50 and overweight (trying to remedy that).

I think a laminectomy is less invasive, and current surgeries have less recovery time than in the 80's, so you should fair well.

Let me know if you need anything.. **hugs**

Saddlebag 04-04-2013 01:56 PM

Did you have a spinal for the knee surgery?

QOS 04-04-2013 03:28 PM

Heather, the surgery was just brought up as a certainty 2 weeks ago today.

I went for a 2nd opinion today basically to make my cousin/riding partner happy. She didn't like how long this took to reach this conclusion. (she is a long time ER nurse and is the administrator/director of a large ER) She went with me this morning...nothing like having your own Nurse Rachett with you!!!

I went to a dr. that has successfully operated on two friends. He looked at reports/films and asked me for the history which I repeated. He asked what Dr. Murphy was operating on. I told him T10 & 11. He said that is exactly what I would do and you need it immediately. (He acted like it was uber urgent) He said my cord is "bruised" and needs the surgery to let it have room. He thinks I will need extensive therapy - like in house therapy. I don't think that will come to pass but we will see.

He put the little tuning fork on my left ankle and I could feel it like a needle but not the buzzing vibrations. He did know all the doctors I have been to and knows Dr. Murphy personally as his parents (dad was a doctor) are friends of Dr. Murphy's.

My cousin wanted to know why it took so long and he said "this has presented itself very uniquely and not what we would normally see. He had to rule out MS because surgery wouldn't have helped MS!" My cousin is now a happy camper and it didn't hurt for me to hear this opinion too.

So I will be having surgery on April 15 - along with Ericp502. Hoping to be on the Biscuit by June 15 or so...maybe by July. I have found someone to ride Biscuit in the arena while I am off for surgery so he doesn't become a snotty boy!!! Woot!!!!

Eric I hope your surgery goes well. Texasgal....I am with you chickie...over 50 and a little fluffy.

I will let y'all know how it goes. I am ready to be well. I am sick of stumbling bumbling around. Ugh.

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