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    Back injury--any advice or share experience?

    It has been kind of a tough fall for me. Shortly before the deer rifle season I ran out to pull and check the chip in the game camera. On the way back to the truck I stepped in a yote or fox den hole that I didn't see (boot heel caught the front edge and toes went in forward sharply). I didn't fall, but it did put me in an ackward position. Developed a sore back and some Sciatica type pain of spasms. To make long story short, after several Chiropractor visits where the 2nd Chiropractor I trusted, who refused to adjust me but wanted to work a flexibility. He suggested that I have something more going on and thought it was a disc issue. BINGO--smack dab right he was. I ended up going to see MD to get MRI referral. Results are 2 bulging discs and 2 herniated. The most significant one of the one between L5 and S1 that is touching nerve root, which is most painful. I'm OK when I stand and walk. I do laydown with lumbar support but sitting or getting in and out of vehicles...that friggin nerve gets touched by the muscle or spasm and I swear I can touch the moon. Taking Ibuprofen like crazy until I can get this fixed up.

    Anybody ever have a similar situation? Who was the treatment you sought or technique used? What was recovery time? I have appointment with Dr. Belanger in Bismarck, but have also heard that Dr. Rice down in Rapid City is very good. I am hoping for minimally invasive procedure where I can be up and around within a week after surgery. I definitely want to be ready for when the weather gets nice and I can enjoy the outdoors.

    Any advice?

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  2. Back To Top    #2
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    oh man, brutal. I know what you are going through. Herniated my disc between l4 and l5 3 years ago. Had surgery since I couldn't take the nerve pain and my toes on my right foot were going numb. Since surgery my back health has deteriorated. Constantly sore and stiff. No more disc problem, but had to give up golf, bowling and softball. I'm only in my mid 30's. I've spent enough on massage and chiropractic visits the last 3 years that had I been able to save that I could have bought a new boat. Dirty Mike can't tell you anything due to Hippa laws, but he has seen me multiple times not being able to stand up straight.

    If I were you, take a good look at all of your options, and surgery should be your last one. Trust me on this!!! I'm not overweight, was actually in good physical shape when it happened and young. Still haven't fully recovered and Dr said I probably never will. Dr. Belanger did my surgery. Good doctor in that sense. Surgery went well and the pain in my legs is gone, but my lower back has never been the same.

    I have heard massage, inverted tables and time can help heal as alternatives to surgery. I have no proof that they do, but just articles I have found when looking into my own situation.

    Also, fyi, if you do surgery you are pretty much laid up for 3 months. You can still walk around and be mobile, but can't lift anything over 20 pounds for 3 months and no repetitive bending, twisting, lifting etc while the discs heal. You do get some good drugs though. haha

    Feel free to PM me if you want more info. I am certainly willing to give more details into my situation. Unfortunately, I feel your pain.

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  3. Back To Top    #3
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    That's terrible! Hope you get the help you need dogger.

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    I would get an inversion table, my dad has had 2 back surgeries and uses one daily and it helps alot. I need to get one and start using also due to my line of work. He can still do 3 days on Winnipeg ripping rattle baits. I would also look into physical therapy.

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    I had my surgery at age 29 on my L5-S1. I tried epidural shots to lesson my pain with no success and ended up opting for surgery with Dr. Krahlich because i will not take prescription drugs for pain. I'm a fairly active person, but my pain was to the point of no return.... I could hardly do a push up, running was uncomfortable, and chiropractors and massage just weren't cutting the cake any more. Recovery is what you make of it and Bogey is right, take it easy for 6 weeks as directed. I think everyone who has done back surgery seems to feel really good around day 10 and ends up paying for it a day later.

    As Bogey stated, if you want to succeed in your long term recovery any kind of sport involving twisting should be avoided. I don't gulf, play baseball, or do any twisting exercises. I do, however, do a lot of running, core exercises like planks, and even Olympic lifts like dead lifts and cleans. Am i doing the same weights i was prior to surgery? Not even close.... i keep it light to focus on form and avoid injury. Like it or not it's a surgery and you'll never be the same, but to avoid living in daily discomfort it was well worth it, IMO.

    The real question is how far gone are you? I dealt with my issues for about 5-6 years and never really sought care cuz i was stubborn. If you are only going on a year physical therapy in conjunction with other methods might be able to pull you out of it and delay surgery.

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    Spine institute....I think there in Florida, they pay for plane ticket and hotel while your ther.... not from experience but this is what I've been told from others, there really good I hear as well with only a 1 inch incision

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    Try Physical Therapy first.

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    Check into spinal decompression therapy. PT or a chiro might have a unit. Basically a souped up version of an inversion table.

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    Ouch Paddle, Sorry to hear that. You are getting good advice but I'll ad my 2 cents worth. I had L4- L5 fusion by Dr Eickman in Fargo a few years ago I still say that was the best day of my life.. Had several MRIs over the years and Dr's kept telling me it was arthritis and take aspirin. When I hit my 50s shit got real and my Right leg kept going to sleep and PT kept making it worse . I was busy with work and pretty much tried to shake it off till it finally got to where I couldn't function but still MRIs didn't look that bad , Bulged disks and arthritis but they reassured me it wasn't that bad. . Finally asked Dr to quit shoving PT down my throat and let me try a chiropractor. I was scared to even try but nothing else had worked , Chiro took Xray and asked has anyone ever talked to you about surgery ? He was gentle and did a little adjustment and shock treatment and next morning I felt good but it only lasted for a day . I was scheduled for injections about a month later and in the mean time I tried inversion table and the next day I couldn't get out of bed but I felt like million bucks the day after that and almost cancelled the epidural but went anyway and they took xrays and sent me home without the shot and told me I needed surgery immediately. My disk must have ruptured from the inversion or when it compressed again and must have let pressure off my nerve. I finished the project I was working on and had surgery a month later. The best advice I can give you if you have surgery is think One and done if there are any other issues. I was given the option of a full lower back fusion but I wasn't ready to give up my mobility and decided to go with the least invasive and it was a huge mistake, I'm ready for round 2 and dread the thought . That's just my back and no two are the same but I made a terrible mistake by choosing the less invasive route. I wish you luck. Don't put it off like I did and stay off pain meds if you possibly can. Pain meds did nothing for my pain but sure gave me brain fog

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    Been down your trail many times. Have had 2 major neck surgeries and fused C-3 thru C-6. 5 1/2 major low back surgeries and the last one just this past August 29th and that one was L-4 thru S-1 fused and rods and screws. Dr. Belanger did the last one and believe me i was in super pain and was just crawling the last 10 days at home and pain pills would not cut it anymore. Put me in the hospital on a Wednesday and did surgery the following Tuesday. Before my last neck and back surgery if they couldn't have done anything i wouldn't be here today as the pain was that bad. Dr. Belanger did an excellent job and i feel way better than before surgery but still have some pain and numbness that i had before from the prior damage and surgeries. Glad i had it done but he told me that will be my last surgery down there so if something happens again i am SOL.
    Dr. Belanger said he put twice the hardware and time into my back than anyone he had ever done before as it was in rough shape. I went and still go to chiropractors and have an inversion table but when it got so bad that didn't even touch the pain. I always tell people use surgery as your last option not your first. I would go to Dr. Belanger again in a heart beat and he listens and explains things that even an old simple man like myself can understand. His PA isn't bad to look at either! I had great nurses in the hospital so that went well but you HAVE to listen to what he tells you about what you can and can't do. If you don't listen surgery won't help you. It doesn't take much to screw up a surgery as there is a lot of healing to do and some people have lots of pain afterwards i usually have very little but i have a very high pain tolerance. So when it starts to really hurt i am screwed!
    If you smoke he won't do the surgery and most won't especially if you need a fusion.
    I had to use a walker after surgery as being i had that many it was very major and i couldn't keep my balance without the walker. Then went to a cane for a month or so especially when out and about in town. People bumping into you doesn't feel good and i would have went down if they did. Most people are pretty cautious if they see someone with a cane or a walker and most will give you a wide aisle and or the right of way so to speak so use one of them after surgery when out in public! I can't stress that enough to everyone.
    Good luck and PM me if you want to visit about it or Dr. Belanger and we can call or meet for coffee someplace. This is a serious issue so don't take it lightly and if you go through with it please listen and do what they ask you to do.
    Good luck!

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    Last edited by brokenbackjack; 01-04-2018 at 06:05 PM.
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  11. Back To Top    #11
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    Important Note: If you have surgery make sure you try what ever pain pills they are going to send you home with while your still in hospital. I went from Morphine pump and what ever pills they were giving me and did ok on that but sent me home with prescription to oxy or hydro I forget what one. I thought I had caught the flu because I was throwing up then my back hurt like heck and thinking I had threw up the pills I took more and threw up again , Back was killing me so took more pain meds thinking I was throwing them up before the were doing any good . After many hours of that I somehow thought through the fog it must be the pain meds , It was. I think that was a close call if I wouldn't have finally realized what was going on.

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  12. Back To Top    #12
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    Back pain-problems are the worst. Have you did or tried yoga? I would give it a shot, it may help but since you are already injured I would maybe get training from someone who knows what they are doing first if it is possible or if you have someone who can watch and critque your form there is a whole bunch of stuff on youtube.

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    Do what you can with physical therapy first. Don't expect miracles , it takes time. I have been doing my simple exercises every morning since injury 2006 which keeps me going. Pain management clinic (injections) now in Bismarck. They are fantastic there.

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    Physical therapy may be very beneficial; start there. I'm not sure exactly what your MRI shows but from what you've described epidural steroid injection should be beneficial. I'd talk with the surgeon and get his insight. I suspect he will suggest trial of more conservative type management for your problem.

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    Prob most discomfort ive experienced . I saw chiro 5 out of 6 days and it was finally on the 5th or 6th day i tried Acupuncture. Was the first relief i had all week... Took a while to heal up and now stretch out hips more often. Good luck with some relief!

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    not a funny subject but it made me think of this...

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    Owner Post Founder Of Nodak Angler | Community Owner Response

    I threw my back out shingling in 105 degree weather, about 12 years ago. am on that stubborn bus. I am okay doing anything except standing for periods of time.

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  18. Back To Top    #18
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    Sorry to hear these issues. I have back issues but don't think as severe as some others. I am tall 6'6 so have a long back. I also broke two bones in my back (two transverse process bones) from a fall and have some degeneration of lower disks. I have issues on and off and scans have shown pretty bad arthritis from my L5 to tail bone. The biggest thing that has helped me is exercise and stretching. Keeping active has helped keep my muscles strong. I still lift weights and walk a lot. When done with your surgeries be sure to talk to the right person that can advise proper stretching techniques. I think it has kept me from getting worse...for now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BRK View Post
    I had my surgery at age 29 on my L5-S1. I tried epidural shots to lesson my pain with no success and ended up opting for surgery with Dr. Krahlich because i will not take prescription drugs for pain. I'm a fairly active person, but my pain was to the point of no return.... I could hardly do a push up, running was uncomfortable, and chiropractors and massage just weren't cutting the cake any more. Recovery is what you make of it and Bogey is right, take it easy for 6 weeks as directed. I think everyone who has done back surgery seems to feel really good around day 10 and ends up paying for it a day later.

    As Bogey stated, if you want to succeed in your long term recovery any kind of sport involving twisting should be avoided. I don't gulf, play baseball, or do any twisting exercises. I do, however, do a lot of running, core exercises like planks, and even Olympic lifts like dead lifts and cleans. Am i doing the same weights i was prior to surgery? Not even close.... i keep it light to focus on form and avoid injury. Like it or not it's a surgery and you'll never be the same, but to avoid living in daily discomfort it was well worth it, IMO.

    The real question is how far gone are you? I dealt with my issues for about 5-6 years and never really sought care cuz i was stubborn. If you are only going on a year physical therapy in conjunction with other methods might be able to pull you out of it and delay surgery.
    I don't think I am too far gone! Its not like I walk around in excruciating pain all the time. If a disc is herniated, are there various levels of severity on the herniation? Since going to the 2nd chiropractor who recommended the MRI, it has seemed to settle down a bit in regards to the L5-S1 herniation that was tapping the sciatic nerve from time to time. Nothing on the MRI report indicates a "rupture", which is good to hear. I have seem several articles that say the body naturally recognized the bulging and herniation's and tries to heal itself and that certain exercises can help it along. What has helped me out is that I found this clip and doing the exercises suggested and it has helped. I am willing to wait a bit more, but I still am going to visit with Belanger next week to hear the options. Some people have said he does good work, yet some say he suggest surgery as the only option.

    One of my wife's cousins went to the Laser Spine Institute in Scottsdale, AZ and had great success there with her disc issue in the Thorasic part of her back. There I hear of the MN Spine Institute that does an Endoscopic procedure. https://minnesotaspineinstitute.com/...spine-surgery/. At this point all options are on the table for me.

    Thank you to all of you who have shared your story of pain. It truly does SUCK! But I have been hoping and praying that it can heal up on it's own and I will just have to be more aware as I age.

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    Been there. Terrible. Belanger in Bismarck got me walking again. I so much as sneeze wrong im out a day er 2. Can't lift nothing. Bout time to turn in the man card.

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