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  1. #1

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    Spinal Fusion anyone?

    Hi there; I practice Wado Ryu karate and in a few weeks time I have to undergo spinal fusion at L4/L5 for longstanding low back/leg pain. Has anyone out there had this operation and been able to return to martial arts training? I'm really bricking it the closer it comes to the op so reassurance would be particularly welcome from those who've went through this. Warm regards.:sad9:

  2. #2
    BackFistMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ellroy
    Hi there; I practice Wado Ryu karate and in a few weeks time I have to undergo spinal fusion at L4/L5 for longstanding low back/leg pain. Has anyone out there had this operation and been able to return to martial arts training? I'm really bricking it the closer it comes to the op so reassurance would be particularly welcome from those who've went through this. Warm regards.:sad9:
    Surgery on the spine is the start to a great decline in your health . You will be recovering from it for the rest of your life .

    Or at least that is what I have seen . Maybe you have access to some cutting edge space age medical care .

    *edit*

    I am sorry you have to hear that from someone with a retarded parrot on their shoulder .
    Quote Originally Posted by ghost55 View Post
    Violence is pretty uncommon in clubs in this area, and the dude didn't seem particularly hostile up until the moment he slapped me.
    I don't mean to sound bitter, cold, or cruel, but I am, so that's how it comes out.
    BILL HICKS,
    1961-1994

  3. #3

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    DO NOT LET THEM FUSE YOUR SPINE! This is an incredibly stupid idea. I have not met one person who has benefited from this surgery. Every one I have met has regretted letting them do it.

  4. #4
    Equipoise's Avatar
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    Deadlifts. As heavy as you can.

  5. #5
    ironlurker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TM
    DO NOT LET THEM FUSE YOUR SPINE! This is an incredibly stupid idea. I have not met one person who has benefited from this surgery. Every one I have met has regretted letting them do it.
    I'm no doctor, and I don't even play one on TV. However, everyone I've seen with spinal fusion does indeed regret it.
    Someone I knew who had seen the same people suffer had it suggested to them and they said "no way" and used weight loss and exercise to avoid it. Once they cut open your back it never stops, it's like a chain reaction. Something to think about.

  6. #6
    adouglasmhor's Avatar
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    I have also never met anyone who benefitted from this operation, I got rid of the symptoms by seeing a physio and starting core stability exercise classes, (swiss ball stuff) never a twinge for about a year and my kicking has improved no end.

  7. #7
    BackFistMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ironlurker
    Once they cut open your back it never stops, it's like a chain reaction. Something to think about.
    Amen .
    Quote Originally Posted by ghost55 View Post
    Violence is pretty uncommon in clubs in this area, and the dude didn't seem particularly hostile up until the moment he slapped me.
    I don't mean to sound bitter, cold, or cruel, but I am, so that's how it comes out.
    BILL HICKS,
    1961-1994

  8. #8
    cyrijl's Avatar
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    I am recovering from a herniated c7..yeah it is not the lower back, but I also agree that surgery does not seem to work all that well. The docs at my hospital are very wary of any sort of back surgery. I just hope you got a 2nd and 3rd opinion for your injury.

    for example, a colleague of mine had the exact same injury. While my dr said to get exercise, take it easy and let it heal, his dr was already talking about surgery. And this was before he saw the guy's MRI.

  9. #9

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    I've actually seen people benefit from both cervical and lumbar fusions. Those who do not benefit usually did not need it in the first place. My understanding is that a discectomy and fusion are the last option. Usually people wait far longer to have the surgery on the neck because it is a more serious surgery. If someone has properly exhausted all of their other options, therapy, steriod injections, etc., it may be the only thing that gives you relief. I train with a guy who had a lumbar fusion and the surgery itself greatly helped his general quality of life. He is only inching forward in training as he gains confidence in what he can do. He is pain free and enjoying be able to train. He did try everything before having surgery but a piece of disc had actually broken free and was resting on his spinal cord necessitating the surgery.

    There is a relatively new type of procedure, done on an outpatient basis where they use a very small drill to remove part of the disc and relieve pressure on the spinal cord, thecal sac or foramina depending on where the pressure is. Since it is new, there are not any long term studies that I am aware of. The single case I am involved in where the person had a L4-L5 bulge yielded a very good result.

    I have dealt with more than 20 spinal fusions (as an attorney reviewing all the medical records) and more than 300 cases involving confirmed lumbar herniations and ulitimately its a mixed bag. If it were my back, I'd hold out as long as I could until it was my last option. But I don't believe that the knee jerk reaction of it never works is correct. Good luck.
    Last edited by samnoth; 7/03/2007 10:15am at .

  10. #10
    ironlurker's Avatar
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    I found a very interesting editorial review of an article in the New England Journal of Medicine on "The Science and Controversy of Spinal Fusion."

    http://www.neurosurgery-online.com/p...ia/ST_0504.pdf

    Some highlights:

    -wide geographical disparity in rates of spinal fusion surgeries suggests there is no broad consensus on appropriate indications for surgery

    -the data on the effectiveness of spinal fusion surgery is mixed

    -possible market/financial incentives for the procedure

    -the data indicating a tight correlation between achieving a tight fusion and achieving pain relief and functional improvement are scant

    -complication rates for spinal fusion surgery may be higher then those for other surgeries even though patients for spinal fusion are younger and less likely to have other comorbidities

    So, the takeaway I get from this is that one should be damn sure that this is the only option left and try not to be rushed into it.
    If I seem "knee jerk" it's because I've personally seen people lead down the rosy path of spine surgery only to pay the price later, which, obviously, is limited anecdotal evidence, but it definitely gives me a skeptical view of this procedure in general.

    And any qigong master will tell you that operating on your spine permanently depletes your chi :happy7::5oh:

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