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fchammer1

FL, PA & points in between

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Posted: 03/02/12 06:41am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

To avoid a fifth back surgery which would involve pins & rods (fusion), an anesthesiologist (associate of my neurosurgeon) has recommended Inverse Decompression (fancy name for upside-down traction), one to three cortisone epidurals, and daily injections of HCG -- to stimulate metabolism and depress appetite (weight control).

The traction makes sense; and reports of the spinals to relieve pain are encouraging, but what I read about HCG is scary.

Does anyone have any firsthand experience with these treatments?

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Posted: 03/02/12 10:49am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I never had the HCG
I did have the cortisone epidurals which did help on a short term basis.
I also found that it was dependent on who did the injections.
Losing weight is always an help.
I finally had to have fusion done. Unfortunately, the high rated surgeon that did my surgery turned out to be a "hacker". Disappeared shortly after my surgery and apparently is doing surgery in MI.
I could not take the upside-down-traction however there is horizontal traction available that did help a lot.
I did something really really stupid that caused me to finally have the fusion.
Do anything that you can to avoid the surgery. Each time, I'm told, our bodies get weaker. I was in such agony that I was a screaming maniac instead of just a usual maniac and didn't have much of a choice.

amandasgramma

Oregon

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Posted: 03/02/12 12:41pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I went to www.webmd.com and found this on HCG....

LINK

I would be concerned about your doctor

Old-Biscuit

Verde Valley

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Posted: 03/02/12 02:04pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Why is an anesthesiologist giving you recommendations?

What does your neurosurgeon recommend for treatment?

As for the Hcg.........I'd want more information and long term studies that document it's effectiveness.
Weight loss.....especially around the belly will help minimize back pain.

blackeyed1

Michigan

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Posted: 03/02/12 03:15pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'd get other opinions and not that of an anesthesiologist either.
I was very fortunate to have a great neurosurgeon that worked on my spine almost 3 years ago. I crushed the L2 vertebrae into pieces after a fall. Kyphoplasty, partial laminectomy, pedicle screws (rods and screws)and fused 5 vertebrae. I am doing well.
He's a neurosurgeon in Illinois. Do your research, ask alot of questions and talk to other neurosurgeons (and check their records).

amandasgramma

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Posted: 03/02/12 04:07pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

In fairness here........I'll add to my above answer. I go to an anesthesiologist that specializes in back pain. He has MORE education than most doctors. I have been to neurosurgeons, ortho's, physical therapy and everything in between. This new doctor has done more to rid the pain in my back --- and explained what was wrong --- I'm talking having more than 35 yrs of pain!!!! No other treatment worked. Except pain meds -- I'd be an addict if I'd kept that up!! This doctor is killing the nerves in my back ---- sounds awful, but works!!! There is such a slim chance of the procedure causing paralysis, I'm not worried. So far he's worked on the left side ----- I have NO pain there!!!

I have a friend that went to another anesthesiologist in another city and had the same treatment....He's been pain free for 5 yrs --- after 20 yrs of pain!

So please --- to posters --- don't think anesthesiologists are just for being in the operating room!!!!! But as I said above, I'd question him on the recommendation for a product that the FDA is trying to get off the market!!!!!

Trish Davis

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Posted: 03/02/12 04:46pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yes.

Prior to my laminectomy (L-5 /S-1) in April '10, I had epidural injections which did nothing to relieve pain. Jan & Feb, this year, I had 3 more epidural injections to break up scar tissue from previous surgery.
Again, nothing.

During the laminectomy, the neurosurgeon left a chunk of scar tissue on both L-5 and L-4 (L-5 being the worst and I truly mean "worst") that has caused extreme numbness in my rt foot and leg. Numbness as if the limb had been asleep for days. It feels like fire in my heel and ball of my foot.

I am (still) unable to walk any distance or even get around my kitchen without a cane. Up & down the stairs is misery. Even with my shower chair, I step in and out of the tub with little balance --because of the numbness.

Is it only over the counter HCG that is banned or it also manufactured and by which pharma company? Ask, then ask again.

If weight gain is an issue, have them check your thyroid thoroughly; the entire panel, not just blood. Thyroid disfunction is responsible for lots of problems (diabetes, high blood pressure, fatigue, weight gain) and is seldom tested.

If your ankles, knees and hips can tolerate being hung upside down, why not.
It's not intrusive and may offer relief.

A laminectomy can ruin the quality of your life. Your ability to function, to walk into a store (still cannot), to stand long enough to cook a meal.


I would not/ have spine surgery again.


Pain pills seemed to be deemed 'necessary' by pain specialists.
I have refused them many times, which brings the doctor to ask "do you really hurt." Yes, doc, this really hurts.

But, I'd rather be mean and able to think.




fchammer1 wrote:

To avoid a fifth back surgery which would involve pins & rods (fusion), an anesthesiologist (associate of my neurosurgeon) has recommended Inverse Decompression (fancy name for upside-down traction), one to three cortisone epidurals, and daily injections of HCG -- to stimulate metabolism and depress appetite (weight control).

The traction makes sense; and reports of the spinals to relieve pain are encouraging, but what I read about HCG is scary.

Does anyone have any firsthand experience with these treatments?


msmith1199

Central, CA

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Posted: 03/02/12 06:33pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have been told that the upside down traction poses more risk than gain. My doctor talked to me about it and I can't remember all that was said, but there are issues with the blood going to your head and potential eye problems and all kinds of other things. The older you get the more the issues. My doc told me not to do it.


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Posted: 03/02/12 06:45pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I was told the traction is temporary and when you 'flip back over' and have put weight on the back again the compression and pinching of the neves comes back. As mentioned, everyone's case is different and there is no 'one fix' for everyone. My first epidural , L 4/5, l lasted 6 months, and my last one was last May and I don't have a need for another....yet anyway. However, everyone's pain levels and tolerances vary so one has to find what works for them. Yes, the skill of the doctor's is one important variable to be factored in.

* This post was edited 03/02/12 06:55pm by Moderator *

msmith1199

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Posted: 03/02/12 07:04pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The theory behind the traction is you decompress the disk and allow it to heal. As my doctor explained, the problem with this theory is that to do any good you need to stay in traction for several months. At least that was his opinion. I have heard other's say that 30 minutes to an hour a day in traction will work too over several months. The guy who sells the table that you hang upside down on, says 3 minutes a day is all you need. Like you said I don't think there is any one fix that works for everybody.

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