Husband has degenerative back disease with stenosis

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We've seen 3 surgeons.  One wants to do an alif with fusion and one wants to do open back surgery that will be four hours long decompression and fusion.  He's diabetic.  We don't know what to do

 

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  • Posted

    Hi Pam - so sorry to hear about your husband's back. 

    So you've seen three surgeons and all three want to tackle his back probem in  a different manner? You didn't mention what the 3rd had to say?

    I guess the only answer here is to do what's best for the patient. At some point you have to take trust in a doctor that can help your husband. I am unsure how impaired your husband is with the back disease and it it's positively necessary, he needs to make a decision on his best course of action. Do you think the 3 opinions support one another? What are the risks? I'm not sure how old your husband is  but after you put the pros and cons together on the surgery, I'm sure you''ll be able to make the best decision for him. Hopefully the surgery will give him a better quality of life with a short rehab and recovery.  

    My back issues are small compared to your husband and I have put off surgery for several years now and I know I'm rolling the dice. 

    Good Luck and keep us posted. 

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  • Posted

    Have you reached the end of your rope with respect to taking medication? I have degenerative back disease and have chosen to wear a patch rather than risk a surgery. I have been told that my condition would require 2 maybe 3 surgeries. That is an extremely high risk rate. With your husband being a diabetic and all of the healing factors that go with that condition and the general risk of coming out worse than you on in, I would pause on the surgery route until you've reached the end of the line. You may already be there. Hope you can make a informed decision soon, but I would really think about all of the risks involved in an open back surgery. I wish you well!

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    • Posted

      I think that's the best advice, MJP... Like you, I wear patches daily, I use biofreeze and aspercreme and take alleve. Certainly everyone's pain level and risks are different so it's difficult to have one cookie cutter plan to help out here but I agree. The longer you can stay away from surgery, the better off you are. The diabetes makes the decision so much more difficult.  I wish you well.

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  • Posted

    This is why I'm glad both of the doctors I approached said I was not a candidate for surgery. It makes my decision an easy one. Unfortunately I've had to rely on opiates for pain relief and now the fear of it being taken away from me at any time because of the CDC and the DEA. But I have no other option. As for your husband, like Glenn said, I would make a pro and con list and work from that.

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  • Posted

    Hi honey,

    MJP again....the patch I'm referring to is the fentanyl patch. It comes in a variety of strengths and offers steady, consistent relief. The way it works is the medication is delivered through the dermis (skin) and stores in the subcutaneous fat. It then releases a little medication to a time for 72 hours --- then you change the patch. Don't let the things said in the press deter you from this option. The Fentanyl patch is dosed in MICROGRAMS not milligrams. A micrograms is 1 1000th of a millagram. The people that are dying from Fentanyl are doing so because they purchase it illegally on the streets and they have no idea what's in it. Therapeutic Fentanyl so perfectly safe as long as you follow your doctor's instructions by the letter. The down side is that when your husband reaches the point where surgery is the only option, he'll have to go through withdrawal off the patch. His doctor will more than likely do a step down to ease his discomfort. For me, it's an easy decision because I want to put off surgery AS LONG AS POSSIBLE! You can ask your doctor if this could be an option for your husband. I hope this information is useful!

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