Is there any other solution?

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Went to see a Neurologist today for intense bilateral knee pain that my chiropractor told me was connected to my scoliosis. After examination and knee x-rays he told me that he believes that the intense pain I am experiencing is a patellafemoral thing due to me having no cartilage left between either knee's joints. he is going to do an spinal MRI next week to look for spinal stenosis since at ti.es this intense pain goes from my lower back down the back of my legs and well. He also looked at my 2016 spinL cray a d said he actually didnt believe my scoliosis was that bad when in 2016 the radiologist described it as "severe". He explained that if there was spinal stenosis he could probably help me..if not, then I would need to see an orthopedic surgeon for bilateral TKR's. I don't believe in TKRs, never have as I have too many friends that had them and are worse off than when they began. At 70 yrs of age, I am not interested in any iron man's contest, marathon, disco dancing trophy, etc.

.I just want to walk with minimal pain for the weekly trip to the store and visits to see my family. I am so depressed tonight..all I am doing is crying. Is there no other solution..I feel as though he was telling me wheel hair vs. TKRs. Please help me understand.

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    I'll be 72 in February and have had a number of surgeries that may apply to you...

    1. Eight months after I had a knee replaced, I got a case of spinal foraminal stenosis. The feeling is like sciatica but down the butt and both legs plus a lot of leg weakness. A CT/Myelogram with contrast is the neurosurgeon's "gold standard" test for finding this. In my case, L2/L3 was compressed, pinching off the nerve roots. The answer was an Extreme Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion (XLIF or LLIF or OLIF). A general surgeon opens you up from the side and moves "stuff" out of the way. Then the neurosurgeon goes in, removes the disk and inserts a device that acts like a car jack. The doc uses an actual Allen wrench to expand the device until the nerves are freed up. Backfill with a small bone graft from the hip to start the fusion process and close. MIRACLE OP!!!!!!!! Immediate relief, one night in the hospital, no rehab, no brace. For a one level fusion, you probably don't need the standard TLIF with the rails and screws. Look into this!!!!! (More info below...)
    2. As mentioned, I had a knee replacement done when I was 68. Very tough op with a one year recovery time. Not for the faint of heart. I had no cartilage, severe arthritis and a bone-on-bone condition. (Note: I had four previous arthroscopies, two each knee. All of this came from my 45 years of playing hockey!!!) Sooner or later, I will need a second knee replacement. To avoid this, I'm going to have a COOLIEF procedure done. This is Cooled Radiofrequency Ablation that deadens the nerves in and around the knee (or any joint) carrying the pain signals to the brain. FDA-approved, 15-minute procedure done under sedation. The typical patient finds relief for one to two years. For me, this is a no-brainer. Check the COOLIEF website for more information and to locate a certified doc near you.

    More on the XLIF... Search YouTube for "Globus TLIF Procedure" for a cute animation. Then try "Globus ELSA" for another animation, this time of the device itself. I had a TLIF done with the rails and screws from L3 through S1. Twelve days in the hospital, four months of rehab, six months in a brace...took a year to make a full recovery. The XLIF is total relief in one day. Find a neurosurgeon with experience in the procedure. You will not be sorry...

    You can see my XLIF right above the rails from my TLIF...

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    • Posted

      Do your research...know your stuff...be your own best health advocate!!! If a doc wants to do a huge fusion for a one-level problem, see another doc. If one is comfortable with a procedure, they will recommend it, ignoring all others. A big TLIF is usually used when there is spinal instability that the rails can solve. If you look at the ELSA video, you will see that a doc can use optional rails for that stability while avoiding the TLIF and all it's recovery issues.

      Your whole spine problem may be fixed by a much simpler, same-day procedure: a decompressive laminectony. The doc will clear out any bone spurs, calcified disk sides, etc....anything pressing on the nerves. No fusion; maybe a week's recovery time as the inflammation subsides. I've had this done twice with great success.

      So, if the doc says fusion, question him/her about the laminectomy. If you need a fusion and the doc says TLIF (open you from the back), question why not an XLIF from the side. Then get a second opinion, especially from a doc that does XLIFs. Compare the docs, cost, recovery time, expected outcomes, etc.

      For the COOLIEF... That's an easy one for me. I'll will do anything to avoid another knee replacement. Typically, the treatment progression is from cortisone then SynVisc (or similar injections) to a TKR. Now we all have the COOLIEF option before heading to that last stop on the train.

      Have fun...

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