Author Topic: Back surgery advice  (Read 4474 times)

supthecreek

  • Cortez Bank Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 6844
  • Walk directly at what you want
    • View Profile
Re: Back surgery advice
« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2019, 06:57:44 AM »
Heal well and quickly surfafrica!

Thanks TD.... this got my attention:
"She said my pelvis is being pulled down by my tight hamstrings (and mine ARE!)
which was causing the Sciatic nerve to be pinched right at the L5/S1.
When I work the muscles loosen up and the pelvis would move back into position.
As soon as I quit working, the muscles would tighten"



"Strand Lepers" Primal Thread, kicked me into healthy eating.... because the theory behind it is common sense, and it "clicked" with me.
I dropped 85 lbs... life changed forever.

Hopefully this thread will kick me into Stretching!
Something I have always known I need.... but have been simply too lazy.
email
supthecreek@gmail.com

My YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHRI23a8H21jASPdVCQUpog/videos

surfafrica

  • Peahi Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 851
    • View Profile
    • Instagram
Re: Back surgery advice
« Reply #16 on: December 05, 2019, 11:54:44 AM »
Best of luck with your back and please keep us updated on how you are doing. Also, thanks for posting this and thanks to everyone for all the info.

I had injured my back about 10yrs ago ( L5:S1) and it ended up requiring surgery. It had been bothering me again over the summer and has increasingly gotten worse. Have not been able to surf and had just been thinking about posting on here for advice. I haven't been on here for a few days and when I checked back in you had posted this and pretty much covered it all.

In regards to the microdiscectomy, that is what I had and mine has been fine for years up until now. I reinjured it at work, had to move a lot of heavy stuff and if it were not for that it would probably still be fine from the original repair.

I am going to look up the books, etc that have been recommended here as well.

CJ8: Sorry to hear about the relapse. I highly recommend those two books by Stuart McGill that Ninja posted: Back Mechanic and Gift of Injury. I'd start with Gift of Injury for the inspiration and some context, and then move to Back Mechanic to dive a bit deeper into his stuff.  I've read both cover to cover and am going to be seeing one of clinicians Dr. McGill trained later this month.  I've been managing my back for the past 7 years and have seen more clinicians than I can count, but Dr. McGill's work gives a new direction--one backed by science and one that makes a lot of sense based on what has and hasn't helped me since the original injury.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2019, 12:26:04 PM by surfafrica »
Instagram http://instagram.com/surfafrica.sup
YouTube https://goo.gl/mK0aze
Infinity RNB: 7'6 x 28, 95 L https://goo.gl/SqlWR4
Kronos LB: 8'10 x 26.5, 84 L https://goo.gl/4iQdps
Kronos Nano: 7'4 x 26, 81 L https://goo.gl/kAM8W6

toolate

  • Sunset Status
  • ****
  • Posts: 266
    • View Profile
Re: Back surgery advice
« Reply #17 on: December 06, 2019, 10:06:27 PM »
One more resource:
https://backincontrol.com/

Dr David Hanscomb knows a thing or two about backs. And his approach is quite different but he is the real deal.

supsean

  • Sunset Status
  • ****
  • Posts: 276
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Back surgery advice
« Reply #18 on: December 08, 2019, 07:29:03 PM »
After having a discectomy 4 years ago, I have to say that I feel great. But I do exercise and stretch as part of my regular routine. Something I didn't do enough of before things went south. I also do a lot of balance and core exercises which when combined with paddle surfing really keep my back well defended. I do need to work on my hamstrings and lower back a bit more, as I feel them tightening up.

Overall, I think more activity with proper technique is the best way keep the back pain/sciatica at bay.
Fanatic Allwave 8'9"
Sunova Steeze 8'10"
Kenalu Ho'oloa

SurfnCJ8

  • Waikiki Status
  • *
  • Posts: 16
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Back surgery advice
« Reply #19 on: December 09, 2019, 12:57:15 PM »
SurfAfrica - Didn't mean to hijack your thread and thanks again for the suggestions. Going to check for the books and my PT starts this Wednesday so we will see what happens next.

Some friends and I have been to Costa Rica a few times to surf and have reservations again in early March. Hoping that the PT, etc. can get me to a point that I can SUP/surf without risking further damage and I don't have to cancel the trip.

On a positive note, after discovering SUP and this forum, and seeing videos/photos of you all from here and the wide age range of SUPsurfers with and without back issues..... I am very optimistic that SUP will extend my surfing years beyond what I was expecting to have from just prone surfing. I really enjoy it and here in NC it has increased my wave count considerably by turning a lot of marginal surf days into surprisingly fun sessions.

surfafrica

  • Peahi Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 851
    • View Profile
    • Instagram
Re: Back surgery advice
« Reply #20 on: December 10, 2019, 11:25:07 AM »
Hijack away!  If I could, I'd rename this thread "back health"....the more contributors the better.

Oh man....I know what that feels like...."gotta get ready for March".   I feel like every other year I'm in that same boat working on some injury for a March trip!   
Instagram http://instagram.com/surfafrica.sup
YouTube https://goo.gl/mK0aze
Infinity RNB: 7'6 x 28, 95 L https://goo.gl/SqlWR4
Kronos LB: 8'10 x 26.5, 84 L https://goo.gl/4iQdps
Kronos Nano: 7'4 x 26, 81 L https://goo.gl/kAM8W6

805StandUp

  • Sunset Status
  • ****
  • Posts: 337
    • View Profile
Re: Back surgery advice
« Reply #21 on: December 10, 2019, 05:15:08 PM »
I can definitely empathize!  I had a successful microscopic-discectomy during high school performed in New York which addressed a lot of the shooting pain down the leg...etc.  Interestingly, even after surgery and the requisite Physical Therapy, I always felt like I had to baby my back to avoid stiffness, pain...etc.  It wasn't until I discovered Iyengar Yoga, Traditional Chinese Martial Arts and SUP that I never had to worry about my back again.  If you haven't tried Iyengar Yoga, I would highly recommend it--the specific focus on alignment (and use of props so that it is maintained) and the fact that you can check into teacher's specific levels of certifications is gamechanging for people with injuries over other forms of yoga.

SurfnCJ8

  • Waikiki Status
  • *
  • Posts: 16
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Back surgery advice
« Reply #22 on: January 07, 2020, 06:56:38 AM »
 Hey gang, hope all are well starting out the new year!

SurfAfrica - How is the back doing?

surfafrica

  • Peahi Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 851
    • View Profile
    • Instagram
Re: Back surgery advice
« Reply #23 on: January 07, 2020, 02:00:14 PM »
SurfAfrica - How is the back doing?

Thanks for asking.  I just started on Stuart McGill's protocol a couple of weeks ago.  I saw one of his trusted guys over here on the west coast.  Looks like I have damage to my L5 (probably disc, bone, and ligaments) and some joint laxity that needs some serious stabilization.  I've started a prescription of core stabilization exercises that I need to do daily for 3-6 months.  Hopefully at some point in that time frame, I'll be ready to progress to some more training (with an eye to get back to biking and surfing).  They stress the importance of consistency (daily, not just a few times per week) and patience--it takes time for the tissues to change.  Fingers crossed.
Instagram http://instagram.com/surfafrica.sup
YouTube https://goo.gl/mK0aze
Infinity RNB: 7'6 x 28, 95 L https://goo.gl/SqlWR4
Kronos LB: 8'10 x 26.5, 84 L https://goo.gl/4iQdps
Kronos Nano: 7'4 x 26, 81 L https://goo.gl/kAM8W6

Wetstuff

  • Cortez Bank Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 2064
    • View Profile
    • Wetstuff
Re: Back surgery advice
« Reply #24 on: January 09, 2020, 09:36:57 AM »
For you SA, and others who may no longer be 21...  UCSF has some pretty interesting series of videos.  This one on the spine was only short of a decent discussion on stenosis, but gives JoeAvg a pretty clear idea of what happens when they cut you.

https://www.uctv.tv/shows/The-Aging-Spine-Updates-in-Diagnosis-and-Treatment-34793

He proudly says; 'My daughter manages the Plastics unit in SF.'

Jim
Atlantis Mistress .. Blue Planet MultiTasker ..   Atlantis Venom

flkiter

  • Rincon Status
  • ***
  • Posts: 190
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Back surgery advice
« Reply #25 on: January 09, 2020, 10:38:31 AM »
I have had chronic pain in my lower back and over the past year 5 years, my doctor finally found what it was about 2 years ago. Facet joints that deteriorated from all the impact from kiting over the years so the nerve gets inflamed and then it bed riddens me for a week. So I've been doing the steroid injection and I get about a year of no pain. Planning to burn the nerve out soon as a permanent fix. So don't rule those out when you go. I had a herniated disc and the facet at the same time so once the disc went down and I still had pain, the doc found the issue.

Stew

  • Waikiki Status
  • *
  • Posts: 21
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Back surgery advice
« Reply #26 on: January 19, 2020, 01:22:57 PM »
I'll be honest, I've not read any replies to this thread.

I just want to suggest you look into barefoot/minimalist/zero heel drop shoes.

I broke my L1 vertebrae all the way through in '99 after a 30' rock climbing fall. Back pain for years after. An acquaintance suggested barefoot shoes and in one week of trying, the pain had gone. It's all to do with heel striking pushing the pain straight through the spine or the forefoot acting as a shock absorber.

Have a read up and/or message me about it if you like. See what you think. It might help you. It changed my life.

surfafrica

  • Peahi Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 851
    • View Profile
    • Instagram
Re: Back surgery advice
« Reply #27 on: May 25, 2020, 03:34:35 PM »
Here's a (not-so-short) update on my back. 

In December, I dove into the program put together by Dr. Stuart McGill (see posts above). I found a local practitioner, and he's been great. As part of the process, he took a deep dive into my MRIs and had me get a series of X-rays with me bending forward and backwards. He was able to diagnose my issue (after many different doctors, surgeons, chiros, physiotherapists and osteopaths were unable to do so).

I was born with a slight defect in my S1/L5 facet joint of the spine that made them weak and susceptible to trauma (called a pars defect). Eight years ago, I ended up cracking the bones in those joints (see first pic below -- spondylosis). That caused my S1/L5 joint to come out of alignment (see second pic -- spondylolisthesis). It also caused that joint to become quite unstable and ultra sensitive to movement. Somehow, I managed to develop the stabilization muscles in my core enough over the years that I could keep surfing waves on a SUP (prone was out of the question). But something happened in 2019 that caused that joint to become more unstable and more sensitive. It's become way more intrusive than being about to surf or not to surf--it effects my day-to-day in a pretty major way.

As hard as I've tried to stabilize everything by developing my core muscles following McGill's system, I haven't been able to do it. My back is more tender than ever. So I started researching surgical options. In North America, the go-to is spinal fusion. But man, that scares the shit out of me. Fusion is super-invasive and there is no turning back if it doesn't work. And even if it does work, it often causes further problems up the spine over time. So I dug deeper and discovered a procedure they have been doing in Europe for the past 25 years called dynamic stabilization.

The idea with dynamic stabilization is to stabilize the spine with non-rigid materials while preserving the natural structures and movement patterns of the spine. It allows some motion (which helps prevent issues on adjacent joints) but offers motion control, stabilization and some help with load bearing.

Dynamic stabilization is a fairly minimally invasive procedure (small incision, minimal damage to the muscles which will heal, and no damage to any supportive tissue of the spine), is easy to do, and is reversible. If it doesn't work, I can opt to take the next step and get a fusion done later on if that's something I decide to consider. The main recovery point for dynamic stabilization is giving your body the 6 weeks needed for the screws to fully set in the bones--you can walk immediately after the surgery, but you have to be careful about bending and making any uncontrolled movements for those first 6 weeks.

The first version of dynamic stabilization is the Dynesys system by Zimmer: https://www.zimmer.co.uk/medical-professionals/products/spine/dynesys-dynamic-stabilization-system-ous.html

A second version has come out called the ShineShape system by SpineSave. It was co-developed by one of the guys who invented the original Dynesys system: https://spinesave.com/the-solution/

The newer SpineSave system is not yet approved by the FDA (still too new) so isn't available in North America. About 800-900 people in Europe have had the SpineSave procedure done over the past 10 years. So I started contacting neurosurgeons in Europe and heard back from two of them in March. They both took a look at my MRI and X-rays and gave the same diagnosis as my local McGill practitioner--joint instability at S1/L5, congenital spondylosis further worsened by trauma, and minor post-traumatic spondylolisthesis.  And both recommended dynamic stabilization.

So I went ahead and scheduled surgery in Switzerland for mid-April.  But due to the pandemic, that had to be cancelled. So now I'm waiting for the Swiss border to open.  Once it does, I'm going to book myself back in. I'm going to be having a two-level rod inserted--a medium-flex rod between S1/L5 with a step down to a high-flex rod between L5/L4 (like a step rail, really).

After eight years of working on this (and trying almost everything), and a year of getting progressively worse, it's time to take the next step. I'm just happy that there is a step between where I'm at and fusion. This is a new system and a relatively new procedure. I've dug into the research on all this and have decided I'm OK with the risk/reward profile. Call me a guinea pig. I'll make sure to report back on here about how things go.  ...and will hopefully get back to posting important stuff like rail shape, board volume, foot placement, board construction, and searching for the perfect right point break.

Here's a video of the system:

« Last Edit: May 25, 2020, 03:46:09 PM by surfafrica »
Instagram http://instagram.com/surfafrica.sup
YouTube https://goo.gl/mK0aze
Infinity RNB: 7'6 x 28, 95 L https://goo.gl/SqlWR4
Kronos LB: 8'10 x 26.5, 84 L https://goo.gl/4iQdps
Kronos Nano: 7'4 x 26, 81 L https://goo.gl/kAM8W6

 


SimplePortal 2.3.7 © 2008-2020, SimplePortal