Real Stories of People Recovering From Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

First Name: Reginald
Age: 79
Occupation: Retired
Diagnoses: Lumbar Spinal Stenosis, Sciatica, Radiculopathy L3-4, L4-5
Type of Surgery: Laminectomy and Fusion L3-4, L4-5
Time After Surgery: One Year

What symptoms were you experiencing before surgery?

Sciatic pain down the rear of both legs all through 2005.

What impact did this have on your life?

I couldn’t do any chores around my house or yard. I felt it was a “lost” year.

How are you feeling now after your surgery?

Like a new person!

How would you compare your current condition with your pre-surgery condition?

The surgery eliminated the sciatic pain. I feel my quality of life has been restored.

 

Have you returned to work/school?

Since I am retired, this does not apply.

Have you returned to recreational activities/sports?

Not completely-hope to do more.

If you had it to do all over again, would you change anything about your treatment? Would you choose surgery again?

No and Yes.

What words of advice do you have for someone who may be contemplating a similar surgical procedure?

I would advise anyone wanting to improve their quality of life to consider it seriously.

How would you describe Dr. Nelson?

Dr. Nelson is an outstanding spinal surgeon and fine person as well. His manner is direct-yet very reassuring. I feel fortunate to have had him as my surgeon.

First Name: Larry
Age: 66
Occupation: Health Care
Diagnoses: Lumbar Spinal Stenosis, Sciatica, Radiculopathy
Type of Surgery: 1. Lumbar Laminectomy
2. Revision Lumbar Laminectomy
Time After Surgery: 1. Two years
2. One year

What symptoms were you experiencing before surgery?

Left leg and back pain, numbness left leg.

What impact did this have on your life?

I was unable to work because of the pain.

How are you feeling now after your surgery?

My leg is pain-free and I have been able to return to work.

How would you compare your current condition with your pre-surgery condition?

I feel a 100% better without the pain.

Have you returned to work/school?

Yes-back to work.

Have you returned to recreational activities/sports?

Yes, walking and bicycle riding.

If you had it to do all over again, would you change anything about your treatment? Would you choose surgery again?

Yes, I would have the surgery. I would try to get the surgery done sooner.

What words of advice do you have for someone who may be contemplating a similar surgical procedure?

If you have a disc problem like mine-GET IT FIXED.

How would you describe Dr. Nelson?

Kind, caring, and understanding-Thank you, Dr. Nelson.

First Name: Laurie
Age: 49
Occupation: First-Grade Aide
Diagnoses: Lumbar Stenosis, Facet Cyst, Radiculopathy, Sciatica
Type of Surgery: Lumbar Laminectomy/Excision of Facet Cyst L4-5
Time After Surgery: 15 months

What symptoms were you experiencing before surgery?

Pain and numbness in leg.

What impact did this have on your life?

At times I could not walk-I would have to stop and sit to relieve pain/also some urinary leakage.

How are you feeling now after your surgery?

Great-no recurrent pain or numbness-occasional lower back pain-which I think is normal after exercise.

How would you compare your current condition with your pre-surgery condition?

100% better-as if I never had a back problem.

Have you returned to work/school?

Yes.

Have you returned to recreational activities/sports?

Yes-no restrictions.

If you had it to do all over again, would you change anything about your treatment? Would you choose surgery again?

No changes except maybe skip physical therapy and go straight to surgery-Yes, I’d pick surgery again.

What words of advice do you have for someone who may be contemplating a similar surgical procedure?

Listen to the doctor on advice-what he would do. I felt I had no option-I could not imagine hurting all the time and not being able to take walks, hike, etc. Also, Dr. Nelson said I might have problems (permanent) with bladder and my bowels. I certainly did not want that. Get all info about the ‘what ifs’-and how it could better your quality of living.

How would you describe Dr. Nelson?

I have to say I really like Dr. Nelson. I would say he is a gentle, very informative, tells it straight doctor who is very thorough. I like the way he approached the whole situation (even though I mentioned skipping PT before). I liked how he considered all options and tried everything before surgery. He was really good with my husband also-gave us straight answers. I do like Dr. Nelson a lot and would definitely recommend him to anyone. One last thing I liked how Dr. Nelson would ask about me and things in my life, and at times mentioned things about his family! That makes him more human and personable.