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Had surgery for Spinal Stenosis. Caught MRSA. Noticed Stenosis on MRI scan. Help?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1998
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Okay, you caught me on the day I receive my disability check! I do have a question. I had surgery for Spinal Stenosis in 2007. After a month in a nursing home, because I caught MRSA, I came home to find that my ability to wald had not increased significantly, (the Neurosurgeon saw the Stonosis in an MRI, a tiny peice of bone sticking into my lower back,) and said "See that? I'll "lob" that off, through you in a brace for a couple of weeks and you'll be as good as new!") What neither of us knew until he did a second MRI with the XXXXXXX was that, as he put it: "Your entire spine is "riidles" with arthritis, and there is nothing more I can do for you. I will send you to physical therapy, which might help." They didn't seem to know what on earth to do with me in physical therapy. Ihad excersizes in the pool, and all the therapist ever said was "My, you're so boyant, I'll have to put weights on your ankles. She had me try holding on to the edge (I can't swim, only learned how to float on my back, could never even tread water, I always sank, (when as an adult I tried to learn.) I was diagnosed with Osteo Necrosis and had a THR in 1998, (My family doctor thought I had Lupus when I was in my late teens and early 20's and I took Prednisol for a long time.) Now I am sure I have Stenosis again. I am only not in pain if I sit and do nothing. I can only walk about 1/2 block, and can not stand still in one place for more than a very few minutes. A close friend told me that Stenosis invariably comes back. I don't know what to do, Steroid injections stopped working way before 2007, physical therapy was a joke, and I am a very "young at heart" 62 yea old woman. I have pretty bad Osteoperosis, and one knee that has been what I call "my weather knee" since I was only 16 or so sometimes gives out when I am walking outside, (but never indoors with even floors. Do you have any suggestions? I do not want to go back to another Othropeic Surgeon, and have heard of "Pain Clinics" but have heard disparate remarks,like some of them are just for "pill seekers as they hand them out like candy" and I know narcotics won't help me in the long run, as I plan to live a long time. Thank you
Posted Wed, 23 Oct 2013 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Vaibhav Gandhi 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Spinal decompression is good option

Detailed Answer:

I have studied your case.

As per your symptoms and your expectations now spinal decompression with multilevel laminectomy is good option to give you relief.
If you are not getting proper care as per your expectation then you can visit tertiary spine centre for further management.
If you don’t want to undergo surgery then epidural steroid shots remains a good option, which can be repeated again though you have taken in past.

Till time you can take analgesic and neurotropic medication.
And remember; avoid lifting weights, Sit with support to back. You can consult physiotherapist for help.
Physiotherapy like ultrasound and interferential therapy will give temporary relief.
Core stabilizing spine exercises will help.
I will advise to check your vit B12 and vit D3 level.

Hope this answers your query. If you have additional questions or follow up queries then please do not hesitate in writing to us. I will be happy to answer your queries.

Wishing you good health.

Take care
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