Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > Back Pain Forum

t8-9,t11-12,t12-l1 partial vertebrectomies (Page 1)

Hello everyone Surprised

first let me say that I enjoy your forum! I am trying to find someone out there that has had a similar surgery as I had. Its been 3 1/2 yrs since my surgery and yet to find one like me!! Well, my operation was t8-9,t11-12,t12-l1 partial vertebrectomies with spinal cord decompression. Left 10th rib thoracotomy. Anterior plating t11-l1 with z plate Sad I would just like to know if anyone has had this surgery how they are doing and if they have any complications.

Thank you
rachel
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replied May 1st, 2004
I would be interested to know why the surgery was done... Was it due to trauma or congenital defect? What are your complications and did you have any before the surgery?
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replied May 2nd, 2004
Thanks for your reply Smile
it was due to trauma,had lots of pain and bladder control problems. And Dr. Said if it was not done I could go numb from the waist down due to the pressure on my spinal cord. What could I do? I did not want to not be able to walk Sad my fusion took real well,so there is no problem with that!
Problem now is that I still have daily chronic pain not only in my back but, lots of pain where they took my rib and made a 2 foot incision.And have developed legs and feet problems ontop of it all.
So, they did another mri to find out that I have more herniated disks above and below my fused ares. But, I do not want any more surgery's because of all the problems that I have since I did do surgery!!
I guess im just wanting to find someone who has had the same surgery to see how they are doing,i guess like a support Smile
everyone I have either talked to or read with back conditions are usally lumbar or something else. Its just nice to have someone to talk too Smile
thank you
rachel
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replied May 2nd, 2004
Hi rachel,

i think its a very important message you are sending and I hope that others will learn from the dialogue. The central nervous system, made up of the brain and the spinal cord, are the master controller of the whole body. When a message which originates in the brain (mind) is interfered with in the spine, it does not allow for proper communication to its targeted organ. Hence, you could have problems such as digestive, cardiovascular, respiratory, and a host of other problems. There could be a diminishment to your function with or without pain associated. The surgeons went in and fused an area without informing you that the body could and would effect the joints above and below. Had you of followed through with a chiropractor he/she could have monitored it, and perhaps prevented it from getting worse. I still think they can help but will take some work. I am glad to see that you are staying involved and educating yourself through this forum. I am a big believer in asking questions, weighing it out, and then making the best choice to support my knowledge. People are to fast to make decisions because a doctor tells them, and don't question the outcome. The result is sometimes we elect surgeries that were not required and make the situation worse. I have had many, many, many patients with symptoms like yours that have done well under care. I will be clear that chiropractic does not treat the symptoms, but corrects the cause of the symptom, so that the body can heal itself. God did not create surgery to interfere with his/her perfect design, man did that and he is not perfect. Question him. I practice in australia, but would be more then happy to find a good chiropractor that could help you. Not to say that he could undo what was done in the surgery, but can help you get the best possible function that you can within the limitations of your spine.
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replied May 2nd, 2004
Hello,

first of all you should know that I did go to a chiropractor first before going to an orthapedic doctor. The visits (about Cool I did have with the chiropractor made me worse,extreme pain. They toled me to go to a doctor. Nothing more they could do!! So, I take one day at a time and the lord gives me the strength to keep on going Smile I also know that god made doctors,he made luke didnt he? Wink
well, I hope and pray that someday I will find someone like me to talk with. Thanks anyway for your suggestions Smile take care

god bless,
rachel
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replied May 2nd, 2004
I am glad that you did go to a chiropractor before surgery, like you said it was due to trauma, and he might have been limited in what he was able to do, pain wise. Regardless of the pain, as long as he was adjusting you your body was better not having interference, then having it. We tend to judge our well-being by the absense or presence of pain. Did you know that in 57% of american males that died of a sudden heart attack, had no previous pain? You thought of going before but never went as a follow up to the surgery.
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replied May 6th, 2004
Dr. Scotti
Please stop misleading people and giving them advice that is untrue and dangerous. It is comments like yours that make the rest of the medical community look down on chiropractors.

Making unfounded claims about adjustments correcting some interference in the body is misleading and unethical.

"regardless of the pain, as long as he was adjusting you your body was better not having interference, then having it."

there is absolutely no evidence that spinal adjustment does anything but offer temporary relief of musculoskeletal pain. Telling this person, even if your chiropractor gives you more pain it is still good for you, is crazy! If a treatment that is meant to reduce pain, actually increases your pain, something is very wrong and it should be stopped or changed! Do not use unscientific and unproven claims to rationalize and scare people into getting adjustments!
You probably tell people to bring their perfectly healthy infants into your office for treatment. What other animal needs manipulation for their bodies to work right?? None!! And there is no reason to think humans are any different!

The person who wrote above was describing some possible symptoms of cauda equina syndrome! (http://orthoinfo.Aaos.Org/fact/thr_report .Cfm?Thread_id=285&topcategory=spine) spinal adjustment could have left her permanently damaged and disabled. This disorder is a medical emergency and can cause numbness in the groin, loss of bowl and bladder function and numbness in both legs. This syndrome is a medical emergency and needs surgery as soon as possible. Any good clinician knows that anyone with these types of signs (the above person described bladder control problems) should never be manipulated!
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replied May 6th, 2004
I see I am arguing with someone who is very dense and not see how health is really obtained. I see that when you choose to look at how having caudia equina could effect your fuctioning you cram it in there. But when a chiropractor suggests that but removing pressure on the spine the body is able to function better, you dispute that. I see your some type of wanna be pro med flunky, who can't laterally think outside the box. I came here to give people an option, not scare them into care as you suggest. Infact, I don't even practice in the states, or have I ever suggested someone comes to see me.... You seem to have a lot of time on your hands to sit here and confuse issues and I won't play that game with you.... I am for education and choice, not to be persuaded by people like you to accept md's, as the absolute. If you were in my shoes and seen there handy work perhaps you might see my point.
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replied May 6th, 2004
Mpt, you said
""making unfounded claims about adjustments correcting some interference in the body is misleading and unethical.
There is absolutely no evidence that spinal adjustment does anything but offer temporary relief of musculoskeletal pain."""

here is some evidence

infantile colic
having to deal with a child that is suffering from colic is very frustrating to new parents. Typical response from doctors is, "if it is colic, it would run its course in three months." recent studies show that chiropractic care may be useful in managing the situation.
In a study conducted in south africa by mercer and cook, thirty infants who had been diagnosed medically with colic were randomly divided into two groups. One group received chiropractic care while the other group did not. All infants in this study were newborn to 8 weeks old and had been diagnosed with colic by a pediatrician.
The infants in the chiropractic group received care for a two-week period with a maximum of six adjustments (spinal adjusting). In the group that received chiropractic care, there was complete resolution of symptoms in 93% of the infants within the two-week period. What is more impressive, though is the finding that in a follow up survey performed one month later, none of the infants had experienced a reoccurrence of problems from colic.
In another study, the national health service in ballerup (copenhagen, denmark) conducted a study involving 50 infants diagnosed with infantile colic. Half of the group was given the drug dimethicon while the other half was given chiropractic care. In this study, nine of the 25 taking the drug dropped out of the study because the infants were getting worse. These infants were then not counted in the final results which would have shown a worse result for the drug than published.
After 4 to 7 days into the study, the infants remaining in the drug group had reduced their hours of crying by only one hour while the entire chiropractic group had reduced crying hours by an average of 2.4 hours. After 8 to 10 days, the study continued to show the drug therapy infants at a one hour improvement while the chiropractic group further improved to 2.7 hours less of crying. The researchers noted that the removal from the study of the infants that got worse from the drug made the results from the drug look better than they actually were.
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replied May 6th, 2004
More evidence

cancer and chiropractic

an article published in the january 2001 issue of the journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics followed two case studies of patients with various types of serious cancer. The article examined the role of chiropractic care in improving the quality of life of cancer patients.
The first patient was a 57-year-old man with serious terminal pancreatic cancer. He received chiropractic care during the later stages of the disease. The chiropractic care was able to provide significant pain relief, reduce the amount of pain medication being taken (as well as the potential side effects), and temporarily improve the quality of life for a patient with terminal cancer.
The second patient was a 54-year-old man recovering from surgery for lung cancer. He was suffering from upper back pain for over one year. After the patient started on the chiropractic care, he experienced immediate relief and was able to discontinue all pain medication after two chiropractic visits.
Obviously, the sample is very small to make a generalized conclusion as to the effectiveness of chiropractic care in improving the quality of life of cancer patients. But the results are very encouraging.
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replied May 6th, 2004
Even more evidence

premenstrual syndrome and chiropractic
the november / december 1999 issue of the journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics contained a clinical study on the effects of chiropractic on the symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome.
The study involved 25 women. They have undergone chiropractic adjustments for a ten day period prior to the beginning of their cycles.
The women were asked to monitor and rate their symptoms. The results showed a reduction in symptoms from between 42% and 32% for the group that received chiropractic for only a short time. The results support the hypothesis that the symptoms associated with pms can be reduced by chiropractic.
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replied May 6th, 2004
Plenty of evidence

chronic migraines

chiropractic care can help people suffering with migraine headaches. According to the american chiropractic association 14% of the public who see chiropractors presently go for headaches.
A study conducted in australia at the chiropractic research center of macquarie university studied 177 volunteers who had migraine headaches for over 18 years on average. Many of the participants also suffered from neck pain. The results of the study were published in the february 2000 issue of the journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics.
The average response of the group that received chiropractic care showed a statistically significant improvement in migraine frequency, duration, and disability. Those who received chiropractic care were able to reduce or eliminate their medication use. Additionally, 59% had no neck pain after a period of two months, and another 35% had a decrease in neck pain.
Researchers at northwestern college of chiropractic in minnesota, compared chiropractic care to certain drug therapies used for tension and migraine headaches. The study, published in the journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics, followed 218 headache sufferers who were given either chiropractic care or drug therapy or both. Pain was reduced 40 - 50% in all groups initially. However, four weeks after all care was stopped, only the chiropractic group still retained the benefits, while those who received the drug therapy lost about half of their improvement.
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replied May 6th, 2004
More evidence
chiropractic for chronic ear infections

by jane sheppard

what is chiropractic?
More and more parents are beginning to look to chiropractors to complement their children’s health care. Chiropractic care involves diagnosing spinal misalignments and correcting them by adjusting the spine. A slight pressure is most commonly used with children rather than the more forceful manipulation sometimes used with adults.
Chiropractors attempt to get to the root cause of a health problem rather than just treat the symptoms. Misalignments of the spine (also called subluxations) can occur during childbirth, from tumbles or falls, or from any other normal activity. Chiropractors maintain that misalignments left untreated can irritate the nerves and eventually disrupt the body’s ability to function properly. The purpose of a chiropractic adjustment is to help to restore the normal functioning of the nervous system so the body can heal itself without the use of drugs or surgery.
Ear infections and chiropractic
ear pain is the number one reason for child visits to chiropractors. Many chiropractors believe that there is a strong link between the birthing process and recurrent ear infection, also known as otitis media. During the birthing process, cervical (neck) vertebrae can become misaligned, disrupting nerve function, which can affect the eustachian tube. This may lead to fluid buildup in the middle ear and cause otitis media.
Ear infection or otitis media accounts for over 35% of all pediatrician visits in the united states. Antibiotics, the usual treatment, are not always effective and may even lead to a recurrence of ear infections. Many children are dealing with a continuing cycle of repeat ear infections, which lands them back at the pediatrician for more antibiotics. For nearly 100 years, the chiropractic profession has claimed that ear and other upper respiratory infections respond favorably to chiropractic adjustments, though there has been little research done to support this claim.
A promising study published in the journal of clinical chiropractic pediatrics now indicates that there is a strong correlation between chiropractic adjustments and the resolution of ear infections. 332 children with chronic ear infections participated in the study. Each child, ranging in age from 27 days to 5 years, was given a series of chiropractic adjustments. The results show that close to 80% of the children did not experience another ear infection within the six-month period following their initial visits. The six-month period included maintenance treatments every four to six weeks. Joan m. Fallon, d.C., the author of the study and the chiropractor who treated the children in the study, states that this pilot study can serve as a starting point from which the chiropractic profession can begin to examine its role in the treatment of children with chronic ear infections. She asserts that large-scale clinical trials need to be undertaken in the field.
Side effects of chiropractic
even though this study is not definitive and more scientific research needs to be done in this area, chiropractic treatment is a conservative, drugless approach to consider trying if your child has a history of chronic ear infections. Under normal circumstances, chiropractic adjustments are painless and will not hurt your child. There are no invasive procedures and chiropractors do not use drugs that can have harmful side effects.
Serious side effects from spinal adjustments appear to be rare. A recent article in integrative medicine reported the low risk of serious complications from neck and low back adjustments. According to the literature review, the estimated risk for serious complications from neck adjustments is 6.39 per 10 million adjustments. For low back adjustments, it is 1 per 100 million adjustments.
Pediatric chiropractic care
some chiropractors belong to the international chiropractors association`s (ica) pediatric council and take regular continuing post-graduate courses in pediatrics. Ica points out that chiropractic is meant to complement, not replace, traditional pediatric care and chiropractors are trained to make referrals to pediatricians when necessary. So in creating your child’s holistic health care team, consider chiropractic as a safe, non-invasive addition.
Related article: ear infections: alternative solutions
fallon jm. The role of the chiropractic adjustment in the care and treatment of 332 children with otitis media. Journal of clinical chiropractic pediatrics. 1997; volume 2, no. 2:167-183.
Coulter id. Efficacy and risks of chiropractic manipulation: what does the evidence suggest? Integrative medicine 1998;1:61-66.
Use the information provided in this database as an educational resource for determining your options and making your own informed choices. It is not intended as medical advice or to diagnose, prescribe, or treat any specific illness. If there is any chance your child is seriously ill, take him or her to a qualified health professional for evaluation.
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replied May 6th, 2004
What Medical Doctors Say About Chiropractic
What medical doctors say about chiropractic
chiropractic treatment for a variety of neuromusculoskeletal conditions is gaining wider acceptance among the medical profession. Because students of chiropractic spend significantly more time studying the spine than do medical students, many medical doctors recognize the value of chiropractors as the appropriate source for diagnosis of and first line of treatment for functional disorders of the entire musculoskeletal system.
Medical doctors now categorize chiropractic manipulation with the highest rating: "generally accepted, well-established and widely used." spine, 1991. North american spine society.
"a majority of family physicians (in washington) admitted having encouraged patients to see a chiropractor, and two-thirds indicated a desire to learn more about what chiropractors do." the journal of family practice, 1992. "family physicians and chiropractors: what's best for the patient?" " our trial showed that chiropractic is a very effective treatment, more effective than conventional hospital outpatient treatment for low-back pain ... Particularly in patients ... Who have severe problems." t. W. Meade, m.D.
"the only difference that I can see is that the patients at john f. Kennedy get chiropractic manipulations. And in my experience, the patients at j.F.K. Almost without fail get out of the hospital in a week. At lutheran, it usually takes, oh, not uncommonly, 14 days." per frietag, m.D., an orthopedic surgeon, on why he prefers to admit his patients with back pain to john f. Kennedy hospital, which has staff chiropractors, rather than lutheran general, which does not have staff chiropractors. Manipulative medicine is no longer a taboo topic." norton hadler, m.D., self-described "cantankerous doctor who would have never dealt with manipulation in the past," professor of rheumatology, university of north carolina medical school at chapel hill, time magazine, 1991.
"ten years ago if you practiced manipulation ... You couldn't get published and were never invited to meetings. Now I can't keep up with the invitations." neurologist scott haldeman. M.D., d.C. New york times. 1991.
Material © healthy spine used by permission
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replied May 7th, 2004
The post on the medical profession proves my point exactly. Chiropactors are respected for treating musculoskeletal disorders. It is when they start encouraging their pts to do dangerous things like go off their asthma meds that the medical communtiy has a problem!
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replied May 7th, 2004
Mpt, I agree with your post and agree that no one should listen to a chiropractor that suggests they come off of thier meds. It is not something we were taught to do, if a chiropractor is suggesting that, I would say challenge him. I do believe however in strengthing the bodies ability to deal with immune, respitory, or other weaknessess. I agree with you, the goal of chiropractic is not to treat symptoms such as viseral (organs) problems, however from my experience only, I have seen people get better when they have been adjusted.... Have you ever been adjusted??????
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replied May 7th, 2004
mpt wrote:
the post on the medical profession proves my point exactly. Chiropactors are respected for treating musculoskeletal disorders. It is when they start encouraging their pts to do dangerous things like go off their asthma meds that the medical communtiy has a problem!


ps I have never in any of my post told someone not to take their meds.. I have encouraged people to investigate the harmful side effects, and perhaps look at other options before going on them..
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replied May 9th, 2004
Extremely eHealthy
Dualing Doctors
Calm dowm!!!Breathe in and out --you both have very valid points--however- did either one of you answer that poor woman's question??Do no harm!!!Whatever your clinical differences may be take it outside,fellas!! Exclamation
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replied May 9th, 2004
Hi patty,

you are right. There are valid points, questions, and concerns on both sides. I think it would be helpful to point out the positive on both sides, as the fighting only goes to confuse people more. Chiropractic is a big part of my life and has been life changing for me. I do get very reactive when others come along and put it down because it "not medicine". I serve from my heart because I know it makes a difference in people lifes, and I will protect that difference, because I know it's right.

I have a patient right now who had the same surgery, except al ittle higher, he broke t6-t7 and is plated from t2- t9. His injury happpened 3 years ago when he was 19, has been in a wheel chair since, with bowel and bladder difficulties.. Because of the higher fusion in the dorsal spine he started having related problems in the cervical spine. Neck pain, and numbness and tingling into the 4th and 5th digits of his left arm. He has no insurance, no job, no way of paying, or transportation, so I drive to his house and adjust him 3 times a week. He is feeling better, sleeping better, feeling more positive. He also has a massage therapist that comes in once a week and says he gets great value from that as well. Due to the decrease in function he is on pills to help him digest, and another because his bladder leaks without it.
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replied May 9th, 2004
Surgery
Anytime you have such extensive surgery there is a good chance you will have pain and/or other problems down the road. You can sometimes get releif from chiropractic care, massage therapy, physical therapy ect.. However due to the extent of the surgery it will be difficult for anyone to prevent and/or eliminate furthur damage to your spine.

However, as Dr. Scotti knows, it is very difficult to perdict how someone with back pain is going to do. I am always amazed how some people with extensive damage can do so well and others with what looks like min damage do so poorly!


Thanks for keeping us inline patty Smile
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