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Old     (holdsworth)      Join Date: Jan 2010       09-25-2017, 9:08 AM Reply   
Looking to see if anyone has experience with doing a microdiscectomy or other experience with surgical/non-surgical options dealing with a disc issue and how it might affect wakeboarding and other activities. I've done therapy, know the list of things I shouldn't do, and know how it currently affects me, but I'm looking to do more about it now and want to have an idea of what pos-treatment is going to be like.

The three options so far are: A) physical therapy; B) steroid injection; and C) microdiscectomy

I don't really want to just do physical therapy... I've done it in the past (and recently) and it doesn't work all that much for me as it barely reduces my pain. I'm skeptical of doing an injection because, although it helps reduce swelling and relieves the pain, I don't want to simply just mask my pain and have to do another injection down the road every few years (maybe I'm wrong). A doctor friend mentioned a microdiscectomy as an option, which sounds like the best route, but he doesn't know much about the post-surgery limitations, so I'm checking here. Thanks in advance!
Old     (three6ty)      Join Date: Feb 2004       09-25-2017, 9:54 AM Reply   
I have been troubled with Disc pain for years now and have done PT, Nerve block's and finally in December I will be getting surgery. Mine is a little different as I will getting ACDF surgery as over time my discs have worn away causing bone spurs. But bottom line your pain is coming from nerves being damaged as the result of your Herniated disc(s). Bulging and or Herniated discs don't heal on their own, and in most cases just get worse. It will continue to cause you problems and pain. Eventually it will put enough pressure on your nerves and or spinal cord( depending which disc it is) which will cause numbess in your limbs.

I am an avid Mtn Biker and when I get the surgery, i will have to take off a minimum of 6 months off all physical activity in which there is a potential for me to fall or somehow tweak my neck. my problem is my C5/6 and C6/7. Bottom line is that if you get surgery then you will need to take time off. If its just a discectomy with no fusion then you should be good to get back to wakeboarding in a few months, with Fusion you are looking at 6+ months and probably more.

If the Dr you talked to doesn't know the Post-Surgery limitations then please go see a Neurologist. Let me know where you live and I can help find a few good ones in your area ( i am in the surgical business, one of our business units specialize in Neck and Spine, I can reach out to them to get you some names in your area.)
good luck
Old     (holdsworth)      Join Date: Jan 2010       09-25-2017, 10:52 AM Reply   
Thanks! Sorry to hear you'll be off for that long, hopefully everything goes well! My problem is at L5/S1 so way down at the bottom. Hoping to get something set up that I'll recover over the winter months, but we'll see how that goes with scheduling.

I really appreciate you offering to help find a neurologist. I'm in northeast Ohio, specifically the Canton area. The Dr. I saw is a long-time family friend and a really good orthopedic surgeon, but he's been away from anything with the spine since school so he's not familiar with current practices, just wanted to see what I had going on and went over the current available options, so not just going off of one opinion, just a trusted one please let me know if you find a few good ones, just shoot me a PM or e-mail: Thanks so much!!
Old     (seth)      Join Date: Sep 2002       09-25-2017, 11:10 AM Reply   
I'm in the same boat as you with L5 and have had multiple steroid injections that have had no affect whatsoever. The thing that has helped me was physical therapy and now daily stretching, which has helped dull the pain and I've only had my back go out twice in the last year with debilitating pain where I can barely stand up and move around. I'm still holding off on the surgery route until I cannot manage the pain anymore. I've pretty much given up on wakeboarding but I do ride motocross on the weekends which hasn't given me any real pain (weird, I know).
Old     (brhanley)      Join Date: Jun 2001       09-25-2017, 11:25 AM Reply   
I would recommend stretching, strengthening your core, learning to sit/sleep/lift/etc. correctly and physical therapy over surgery, especially if you want to keep riding. I had a herniated disc when I was younger and am thankful the doctors did not do surgery. I would treat surgery as the last gasp option, one that may negatively affect future wakeboarding...
Old     (denverd1)      Join Date: May 2004 Location: Tyler       09-25-2017, 11:47 AM Reply   
I had to trade in my wakeboard for a surfboard. (Yes yes, I'm in that group of bitches that only surf! Hate it that way, but it is what it is.) Rarely play golf and have changed to an old man swing using lots of lower body and 75% power.

daily stretching has done a lot to relieve my symptoms. L4/L5 and L5/S1 are my bad spots. Have had several steroid injections in last few years. another round 40 days ago did wonders and I felt like a kid again. Even thought about taking a set on the wakeboard. had to reschedule my appt from last weds to get another set.


options are finally growing for those of us with chronic back problems. microdisc is a good option. local doc in E. Tx is sealing the discs using your own blood and a binding additive. have talked to a few of his patients, they all say good things. I can post his website if anyone cares to read it.

Last edited by denverd1; 09-25-2017 at 11:51 AM.
Old     (holdsworth)      Join Date: Jan 2010       09-26-2017, 8:58 AM Reply   
Thanks for the input guys.

Nacho, I'd be interested to see the website if you don't mind posting the link.
Old     (Lwaynebowen)      Join Date: Feb 2017       09-26-2017, 7:18 PM Reply   
Had mine done and it helped with the pain some, but to your important question I gave up wakeboard and ride hydrofoil and LOVE IT, so much easier on your back, and huge air on these things.
Old     (three6ty)      Join Date: Feb 2004       09-26-2017, 9:12 PM Reply   
Asked our local reps in the Canton area and they came back with 2 names that are highly respected.

Good luck and I hope you feel better soon!
Old     (denverd1)      Join Date: May 2004 Location: Tyler       09-27-2017, 8:16 AM Reply

Not FDA approved, so insurance doesn't cover. stacking a few shekels, hope to have it done in Feb/March
Old     (holdsworth)      Join Date: Jan 2010       09-27-2017, 9:34 AM Reply   
Wayne, hydrofoils are awesome. Most awkward thing I've ever done on the water but it's so much fun haha

E Double U, thank you so much! Really appreciate you looking into that for me!

Nacho, thanks for posting the link! I'll look into that later tonight when I get home.
Old     (bcd)      Join Date: Jun 2012       09-27-2017, 7:52 PM Reply   
My buddy swears by yoga, specifically hot yoga. It's worth a shot before surgery.
Old     (LeeG23)      Join Date: Feb 2013       09-28-2017, 8:22 AM Reply   
hey guys, im an interventional pain management doctor in east texas. i myself have a ruptured disc at L4-5. I am very well versed in the above mentioned procedure including discseel. i can give you a non biased recommendation if you are interested. PM me if interested
Old     (denverd1)      Join Date: May 2004 Location: Tyler       09-28-2017, 8:35 AM Reply   
Whats up Lee! send me your thoughts on it as well
Old     (501s)      Join Date: Feb 2010       10-02-2017, 10:00 PM Reply   
Im currently looking at getting surgery on C4/5 and having them fused. The stenosis is very bad.

This was caused by too many back edges on my wakeboard in my 30's. It now hurts every day. This thread is very interesting to me. Anyone with experience with surgery and willing to share it, Im all ears.
Old     (three6ty)      Join Date: Feb 2004       10-02-2017, 10:24 PM Reply   
L W- I'm in the surgery business, and i am getting my C5/6 and 6/7 done in December.
Check this link out and look into this:
and this

The Prodisc-C is approved for single level like yours.
The Mobi-C is approved for a single or two level replacement. This is what I am getting done unless the bone spurs are so bad that they have to shave off to much bone and in that case I will have to get a two- level fusion. I really don't want it but pain is 24hrs a day 7 days a week for the last 8 years. I have stick to tylenol for pain management on a daily basis and have avoided the Opioids because I know how addictive they can be.

These are the top two disc replacements out on the market and both have great reviews and are much better than Fusion.
Good luck and let me know if you would like me to help you find a couple highly recommended Surgeons in your area.
Old     (denverd1)      Join Date: May 2004 Location: Tyler       10-03-2017, 9:49 AM Reply   
wow! prodisc and mobi-c both look like they could work. finally, something more advance than plates and screws.

replacing discs further down the spine should be a tad easier as there's much less movement involved. but I'm just a guy with a bad back, no idea. probably more difficult to "install"

three, hope you get some relief

Last edited by denverd1; 10-03-2017 at 9:54 AM.
Old     (cadunkle)      Join Date: Jul 2009 Location: NJ       10-03-2017, 6:40 PM Reply   
I have a couple herniated discs in my cervical spine from being hit by a car on my motorcycle. Because I live in a "no fault" insurance state I was basically screwed over by the local government on getting compensated for medical, since the government here protects the aggressor and victimizes the victim multiple times. So I have pain that varies from stiffness and aching when in any position for a period of time, up to sharp stabbing pain that is immobilizing and take quite a while to settle down to manageable. Could be set off by nothing at all or some random motion that I'd never have thought twice about before.

My doc said surgery options were basically discectomy and fusion and that was not on the table financially. He said I probably wouldn't want to do unless the pain was unbearable so he suggested injections. The pain management doctor wouldn't give any thoughts as to whether injections would help but said it could be up to 3 injections a year potentially indefinitely, and of course it wouldn't fix the damage, just mask the pain. A guy at work who had a similar issue did injections for years and said it helped some but wasn't worth it, he wouldn't do it again. Another guy I used to work with was basically immobilized and unable to work unless he got his injection every couple months, he spent a lot of time begging insurance companies to pay for an injection so he could go back to work. At $6k a pop I declined, I can't afford $18k/yr for maybe temporary pain relief, particularly if I need to be saving for surgery eventually.

Physical therapy helped a bit. It's free and easy, so I just carry on with some of the exercises and stretching that was helping in therapy. It's not a fix but it does help, for me at least. If it's helping make your injury and pain manageable just carry on with it and get into a routine.

So it hurts to sit at a desk at work, to ride a motorcycle, and to ride behind the boat. I kneeboard, so it's harder on teh back particularly landing out in the flats. It sucks, but it is what it is. I got a new board that lands much softer and a pad that absorbs more of the impact. That helped a lot to not be useless for a couple days after riding. Most days my pain isn't immobilizing so I just suck it up and carry on. Before hitting the water I usually pop some ibuprofin and that dulls the pain until beer o'clock. Not ideal, but for now it's manageable.

Those disc replacements look very promising. My doc never mentioned them, so not sure if he wasn't aware of the latest options or if they weren't available then. When mine gets bad enough to consider surgery I may be saving my pennies for one of those. I don't want immobilizing hardware in my spine, when it's bad enough and if I hit the lottery so I can afford it I want as close to original functionality as possible.
Old     (buffalow)      Join Date: Apr 2002       10-04-2017, 8:58 AM Reply   
Before doing all of that, please order this book. I was ready for surgery after PT, lots of pain killers, etc... this book changed my life. $7.00

For me much of my back pain is a mental issue (howard stern turned me onto this about 10 years ago). That does not fix the herniated disc in my back, but helped with the rest of it, I have given this book out over a dozen times to Type A personality friends and it has fixed all of them.
Old     (denverd1)      Join Date: May 2004 Location: Tyler       10-04-2017, 9:01 AM Reply   
cory, some of these are still in trial phases. most docs aren't aware of the studies being done until the results are published. even then, if they're not actively researching the latest trials, they never will. EW may know a doc in your area that's more informed.

Buffalow, thanks for posting. just ordered it.
Old     (buffalow)      Join Date: Apr 2002       10-05-2017, 9:04 AM Reply   
Nacho - I had done the steroid shots, multiple doctors, accupuncture/massage.chiro,etc.. Book changed my life. I have very little pain now and when it starts I know how to deal with it now.
Old     (denverd1)      Join Date: May 2004 Location: Tyler       10-05-2017, 9:08 AM Reply   
Buff, me too. I'm 5 years post injury, have done all the above as well with little to no long term relief. Book will be here tomorrow I think. Thanks again.
Old     (gene3x)      Join Date: Apr 2005 Location: Dallas , TX       03-15-2018, 11:02 AM Reply   
3 discectomies , a laminectomy , and a cervical fusion. Still riding with no pain. Except for the falls , being old weak and horribly out of shape. Finding the right doctor is key!
Old     (Kwclark)      Join Date: Oct 2013       04-02-2018, 8:56 PM Reply   
If your lower back is trashed it’s because you got weak ass muscles. Darin Shapiro wrote on article how the pelvic tilt excersize got him back in the game. Same ****ty lower back problem that we all have. You got to get that ass in shape to heal your lower back. Just remember once you let the doctor take the knife to you there is no going back.


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