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Old     (wakeboardrn)      Join Date: May 2002       05-30-2004, 9:03 AM Reply   
I injured my back riding last year, and tore the lining of the disc and damaged my facet joints pretty badly. After 4 months of PT and off of work I finally returned to work in December, but then reinjured it just by leaning over in April. Probably a good thing that I didn't try to wakeboard, huh?
I'm now seeing ortho docs to determine if I need a fusion (or some other treatment). I'm getting my second epidural type of injection this week, but that is only temporary relief.

Just curious if anyone has experience with this type of surgery and eventually riding again, or if I should just accept that my body can't do it anymore...
Old     (phantom5815)      Join Date: Jul 2002       05-30-2004, 1:49 PM Reply   
You're getting LESI 's after a discectomy?
I think Leggester can answer this question for you
Old     (wakeboardrn)      Join Date: May 2002       05-30-2004, 6:05 PM Reply   
They haven't done any surgical interventions (yet), before I only had one epidural injection and took time off of work, with the idea from all the doctors that time would heal the tear in the annulus. MRI shows that there isn't much change, but the severity of the tear has always been small.

The doctors think that the facet might be the cause of the majority of my pain, rather than the disc. In addition, I have a transitional vertebrea in my lumbar/sacral area which might be complicating things.

Thanks for any information!
Old     (seedickride)      Join Date: Jan 2001       05-30-2004, 7:31 PM Reply   
My daughter had back surgery last summer and had her 1st and 2nd vertebrae fused to her tailbone. She had a condition where her 1st vertebrae had almost completely slipped off of her tailbone forward. She hadn't experienced any nerve damage yet, but the doctors said it wouldn't have taken much longer. It definitely was a serious surgery, involving several doctors for about 7 hours (she was 10 years old at the time). The plan was to use two titanium rods to hold the spine in place and allow it to fuse. When they attempted to put the last screw in on the second rod, it stripped out in the bone. They tried a larger screw, but it didn't sit tightly enough, so she had to be in a body cast for 8 weeks, then a brace for 4 months. On a positive note, though, she's good as new now. She's going in for her final X-ray this week, but the doctor says she's good to go for anything but serious contact sports like hockey, football, or gymnastics. It wasn't an easy road, but everything is back to normal now. She's pretty excited about getting back out on the water to wakeboard! I can try and answer some detailed questions if you like. We also know of some good doctors at Mayo in Rochester, MN, if you need info like that, too. Oh, the main reason that screw stripped out is that her bone structures were really small as a child, so there really wasn't much for the screw to grab on to. That really shouldn't be a problem with an adult.

Mike Dick
See Dick Ride Wakeboards
Old    leggester            06-01-2004, 4:50 PM Reply   
Wow! Bummer Patty.

I have an injured c-3 through c-5 from an old HS injury. I have dealt with it on and off for the past 30 years. Fracture to all three, calcium deposits on two of them, a little numbness every now and then... ...

Every now and then, for little reason other than reaching the wrong way, I'm a cripple. I cannot even straighten up from the old man with three legs posture. My ortho has treated it successfully with a weeks steriods, anti inflamms, and muscle relaxers. No knife yet.

I water ski ( darn close to competetive level ), board an foil.

Where is your injury? What locations? I also have a friend who broke his neck on the foil, got it fused and is doing very well with it.

Transitional disk? Sounds like a c4 or c5 out of alignment. No big deal there if it is. About 50% of folks have disks in the lumbar that don't line up.

Before you do anything, I'd get about a half a dozen recomendations if I were you. What may fix you up for the next ten years, may also really "eff" you up after 40. You still have half your life after that you know.

Be cautious with what you decide. Five years pleasure now does NOT equal the rest of your life haplf crippled. Go for the long term solution.
Old     (stanfield)      Join Date: Mar 2004       06-01-2004, 7:54 PM Reply   
I broke my back my first time out last season. They were just hairline factures and at first the doctors weren't sure if surgery was required. After a few painful weeks I was able to start moving around like a normal person. Doctors let things heal naturally and six months later they cleared me to go back to my way of life. I still didn't get back on a wakeboard for a few more months. I've been riding steadily this year for a few months and haven't had any major problems.

Not sure what help that is at all, it's just my story.

Old    elentz5            06-02-2004, 8:13 AM Reply   
Patty, I too have a transitional vertebrae in the same area. For those of you that don't know what this is, it is either a partial or full extra vert. that isnt supposed to be there. Mine is between L5 and S1 and the disks on either side of it are not very well formed. I feel your pain when it comes to this. I severely aggrivated my back at the beginning of April and have not been able to wakeboard yet at all this summer. I have been going to the chiro for the last 2 months because of it, and even though my back feels better, I am now having issues with the sciatic nerve in my right leg. I am about to say "screw it" with the chiro and see what a physician can do for me.
Old     (jklein)      Join Date: May 2001       06-02-2004, 8:21 AM Reply   
I had an L5/S1 Lumbar Lamenectomy (spelling) 11 years ago and I've been wakeboarding, snowboarding, landscaped three different houses I've owned (two were over an acre), built a swimming pool, and been doing all kinds of things. It took me about 3 months to get over it.

DO YOUR HOMEWORK! Find a guy that only does that type of surgery. The guy that did my work did about 5+ of those type of operations per week. Don't be afraid to (1) get a second or third opinion, (2) ask your doctor how many times he has performed the surgery, and what HIS / HER success rate is. (3) I wouldn't wait too long because you can cause perminent nerve damage if the bone is pressing on the nerve. It's kind of like getting a kink in a hose if you wait to long it will never come out. (4) They now have a micro-lumbar lamenectomy that only leaves a 1 inch scar. Mine is about 4 inches.
Old     (wakeboardrn)      Join Date: May 2002       06-02-2004, 11:27 AM Reply   
I have had opinions from 2 ortho docs and a sports medicine doctor as well as anesthesia. I am having the second epidural on Friday.

My injury is a tear in the lining of the disc at L5, but the annulus tear is pretty minor. Most of the doctors don't think that I should even have pain from it.

I know a good neurosurgeon (from working in ICU), but I have a feeling with the small amount of disc involvement it might not be the correct route to go and see him.

The last doctor I saw specializes in backs and back surgery, and was more informative than any of the rest. HE thinks that I might have some facet joint problems around my transitional vertebrea, and one of them (L5) is out of alignment as was mentioned by someone above. Correcting the transitional vertebrea, or fusing it to the sacral ones, might help the positioning of the others.

My pain is two fold, my center back burns and aches most of the time. I have pain down my right leg and numbness all the way to my foot. While I have no atrophy at this point, it is noticeably weaker to me, and the last MD appt he noticed a little too. Most of my PTs have told me that I'm fine, no difference.

I'm just worried ONLY doing epidurals is temporary pain relief without fixing the problem, and I can't even imagine boarding again at this point...

Thanks to those of you who posted or have emailed me privately. I appreciate your responses. :-)

Old     (98air)      Join Date: Jun 2002       06-02-2004, 11:40 AM Reply   
I had anterior cervical fusion / laminectomy in '98 from messing around with a jet ski and kneeboard. Fell off, neck snapped back and arms went numb! Mri showed disc protrusion in c-3,4,5. Had the surgery as the doc said, "you could be in a car accident on the way home and be paralysed from the neck down." He retired from military doing the same thing 20 years and only does cervical surgery today, so I agree; get someone who does the surgery everyday!
I have had concerns as my internal voice tells me to stop the insanity of wakeboading, partly due to the fact that I've had acl repair in '00 also and mostly due to the fact that I don't want to be some crip using a walker to get around in my old age! It seems everytime we go out that the landings crush my body now, and my skills have stayed home on the couch!
But to answer your question, the surgery won't slow you down. Smoking will inhibit the fusion though.
Old    damnation            06-02-2004, 1:39 PM Reply   
Patty, please do yourself a favor and do a web search on Dr. Jho (Dr. Jho Institute). He specializes in minimally invasive neurosurgery and is one of a handful of his type in the world (considered to be the best). All you have to do is send him your X-Rays and/or MRI's and he will look at them and call you at no charge. My boss had surgery performed by him after all other doctors recommended spinal fusions and is sooooo glad he found Dr. Jho. He has had no problems in the past two years since the surgery. Dr. Jho is located in Pittsburg, PA.

Basically, take John's advice above!
Old    peterides            06-04-2004, 9:45 AM Reply   
I had similar surgery as seedickride's daughter back in 1990. I'm 34 now and I ride without problems. However I am alot more careful the my friends. No inverts or high jumps for me.

Best of luck!

(Message edited by peterides on June 04, 2004)
Old     (jklein)      Join Date: May 2001       06-04-2004, 10:31 AM Reply   
If your leg is numb, you're cutting off the nerve. You need to releave the pressure on that nerve or it will be perminently damaged. You may never recover. Don't wait too long. I waited 10 weeks before I got my surgery, when I should have had it after 8 weeks. I get a little heat down my leg from time to time from it.


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