Monday, 06 March 2006

Update: You can read all of my posts about my Kineflex ADR surgery at this link.

Many of you who read this know that I had back surgery recently. The surgery was an Artificial Disc Replacement at the L5/S1 level, with a Kineflex artificial lumbar disc. It's been almost three weeks, and my current assignment from the doc is plenty of rest (and so I am at home almost all the time), combined with walking as much as I reasonably can, but without overdoing it. I'll soon be able to go into work part of the time for very light duty. Right now I am able to do some work from home, which is one of the things that helps to keep me sane day after day.

Progress milestones while healing - big and small - really stand out in a recovery like this. I was able today - for the first time - to walk the half mile trek to my mailbox and back. It's the longest single outdoor walk I have done so far. I live at the end of a long gravel driveway, up and down two steep hills. As I was climbing the first hill and neared the top, it dawned on me that I was not slowing any, and that it didn't hurt!! Wow! By the time I got back to the house, I was quite worn out (exhausted, really), but no worse for the wear physically. Progress! Not to mention it's a great psychological milestone. Before the surgery I would have been staggering, clumsy and in pain before I got a hundred yards into it. Three weeks ago I was re-learning muscle movement just to walk at all for the first few days.

So, slowly but surly, getting better. I just have to make very, very sure I don't over-extend myself or bend the wrong ways (I am limited in certain motions for now), and I have to pace myself so I don't wear out. Unfortunately when I do wear out it happens quickly and I tend to crash from an energy standpoint. Other than that, I feel much better overall than I did before the surgery and, despite some surgical side effects that take time to work themselves out, I'm encouraged.

One of the things that has made this whole Artificial Disc Replacement surgery thing bearable is an online forum called the ADR Support Forum over at at ADR is a newer technology in the United States, although it's been prevalent in Europe and other places for many years. There are lots of great people on the forum who have either gone though ADR surgery or who are looking into it and wanting to find out more, so it was a great resource for me pre-op and it still is after surgery. Highly recommended for reading and participation if anyone is considering an ADR procedure.

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Kineflex Artificial Disc Surgery | Personal Stories | Random Stuff
Monday, 06 March 2006 21:08:43 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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Tuesday, 07 March 2006 11:32:35 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
My father has had significant back trouble for most of his life, and my back isn't in the best shape either so I can sympathize. However, our problems are nowhere near as severe as yours! Sounds like you are doing better which is great news!
Wednesday, 27 February 2008 11:07:41 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Hi Greg,
I hope your recovery from your L5/S1 ADR went well and you that you have been back up to speed for quite awhile now. My fiancee had ADR in May 2006 and has since recovered for the most part. In case you remember, she was featured on ABC's World News Tonight about the surgery. I got to play the role of "Caring Boyfriend #1" for about 2 seconds of the video! Anyways, my reason for writing is that I wanted to see if you had potentially been diagnosed with fibromyalgia after undergoing your surgery, or if you have noticed any other side effects. She was recently diagnosed with fibromyalgia and a few other people on adrsupport have been as well. We're trying to figure out if there's any sort of connection between the pain medication and fibromyalgia.

I'd really appreciate it if you could let me know. I sincerely hope that you have recovered fully and have not had any side effects. Feel free to reply at your earliest convenience.

Jeff Danto
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