View Full Version : Anyone have any experience with back surgery & lupus?

02-27-2014, 03:23 PM
I am scheduled for an "emergency" micro lamenectomy & disectomy (sp), I had a previous more complex surgery 4 years ago on the same level-but it was a much different procedure & my lupus was not in high gear as it is now. My neurosurgeon expressed concern about my healing process due to the current status of my sle-he is speaking with my primary who I see tomorrow for clearance about stopping my plaquenil (which doesn't make much sense to me) and the effects the methotrexate could have (they had me stop this med a little while ago, but said it would remain built up in my system for a few months). They're also talking about starting iv antibiotic before surgery and following because I'm at greater risk of infection.

I know a few others here have had back issues-since I have no real experience with either of these situations I was hoping maybe others here can give me some insight or tips to promote healing during recovery?

02-28-2014, 12:19 PM
Sorry I have no experience with back surgery.
I did want to say hello and wish you well!
Hopefully spring is right around the corner and hopefully we will all feel a little better.
Its certainly been a long brutally cold snowy winter so far- with more snow expected this weekend.
I see there are major ice dams on the Kankakee river (I live in Frankfort just north of you)
Hope you are keeping warm!

03-01-2014, 08:36 AM
I, also, wanted to welcome you to our family even though I have no experience with back surgery. Hopefully, someone with experience will be along to respond to you. In the meantime, please make yourself at home here; read the stickys at the top of each forum as they are filled with great information and insight.

Peace and Blessings

03-01-2014, 11:20 AM
Thank you both for the warm welcomes & well wishes! I've actually been here for awhile, just kinda disappeared after a lot of stuff was going on medically-good to be back :)

Nmac: yes it has, I'm done with ice! Lol and I actually live just east of Warner bridge (where the ice block is) its nuts! My husband actually just mentioned on our way home from infusion center this morning that he wanted to take me out to see it-I fish in that spot all summer (I can walk out more than halfway across in waders) & the water is always well below the bridge even with major flooding-it's up to the bridge now. I guess it's actually pulling it apart, the road is closed, but they're allowing folks to scope it out. Sadly they say when the thaw hits, it's going to go with it. All winter my 5yo has been begging to go camping in our rv... it's kinda a downer because that's the way we use to get to the campgrounds :-/ Poopy dang winter!

03-01-2014, 08:06 PM
Welcome to WHL! I hope someone comes along soon that can help. I know any kind of stress and/or surgery can be very difficult on us physically so maybe there will be someone that can help you with this

03-08-2014, 06:08 AM
Just thought I'd post an update for anyone who might find it helpful. I had my surgery Thursday March 6. They did have me stop my plaquenil & metho, they also did have me do 5 days of iv antibiotic (invanz) my last day being the day before surgery (Wednesday). My surgery went pretty well although it did take longer than expected due to significant scar tissue from my previous surgery which was much more extensive. Although at first my neurosurgeon wanted me to stay over night I did convince him to let me go home-he spoke to my primary & decided that inpatient put me at greater risk of infection. I did however get transferred to orth icu after recovery due to my bp dropping really low-they think the cause was from a combo of several pain meds & a couple different anti spasmodic medicines they had to administer right after surgery-my left leg was violently jerking uncontrollably, it took quite a bit to get it to stop. They said if I could pass the required tests I could go home, an after about 6 or 7 hrs in icu I was allowed to go home, but was given strict instructions to continue to monitor it (my moms an RN, and they had her sign a consent to do this).

My bp is still low, but it's remained stable now. At first I had significant numbness in my right (the side of my surgery) calf & thigh, complete numbness in my left thigh & complete numbness in my right hand-it has had several surgeries & the nerves are pretty wonky. It was the first thing I noticed when I woke up & concerned me, but they assured me it was from being tightly restrained for a long duration of time. After the initial iv meds, I wanted to go cold turkey. They did give me 4-5 bags of iv fluid because I was severely dehydrated (which I typically am from my kidneys). Being rehydrated alone has made me feel much better. My neuro spoke to my mother & husband afterwards and thoroughly discussed my healing process & limitations-my lupus being the prime focus which I am very thankful for. The normal limitation time is about a week (bending, twisting, etc) but mine is set for a minimum of 3 weeks, then I go for a follow up & he will decide how much longer this extends. He explained that because of my sle I'm at a slower healing rate & at a greater risk for reherniation. He stressed how important it is that I do not do this, because of this being my second disectomy the third will mean fusion and since it has a lot of bone involvement my current activity level of my sle means significant risk of infection and healing complications. He's also starting me on lovenox injections since I have anaphosplipid (sp) syndrome which I begin today (Saturday).

The pain I feel this time around with the micro vs open is by far much less. It is hard to lay in bed & turning is nearly impossible, but I am managing to walk short distances with the aide of a walker and cane. One of the medicines he prescribed was Valium, I was very reluctant in agreeing to this (I wanted my system clean) but he explained that it helps to ease pain in the muscles that were dilated during surgery and to reawaken the nerves. Before we went back into surgery he explained that even though this was taking the pressure off of the nerves it's as though when one has a black eye-the surgery & sudden release of pressure is like being struck again in that eye-the nerves have to recover from both.

Like I said i was hesitant to take the Valium, but last night I finally gave in & I'm amazed at what it did. Not only was it easier to move (turning in bed was a bit less painful, but going from sitting to standing & visa versa was significantly easier) but within a few hours I began experiencing jolts of odd electrical sensations in my right leg-a few hours after that the feeling in my right leg & right hand returned. I took my second dose a few hours ago & the process is beginning in my left thigh-which I'm ecstatic about! My last surgery the numbness lasted for weeks before it slowly dissipated-this is more than I could have hoped for!

My incision is by far smaller as well, this time 3/4 of an inch where as my open surgery incision was about 12-13" long-which I have a pretty nasty scar from. He also gave me pictures he'd taken during surgery which was kinda cool in a weird sort of way. And it turns out I was very fortunate to have been courageous enough to go through with it-once inside they discovered the herniation was far worse than what the MRI showed & my spinal canal was closed off by more than 95% vs the 80/85% they'd originally thought. Everyone involved told us how fortunate I was to be waking!

All in all it wasn't as bad as I'd feared & I'm already making progress that I didn't think I'd be making for weeks, if not months. I hope some part of this may help someone else who may be facing a similar situation. Granted no two cases are alike, but the procedure itself wasn't all that terrible. Technology has really progressed in the last four years & I'm certain that it will only continue to do so :)

03-10-2014, 09:43 AM
Thank you so much for sharing your successful story with us and I do believe that it will be helpful. I am glad that the Valium is helping to bring about sensations and feelings in your hands and legs. It appears that the surgery was very beneficial and I am glad that you are doing better.
Sending you warm hugs!

Peace and Blessings