Spine Update

I am ready to close the book on 2015… forever.  It was not a fun year for me. I had surgery in February, didn’t totally recover and then had surgery again in November. I’ve had enough of 2015.

2016 has started out better than 2015 I think.

As noted in my other post, my neurological symptoms had started to improve.  They have continued to improve for the most part.  I’m now starting to note that some things I do actually set the nerve off and cause me more radiculopathy… The only thing that consistently disturbs me is a noxious sensation in my toes.


just imagine this, except it’s my first big toe and second toe.  All the time… when I exercise or put pressure on it, it gets “tighter”…

To my great surprise, on New Year’s Eve at about 4:30 or so I was hopping out of the pool. My phone started to buzz and I didn’t recognize the number, but I was on call so I answered it.  It was my surgeon. He apologized for missing my appointment, and asked how I was doing.  I was standing there wrapped up in a towel on the pool deck utterly surprised.

So I told him I had improved greatly in the last 2-3 days but that my toe remained difficult.  He queried me was it numbness or pain.  I was stumped… and finally just told him… its like rubber bands.  I personally do not care if I have altered sensation forever, I just want any kind of burning, heat, crushing etc pain to go far far away.  I told him I thought the toe thing was permanent.  He disagreed and explained that it takes forever long for a nerve to heal.  He feels that if I have no improvement at 6 months post op we can talk about permanency.

After this, I asked him about the few things that his PA had said I could do.  As I suspected, the PA was wrong on certain activities.  The surgeon said he really didn’t want me treading water as that sort of movement would be terrible for a healing spine. (Score one for trusting my own instinct and not doing it!) He then explained that many people do return to some sort of running at 90 days, but its mostly jogging slow.  He said, “for the kind of running you were doing, and want to go back to, it really will be a year”  This was a little disappointing but also kind of reassuring that I had not mis-heard him in the past.

I told him that I understood that my injury occurred so long ago that perfect function was probably not going to be possible.  He surprised me by saying he felt it might happen as long as we can support the nerve in healing.

So, I got off the phone feeling encouraged.  This healing is a very slow process, but it seems to be headed in the right direction.


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