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Surgical Outcomes and Blogs Discuss complications after back surgery in germany in the Main forums forums; Kelly, thanks so much for posting the update. It's great that you have no back pain! I'm sorry ...

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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 09-13-2011, 10:09 PM
mmglobal's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,508

Kelly, thanks so much for posting the update. It's great that you have no back pain! I'm sorry about the serious complication you suffered. I'm glad to have stories like this here so people understand that with spine, there is always a risk.

I'll keep my fingers crossed for you. Hopefully, you'll continue to improve. I'm sorry that the nerves 'waking up' can be so painful, but that is much better than the alternative.

Let's catch up soon. All the best,

1997 MVA
2000 L4-5 Microdiscectomy/laminotomy
2001 L5-S1 Micro-d/lami
2002 L4-S1 Charite' ADR - SUCCESS!
2009 C3-C4, C5-C6-C7, T1-T2 ProDisc-C Nova
Summer 2009, more bad thoracic discs!
Life After Surgery Website
President: Global Patient Network, Inc.
Founder: www.iSpine.org
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 09-17-2011, 06:18 PM
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Posts: 2,405
Default re update

Thank you for the update and your positive attitude. I hope that while the nerves may be regenerating that it will be less painful and that your bladder and bowel function will return.

Stay hopeful and positive please keep us posted on your progress.
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old 11-26-2011, 05:38 AM
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 120

Could stem cell injections help her nerves to regenerate? Also, can the Neurontin be impeding the healing process.?
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  #14 (permalink)  
Old 12-13-2011, 04:45 AM
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 120

Cauda Equina Syndrome Causes

Cauda equina syndrome is caused by significant narrowing of the spinal canal that compresses the nerve roots below the level of the spinal cord. Numerous causes of cauda equina syndrome have been reported, including traumatic injury, disk herniation, spinal stenosis, spinal tumors (neoplasms), such as metastatic tumors, meningiomas, schwannomas, and ependymomas, inflammatory conditions, infectious conditions, and accidental causes by medical intervention (iatrogenic causes).


Traumatic events leading to fracture or partial dislocation (subluxation) of the low back (lumbar spine) result in compression of the cauda equina.

A collection of blood surrounding the nerves following trauma (epidural hematoma) in the low back area can lead to compression of the cauda equina.

Penetrating trauma (gunshot or stab wounds) can cause damage or compression of the cauda equina.

A rare complication of spinal manipulation is partial dislocation (subluxation) of the low back (lumbar spine) that can cause cauda equina syndrome.

Herniated Disk

Most disk herniations will improve on their own (are self-limiting) and respond well to conservative treatment, including antiinflammatory medications, physical therapy, and short periods of rest (one to two days).

Cauda equina syndrome results from a herniated lumbar disk in 1-15% of cases.

Of lumbar disk herniations, 90% occur either at the vertebral levels L4-L5 or L5-S1.

Seventy percent of cases of herniated disks leading to cauda equina syndrome occur in people with a history of chronic low back pain, and 30% develop cauda equina syndrome as the first symptom of lumbar disk herniation.

Males in their 30s and 40s are most prone to cauda equina syndrome caused by disk herniation.

Most cases of cauda equina syndrome caused by disk herniation involve large particles of disk material that have completely separated from the normal disk and compress the nerves (extruded disk herniations). In most cases, the disk material takes up at least one-third of the canal diameter.

Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is any narrowing of the normal front to back distance (diameter) of the spinal canal.

Narrowing of the spinal canal can be caused by a developmental abnormality or degenerative process.

The abnormal forward slip of one vertebral body on another is called spondylolisthesis. Severe cases can cause a narrowing of the spinal canal and lead to cauda equina syndrome (see Multimedia File 3).

Tumors (Neoplasms)

Cauda equina syndrome can be caused by isolated tumors (primary neoplasms) or from tumors that have spread to the spine from other parts of the body (metastatic spinal neoplasms). Metastatic spine tumors are most commonly from the prostate or lung in males and from the lung and breast in females.

The most common initial symptom of people with cauda equina syndrome caused by a tumor (spinal neoplasm) is severe low back and leg pain.

Later findings include lower extremity weakness.

Loss of feeling in the legs (sensory loss) and loss of bowel or bladder control (sphincter dysfunction) are also common.

Inflammatory Conditions

Long-lasting inflammatory conditions of the spine, including Paget's disease and ankylosing spondylitis, can cause a narrowing of the spinal canal and lead to cauda equina syndrome.

Infectious Conditions

Infections in the spinal canal (spinal epidural abscess) can cause deformity of the nerve roots and spinal column.

Symptoms generally include severe back pain and rapidly worsening muscle weakness.

Accidental Medical Causes (Iatrogenic Causes)

Poorly positioned screws placed in the spine can compress and injure nerves and cause cauda equina syndrome.

Continuous spinal anesthesia has been linked to cases of cauda equina syndrome.

Lumbar puncture (spinal tap) can cause a collection of blood in the spinal canal (spontaneous spinal epidural hematoma) in patients receiving medication to thin the blood (anticoagulation therapy). This collection of blood can compress the nerves and cause cauda equina syndrome.
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  #15 (permalink)  
Old 12-06-2012, 06:30 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: perth,canada
Posts: 12
Default kelly-post surgery in germany

It has been 2 years since my Adr surgery at the Betaklinik with Dr Zeegers.I had a post-op complication-a blood clot on my spinal cord L5S1.It was evacuated but now have cauda equina syndrome as a result.
I have had no new improvements since my last post but have had some new problems.My artificial disc is open 12 degrees when i flex(bend forward) and is causing me alot of pain.Sitting now creates alot of back discomfort.I have been to a local spine surgeon who feels I need revision surgery.London science hospital doctors have refused to see me (as I had the initial operation elsewhere).I have been in touch with Dr Zeegers also.I am unable to afford to go back to Germany for further surgery.That was a one -shot-deal.I wish I could go back but it is not an option at this time.I feel things moving backwards again.I still take neurontin 2900 mg for nerve pain,Tramadol 200 mg for pain,Cymbalta to enhance nerve medication etc.
I remain to have nerve damage to lower back -feet.No bladder or bowel control.Have recently been to a seminar re "peristeen" system for bowels and am waiting for the ok from my insurance company.
I still keep in touch with Mark who is a great support for me.Dr Zeegers stated that my husband was a "good man" as we were still together.(as i now have issues with sex,bladder bowel etc)I took excepion to this but at the same time I love and respect my husband for being here for me(for better,for worse).
I guess I am not as positive about my outcome as I was when i felt there was a chance to recover from Cauda equina syndrome and of course now having back issues but I still face each day with a good attitude and a sense of humor.
I would be interested if anyone knows a spinal surgeon in the Montreal area?I know Dr zeegers did some teaching there.Thanks for keeping up with my progress and will check in frequently.Thank you for all the info and encouraging words.It is so appreciated!!
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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 12-13-2012, 04:33 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,405
Default your update

Hi Kelly,
I just wanted to say hello and wish you the best with your continued spinal endeavors. Probably easy to say and harder to do however we just have to plug on here with the stuff that comes along with our bad back journeys. Some more than others or course. I do wish we all could get permanent relief or at least very near relief!

Please continue to update as you're able. Meanwhile wishing you and your family and everyone actually a good Holiday Season.

take care,

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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 07-03-2013, 03:23 AM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: south bay area of los angeles
Posts: 99
Default positive positive positive

love your positive energy it so helps the mind body & soul and it is infectious to others around you.sorry to hear about your complications. that is one of the reasons this website is so great we share our personal experiences good or bad and we all read how different we are. same surgeries different outcomes. so back to the nerve issue..... I can remember after my adr surgery my nerves were very active and painful for 2 to3yrs, the further out from surgery the pain seemed to subside.
After a botched spinal tap where my L4/L5 disc exploded i underwent a laminectomy in 1979, and ran from spinal surgery ever since, then in 2002 i met DrDelamarter in Santa Monica- and my life as i knew it changed dramatically, I consider myself the "ProdiscPosterBoy" I am in the US Trials and one of the first in California to recieve 2 Lumbar Prodiscs, nomorepain-nomoremeds
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old 08-30-2013, 02:13 PM
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Posts: 2,405
Default how are you

Hi Kelly,
It's been a while since you last posted and I was wondering if you had revision surgery?

I didn't know what it meant to be "open 12 degrees" at the site of your ADR but I understood the rest of what you were saying with regard to the pain that was resulting.

I'm hoping that whether you've done nothing or something (surgery) you're not experiencing as much pain as when you last posted. If you are experiencing more pain/problems I hope that won't keep you from posting. I'd still like to know how you're doing~ take care,

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  #19 (permalink)  
Old 11-21-2013, 05:52 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: perth,canada
Posts: 12
Default kelly's update

It has now been 3 years since my surgery.My adr is still not at a perfect angle but Dr Zeegers assures me it is adequate.The back pain has settled down again and is seldom painful.The tingling nerve pains have also settled down .I still have shooting pain down my leg and out my heel at times but is manageable.No change in the bowel,bladder or skin sensation since last update.I do believe this will be a lifelong issue.I do have an excellent Rehab Dr and she is trying to find someone with cauda equine for me to talk to.(Yes,i did try some of the forums but some are so depressing I cant be part of it).cauda equine is rare so it may be harder than she thought.My heels are dead so I never can tell if my socks have turned or come off.Hard to get shoes on without long shoehorn.absolutely no sensation from back of knees to lower waist at the back.(have fallen off a couple chairs because I misjudged either the size of the chair or my butt)lol.
Life goes on.My youngest son is off to university next fall.I have 2 dogs that need walked so that gets me up and outside.People tell me they cannot tell there is anything wrong with me by the way I walk.Thats great!!
Have not worked since 2008 and miss my job.Have volunteered with the legion and nursing homes but am not reliable as I never know how I will feel .have decreased from 2900 mg Neurontin to 2600g/day and still hoping to decrease a lot further.thank you so much for theopportunity to speak to you all as you are so knowledgable about the issues and it makes me feel better to know that strangers do care.Have a great Christmas season and will update again in the summer.(will check for any responses though)
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old 12-08-2013, 02:55 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,405
Default thanks for update!

Hi Kelly,
I hope you're still checking the forum as I just read your most recent update.
Those are some interesting symptoms (areas of numbness) which I'm sure follow a certain nerve pattern but I really never knew it was that involved re cauda equine. I guess there are varying degrees. Amazing that you can walk and no one can really tell that there is anything amiss ~ that much is good.

I know what you mean re some of the forums being too depressing to be part of as I felt that way when I had such long lingering bad results from my 2nd spine surgery and had symptoms that lead me to be diagnosed with arachnoiditis. It was never diagnosed by MRI but the doctors I was seeing at the time said it was possible to have it and not have it diagnosed with MRI. Eventually and it was a long eventually the burning pain that I had from waist level in my backside down thru out my legs bilaterally and to my feet subsided but it did take from '92-2006ish. I finally stopped taking Neurontin in 2009 I believe.

While I do still have back issues and back pain/flare ups my latest problem has been something with my feet that I've had going on for the last 5 years. It's called Posterior Tibial Tendonitis. I had so much trouble with pain in my feet I got a wheelchair in November but have not had to use it since bracing my feet daily now all day long and wearing a certain style of very supportive tennis shoe (supportive for pronating ankles). And I just saw a Podiatrist that specializes in treating this condition and have had bilateral braces casted last week that should be ready in 10 days or so. I will then wear these braces (with built in orthotic) everyday until the summer at least and hope that the tendons can have some benefit. I might be able to take care of my dog again (my husband and I are separated and he has been taking care of her for at least 6 months now).

Anyway otherwise things are good and I am happy to just to be able to walk without pain even if I have to wear braces. I hope they will be lightweight and tolerable for my spine!

I had hoped to maybe return to work at some point in some capacity though I too have that "reliability issue" though who knows an opportunity might present itself in the future in some manner so I'll keep a positive attitude and to coin the old phrase of my generation "keep on trucking" :-D

Wishing you and your family a Happy Holiday Season and looking forward to hearing from you in the New Year! Maria

Last edited by Maria; 12-08-2013 at 02:59 AM.
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