Friday, September 11, 2009

Latest Health News

So why am I awake at this unbelievable hour? Beats me. I was exhausted when I went to bed, fell asleep quickly, and didn't think I was unduly worried about anything. But up I came at 3:33 a.m. I decided it would be a good time to do a little internet research and catch up on some e-mail and blogging since I'm in relatively little pain first thing in the morning.

I had an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon yesterday about my back cyst/leg pain issue. It turns out that the treatment is going to be a little more involved than just excising the cyst. The cyst was actually caused by some fluid leaking from a damaged facet in my spine. If they remove the cyst, another one will form. Yuck. So, he feels that I'm a perfect candidate for a facet replacement that is currently in FDA trials.

These were my options:
  1. Remove the cyst, with the knowledge that this surgery would have to be repeated, probably very soon.
  2. Spinal fusion: the cyst would be removed, and the lumbar joints would be fused to prevent further leakage and cyst formation. This would, of course, result in limiting motion.
  3. Facet replacement: the damaged facets would be removed and an anatomic implant would be used to replace them. This eliminates the compression and therefore the pain. It also allows proper motion of the lumbar spine.

I asked about the recovery time on a facet replacement. He told me that it's normally a two- to four-day hospital stay and that after I leave the hospital I should be well enough to return to work quickly. He said that he has patients fly in for the surgery, leave the hospital, and go catch a plane home. No "recovery" time really at all. Sounds like a no-brainer to me. Fix it. *LOL*

And so, I'm now waiting for the next appointment (in about a month), which will be a screening to determine my eligibility to participate in the FDA trial program. Back in a holding pattern. Such is my life these days. But that light at the end of the tunnel seems a little brighter.

Well, I think I'll go get my yummy new sock yarn that arrived from KnitPicks today....uh...yesterday and wind it up into happy little cakes. Sock yarn makes me happy. It's great to be a creature who enjoys such simple pleasures. *LOL*

1 comment:

Froxyn said...


I'm not laughing about the surgery...I'm laughing about the fact that you're #2 option (the spinal fusion) is my #1.

Like Mother, Like Daughter. ;)

I haven't heard of the facet replacement...though that wouldn't help my problem, so my surgeon wouldn't have mentioned it.

Would Grandma and Grandpa take Meg to their house while you'd be in the hospital?