Click the picture for the story of Calypso, the Three Legged Green Sea Turtle, and why she's my symbol

Friday, April 9, 2010

Surgery is imminent

We got a call from the surgeon that instead of on the 19th when it was scheduled, I now will be having back surgery this coming Monday. This is an informative post for family and friends. If you don't want to know the details of intensive back surgery, stop here. While I appreciate that some of you may feel the need to call and find out more in-depth, but I beg of you to wait. I get a million and a half phone calls already. Either leave you comments on the blog, my facebook page, or just email me. That way I can actually get to all of you without going insane.

In the accident I fractured the L1 and L2 vertebrae (L stands for Lumbar, if you're looking at the picture). Those vertebrae were pretty messed up, leaving them in shards that eventually formed a mass of bone that acts as a support. Immediately after the accident, a rod and several pins were stuck up my spine to stabilize the spine. Other than that, they left my spine alone because I was in critical condition already. This rod isn't a perfect solution, and it may be removed/fused at some point, but this isn't that surgery.

What is happening is that the fragments of my vertebrae are pushing up against the spinal chord. This may be responsible for the back/leg pain I have been having, as well as the reason my left leg hasn't returned yet.

The surgery will involve relieving the pressure these fragments are putting on the nerves of the spinal chord. Since the damage to the chord is on the front, they will have to go in from the front, which is going to leave me a nice surgical scar, going just under my ribline, to add to my collection. Moving aside all my innards, they will remove the fragments of bone and fuse a support onto the area, taking the place of the vertebrae they just removed.

The major reason for this surgery is preventative: if I were to have an accident of some kind in the future, this pressure on the nerves could be enough so that I loose the control of my right leg that I've been working so hard to get back. There is the possibility that I could gain some of my left leg back, though I'm not holding my breath. I'm just hoping to reduce the worst of what has already happened.

There is a lot of good that could come from this surgery, though like any surgery it has its risks. But I'm not focusing on those right now. I'm keeping my eye on the ball to what could happen in the future.

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