Back Surgery…25 Years Later

I have told this story in a previous blog post…so I will do a brief summary for those who haven’t read it.

I was hit head on by a drunk driver on Feb 14th 1996. I was pretty banged up but seemed to function. I progressively lost my ability to walk and after finally getting an MRI…the orthopedic surgeon informed me that my back was broken in 2 places and was astounded that I had made it 2 years (April 1998 is when I couldn’t take the pain anymore.) We’re talking broken bones and blown discs! Sciatica SUCKS! The 2 damaged discs had blown out into my spinal cord and the broken vertebrae were smashing my sciatic nerves badly. Not to mention that I was diagnosed with spondylolisthesis…which means your backbone is sliding off the pelvis and could snap your spinal cord.

I ended up having surgery and it was a long one, at about 7.5 hours. I had a neurosurgeon and an orthopedic surgeon working side-by-side to fix me. I was informed by them both that I was a “1 percenter” which meant that of all the back surgeries performed, mine was in the top 1% of the worst damage and the most repair work. Don’t I feel special! All I can say is that those two saved my life and got me back on my feet. It slowed me down some, but not much. So if you notice that I stand funny in some of our fishing pictures, that’s the reason why lol.

L4, L5 and S1 fused and bolted.

So these X-rays are from last week. They show that everything is holding up well but they also show that I have degenerative disc disease between L3 and L4. It will require another surgery to add more hardware to further stabilize the spine. I plan on putting it off for as long as possible. Besides, the 2023 fishing season has just started and I don’t want to waste it!

We’ll catch you on the next one.

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