Monday, November 24, 2008

Laminectomy with Discectomy

Lie down on the bed and try moving the fingers of ur feet.

how simple- isn’t it.. I feel similar myself and that’s why it pains all the more to see dad struggling while doing this.


He recently went through a surgery "laminectomy with discectomy" which in simple term means removal of a portion of vertebral bone and a fragment of herniated disc that is causing pressure on the nerve (I guess this is also called slip disc, not sure though) from the spinal canal. When the spinal cord or nerves become compressed, they don't work properly. Abnormal signals may get passed from the compressed nerves, or signals may not get passed at all. This causes electric shock pain in the back and/or legs limiting the daily normal activity, numbness or muscle weakness and in serious cases, impaired bowel and/or bladder function. Unfortunately dad suffered from all this in last 20 days. These symptoms are due to the irritation of nerve from the herniated disc by interfering with the pathway by which signals are sent from your brain out to our body extremities and back to the brain.

While dad is recovering in the hospital, I wanted to remind myself and all of you not to take our spine for guaranteed. Having done enough googling on this subject, let me give you some gyan (incase you haven’t read this in your science books in school)-

We all have a rubbery pad called disc between the hard bones in spinal column which allow the back to flex and bend and act as shock absorbers. When we are young, these discs have high water content which decreases with age making the discs brittle and less flexible. The discs begin to shrink and the spaces between the bones get narrower gradually. Some conditions that can weaken the disc include:

  1. Improper lifting, bad posture, lack of physical activity OR even smoking,
  2. Excessive body weight that places added stress on the disks (in the lower back)
  3. Sudden pressure (which may be slight)
  4. Repetitive strenuous activities

i.e. A herniated disc may occur suddenly in an event such as a fall or an accident, or may occur gradually with repetitive straining of the spine. In dad's case it was a sneeze while taking bath which caused a jerk in his waist & then the whole series of problems..

So please be careful of your body to avoid this painful experience.

This leads me to another Y – why does god have to create such diseases for us?????


Masood said...

My my! It sounds so painful. I hope your dad starts feeling better super soon.

Thanks for the information. Seriously, we take our bodies for granted only to realize later that we've done some irreparable damage to it. Time for some more workouts!

mindspace said...

Thanks M, this is what i was talking to you abt earlier when i was eager to find out how a sneeze could do this!
btw, I also read that doing exercise the wrong way is dangerous too. so while you work out n shed some more lbs, pls be careful.