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  1. #1
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    Default Lower back surgery

    So a few months ago I started having some back issues. Long story short I'm going to have to have surgery to fuse L3 to S1. Unfortunately from the start of this till now the soonest I can get in for surgery is the middle of November. Which means most likely I won't be ridng this year.

    My question is who else here has had this done? I know there's a few different procedures but it sounds like they're putting the titanium rods and screws in my back... I'm a little bit curious what this means for future riding once healed.
    I'd love to be able to say I can put this off till after the season but I'm having issues walking, standing, and depending on the position sitting, and laying can be a pain as well...

  2. #2
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    What does the doctor say? I would have the surgery soon so you resume your daily activities.I remember when I had pinched nerve in my back and the doctor told me no snowmobiles,sxs,motorcycles anymore.Gods blessings on your surgery.SSBG

  3. #3
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    When my dad was having back trouble the first doctor wanted to fuse. Next doctor wanted to just trim. I guess what I am saying is 2nd and even 3rd opinion is key. Dad had his trimmed and you would never know he had back trouble. Normal life. That and it was just 3 little cuts in his back. Not opening up the front. Good luck and God bless.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by slimcake View Post
    When my dad was having back trouble the first doctor wanted to fuse. Next doctor wanted to just trim. I guess what I am saying is 2nd and even 3rd opinion is key. Dad had his trimmed and you would never know he had back trouble. Normal life. That and it was just 3 little cuts in his back. Not opening up the front. Good luck and God bless.
    This is key and great advice...I believe more often than not people are getting too extensive of surgery. Seek out some extra opinions (if you havenít).

    I recently had an issue with a bulged disk after installing a pocket door in the basement and lifted wrong. Ended up in the ER that evening unable to walk due to the pain. 3 weeks later I am at 90% of normal- took a lot of PT ( different stretches and all). My workout was motivated by my fear of not being able to snowmobile this winter!

    Anyways back issues are so debilitating and so I feel for you. Best of luck!

  5. #5
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    Really interested in this post. This week I found out my s1-5 are all pushed back out of alignment from L5. L5 is also turned slightly off center. They are confused how since I have no real trauma in my history. My Chiropractor is going to try and stretch me this week and slowly manipulate them back in-line.

    My thoughts are with you lofsfire.. Keep us posted..

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the responses, and sorry for my late response, but I had a very busy day today. I was able to attend the USS Indianapolis LCS 17 commissioning ceremony. Which was a very cool experience! (A lot of walking, which just yesterday I would not have been able to do. However, thanks to some Norco and many stops to sit down or bend in some weird position, I made it. I'm sure anyone around me was like what is wrong with this guy! LOL)

    https://www.ussindianapolislcs17.com...issioning.html

    indy pan.jpg


    indy.jpg

    So on to the topic at hand. I agree about the 2nd and 3rd opinions (3rd surgeon opinion is coming soon) unfortunately my regular doctor, pain management doctor, and surgeon 1 and 2 all agree, which is good and bad news. Good news they all agree, I need a fusion. (At least they are all coming to the same course of action.) Bad news is they all agree, I need a fusion. (This really does not leave me many options...) I should say the pain management doctor told me to get a back brace and wear it and do the physical therapy but that was only if the injection he gave me helped. It did only for about a week. Which is what made me go see a surgeon.

    A little history on this, it did not just pop up. I've had small issues here and there. 2014 or 15 when I first pinched a nerve. I had and injection and all was good after that till now. The MRI back then calls out the same areas as my current my current MRI which show the areas as bad now. There was nothing specific but reading the two reports you can see the progression. Also, there were a few things I did with my kids over the summer like Disneyland. Which required more than a few walking rest breaks for me. (Keep in mind, I'm typically the type of person to stand most of the time. Walking never really bothered me till my back issues started.) Oh and losing weight I'm sure would help too. That just never really seams to work out well...

    I have three things going on with my back. Disk Herniation, Spinal Stenosis, Spondylolisthesis (slipped vertebrae) The Spondylolisthesis is why I need the fusion. The rest could be treated other ways. The amount of the vertebrae being slipped forward and then the stenosis and the herniation causes the nerves to pinch when I stand or walk, and every now and then in some sitting positions. Even when I look at the MRI, I can clearly see it is out of alignment.

    When asking about snowmobiling and firefighting I'm told we just have to see how recorvey goes...

    heckler56 They asked me about possible trauma and I really could not think of any at the time. However, after more thought I know I had more then one surprise bumps in the trail. Especially on my old 2000 Ski-Doo MXZ (ZX Chassis)... So who knows. I know over time, I've lifted a lot of patients on the fire department too.


  7. #7
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    I know exactly how you felt walking at the Indianapolis. I did the same at the snow show in Milwaukee and depending on whether I can make it to Novi next weekend. (I was thinking of maybe renting a little rascal to get around the show ��).

    Praying you have a safe and swift recovery...

  8. #8
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    I see your down the road from me had neck surgery 10 years ago and yes get a second and third opinion When i had my issues i went to 2 local surgeons they explained the process and what they were going to do .Just an fyi i went to Crownpoint hospital St Anthony and the bone and joint specialist in Chesterton.While all of it sounded well and good i decided to go to Rush in Chicago and wow nothing beats a teaching hospital. Surgeon there told me we dont do it that way any more thats older technics and practices,so instead of taking bone from another part of my body they used the bone spurs i had in my vertebrae ground them up put them in some kind of mold and then fused.So you living so close to a few teaching hospitals i would take a trip ti IU or Rush for the latest procedures or maybe u already have Its been 10 years for me and i have been pain free and have 95% movement in my neck.PS and thats how i found out i had a problem a few hard bumps on the trail and i would get a pain shoot up my neck so off to the doc i went

  9. #9
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    heckler56 be careful and don't over do it... Good luck!

    Saber, yep I'm right up the road from you! We have talked on here more than once, but I'm surprised we have not ran into each other locally over the years. Maybe we have and just did not realize it, LOL.

    As far as starting with St. A's that is what I did, then went straight to Rush. The third opinion I'm looking at was a surgeon out of Carmel. The only other options I found on my own was a trial, but after looking at some of there requirements it does not even look I would qualify. I'm also not sure how I feel about the whole trial thing...

    This is right in Kalamazoo. (I know nothing other than from the web about any Kalamazoo Hospitals)
    https://www.bronsonpositivity.com/im...fabi-and-tops/

    Here is a bit better of and explanation on the system...
    https://www.pennmedicine.org/updates...r-spine-system

    I will admit it does look and sound like it would work better. but longevity could be an issue.

  10. #10
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    Good luck with your surgery! Get back in the seat fast!

  11. #11
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    Good luck LOFSFIRE let us know how it turns out for u

  12. #12
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    I had lower back surgery 3 years ago. I had 2 herniated discs, multiple bone spurs, pinched nerves and my spinal cord was also pinched. I went to a neurosurgeon and he was able to repair me without fusion. I was in the hospital for 3 days since my spinal cord was involved. I was walking on the 3rd day and was released and back home resting. I had the surgery in September and was able to ride snowmobile in mid January. It was about 4 months. I just took it easy and didn't over do it. Put on a 100 miles and I felt great. Try your best not to get fused you will not be the same and be limited in what you can do. Find a Neurosurgeon, get another opinion.
    I still get sore when I play in the skid steer or do too much bending and lifting but I am able to ride snow sled and in the sxs all day long and not be sore and can walk after doing it. Good luck!

  13. #13
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    Well I go for my third surgical opinion on Monday. We'll see what this doctor has to say. He's down in Indy and holds patents on some of the surgical equipment they use and has develop some of the techniques I believe too... So I'm hoping he may be able to offer the different treatment or approach to the treatment. So I guess I'll find out more in a few days.

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    Working in the trades i have found that many people i have known have regretted getting back surgery. I had some issues two years ago, and after talking to guys that still do physical work in their 60's i healed mine (for now) by doing stretches and a overwhelming amount of people also told me to avoid chiropractors. All these old farts that abused their bodies all their life always have good things to say about knee and hip surgeries, but you sure do hear horror stories on back surgeries! Take your time and choose wisely.

  15. #15
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    All of my hip, lower back/sciatica, neck/upper back, shoulders are all fine now that I use the Teeter inversion rack. I cannot believe how it has eliminated all my pain, and suffering. It was a absolute miracle how quickly it worked. I got more relief in the first ten days, to two weeks than I have from all the Chiro's ive been to in my life. I don't intend to say this will work for everyone, but I have been amazed to find that so many people I know use inversion. whitedust is the one who got my attention on inversion as I remember. And others on JD that replied to my questions. I only wish I would have started at that time, and not waited until I was in really bad, continuous pain.
    Last edited by old abe; 10-30-2019 at 11:27 AM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by old abe View Post
    All of my hip, lower back/sciatica, neck/upper back, shoulders are all fine now that I use the Teeter inversion rack. I cannot believe how it has eliminated all my pain, and suffering. It was a absolute miracle how quickly it worked. I got more relief in the first ten days, to two weeks than I have from all the Chiro's ive been to in my life. I don't intend to say this will work for everyone, but I have been amazed to find that so many people I know use inversion. whitedust is the one who got my attention on inversion as I remember. And others on JD that replied to my questions. I only wish I would have started at that time, and not waited until I was in really bad, continuous pain.
    Do most people use this as preventative therapy or after problems start? How long do you invert yourself? I've always kinda wanted one and if will prevent anything that would be a good reason to get one.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by renegade View Post
    Do most people use this as preventative therapy or after problems start? How long do you invert yourself? I've always kinda wanted one and if will prevent anything that would be a good reason to get one.
    My guess would be most are in pain as they go to try this such as I came by it? I would say you should try to invert every day, a couple times. I only invert for say five, six minutes. And when busy, I will go days without taking the time to do so. As aches, pain starts to return, I invert without a doubt! It really gets your body, spine, and joints back in alignment as they should be.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by renegade View Post
    Do most people use this as preventative therapy or after problems start? How long do you invert yourself? I've always kinda wanted one and if will prevent anything that would be a good reason to get one.
    I asked my Chiro the other day and he said they are a good preventive. He suggested if I get one to only go 90 degrees for a week or so then try full inversion. He has treated a number of people that went 180 right away and got bad back spasms. He also said to not go inverted very long (like Ole Abe suggests) because of the blood rush to the brain. The PT I visited the other day said he would not recommend one (the jury is out on the PT).

    My brother had a inversion table in the 70’s and I liked using it.

  19. #19
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    Maybe it's just me, but this looks like a better way to "invert yourself" than a "Teeter Inversion Table":
    See (click →) Wickedypedia: Pitts Special. Yee-Haw!

    Just kidding, but seriously, it might be a really, really good idea to have a consult with a neurosurgeon in addition to an "orthopod" (Orthopedic surgeon).

    (Neurosurgery of the spine covers the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine. Some indications for spine surgery include spinal cord compression resulting from trauma, arthritis of the spinal discs, or spondylosis. In cervical cord compression, patients may have difficulty with gait, balance issues, and/or numbness and tingling in the hands or feet. ó But you knew that.)

  20. #20
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    I've had back problem since my early 20's but was always able to deal with it by Chirolrai up until 2008. I did something to it that put me on the old. Turns out it's was herniated disc , fractured vertebrae and some nerve issues. I got an injection a d was great until 2018. Another big flair up so the same routine with another injection but no MRI or anything. The injection made it better but didn't take the pain away nearly as good as the one in 2008. So I figured I was going to have issues and sure enough 6 months later the pain got bad enough I couldn't sleep, standing was an issue etc. It got worse as the year went on and k finally went in for another injection. We, that didn't do anything. That was September of last year. I went in to see a surgeon and with better x-rays and MRI the issue was a badly herniated disc and the vertebrae that was fractured had grown so much calcium or bone that it was completely pinching the Sciatic nerve. I was pretty much incapacitated. So the surgeon recommended surgery which I goofed shaving the disc and removing part of the vertebrae. I had it done the 27th of Dec. I went into the OR at 12:30 pm, at 5:15pm I was walking back into my house with no pain and the only restrictions was no bending, lifting and twisting more than 20lbs for 4 weeks. I took nothing for pain just a muscle relaxer and still softener for a couple weeks. I was back working on Januaryrd. Couldn't be happier. Zero pain. Mine was done at Ortho Indy by Dr. Kevin ONieil. I would definitely get some more opinions. He did not want to do a fusion and was confident I would be pain free immediately.

  21. #21
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    The two doc's I have seen are neurosurgeon, and so is the one I have coming up on Monday.

    As far as the inversion table I have one but docs and Chrio both said hold of on using it for now it could make it worse. Chrio said once I can use it to do 2-3min no more than 5 once a day. And should start off with a little angle and work your way up over time.

    dmsrx I think that is called microdecompression spine surgery. My pain management doctor recommend a local doc that does it. Turns out I had two friends that went to him as well and said the same thing as you, that they feel great! However, from what both of my docs told me I'm not a candidate for it due to the amount of slippage in my vertebrae...

  22. #22
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    Back in 2011 I had a similar issue with L4/L5 , both Specialist's wanted to shave the discs , but told me I had a thin spine, which worried me if they shave would my back be the same as strong.

    After consulting with my Regular DR, who said since your a diabetic it will take longer to heal , I decided to wait it out and do therapy etc.... It took over 6 months to get better and in March of 2012 I went n my first trip of that season. I rode two days as the third day got warm and trails got bad and I didn't want to punish my back.

    I was told I old never Snowmobile again without the Surgery, been riding all these years since with no issues since then

  23. #23
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    I had back surgery 5 years ago in February. I was 40 yrs old at the time. I had a bulging disc and a bone spur on one vertebrae in my lower back. I did not ride at all that year. I tried a ride around my yard in April and it was no go. I tried again about 3 weeks later but still no go. I missed out on an entire year of riding because my back said no. If you can't swing a golf club without pain don't even attempt it. Give your back time to heal and stretch it every chance you get. I took the long view and am thankful I did as i have no pain and now can do whatever I want with no worries. Listen to you doctor and take it slow.

  24. #24
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    My 3rd opinion from the spine doc in Indy said the same thing, fusion. So I'm keeping to my plan and going to Rush. I'll keep you posted sometime after the 18th depending how I feel...

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by lofsfire View Post
    My 3rd opinion from the spine doc in Indy said the same thing, fusion. So I'm keeping to my plan and going to Rush. I'll keep you posted sometime after the 18th depending how I feel...
    Wishing you a successful procedure and speedy recovery.....

  26. #26
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    Well the surgery seemed to go good, I haven't been out of bed yet and I'm still a little sore. However I guess that's to be expected. Should start physical therapy in a few hours.
    One of the first questions I ask the doc about was riding. He said most definitely and maybe even at the very end of the season. However it's probably wise if I just write this season off make sure it's healed up 100% before I go pushing it...

  27. #27
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    Good news! Be sure to do exactly what the docs/PT people tell you. If you screw up the rehab you will be in worse shape. Take it easy!!

  28. #28
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    good to hear and i would follow docs advise

  29. #29
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    Great news. I am still waiting to get authorization for a mri (you would think my inability to sleep, walk, or sit would be enough).

    Keep us posted.

  30. #30
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    Thanks for the kind words! I was up walking around a good part of the day today.
    I'm still obviously sore from the surgery but that seems to be the only pain... and if that's the case at least there's a light at the end of the tunnel. I was in and out of physical therapy. They said I was walking fine had me doing stairs and the other big one they cautioned me on was getting in and out of bed the correct way. I was able to get dressed and got everything that they stuck in me out except for the drain. I still have a little too much drainage for them to release me but it's decreasing...

    PMheckler56 is the hold up with your doctor or the MRI place? I had my MRI all set up for one of the outpatient centers instead of the hospital for two reasons I've had stuff down there before and I was happy with them but the other good reason was they were $2,000 cheaper... Anyways, if it's the MRI place not being able to get you in ask your doctor for the order to be "stat". There was an issue that came up and I couldn't do it at the outpatient Center and had to go to the actual hospital which as I said cost a lot more but they gave me a hard time when trying to schedule it and want to push it like 2 months out. once I told him the doctor at stat written on it they got me in the next day first thing in the morning and I was calling at closing time... I think at least some spots open just for situations like this.

  31. #31
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    [QUOTE=lofsfire;483560

    PMheckler56 is the hold up with your doctor or the MRI place? I had my MRI all set up for one of the outpatient centers instead of the hospital for two reasons I've had stuff down there before and I was happy with them but the other good reason was they were $2,000 cheaper... Anyways, if it's the MRI place not being able to get you in ask your doctor for the order to be "stat". There was an issue that came up and I couldn't do it at the outpatient Center and had to go to the actual hospital which as I said cost a lot more but they gave me a hard time when trying to schedule it and want to push it like 2 months out. once I told him the doctor at stat written on it they got me in the next day first thing in the morning and I was calling at closing time... I think at least some spots open just for situations like this.[/QUOTE]

    I am in a rural area with only one mri and limited local specialists. My insurance gives me 24/7 nurses on call from Cleveland Clinic. The nurse advised a spine/ortho mri order will get immediate insurance approval instead of my GP ordering it. She was screening the two local spine/ortho drs to get me in ASAP. Earliest Dr visit is Dec 2.

  32. #32
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    I had the same vertebrae fused 10 years ago after 30 years of on going back issues. I am a big guy and suspensions haven't always been as good as they are today but I have had zero problems with my back from riding. I will say, I do wear a wrap around back support belt to give added support to my lower back and wore these before my surgery.

  33. #33
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    Sorry, I know, I haven't updated this lately, it's been a bit of a whirlwind last week... After writing my last post Wednesday was a day from ****. Everything from surgery was wearing off and they started taking me off of the drugs I had me on, kind of hit all at once. Once they got the pain meds regulated Wednesday night into Thursday started getting better again... By Thursday morning I was doing much better and very ready to leave the hospital. Unfortunately that didn't happen till about 7 p.m. Then I had a bit of a run around getting home and stopping at the drugstores... Still wasn't feeling as good as I did on Tuesday though. Friday I was able to do some work from home with lots of breaks, so many that I had to carry work over into Saturday as well. Getting around the house Friday, Saturday, and Sunday I was using a walker each day being able to walk a little better. As I got into Monday and Tuesday working from home became a little easier just had to stretch my day out. By Wednesday I was pretty much able to walk around without the walker and could sit at my desk most of the day with just normal brakes. Yesterday for Thanksgiving I was able to go to my families house and I didn't bother taking the walker with. I plan on just taking it easy the next few days here and then going back to work this Monday.

    My lower back still feels "odd". If I lay on my side in bed and then try to roll over it feels like I'm trying to rollover a pillow since it's still swelled up back there... Of course that could just be in my mind. But each day I can feel noticeable progress in movement and the way my back feels... The tingling I had in my legs and feet seem to have gone away completely. So it's looking like this has been well worth it. I will update more when I have time.

  34. #34
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    Good to hear.

  35. #35
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    Well, one week ago today I finally got to meet with a a local surgeon. It was late in the afternoon. As soon as he entered the exam room he said he was admitting me to the hospital. The goal was to regulate pain and he made a slot for me for a Thursday surgery. They basically put me on every drug they had and the pain was still unbearable at times.
    Since I had to crawl around my home for two weeks my legs were beginning to be somewhat useless getting up.
    Surgery on Thursday ended after 8pm and they had me walking in a hour or so. Friday was a fog still through all the meds. I got rereleased later on Saturday. I am trying to add standing, walking and sitting time each day but it seems to be a bit of a battle after 3 weeks of living horizontal.

    It turns out that the nerve was pinched so bad that when the surgeon got near it my leg would twitch. I am guessing that caused the surgery to go allot longer than normal.

    Counting my blessings. The best surgeon in town made room to see me and made room to perform surgery as soon as possible.

  36. #36
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    Glad to hear you got the surgery you needed, and so quickly too! Best of luck with a full recovery!

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by mspease View Post
    Glad to hear you got the surgery you needed, and so quickly too! Best of luck with a full recovery!
    Thank you. Spooner, Wi? Close to my brother in Birchwood and a fellow I went to high school with-rp7x.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by heckler56 View Post
    Well, one week ago today I finally got to meet with a a local surgeon. It was late in the afternoon. As soon as he entered the exam room he said he was admitting me to the hospital. The goal was to regulate pain and he made a slot for me for a Thursday surgery. They basically put me on every drug they had and the pain was still unbearable at times.
    Since I had to crawl around my home for two weeks my legs were beginning to be somewhat useless getting up.
    Surgery on Thursday ended after 8pm and they had me walking in a hour or so. Friday was a fog still through all the meds. I got rereleased later on Saturday. I am trying to add standing, walking and sitting time each day but it seems to be a bit of a battle after 3 weeks of living horizontal.

    It turns out that the nerve was pinched so bad that when the surgeon got near it my leg would twitch. I am guessing that caused the surgery to go allot longer than normal.

    Counting my blessings. The best surgeon in town made room to see me and made room to perform surgery as soon as possible.
    Heckler what all did they do? Sounds to be much better for you! I know it is for me. I had a bit of a drainage issue the last few days but they think the stitches were irritating things. They must have been right because after they pulled them yesterday I feel even better today. Each day I'm picking up speed walking. I have not used a walker since before Thanksgiving.

  39. #39
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    Good to hear of your progress.
    They fused s1&L5. Progress from numbness, standing, sitting, etc. has been slow which I expect since the nerve was so stressed and stretched. Tomorrow being a week since surgery, today feels okay. It helps I have spent allot of time on the phone with my out of state snow buddies.
    I plan to go on January and February trips to UP, I’ll just drive to the stopping points ��. Sure I will miss the sled riding but still can enjoy the country I love so much with a great group of guys I found 10 years ago. Prior to then, I rode solo 70’s -2009.

  40. #40
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    That's great to hear you are doing well. We might have to meet up sometime. Look at it this way, missing one year is better than a bunch of year's!

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by heckler56 View Post
    Thank you. Spooner, Wi? Close to my brother in Birchwood and a fellow I went to high school with-rp7x.
    Small world! I live about 3 miles from rp7x and he's a good friend of mine. I've been off trail riding with him a few times up in Mass City, but for an old man, he can sure ride that RMK!

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