Mar 9, 2004, 6:49 PM
Post #1 of 33
Ruptured disc injury
Got a friend with a ruptured disc in his back at the L-1 vertebra. It's causing numbness down his leg and some pain. He has had several steroid shots to alleviate the pressure on the nerve, but that has only helped somewhat. Surgery is a real possibility. Are there anybody out there that has had this problem? What was the treatment. Was surgery done? If so, how long did it take before you could return to skydiving?
I had a bulging disc last year in the same location with the same symptoms, but it was not ruptured, and the steroid shots took care of the problem. Still, I have to be careful about lifting heavy objects.
Has your friend been to a qualified orthopedic physical therapist? There are specific stabilization exercises that can help deal with the radicular pain down the legs.
If the rupture is more than a few mm, then surgery is indeed a possibility. Again, there are many different procedures a doctor can use. The LEAST invasive is the best call....Followed up closely by a qualified P.T.
Are there anybody out there that has had this problem?
*raising hand* I had two discs go at the same time though; between L4 and L5 and between L5 and S1.
In reply to:
What was the treatment.
Started with pain meds and bed rest. Was referred to an orthopedic doctor who got me the steroid shots. They helped a bit for awhile but didn't eliminate the pain. Finally couldn't stand it any longer and got a referral to an neurosurgeon.
In reply to:
Was surgery done?
Yes. Both discs were removed and all three vertebrae were fused.
In reply to:
If so, how long did it take before you could return to skydiving?
I made one jump 6 months after surgery and realized it was too soon. I waited until it had been a full year after surgery to jump again. I changed to a larger canopy with a reputation for soft openings when I got back in the air too.
Thanks Ltdiver and Lisa, I will forward your posts on to my buddy.
As for me, my bulging disc is between the L-5 and S-1 vertebrae. The shots did the trick and I was jumping and doing what I wanted to within 2 months from the onset of the problem. I have had a couple of minor re-currences since from lifting heavy objects or strenuous physical activity around the house, but they went away when I took it easy.
I suffered 4 ruptured discs at c3-4 and c4-5 as well as L4-5 and L-5-S1.All from a car accident.The latter disc is pretty well shot.I went through every imaginable modality of pain relief to no avail and since this involved a lawsuit ( a construction company truck hit me) I was in litigation for 4 years.I finally had surgery.I wasn't active jumping at the time, although 3 years after the surgery I took up jumping again.Since my work involves alot of physical labor,I suffered a small setback after I started jumping again and had to lay out.Now jumping is more a money and time problem now.As for how long,it just depends on the individual.Whatever the case,just be sure you're well off of the pain meds before you start jumping again. Marty
4 percoset, and I'm ready to jump! Just have to point me in the direction of the plane. It's harder to remember the points on pain pills though, so larger formations are easier! Send your friend to me. I know everything there is to know about disc problems, and what not to do! Been there, did all the wrong stuff first, Wish I knew then what I do now! firstname.lastname@example.org. Just say NO to surgery. There is one procedure done by a Jeffery Saal, & bro. at Soar clinic associated with Stanford. If you haven't already had surgery, like me, boo hoo, they can make the disc resorb! Also check out the guys, Dr. Reynolds at Spine Care Center, in Daley City, near SF. Don't let anyone talk you into fusion without checkinh every alternative first! Check into arthroscopic procedures and micro-surgery, not complete unzippering like me, wrecks too much healthy usable stuff that will never be the same again! Check out Drs. histories, and procedural outcomes. I got scared into surgery right off the bat, haven't been the same since. He said should be be jumping within 2 weeks... now I'm told 'cause of the surgery I had I will never jump again, without risking complete quad paralysis. I live on pain pills from the surgery! Dics problems are scary stuff! Be as non-invasive as possible! Don't trust surgeons, they all want to do their one trick pony act on you for their own reasons, not for your best interest! Don't let any surgeon pull the car sales man act on you like they did me! And I should have known better too! Tink
4 percoset, and I'm ready to jump! Just have to point me in the direction of the plane. It's harder to remember the points on pain pills though, so larger formations are easier!
OMG I hope you are kidding. Not only are you risking your life by jumping on pain meds - your choice to make I suppose - you're risking the lives of everyone else in the air with you - not your choice to make.
4 percoset, and I'm ready to jump! Just have to point me in the direction of the plane. It's harder to remember the points on pain pills though, so larger formations are easier!
In reply to:
That's why God invented AADz! Irreverance can be humerous if you have a sense of humor!
I don't think this forum is the right place for this kind of humor. There are a number of low time jumpers that read and post here. They don't know that you are no longer jumping, and might think that it's okay to go out and make a skydive while on pain pills. Last I looked, this wasn't Talk Back.
I do still jump, just not as much! Jumping on pain pills is not so bad, as long as you pay attention and have been on them long enogh to know how your body reacts to them. I know lots of jumpers who jump on lots stronger stuff! I would never do that, and would strongly advise against it! Just like with SCUBA, as they say, it's not good to mix your trips! I do not promote of advise jumping on anything, besides air, water, & food, & maybe that purple gatorade, if they have it at the store! Sorry if you don't like me brand of humor! I get a kick out of myself! I am very careful to not confuse or ill-advise the younguns! In fact, I am extremely safety conscious, more so than most everyone I've ever met! Even jump a 135 at 100 lbs, without gear, and still wear my original protec, although for years I got shit for it! For a while when helmets were not cool, I had people say they wouldn't jump with anyone who thought they needed a helmet. etc..., but I just ignored them and continued to wear it! I laugh now at all the same people who poo pood my protec, now they are all wearing motor cycle type over-kill helmets that block that wonderful breeze and make you feel like you're jumping with a fish bowl on your head! I think those diminish sensory awareness! Luv-n-stuff Tink
It is not only bad it is ilegal. "§ 105.7 Use of alcohol and drugs. No person may conduct a parachute operation, and no pilot in command of an aircraft may allow a person to conduct a parachute operation from that aircraft, if that person is or appears to be under the influence of— (a) Alcohol, or (b) Any drug that affects that person's faculties in any way contrary to safety. "
You not only put you life in harms way, but the people you are jumping with. On top of that you are putting the pilots lic. in jepardy. "Dumb", is the only word that comes to mind. Sparky
(This post was edited by mjosparky on Mar 18, 2004, 10:54 AM)
Percocet (oxycodone) is a highly addictive narcotic (opiate) in the same family as heroin, morphine, and opium. It is a narcotic, opiate based alkaloid combination of acetaminophen and oxycodone, more powerful than codeine, a bit lower on the ladder under things like Demerol but still an opioid analgesics like Demerol.
Just to clarify, opiates are what heroin and morphine and things like that are made from. Opiates are reserved for the treatment of severe short-term (acute) back or leg pain. Opioid analgesics suppress your perception of pain and calm your emotional response to pain by reducing the number of pain signals sent by the nervous system and the brain's reaction to them.
Because opiates are potentially addictive, they are usually prescribed only for 1 to 2 weeks. They can be extremely habit forming and shouldn't be taken for long periods of time. Opiates are not intended for use until all pain goes away. They are intended to be used only for a few days to get you through the most severe pain.
I've seen people who have to take 5 or 10 Percocets every day just to be able to function because they are so addicted to them. They even give Methadone to some people to get them off a Percocet addiction.
One reason painkillers like Percocet are attractive to some is because they provide a considerable feeling of well-being, but users can still function relatively normally in their jobs and personal life and often get away with it for years.
Taking 4 Percocet before a jump is just crazy, and according to flight and skydiving regulations it is illegal to either operate a plane or skydive while under the influence of drugs.
If you must jump, then jump drug-free.
Cheers. Nurse Mark
(This post was edited by FreeflyVan on Mar 19, 2004, 5:36 AM)
Actually they like to switch from percoset to methadone, not to get the person off of percoset, but rather for longer term pain management. It bulids up in your system thus being able to better manage pain longer term, without going up and down and sideways all day from short acting percoset. Therefore methadone is a much more effective pain management tool. The problem of switching to methadone for pain management from more short acting compunds, is that since it does build up in your system, while it may take a week to get off of the percoset, it takes months, even 6 months and longer to get off of methadone! It also makes you much sleepier. Pain sucks let me tell you what! I have been to every pain managemet clinic there is, and the best they can do is throw oxycontin or methadone at you. Also, methadone is comparatively much cheaper than oxycontin, and even though it makes you sleepy, not as much as oxycontin! Percoset is the best for not making you sleepy, in fact it rather perks you up! Methadone is not a way to get off of percoset though, since it is much stronger, and creates more dependence, and is much harder to get off of. Best idea is not to get in pain in the first place, but if I had not tolerated so much during my younger years of jumping, hard sabre openings wearing 12 lbs of lead, in a bad place, I wouldn't have gotten into this pain of herneated discs, bone spurs, and fascet arthritis at C 5-6, 6-7 trouble in the first place. Let this be a lesson to all newer jumpers, especially young jumpers, if it hurts, don't be a hero and just quietly deal with it, accepting that you will just have to hurt to do your sport of choice, stop and fix the problem. Or if the extra weight bothers you, then just don't jump with the big guys! It may limit your jumping, which I never wanted to do, but in retrospect, missing some jumps would be far preferable to then having to live with the physiological consequences of putting too much of a burden on my 5'3", 100 pound frame! Pain is the body telling you something is wrong! And once the damage is done, in some instances, like mine, it can't be undone. I started jumping at 18. I am now 36. While jumping during my 20s, I didn't recognize or think that I was mortal, and vulnerable, just doesn't dawn on you in your 20s. Also you don't accept the notion that what you may be enduring that hurts just may become permanent! In my next life, I am going to come back as a big guy, say 6 foot, 180 lbs. I would much rather have problems staying up, than having to pack on so much lead to stay down with all of them big boys! Also I am going to get one of those tiny rigs and just skip along side all the little girls all weighted down with lead, dsying, come on,... run! As I've heard do many times. And never wanting to appear weak or vulnerable, I did run, me and half my bosy weight in gear! Tink
Well, that's all good and well, but I just happen to know that lots of people jump under the influence.... ever heard the expression 4:20? And lots do stronger stuff too! Now that is wrong, bad, and crazy! Maybe they ought to do random drug testing at the DZ! What about all the gazillions on anti-depressants? I know lots of jumpers on those too! Also know quads take valium to quiet the tremmors in their limp limbs, yet they still drive cars! Now that is scary, walking in front of a car operated by a quadraplygic on valium, and pot, most who I know smoke lots of pot to deal with pain and as a mental escape from their situation, and I know lots having taught SCUBA through NAUI's HSA (Handicapt SCUBA Association) I have tried those anti-depressants in an effort to control my pain, almost all of them for a week or some, some less than that, and would refuse to take any of them ever, even in my normal life, 'cause they all make you sleepy, off-balanced, and confused! Many are prescribed for pain since they all in essence tune down the Sympathetic nervous system, and in doing so are intended to remove the loud negative thoughts from people's heads by removing all thoughts from the head. That tuning down of the volume of the nervous system is also exploited for pain management, to tune down the pain. But they just leave walking zombies in place of depressed or painful people. Would you say that no one on anti-depressants should jump either? They do more to supress the cognitive and reflexive systems than any pain pill! Tink
This is totally the wrong forum for this particular conversation, Tinkerbelle.
That being said...
(snip...discussion on anti-depressants) ....take any of them ever, even in my normal life, 'cause they all make you sleepy, off-balanced, and confused!
Many are prescribed for pain since they all in essence tune down the Sympathetic nervous system, and in doing so are intended to remove the loud negative thoughts from people's heads by removing all thoughts from the head.
That tuning down of the volume of the nervous system is also exploited for pain management, to tune down the pain.
Bullshit, at least in the sense of rx-ing SSRI's...
But they just leave walking zombies in place of depressed or painful people.
Bullshit. I am not a walking zombie...if I were, your badly informed opinion about SSRI's and anti-depressants wouldn't bother me at all.
They do more to supress the cognitive and reflexive systems than any pain pill!
I suppose my cognition and reflexive abilities are impaired. Of course, you wouldn't see that when I'm jumping, nor when I'm sparring in a ring, or dealing with children, driving a car, working with million $$ deals, and whatnot.
Cut the stink, Tink. Your post is full of misinformation, old wive's tales, and misconceptions.
I R A Biochemist, neuroscientist, know lots about that stuff, but let's not go there, this is getting personal, no need! Just food for thought! I think it's best if I just go away and not rattle your cages! Tink "Don't confuse me with the facts, my mind is made up"
You're absolutely correct! I have a very big, discouraging problem! I have herneated discs in my neck at C 4-5, 5-6, which I have had since before '92 (I suspect from when I first got my Sabre)and bone spurs and arthritis of the fascet joints right there as well, all from hard openings of my parachute and wearing too much lead under my backpad for too long.
My little 5'3" 100 pound frame just couldn't take the impact of opening shock with the setup I had, or any for that matter, but it sure worked well for a long time, despite it's not being very comfortable! I just have a very delicate frame. But I love to skydive, it's my love, my life, my inspiration, my passion, my socail life,,... and it sucks to have had it hurt me to the extent my pain is now interfering with my ability to enjoy my skydiving & my zest and zeal for life! It's a bummer!
I think this is a very appropriate thing to discuss, and the proper place to do it. For there are other tiny jumpers out there, not many, but some, who need to learn from what I did wrong, and how it hurt me, so that they can skydive as long as they want, rather than as long as their little bodies can tolerate the sometimes tremendous forces on the body, especially during opening shock!
Large males can not really understand or appreciate what we little people go through and tolerate to keep up/down with you guys! It puts an extra stress on our bodies that you big boys don't have to endure, though ironically you big boys with big bones and muscles are better equipt & suited to carry an extra load, rather than us tiny people!
Luv ya too! I will include you in my prayers! Tink
What about all the gazillions on anti-depressants? I know lots of jumpers on those too!
Im going to have to jump in here. I spent some time on SSRI's and had absolutely none of the problems you talk about. Like with any drug yes people have different reactions, and that is up to the doctor and the patient to fix. However I see an issue with blanketing that all anti-d's cause problems like most narcotic pain meds. That is not true at all. I didnt see any change what so ever in motor skills. That was the first thing I discussed with my doctor as it was a concern of mine, he assured me that they tend not to cause reactions as such, nor are they labeled "do not use heavy machinery" like the other drugs that have been discussed.
Hi there, I just watched a cool lecture on artificial discs, the "Pro Disc" specifically. They say with the advent of this, fusions will be a thing of the past. Their mantra was "Refuse to Fuse"! They said, it is a 10 minute, 8 step procedure, and they already have 10 year studies to prove it's sustainability. There is no wear, slippage, or disintegration or degredation of the polyethylene disc. In fact they even say it is so easy and quick it may even be an outpatient procedure. People can return to work and full activity within a week. There is no stiffness or loss of mobility like with a fusion. And in fact they report a 100% reduction in pain immediately compared to most likely an increase in pain post fusion. Also, with a fusion there is 100% probablilty of degredation of the above and below adjacent discs with in 3-4 years, which you don't get with this artificial "Pro Disc". In fact most often they say they replace > 1 disc at once, often with one in the middle untouched. This could not be done with a fusion, as the middle disc would be toast before too long. It sounds great, so for anyone looking at the possiblilty of fusion, don't! They say the only problem with this new disc is that it will put a lot of medics out of business, and those who do fusions are trying to keep it a secret! So for those with disc problems, "REFUSE TO FUSE!" contacts are: Rick DeLamarter, MD., UCLA, Associate Clinical Professor, Orthopedic Surgery David W. Newell, MD., University of Washington, Professor of Neurosurgery Good Luck to all! Luv-n-stuff Tinkerbelle
I can give you my perspective as a yoga instructor, for whatever it's worth...with an injured disk it's really a good idea to give it as much room/space as possible through gentle stretching exercises.
For instance, lying on the floor, on your back, using your arms to gently and slowly bring your knees to your chest...this will give the vertebrae enough room to "breathe" and give the nerves a rest. Then ice it down so there is no swelling, that will prevent healing and contradict what you've done by stretching. A good physical therapist can show your friend gentle stretching exercises (there are several), but I prefer someone who practices both eastern and western medicine...they can choose the most appropriate stretches from both fields of wisdom.
Hi Again, You really seem to know what you are doing. I tried yoga for a while, and like the breathing parts since neck injuries also affect your breathing, causing difficulties since the forenic nerve is affected, or at least mine was during my horrific surgery. Could you give me some more good stretches for the vertebrae in the neck? You seem to have some really good ideas! Maybe you could PM me, if you'd like! Tinkerbelle
For all those with neck injuries, my PTist gave me a good nerve rest position that really takes the pressure off of the nerves running from your neck down your arms:
for the right side, put your right hand on your left shoulder, then hold the right elbow up with the left hand at about a 45 degree to 90 degree angle to your body. Then press in on your right elbow toward your shoulder, with the left hand, thus relieving the pressure on the nerve pulling from the neck down the arm.
Repeat on the other side.
Often with a neck injury, nerve injury, or pressure on the nerve, it does not do well with normal stretching which it should do about 1 to 2 inches without a problem, and instead flares up with any tension what so ever. This nerve rest exercise takes the pressure off the nerve radiating from the neck down the arm.
Good Luck to all you neck injury people. I know how it feels, it sucks!
See my list of references for artificial discs in lieu of fusion. Even for fusion people, they are often advised these days to have artificial discs, the "Pro-Disc" specifically to be put both above and below the fusion to stop the degredation of adjacent discs, like a snag in material that just keeps on snagging down the line, as is an inevitability with any fusion.
'Large males can not really understand or appreciate what we little people go through and tolerate to keep up/down with you guys! It puts an extra stress on our bodies that you big boys don't have to endure, though ironically you big boys with big bones and muscles are better equipt & suited to carry an extra load, rather than us tiny people!'
This is simply not true. Look into the biomechanical mechnisim of injury in flexion extension injuries and the forces involved in rapid decelaration events and you will realise that even large guys with well developed neck muscles are vunerable to this kind of injury. I'm six foot four, in good physical shape and injured my neck in during a hard opening, the injury was recived two years ago and I am still in regular pain from it. I am not a lone case by any strech of the imagination. Your argument is uninformed.
(This post was edited by Skyrad on Apr 3, 2004, 1:28 AM)