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Anybody Here Have Back Surgery?

Discussion in 'Alt Medicine/Coll Silver' started by Alton, May 19, 2017.



  1. Alton

    Alton Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    I am now contemplating the heretofore unimaginable option of back surgery. Here's the scenario:
    L3 disk - bulging
    L4 disk - crushed
    L5 disk - bulging

    Yes, I have severe stenosis. Today the pain is manageable. Tomorrow, who knows?

    There are 2 options:
    1) spinal fusion. Interesting procedure that will limit my my movement by not allowing the above outlined spinal section to flex much left or right. The pain will be alleviated but unsure for how long as there are no guarantees.

    2) New procedure outlined here: www.vertiflexspine.com
    It's an FDA approved procedure. It's NEWLY approved and so has little history outside of vertiflexspine controlled testimonials. These = ZERO trust/confidence on my part. At the website the procedure is outlined as simply as possible. Incision(s) made and device is inserted between "tail-fins" on spinal bones. The inserted device is called or made by Superion. It is held in place by spinal bone pressure, ligaments and muscle. It appears to be mechanically logical and a sound application. Construction materials are unknown to me at this point. My pain management doctor will be contacting this outfit to get further information. It would allow for a greater range of flexibility as well as provide the necessary relief of pressure on the disks thus relieving my pain.

    Been on the opioids long enough. The last steroid injection helped quite a bit as far as the intense pain. I still hurt but I can get around better even though I'm stooped over and lean on things whenever possible Doing PT "exercises" and they help keep me going but are NOT a long term solution.

    So, my question to you is, if you've had back surgery or have a relative or friend who has had back surgery...
    1) which type was it?
    2) was/is it effective?
    3) How long ago was the surgery performed?
    4) How's your movement today?
    5) Any problems with the surgery?

    And, of course, an advance Thank You for your replies.
     
  2. TAEZZAR

    TAEZZAR LADY JUSTICE ISNT BLIND, SHES JUST AFRAID TO WATCH Midas Member Site Supporter

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    I had a micro discectomy of L5-S1 in 1995. I walked that same day & every day thereafter. It is one of the best things I have EVER done.
    Surgery was 2 hours. As soon as I could eat & pee, I was allowed to go get my corset fitted & go home.
    If you were in So. Cal., I would strongly recommend my surgeon.
    Interview as many surgeons as you can, or until you find one that you have confidence in.
    Follow the post surgery instructions, without waiver, & you should come through it all with a SMILE !!!!
    I am still smiling !!!
    BTW, I could not walk that last week before surgery !!!
     
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  3. Usury

    Usury Gold Chaser Platinum Bling

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    I've known several folks over the years that had the fusion done. NONE of them were cured after one surgery. All of them developed problems on the neighboring discs and had to have surgeries after. One in particular had had like 4 or 5 last I heard from her.
     
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  4. Dude

    Dude Midas Member Midas Member

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    Stenosis here. Too scared. Cortizone shot in 1982 in college. Pain. Got better to an extent. Pain sometime in the 1990's and just bulled through it. 2008 huge pain, steroid pills and a month of working while on my back. Because of that situation, now have lost feeling in half of the sole of my left foot and one third of left pointing finger and 1/2 of left thumb. Have not water skied since or lifted more than 50 lbs. Dad fused lower back when he was 40. Happy. Upper got fused when 60. Happy but loss of movement. No more golf. I am now 56 and wondering if I can ski again. Let me know. Sorry no good info, just my story.
     
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  5. Crockett

    Crockett Seeker

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    Don’t know if you explored alternative options to surgery, but I would check out the following.


    Radio show podcasts at http://www.wjr.com/the-dr-mannella-show/

    You Don’t Have to Suffer From Chronic Lower Back and Neck Pain

    If you have lower back pain, you are not alone. Millions of Americans suffer from lower back pain, making daily routines like work, exercise, and leisure activities difficult, if not impossible. Many have tried traditional medical and chiropractic care, only to find that their back, neck, arm, or sciatic problem is only getting worse. Those who suffer should know that surgery may not be their only option.

    Dr. Joseph Mannella DC is the founder of the Mannella Disc Institute® and the creator of the exclusive IntraDiscNutrosis® for people suffering with chronic and severe back and neck pain associated with disc problems. If you suffer from the symptoms of chronic back pain, Dr. Mannella and his staff may be able to help you achieve a higher level of living without the use of drugs, injections, or surgery.

    Learn more about the Mannella Disc Institute®, plus find out how you can get a complete evaluation by visiting www.FixMyDiscNow.com.​


    Check out 100+ youtube videos of patients talking with Dr Joe Mannella about how he has restored their quality of life by fixing their spinal problems http://www.youtube.com/user/drmannella#p/u
     
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  6. Ensoniq

    Ensoniq Midas Member Midas Member Site Supporter ++

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    A close friend of mine just went through surgery to,have the stimulative implant (I don't know I the name of it but will find out)

    He was living on Vicodin and hating it.

    They had a trial procedure where the device was carried with him and only the leads inserted. After he said it worked they did the implant

    He's doing Pilates now and raving about being pain free

    I don't know the specific problem with his disks but will find out and post

    Good luck to you man
     
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  7. Alton

    Alton Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    Thanks TAEZZAR. When this started back in the 80's there was only one "go to" surgeon locally for this stuff. We spoke. I was unconvinced. At the time it was the best decision. To this day I have no regrets over that.

    Today I have a wider selection of surgeons skilled in the vertebrae fusion surgery to select from. However, their skill at the surgery is not so much the issue as is the effectiveness of the fusion itself. My father-in-law had that surgery and it limited his activity. He was once an avid sportsman and loved to fish and hunt. He would go off on week-long adventures to fish in Minnesota and hunting out in the Dakotas. He had to give up most of that because the terrain got to be too much for him. I went fishing with him once in Minnesota and the terrain where we went was nothing like Kansas or northern Indiana where you could almost shoot pool on the ground. So I understand his decision.

    I am glad to hear of your success with the fusion type surgery. It is encouraging, especially after, what, 22years. I haven't yet explored the conditions that make this fusion procedure a success or a failure for people. I got to see the the "support frame" that links the vertebrae so I understand the mechanics of it and these, too, seem logical. Yet I am aware of numerous not-so-successful after effects which is a big part of why I declined the procedure back in the 80's. Even so, I have heard of numerous successful outcomes like yours which keeps this procedure as a viable option. The truly difficult choice now is the known fusion procedure or the new and unknown procedure.
     
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  8. michael59

    michael59 heads up-butts down Platinum Bling

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    Ouch! Had a friend who did the stinosus roto rooter thing and he was grate for about 3 or 4 weeks. Then he was cursing it. Could have been a fluke but he actually was better for a while.
     
  9. Alton

    Alton Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    Thanks Usury. Yes I've heard similar recounts of fusion surgery which definitely give me pause in proceeding. These are what I think of as failures. A mere shifting of source of pain which is what I want to be rid of the most. For me it's down to a forced choice because I can't get much further where my disks are now. I feel fortunate to be afforded the luxury of time to explore my surgical choices before I reach a position where I'm forced to choose while my brain is overwhelmed by pain. If possible I would like to get the surgery done this year, perhaps even this summer which is almost here.

    The fusion surgery has worked for many. Yes, it has known risks and I want to make sure I'm a suitable candidate for this type of surgery to improve my chances of being able to benefit from it. It is not reasonable to expect cure from this because I would need a whole disk which is something surgery can't provide yet or in the near term future. I can't afford to wait for that solution at this point.
     
  10. michael59

    michael59 heads up-butts down Platinum Bling

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    When i was married this gal had a son who got drunked up and fell out of a second story window breaking his back, When I met her and then him he was wearing a tortoise shell. They fused some of his verts, but he was young so he took to his predicament as best he could. Was two years he wore the shells.
     
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  11. TAEZZAR

    TAEZZAR LADY JUSTICE ISNT BLIND, SHES JUST AFRAID TO WATCH Midas Member Site Supporter

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    Alton, while you have the time, I strongly suggest that you continue to do your homework on what procedures are available & their success rate & interview many surgeons. I could be wrong, but I think the surgeon & his abilities are more important than the type of surgery. I say that based on what you want is a surgeon with a high success rate for your particular problem, as he /she should also then know the best procedure.
    I wish you all the luck in the world & when you decide to do it, let us know how it went.
     
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  12. ErrosionOfAccord

    ErrosionOfAccord #1 Global Warmer Gold Chaser Site Supporter ++

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    Had my neck fused last fall. If we were living in the old days I think I would have hit a bullet because the pain wasn't fit to live through and I had to keep my chin on my chest for any kind of comfort. fused c3&4. It took from august to November to get the insurance company lined up and approve the procedure and I was getting very impatient. My Doc took good care with the scar and I can barely see it today. Doc went through the front of my neck.

    I went back to work at the beginning of January. At first I was concerned because I would still get tinges of pain but that eventually went away. I'm still kind of careful about the situations I put myself in. For instance, I don't jump from tailgates. The pain has all but went away and I only feel it when I turn my head a certain way. My range of motion is nearly normal, so close to normal that I really can't tell and difference. My thumb is still somewhat numb but it's a great improvement from having nerve pain al the way down my left arm and three numb digits. I definitely would do it again.

    The doctor I used was well rated and out of billings. If you have a case management worker she might be able to look ratings up for you. If I were to do it over again I wouldn't take three months to get onto the table. During the wait my nerves were being crushed and dying which I believe is the reason my thumb remains numb. Get after it and push those bastards to do it pronto.

    Over all I regard my procedure to be a success. I go for my last CAT scan next month and I think it will reveal that I am fully fused. As previously stated, my quality of life was abysmal prior to the surgery. I'm still leery of the golf course but otherwise my quality of life has largely returned.

    Chronic dehydration is part of the cause so learn to drink more water.
     
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  13. ToBeSelfEvident

    ToBeSelfEvident Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    Wife has had issues with C4/C5 since November. Could hardly move for 2+ months. Got a steroid shot which seemed to help. She does not want drugs or surgery. She used to work for a prominent low back specialist. He would always recommend against surgery even though he was a surgeon.

    One thing that has really helped my wife is this wireless TENS unit. The damn price was $75 a few months ago, now it's up to $130! But it works well:

    https://www.amazon.com/Core-Products-WiTouch-Wireless-TENS/dp/B00CFOKK1I/
     
  14. gliddenralston

    gliddenralston Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    In 2000 I had anterior laparoscopic L5-S1 fusion, first month after surgery was living hell, spent the whole month in bed. My nerves went crazy on me inflamed my left leg, my left foot curled like a horse shoe from my toes to my heel literally and turned red and extremely painful, I couldn't stand for more than 30 seconds. Doctor put me on Neurontin an anti-epileptic medication that was suppose to calm inflamed nerves, didn't do much except screw with my brain. When I could finally stand up I spent the next 6 weeks doing laps around the house with a walker, the pain was intense. Finally made it back to light duty work after 4 months. Its been 17 yrs now and I still take opioids almost nightly. I'm getting along pretty good now and can do most things I want, surgery certainly wasn't a miracle for me. The older you are the worse it is probably, if in extreme pain most will try anything to alleviate it.
    My sister just had back surgery 2/28/17 and she's doing much better than I did, but still experiencing a lot of pain after almost 2 months.
     
  15. gliddenralston

    gliddenralston Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    never had any luck with a tens unit.
     
  16. Weatherman

    Weatherman In GIM since 2006 Gold Chaser Site Supporter

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    This thread reminds me how very lucky I am to not have had surgery. A year ago, I twisted my body and bent over to pick up a package that was maybe 30-40 pounds, so not too heavy. There was no immediate problem, but that night I had an intense burning pain that radiated down my leg from my hip . The pain was so bad that I could not sleep, but could not get out of bed either. Over the next few days, the pain level moderated but my leg and foot were mostly numb. A MRI confirmed that a disk in my back slipped and was pressing against a nerve. I saw a specialist, but he said that back surgery would be considered only to relieve pain. He also said that there are frequent cases of back pain after twist and lift, so avoid that if possible. Fortunately, the level of pain was diminishing over time, so I opted for watchful waiting. Within two months, the pain completely went away, but my leg and foot are still numb. I will watch this thread in case the pain returns so that I will need to consider back surgery.
     
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  17. Alton

    Alton Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    Yep. On it! My pain doctor is suggesting the fusion or he vertiflex procedures. Pretty much the reason for this thread. I've conscientiously avoided surgery for the past 30+ years. Did the PT and still do it when appropriate. Tried many other things both conventional and unconventional. Some good came out of those and some cleared up other conditions. Unfortunately at this point I'm sort of cornered and I've pretty much decided to relent on the surgery issue so pretty much down to deciding which procedure will do me the most good and allow the greatest support and flexibility. I can still be productive and still have a few things to teach the young'uns. At this point the more I hear from members here and others I chat with the new vertiflex procedure is starting to look like the better choice despite the higher risk. Of course, I would still have to accepted as a candidate AND get the insurance approval for the procedure. So it's in no way a sure thing for me. It could be that I would be limited to just the fusion procedure.

    Whatever the outcome I'm really, really tired of the near minute by minute uncertainty of my ability to get out and do things, the always present pain, the pills that do more to fog me up, slow me down and back me up than anything else. Sure they mask the pain but for an ever shorter span of time. The time has come to act for non-pharmaceutical relief. Belts for external relief, exercises, lotions, potions, rubs, supplements, repeated Osteopathic manipulations (Wrestling with doctors!) have all played their roles and have done basically what they were supposed to do which, for this, is simply no longer enough.

    I have an appointment next month with my pain doctor and I want to go there with my decision as well as be prepared to accept the alternative.
     
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  18. TAEZZAR

    TAEZZAR LADY JUSTICE ISNT BLIND, SHES JUST AFRAID TO WATCH Midas Member Site Supporter

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    Alton, it might sound "corny" BUT, believe me, a positive attitude toward it all, will definitely be a benefit.

    We are all different, I love a TENS unit. I think they are more for tight muscles than nerve pain, but work for both.
    I turn mine up to the point to where my muscles quiver, it masks the paint for me.
     
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  19. Howdy

    Howdy Silver Member Silver Miner

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    One has to wonder how often a patient in that temporary condition was sold on surgery and then thought surgery solved the problem when time would have solved it nearly or just as well. Surgery is always a last resort after other avenues have been explored, regardless of what a greedy doctor may recommend.
     
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  20. Alton

    Alton Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    Somehow I'm just not ready to embrace being a Senior Mutant Ninja Turtle...too many criminals and ijits to whoop up on with my Ninja Cane and would never get any rest.

    On a more serious note the shell seems a reasonable therapy for a youngster. Collagen and other supplements would be useful to help restore disks and ligaments at that age. Of course calcium and magnesium for the bones. Unfortunately repair/rebuilding of the disks is something the body can and will do but it seems to take more time than say, healing a cut on your finger.

    What the doctor showed me was that the muscles in your torso actually provide a support structure for your spine. If this support structure is stressed or weakened for whatever reason it stresses your spine which shows up in the disks. Problem is, once those torso muscles have atrophied or weakened to the point that they no longer can support the spinal structure it's rather painful at first to get back into shape and stay that way. And you really can't focus on just the back muscles. It has to be ALL torso connected muscles exercised together. Everything I learned in PT focuses mostly on the back muscles. So now I have to work on my "abs" along with the back exercises.
     
  21. Alton

    Alton Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    I liked mine too. Problem was, it just wasn't strong enough. I burned mine out because I ran it on full blast all the time. My doctor had a larger unit in the office that plugged into the wall. It used larger pads. When they used that on me when I visited the office they cover each pad on my back with a warm, moist towel and used some sort of conducting lubricant on the pads where they connected to my skin.. They kind of freaked out because I had them running it on max too. It felt great! Like bunches of finger reaching into each strand of each muscle and massaging the heck out of it!

    He had another device that I tried to buy from him and then his daughter when she took over his practice. Neither would sell. It was a table that had about a 6" slot cut out of the center of the table at about 2/3 the length of the table top. I would lay down on the table and there were two cranks on the face of the frame of the table top. Each crank adjusted a pair of ~8" dia. x 1.5" wide rubber wheels Each pair wheels were far enough apart to roll along each side of anyone's spine. One pair for the upper back and one pair for the lower back. The cranks adjusted each pair up contacting the back and a tad more. The cool part was the motor that run the table top and me over those wheel repeatedly until the time wound down. What a DELUXE ride! Mechanical spinal massage at it's finest! Doctor would set it, set the timer, flip the On Switch and just walk away. Man! I could hear and feel joints popping and feel muscles relaxing all up and down my spine. At times the relief was so dramatic I would just fall asleep on the table. I took the dimensions of the thing with the intent of building my own. A DC motor of sufficient power and a micro-switch setup should make the table top go, Wheels, supports and cranks are easy enough to come by.

    There was also an aluminum attachment piece on the foot end of the table. The doctor would put a heavy leather, like saddle leather, belt around my waist and attach it secure to me so it wouldn't slide over my hips. He another much longer heavy belt that the waist belt on one side, looped the aluminum attachment piec than came back up my other side and latched on to the heavy waist belt. On the head end of the table was another aluminum bar with a cross bar which had bicycle hand grips on it. He would set up the belt system and I would reach over my head and hold on to the cross bar and he would start the table. Kind of like a motorized medieval rack. Wow! Sadly he had let the leather dry out over the years. He hooked me up for the big rack ride and walked away. I was going for full tension pulling, I heard the motor strain then POP! The long belt that connected to the waist belt broke. Neither one of us was too happy. The belt system was never replaced. Bummer.

    I do have an inversion table. It's pretty useful. It's the one where you secure your feet at the ankles and then the table tilts at what ever angle you set it for. The idea is very effective but I think a better table is needed as the provided one (aluminum frame with the nylon fabric across the frame) is quite uncomfortable and does not conform well to my back. I should probably fabricate a suitable padded top for the frame to make more comfortable to use. Of course, after the surgery I might not be able to use it. Something else to ask the doctor about.
     
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  22. TAEZZAR

    TAEZZAR LADY JUSTICE ISNT BLIND, SHES JUST AFRAID TO WATCH Midas Member Site Supporter

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    WOW, I became friends with my "quackapractor" because I could design & build his ideas into a useful devise.
    One was a table similar to what you described. I would send a photo of mine, but I'm in Los Angeles now. Also we built a base with a post & leather belts that he used to stabilize me then he would do a vertical version of the horizontal spinal roll that chiropractors do on the table.

    You are probably too far into trouble for a chiropractor, but mine was a devoted person to his "trade" & I had 20 years of him keeping me from surgery. He was the one to tell me to search out a good surgeon while I has time.

    BTW, you can buy the conductive gel for tens pads, on line.
     
  23. Surface

    Surface Seeker Seeker

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    Alton,

    Wow, scary stuff. I've got stenosis as does just about everyone over the age of 60. I also lost 3/4" of height in a flash after landing very wrong after a bridge got blown up. The loss of height was due to L-1 thru L-5 getting compressed. Chiropractor says they can work on bulging discs but not compressed discs, which I'm sure is probably the scenario with your crushed disc. In my case, when it happened I opened up my mouth to scream from the pain, but then a bright white flash seemed to instantly shoot up to my head knocking me out before I could get the scream out and resulted in a severed nerve in the back of my head on the right side. Oddly, I think that severed nerve might have been a blessing... left a bit of a dull or less sensitive area in the back of my head, but I really haven't been bothered by much back pain... which I suspect may be due to that severed nerve.

    I'm of the belief that all surgery should be avoided like the plague unless absolutely necessary. You seem to be from that school of belief too, so you obviously are about fed up with the level of pain you're dealing with to be even considering it. For whatever it's worth, look into the Lumen Photon thread and check out their website. On occasion my lower back will start to yack at me, but thankfully not too often, and when it does I'll use the device on that area and it quiets it right down... I actually got the device for more pressing issues than my back, but it was Art Bell's back that finally convinced me to give the Lumen Photon a try. I was listening to Art Bell on Midnight In The Desert radio when he was going on and on about the Lumen Photon in regards to his back. He has very severe back issues and has tried just about everything with little to no help. According to him, the only thing that has ever given him relief from his back issues is the LumenPhoton.

    Just another thing to ponder & consider.

    Good luck on whatever you decide.
     
  24. gringott

    gringott Killed then Resurrected Midas Member Site Supporter

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    I won't go into great detail but I had the bottom "C" and the top "T" fused together with bone graft and titanium plate with four screws. I went through the whole process [after a failure to diagnose the problem for literally a decade by the Army - damage was from a crashhawk smashing into the ground during Just Because]. First drugs, PT, TENS, etc. It got worse and worse. As nothing was helping and I was avoiding surgery as long as possible, I tried a chiropractor. Long story short, I paid out of my pocket [not covered] and in the end he made it worse. Finally suicide was looking like an option. So I went to my Neurologist and he said [he never pushed surgery before] are you ready for surgery now? He said PT, TENS, etc will not help any more, and they were not helping. So I said yes. Life is not perfect, I still of course have pain, but I can live my life. That was not possible for much longer before surgery. He was teamed with a great surgeon and they specialized in this type of surgery for quite a while. So for me surgery was the answer. Your mileage may vary.
     
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