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Barrel racing with lower back fusion
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ShackinBarrelRacer
Reg. Dec 2017
Posted 2018-11-02 11:43 AM (#7412274)
Subject: Barrel racing with lower back fusion





2525
Location: Middle TN
I found an old post on spinal stenosis – but none of it really covered what I’m dealing with. Hope ya’ll don’t mind me starting a new with something most any equestrian and especially barrel racers have dealt with.

A car accident 5 months ago has past mega wrenched my back and neck. Already had L4-L5 bulge, degenerative disc and a good dose of arthritis already present – I had my bad days of course - but I was actually pretty physically active, worked out almost daily that included core exercises and of course rode pretty much daily. Had my boy ready to run and we were set for a run that coming up weekend. Ain’t that how it goes??? So now an MRI, CT scan, physical therapy and 3 epidurals later and I’m being told my next step is discectomy and fusion:/ The nerve pain is almost unbearable and surgery at this point with the post-surgery pain would be welcomed. I’m on Celebrex, 2 pain pills and gabapentin daily. My go to remedies for years - stretching, peppermint and hemp oil, cold pack, heating pad and good ole Epsom salt soaks don’t touch it.

So - would you have the surgery? I am getting a 2nd opinion next week. I’m scared that I won’t be very mobile with a fusion and or bust screws and rods barrel racing. Is there anyone out there in BHW land racing with fusion at or near the L4-L5 region? Has anyone tried the spinal decompression?

Please don’t tell me to suck it up and just get back on the horse – at 25 I would have and did but at 52 that ain’t gonna happen. I’m lucky to put my shoes on and sit at a desk all day for work and that don't even happen some days.

Thank you for any insight you may have. Just looking for a little hope that I may still get to do what I love. God bless.
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Sandok
Reg. Jan 2011
Posted 2018-11-02 11:57 AM (#7412276 - in reply to #7412274)
Subject: RE: Barrel racing with lower back fusion


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All I can tell you is that my x had a spinal fusion of the lower back and he was back riding and roping in 5/6 months. He also later started barrel racing but he was always on an ole reliable horse. But he did get dumped when he first went back to riding and roping. Surgery held. He has had pain in his lower back the older he got but was still able to ride.
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KKCOWGIRL
Reg. Aug 2010
Posted 2018-11-02 11:59 AM (#7412277 - in reply to #7412274)
Subject: RE: Barrel racing with lower back fusion


SHOOT IT


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Location: TEXAS
I'm not going to be much help, because I'm not going to say yes or no to surgery, but I understand what you're going through.  I've had back problems for years.  I've gone to 3 spinal surgeons and they all say I need surgery (one even told me if I didn't have the surgery, I wouldn't be able to walk in 10 years without the help of a walker....and that was probably 10 years ago).  I just refuse to have the surgery, so I deal with the pain.  Some days are better than others.  I did quit barrel racing....but I DIDN'T quit riding.  But I will say that the reasons for quitting barrel racing had little to do with my back issues...it was just a personal decision to quit so I could spend more time with (non barrel racing) family.  I refuse to quit riding, so I do whatever I can to deal with the pain.  One thing that has helped me is an inversion table.  It's not a fix-all, but it does help.  Good luck with whatever you decide.  I know what you are going through; I struggled with the decision about surgery for years.  
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OhMax
Reg. Feb 2013
Posted 2018-11-02 12:25 PM (#7412280 - in reply to #7412274)
Subject: RE: Barrel racing with lower back fusion


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A customer of ours wrenched his back last winter. They tried injections, PT etc and it wasn’t moving the issue (which I believe was a slipped disc). The next step in the US was a fusion, which they were finding a wide variety of results on.

His folks happened to run into the husband of a patient in the Dominican Republic (I think?) whose wife was there having back surgery, a God thing for sure that brought them together. The doctor is based out of Tennessee but the disc replacement procedure he uses is not approved here so he flies patients to the carribean for surgery, has a townhouse to put them up in, etc. the cost is less than that of a new pickup truck, but it is not covered by insurance.

Our friend had the surgery, is doing wonderful. During recovery he had to really remind himself to follow dr’s orders because he felt so good he wanted to overdo it.

If this is of interest to anyone who wants to connect with the doctor for more information - send me a message and I will get the information for you.
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jake16
Reg. Apr 2006
Posted 2018-11-02 1:54 PM (#7412292 - in reply to #7412274)
Subject: RE: Barrel racing with lower back fusion


Go Get Em!


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 I broke my back and neck in 2001.I had the lumbar fusion in L4L5,and a fusion in my neck as well.22months later I was back to work.I had a VERY physical job so there was no returning before that.I would personally recommend the surgery,I would also recommend a bone density scan.Im saying that because I now have severe osteoporosis,so,along with my fusions,I'm now being very careful with myself and my bones.I didn't want to live on pain pills,and I didn't want to deal with that much pain everyday,.I had no choice on my surgeries,but I would do it again if needed.
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ladyelbert
Reg. Aug 2006
Posted 2018-11-02 2:09 PM (#7412293 - in reply to #7412274)
Subject: RE: Barrel racing with lower back fusion


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I am 61 years old and in 2015 i had spinal fusion of L-4 and L-5 and i was back riding in 6 weeks. I was back running barrels a few months after that....but YES on the surgery....I woud highly reccommend it...it is gonna be rough the first couple of weeks afterwards but after that it is smooth sailing....i also have spinal fusion of C6 and C7 In my neck, none of this bothers me....so dont let anyone discourage you fromhaving it done....  
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free1109
Reg. Feb 2010
Posted 2018-11-02 6:28 PM (#7412304 - in reply to #7412274)
Subject: RE: Barrel racing with lower back fusion


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Been going thru the same thing the last few months, (bulging discs in neck and lower back) mine is from all those years of wear and tear of heavy lifting, etc. working with the horses. Went to a ortho (pretty much scare the **** out of me) so I decided to try a chiropractor, which I am still going to 3 times a week. Chiro told me she wont even touch my back as far as adjusting it, instead she has been doing hydro therapy along with laser therapy.


It has helped me, but I have my days where I doubt I can ever climb back in the saddle let alone barrel race. I don't want to have surgery, as I have heard too many horror stories.
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jake16
Reg. Apr 2006
Posted 2018-11-02 6:53 PM (#7412307 - in reply to #7412304)
Subject: RE: Barrel racing with lower back fusion


Go Get Em!


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free1109 - 2018-11-02 7:28 PM

Been going thru the same thing the last few months, (bulging discs in neck and lower back) mine is from all those years of wear and tear of heavy lifting, etc. working with the horses. Went to a ortho (pretty much scare the **** out of me) so I decided to try a chiropractor, which I am still going to 3 times a week. Chiro told me she wont even touch my back as far as adjusting it, instead she has been doing hydro therapy along with laser therapy.


It has helped me, but I have my days where I doubt I can ever climb back in the saddle let alone barrel race. I don't want to have surgery, as I have heard too many horror stories.

 we have always been told DONT EVER HAVE BACK SURGERY,but I'm so glad I did.Take into consideration your quality of life,and how much better your life can be.
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free1109
Reg. Feb 2010
Posted 2018-11-03 6:36 AM (#7412326 - in reply to #7412274)
Subject: RE: Barrel racing with lower back fusion


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Jake16:

Yes, that has been ingrained in my brain for forever, never to have surgery, just worried I will come out not being able to walk, or do what I can now. Just scary to me.
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jake16
Reg. Apr 2006
Posted 2018-11-03 8:01 AM (#7412327 - in reply to #7412326)
Subject: RE: Barrel racing with lower back fusion


Go Get Em!


Posts: 12706
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Location: OH. IO
free1109 - 2018-11-03 7:36 AM

Jake16:

Yes, that has been ingrained in my brain for forever, never to have surgery, just worried I will come out not being able to walk, or do what I can now. Just scary to me.

 Trust me,I understand,when I woke up from surgery,I thought,"oh my gosh,what did I do," but a month later,I was in much better shape then before the surgery.As the years went in,I could do everything and more than I thought was possible.And I never had any lack of motion .
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ShackinBarrelRacer
Reg. Dec 2017
Posted 2018-11-05 11:48 AM (#7412446 - in reply to #7412274)
Subject: RE: Barrel racing with lower back fusion





2525
Location: Middle TN
YES! This is the kind of real information I was looking for. I almost teared up when I read that it is possible to have the surgery and go back to racing – I know each is different but still it’s possible. The stigma that still plagues the back surgery conversation is the reason I reached out here on BHW. Those that I have spoken to - one person says yes then the next says no – but most have never spent any kind of real time with or on a horse. Yes, I tried Chiropractor and made it worse – so rock and hard place for sure.

I certainly don’t want to spend the rest of my life in this much pain daily and or tethered to a pain clinic. Oh yeah, and not be able to ride a horse – heck I can’t even ride the lawnmower at this point.

Thank you all for your input – I really appreciate each of you taking time out of your day. I will come back and update a few weeks after the surgery is done. God bless.

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free1109
Reg. Feb 2010
Posted 2018-11-05 1:03 PM (#7412458 - in reply to #7412446)
Subject: RE: Barrel racing with lower back fusion


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Good Luck!!!

I too have been thinking a lot of looking into surgery, altho thankfully my days have been better, but not so sure how long that will last. I am going to go to another orthopedic and get another opinion, as I wasn't too fond of the one I originally went to.


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Chandler's Mom
Reg. Jan 2015
Posted 2018-11-05 7:41 PM (#7412483 - in reply to #7412446)
Subject: RE: Barrel racing with lower back fusion


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Location: Arkansas
Best of luck
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daisycake123
Reg. Dec 2006
Posted 2018-11-06 2:20 PM (#7412556 - in reply to #7412274)
Subject: RE: Barrel racing with lower back fusion


Sock Snob


Posts: 3012
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in 2002 i had a spinal fusion and went back to riding shortly there after. in 2004 i had a fusion in my neck c4 c5 and was fine shortly. well in 2016 i woke up one night in horrific pain and went threw the shots and all the stuff, could not hardly lift my left leg they told me i needed surgery again, because i had an unstable slipped disc on l-3 I told them no. i went to a naturopathic doctor and got colchicine iv injections after the second i threw the pain pills away. every few months i go get one and now it seems i can go further and further between them. pain almost completely gone except if i staand still for long periods of time, no problems lifting my left leg.
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Chandler's Mom
Reg. Jan 2015
Posted 2018-11-06 6:43 PM (#7412588 - in reply to #7412556)
Subject: RE: Barrel racing with lower back fusion


My Heart Be Happy


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Location: Arkansas
daisycake123 - 2018-11-06 2:20 PM

in 2002 i had a spinal fusion and went back to riding shortly there after. in 2004 i had a fusion in my neck c4 c5 and was fine shortly. well in 2016 i woke up one night in horrific pain and went threw the shots and all the stuff, could not hardly lift my left leg they told me i needed surgery again, because i had an unstable slipped disc on l-3 I told them no. i went to a naturopathic doctor and got colchicine iv injections after the second i threw the pain pills away. every few months i go get one and now it seems i can go further and further between them. pain almost completely gone except if i staand still for long periods of time, no problems lifting my left leg.

What kind of injection is that? Sean has had a lot of injections but I'm not sure what colchicine is. . .
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shaunar
Reg. Oct 2003
Posted 2018-11-08 6:13 AM (#7412700 - in reply to #7412274)
Subject: RE: Barrel racing with lower back fusion



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Location: Oklahoma
I am 64 years old.  I broke my lower back - getting thrown off a bucking horse - when I was 40.  I had a very conservative doctor and did NOT have surgery.  I now have arthritis in my lumbar area from that injury and it does bother me at times.  That being said, I have been a medical transcriptionist for 35 years and I type these op reports of diskectomy and fusion nearly daily.  I would say "go for it!"  Just from the medical records I have typed, the success rate of this surgery is excellent.  Wish you the best of luck.
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ShackinBarrelRacer
Reg. Dec 2017
Posted 2018-11-09 7:42 AM (#7412829 - in reply to #7412700)
Subject: RE: Barrel racing with lower back fusion





2525
Location: Middle TN
shaunar - 2018-11-07 7:13 AM

I am 64 years old.  I broke my lower back - getting thrown off a bucking horse - when I was 40.  I had a very conservative doctor and did NOT have surgery.  I now have arthritis in my lumbar area from that injury and it does bother me at times.  That being said, I have been a medical transcriptionist for 35 years and I type these op reports of diskectomy and fusion nearly daily.  I would say "go for it!"  Just from the medical records I have typed, the success rate of this surgery is excellent.  Wish you the best of luck.

Thank you for sharing Shaunar! These stories give me hope... It's amazing what we will endure to ride a horse.
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