My name is Alan Gunnerson. I am a 57-year old male that spent several years with increased lower back pain, and over the past two years, extending down my left buttocks and leg to my left foot. I found myself only able to sit for a short period and then had to stand, again, only for a short period. I described myself as a yo-yo; there was no comfortable position. Come to find out that I had spinal disk compression between L4 and L5 and spinal stenosis within the disk area that was irritating my sciatic nerve.
Because I also have an older pacemaker—one that is not MRI compatible—the only scanning I had completed was an initial PET/CT, a follow-up CT scan, and an x-ray before my lumbar operation.
After two 6-week physical therapy sessions that made my pain worse, except for the traction table, and several lumbar epidurals—four to be specific—and an additional cortisone shot on my left piriformis muscle area, I was sent to Dr. Jeffrey Carlson to evaluate my condition. Before seeing Dr. Carlson, I even attended a lecture that described spinal cord stimulation.
Dr. Carlson diagnosed that I had disk compression between L4 and L5 and spinal stenosis that was causing irritation of my sciatic nerve and the only treatment left was to perform a lumbar laminectomy to relieve my sciatic nerve pain.
I had my lumbar laminectomy—a decompression procedure—at the Mary Immaculate Surgical Center on January 16th, 2019. Dr. Carlson removed roughly half of my lamina and bone spurs that were causing the compression of my sciatic nerve. It did not take long for me to feel relief—relief of pain that I had not felt for almost two years.
I was able to go back to work part-time in a week and full-time in two weeks; although with lifting restrictions. At the time of writing this testimonial, I am seven weeks out from my surgery and am no longer on the 20-pound lifting restriction. I am starting physical therapy shortly to strengthen my lower back and core.
Every person’s situation is different, and for me, although I did not want to have another surgical procedure, the lumbar laminectomy worked. For someone that may have similar circumstances, I would recommend talking with your doctor about this type of procedure.