KENNETH CUCKSEE – SPINAL FUSION
I’ve had back problems for a really long time and I kept putting off going to see my doctor. Eventually, I decided to go see my doctor and he ended up doing some injections in my back to see if that would help. Unfortunately, that wasn’t something that worked for me. It only lasted about two weeks then all the pain came right back. I ended up losing the feeling in my left leg completely, I had no muscle control whatsoever and it was only getting worse. According to my MRI, I had an 8 millimeter slip in one of my vertebrates with the possibility of loosing more feeling. Spine surgery began to look like the only solution.
I’ve experienced surgery before when I had a total hip replacement but my usual doctor out in Katy, Texas had a 6 month waiting list for spine surgery. I couldn’t wait that long. I was already unable to walk so I couldn’t work and that’s major for me. I build big hydraulic presses they use to press pipes together on main pipelines, so my work is very detail oriented and I simply couldn’t focus on my tasks being in so much pain. My doctor decided to send me to Dr. Kushwaha. When I called I was able to go see him in about a week and a half.
Dr. Kushwaha is a real nice guy in person. I did some research online and what really impressed me was how knowledgeable he is, as well as how well respected he is in the community. He’s performed a lot of procedures and he’s done a lot of good things, so that made me feel really confident with him as my choice. You know, you can find horror stories online where people get a dead leg from surgery because of complications, so it was important to find someone I could trust and feel confident in their technique.
I had the spinal fusion done on my back and basically that’s when you loose a couple of segments in your back and then they bolt it together so that it becomes one. You do lose a bit of flexibility, which I was trying to avoid but I got most of my feeling back in my leg immediately which was really a great relief. Dr. Kushwaha kept me informed of everything that would be happening during the procedure and cautioned me that I may not instantly get all of my feeling back because of some prior nerve damage but that it would be an improvement from where I was.
I was on bed rest for 6 weeks and then slowly started physical therapy to help increase my range of motion and improve my flexibility. Recovery is lengthy for a spinal fusion and takes over a year to fully heal but it’s your back so you want to take it easy and make sure it’s done right. I took my recovery very serious because I don’t want to damage something and end up having to go through it again.
It’s been 6 months, I’ve been doing physical therapy regularly and it would be nice to get back to where I can lift and carry heavy objects. I can’t go out and act like I did when I was younger because I don’t want to get injured but I am able to live better, pain free and function properly. As a result, my life is getting better and I can go hang out with my friends again. I used to never go out because half the time, I can never find a seat and my life revolved around making sure that everywhere I went I could sit down and try to be comfortable.
Now, each day, pain becomes less and less of a factor in my life, which is really awesome because I want to start going hunting and fishing again. A friend of mine is going to take me out on his boat fishing so I can take it easy and fish without having to risk walking across the rocks and injuring myself. I also just got cleared by Dr. Kushwaha to start riding a bike for exercise besides walking. My 115 pound Doberman, who’s still under a year-old likes to go walking often and I can handle him better now without worrying about him pulling me down.
Choosing to have this procedure really gave me my life back. I wasn’t living fully before being in intense pain 85 percent of the time and losing the feeling in my leg. Dr. Kushwaha is an intelligent and caring person. I’m really grateful he was able to improve my condition