Need some TLC and empathy

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 2/20/2008 6:02 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello all,
I know many of you will understand my need to vent a bit. I'm not looking for solutions right now as much as just a little compassionate understanding. I had lumbar fusion surgery 9/11/07 (L4-5, L5-S1) at a major university center in Pittsburgh. Had a minimally invasive approach and was siven an 80-90% chance of reducing or eliminating radiculopathy, sciatic pain, etc. You know the symptoms. Feet are also numb. Of course, no improvement since surgery and my surgeon finally ordered a new MRI a couple of weeks ago. I wrote him an e-mail yesterday asking to talk with him about the MRI, and he writes back telling me that he sees a lot of inflammation, and recommends another "traditional" surgery to remove the inflammed tissue. I felt like I've been run over by a truck, and then it backed up and ran over me again, ya know? I wish doctors would understand the power of their words. He was also basing this on ONE other patient who had a "similar' MRI and he did the surgery and the leg pain disappeared. Believe me, I'm not running in for more surgery anytime soon, but I'm feeling even more depressed than I already was (I fortunately just started an anti-depressant 2 weeks ago). I am in a state of shock right now, and just need to regain my balance and knew that people on this board would understand. How many failed back surgeries are enough (one is one too many, right?). Yet sometimes it's needed, but I'm not even fully recovered from the first one, plus I've exhausted all my resources, am facing bankruptcy and possible loss of my house. I don't even know where I'd recuperate!

But that's beside the point. I don't want anyone cutting me again! Anyone understand how I'm feeling right now?

Thanks for being here!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 2/20/2008 6:38 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks, Gramps! That's exactly what I needed to hear. I was also thinking about steroids. I e-mailed him back and asked him about non-surgical options to reduce the inflammation. But I'm afraid of repeated surgeries because of the experiences of people like you. I thank you for, like always, saying just what's needed....and for your prayers.
PA Lady

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 450
   Posted 2/20/2008 6:44 PM (GMT -6)   
I had actually gotten to the point where I flat out told my neurosurgeon that unless he was plannong on paying my bills, he was going to leave my back alone. As CP patients we are always in search of something, anything, that will stop our pain. You're right, how many failed back surgeries is enough?
Mochiah/a.k.a. Sue
cervical fusion 2006
L4-5 surgery with cages, plates, and screws in 2005
MEDS:  Fentanyl patch, Norco, Celexa, trazodone, and baclofen
To handle yourself, use your handle others, use your heart
I'm going to smile like nothing is wrong, act like everything is perfect, and pretend its not hurting me.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 13366
   Posted 2/20/2008 11:59 PM (GMT -6)   
PALady, I would first get a copy of my MRI report. You can get it from your dr or the facility where you had it done. I have not ever heard of a surgeon recommending more surgery for "inflammation". I wonder if he is talking scar tissue, who knows. Surgery on scar tissue is a very iffy thing anyway, it always comes back usually more than what you had. Its like Gramps said every time they go in a weaked area, it just gets further weakened by more surgery. And since you have had 1 surgery already you are predisposed of further injury to your back. One failed surgery is enough, actually one it too much. Susie

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