New Meber - Serious Back Pain Post Surgery

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Tat2you
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 8/16/2008 4:25 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi all, new member ..old problem. Prolapsed a disc in lower back(L5-S1) in Apr. 05. Back to work on & off(Pain),,ended up having Laminectomy Nov.06. After recovery, 3-6mnths, was no better for the experience. Still had chronic low back pain, leg pain. After exhausting all avenues such as Nerve Block, Medial Branch block(if any of you have had one you will know how much fun that is!!), pain meds as Oxycontin and tramadol, still no better. In April '08 had a Interbody Spinal Fusion of L5 S1 disc. Disc removed, rods and screws placed in. I know I am still in recovery time but still in excruciating low back pain and r/leg pain. Low back just doesn't want to straighten and when is forced hurts like...@%&*. Am now on Endone, Lyrica, Tramadol(Between endone doses) and Mogadon(Nitrazepam) to try and get some sleep.
It has been 3 years of hell with still no light...Wanted to share and get advice from any of you guys that have been through same hell, or those living with chronic pain.. I am sick to death of people telling me: "come on you will be right". Sorry if this is long winded...but first time...and wanted talk from other's in pain and not from people, whose intentions may be good, have no idea what living with pain is like........

Lindaloo
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 1713
   Posted 8/16/2008 5:43 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello Tat,

And welcome to Healing Well. I am so sorry to hear of your pain. It sounds like you are suffering something awful.

I had a laminectomy when I was 33 after I had been laid up in bed for about two years. Afterward, I still had terrible back pain. But mine was caused by the muscles deconditioning, I was told. I really didn't believe it, but I ended up going to physical therapy for one year, three times a week and that pretty much did the trick. Oh, I still had bouts of pain after that, but I also had times when I was out of pain. Today (I am 56), I will have a bout of sciatica and I have to go into my routine of lying in bed for 24-48 hours and Tens unit, etc. It' a life long thing, but the reconditioning of my muscles really did help.

i don't know if any of this helps you. I see you went for more surgery after the first with a fusion, but its worth considering.

I wish you God's blessing and hope for your pain. It is awful living in pain everyday. I live in chronic pain from fibromyalgia and take percocet every four hours for the pain, so I know how frustrating your back pain is. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Please keep posting. You are so welcome here.

Lindaloo
'
Moderator Chronic Pain
 
Believe in yourself.  Be kind to fellow humans and animals.  Take time to smell the flowers and the coffee.
And by all means, when you are down, ask me for help.  I will be there.
 
Linda


Scarred_for_life
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 1559
   Posted 8/16/2008 6:43 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Tat;

I can relate to your condition as I too have S1-L3 fused. What does your surgeon say? It might be that you are experiencing Failed Back Syndrome where your surgery failed and you did not get the relief that you should have with the surgery. Of course I am not a doctor and this is only my opinion, but I can make some suggestions to you.

First off it takes a whole year for fusion surgeries to completely heal and it may be that you need to take a little more time to allow your back to get back to normal. But I would suggest you see a doctor about this and maybe some water therapy will help you get back to normal. Two I agree with Linda that a Tens unit might help ease the pain.

Anyway hope this helps and welcome to the HW forum.

Scarred
HEALTH ISSUES: Herniated discs at S-1-L5, L5-L4, L4-L3. Two level fusion (2000); one level fusion (2002); Revision at L4-L3 (2003). Diagnosed with Failed Back Syndrome, Permanent Nerve damage and Chronic Pain

Medications:

Kadian, Lexipro, Percocet, Temazapim, Lunista, and Robaxin.


ryand
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 639
   Posted 8/16/2008 7:00 AM (GMT -7)   
Tat:

Welcome to the forum. I am sorry for the pain that has brought you here, but I think you have come to the right place to find support. My heart just aches for you as I read your note because I can see in it the same desperation and resignation that I have felt as I've been through the various stages of my own struggle with constant pain. I have not had surgery on my back, but I've had about every other procedure imaginable, including the medial branch block you mentioned. Ouch! smhair I actually have an appointment with a surgeon in a couple of weeks and I'm terrified of it for all the reasons you are posting here!

There are many members here who've had fusions, so I'm sure they'll be along to give you even better input, but a couple of things I thought of as I read your post... You seem fairly close to your fusion still. Have they started you in PT yet? I know they have you wait awhile. If they haven't, don't try to do too much. Like Linda said, your muscles need time to readjust. I also noticed that you said you couldn't straighten your back and you would try to force it. But I'm wondering about how the hardware of your fusion is set up in there related to the angle of your back? It almost sounds like you are trying to force your back past the fused position, maybe. Have you talked to the doc about that? Did the fusion seem to be healing the way it was supposed to?

Again, Tat, I am so sorry for the pain that brings you here. But I have found this place to be a wonderful support and place to make new friends. Some of our member have even started some threads to help us try to keep our minds off our pain with humor and imagination. If you want, check out the Beach Party Thread. But be prepared to see our crazy sides! devil hee hee tongue

Ry

Scarred_for_life
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 1559
   Posted 8/16/2008 7:07 AM (GMT -7)   
I agree Ry. After my last fusion the doctor tried me on some water therapy and that really helped with my back for a time anyway. But then again I am a different story all together so don't take my advice to much LOL
HEALTH ISSUES: Herniated discs at S-1-L5, L5-L4, L4-L3. Two level fusion (2000); one level fusion (2002); Revision at L4-L3 (2003). Diagnosed with Failed Back Syndrome, Permanent Nerve damage and Chronic Pain

Medications:

Kadian, Lexipro, Percocet, Temazapim, Lunista, and Robaxin.


Tat2you
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 8/16/2008 9:13 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi all, I'd just like to say thank you for your kind words and your welcoming. As with the back, I know im still going thru recovery time. I am going to physio and also hydrotherapy. I am back to see my surgeon next month for a follow up appt....to see how were travelling. It has been a very long, lonely and painful 3 years and it is good to finally talk to people who have an understanding and accepting attitude. The world of pain can be a very lonely one as of course I am not at work for last 2 years. I know I have to let my back heal from the surgery but I guess I am getting a little impatient and I tell myself not to expect big things and I know I will always have some pain. It is very hard and things build up and I have too much time to think about it, but now I can finally talk to people who are supportive and have been through similar situations. I will try some of the things you have said and I will also try the beach party to talk and try and find my 'craziness' again.
Thanks again and I hope to be talking to you all soon..

PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 8/16/2008 11:24 AM (GMT -7)   
Dear Tat2you,
I also want to welcome you and like all the others, am sorry you have reason to be here. That being said, this site and the people have been a godsend for me in coping with chronic pain and all it has done to my life.

I had a double fusion (L4-S1) last year - 9/11/07. Probably should have guess from the date things wouldn't go well! It's hard for me to believe it's coming up on a year. The one thing I would say is the recovery time estimates from my neurosurgeon's office were way off base. But it sounds like you're doing all you can with PT and water therapy. The surgery, sadly, never helped me. Still have sciatic pain down legs and numbness in both feet. Now I also have muscle pain around the fusion site. I was told maybe the nerve would heal but truthfully I've never experienced any relief, so I'm not banking on it. If it happens, wonderful. If not.....well, what can I say? I put my head in the sand and go to the Beach Party thread where I can live in a virtual body. Imagination. Not a cure but a definite help, along with a ton of meds.

I do wonder about your excruciating pain, though. I never had that. Actually, I was surprised that the pain wasn't worse, but I did have a minimally invasive procedure - with screws, rods, etc. Like someone else mentioned, I'd check with your surgeon and they may want to do nore X-rays or MRI's (I can have MRI's but with contrast but was told X-rays actually show the fusion better). I'm concerned about your not being able to straighten. I never had that issue. But if you had a "traditional" surgery and more muscle was cut, that could be it. Does your PT think what you're experiencing is normal?

Don't know if any of this helps, but I do know we all understand pain. And the fact most of our friends and family, even though they may try, often don't get it. Because I can walk and move around, people keep telling me I look so good and sometimes I want to scream, as my pain is nerve pain not so much muscle.

Anyway, welcome to our family!

PaLady

Post Edited (PAlady) : 8/16/2008 12:29:06 PM (GMT-6)

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