1 year post 2 level fusion

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BadBack2
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 10/4/2007 10:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello, I am new here and am looking for fellow fusion patients.  I had a 2 level lumbar fusion last October, and eventhough I knew recovery would take a while, I did not realise I would be dealing with so many things a year later.  I currently have muscle cramps in my legs and buttocks if I sit for more that 20 minutes, and leg pain if I walk too much.  I am on various medications - Darvocet, Cymbalta, Celebrex etc. have tried Lyrica but that did not seem to do much.  I have been back at work (part-time) for 8 weeks and I am having a hard time dealing with that.  I feel that my life is just getting through the hours at work and then coming home and laying down all evening and on the weekends.  I get depressed and frustrated with the situation.  Anyone going through anything similiar?

Chutz
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 9090
   Posted 10/5/2007 10:49 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Badback and welcome to our family! I don't have fusion issues but do have a collapsed disc. I understand that leg and buttock pain. It's hard to live with chronic pain but do keep telling your doc how you feel. It's the only way he can adjust your medication to exactly what you need. You may be back at work too soon also. Can you take any more time off? Back surgery is not only serious but "iffy" whether or not it's going to work. Keep us posted...

Chutzie
Co-Mod Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Forums
~~~
Fibromyalgia, Ulcerative Colitis, Insulin dependent diabetic, collapsed disk, dermatitis herpetiformus, osteo arthritis in spine and other locations.
***************

The only difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has it's limits. Albert Einstein: (1879-1955)


BadBack2
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 10/7/2007 8:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Chutzie,
Thanks for your reply.  I am due to see my Doctor this week, so hopefully he will be able shed some light on things.  Unfortunately I cannot take any more time off - I was off 10 months.  I never thought it would take so long to recover, but backs are complex things aren't they.
 
 
 
L4-S1 Fusion, Oct. 2006
L4-S1: DDD & Herniated
Back pain since 1998


mercyme
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 310
   Posted 10/10/2007 10:44 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Chutz, I went to the pain management doctor yesterday, not alot of options. I can just deal with it, maybe do some pt, injections, or BACK Surgery! don't think I'm going to go for the surgery just yet. Chutz I have a broad based protursion at L4-5 severe disc degeneration. also have neck issues.

By reading your post I'm guessing you would not recommend back surgery? I'm not sure what I'm going to do right now. I would like to go to work, but I know that I can not stand or sit to long at a time. I have terrible sciatica, feels like someone is jabbing you in the buttocks, and the stinging pain down my leg.

I hope things get better for you. take care

Mercyme

straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 10600
   Posted 10/10/2007 11:03 AM (GMT -6)   
Mercyme, word of caution. It sounds like you have radiculopathy in your legs which s from nerves being involved. When there is nerve involvement if you wait too long for surgery the nerve damage can be permanent. That in turn means pain that does not go away, surgery cannot fix permanent damage. I have a very good friend that waited to long, not only does she have constant pain but she drags her right leg.

Susie


TDoern
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 495
   Posted 10/10/2007 4:38 PM (GMT -6)   
Badback - I had my L4-L5-S1 fused in Oct 2003 - I have to say that my recovery time was VERY short. I felt immediate relief - as I was finally able to lay down on my back again, go up and down stairs. HOWEVER in 2006 things started getting worse quickly - and my last pain doctor said it was more than likely scar tissue build up.

Anyways.... have you had CT's done to make sure that the fusion worked properly? Did you goto physical therapy? Did you walk after your fusion (that helped me a lot)? How about stretching? If you haven't used those muscles much - and "stop" using them they seem to get tighter or something - so that it's easier for them to be triggered into pain. Also, be honest when you go see your doctor - because surgeries are not always 100% successful. Mine was considered a success in that I had relief of about 75% - however - now I'm dealing with the exact same pain -but worse - from scar tissue.
"When we come to the edge of the light we know, and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, of one thing we can be sure; either God will provide something solid to stand on... or we will be taught to fly.'"

"Cause when push comes to shove You taste what you're made of, You might bend, till you break Cause its all you can take; On your knees you look up Decide you've had enough, You get mad you get strong Wipe your hands shake it off, Then you Stand" From "Stand" by Rascal Flatts
_____________________________________________________________________________
Dx.: Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Ulcerlative Colitis, Chronic Inflammation of the Colon, Ruptured & Fused L4-L5-S1 w/pinched nerves, Degenerative Disc Disease, Chronic Costochondritis, Back Muscle Spasms, Asthma, Benign Tremmors (hands)


TTRN
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 146
   Posted 10/11/2007 2:17 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi bad back, I had a cervical fusion of c5-c-6. After surgery the neck muscles where so painful but after about 2months they loosened some. now Ihave fibromyalgia and they hurt all the time.  I did have a micro discectomy of L4-L5 (no fusion) It was 9months before Icould go to work only one day a week to start with. The nerves heal very slowly, it was so frustrating. After about 1-1/2 yrs I became pregnant with twins and carried them full term with no back pain at all. Of course now with fibro I have back pain but it is not the same and I dont have the numbness and sciatic pain. Hang in there it does get better,at least it did for me and I pray it will for you too. Iknow it is so aggravating.   toni

BadBack2
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 10/12/2007 2:26 PM (GMT -6)   

Thanks for the support Toni & TDoern.  I went back to see the doctor yesterday and told him about my pain problems.  He took new xrays which showed the fusion to be doing well and the hardware to be ok, so he's sending me for another MRI.  I had one in April that showed everything to be ok, but I really wasn't having most of the problems then and it was well before I went back to work.  He has taken me off work until I get the MRI done and he sees the results.  I am really grateful about this - I feel better not having to sit all the time.

I did 7 months of PT after the surgery and stretch every day, as I now realize how important this is!  My PT said I had the tightest hamstrings he's ever seen!  (Not something to be proud of!)

My doctor also put my back on Lyrica - maybe it will work better this time.

Toni, I am happy to know you were able to carry twins.  My husband and I are hoping to get pregnant when my back heals.  Sorry to hear you're now in pain again, but it must be a relief to not have the numbness and sciatica.

 


L4-S1 Fusion, Oct. 2006
L4-S1: DDD & Herniated
Back pain since 1998


ollie624
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 10/12/2007 2:58 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, I had a 2 level fusion with cages ,bone graft in 2004 before that has 2 ruptured disk fixed well they said fixed but as i have learned fixed does not mean fixed for good. After the first I felt great perfect until it happened again after the second I felt great again the second surgery was more serious but i was fine in a few weeks . The 3rd was the fusion now that was a totally different story they went in thru the front and took a bone graft from my hip now that took about a year to recover from. Then I tore some scar tissue got nerve blocks for that and felt ok cant say great any more . Now about a year and a half the pain is back and its not happy . Now doc saying the fusion of 2 levels has caused to much strain on the disk above and now that is buldging and putting pressure on the nerve so I am back to the pain in back and butt and down the leg. I'll qive you one guess what the doc say i have to do. Yep another Surgery I am waiting to so the surgery because well i just dont want it But i know I will have to have it because can cause nerve damage if it dont. But i am asking is this ever going to end every 2 years surgery . I am only 37 and already am limited in what i can do . I guess my point to you is Yes surgery sucks but i would not give up the times in between that were good . Because if I hadnt had the surgeries i would not of been able to do the things i did when i did feel good. Like Last year took my son to Disney for a week .If you can get to a point where you feel even a little ok dont waste it. And yes fustration is my big problem right now I totally understand. And my family is fustrated too they say Again what did you do to hurt yourself this time, They are tired of me saying my back hurts so I dont say it any more. I guess they thought as i did one operation and I would be fine I guess it doent work that way for everyone. I hope it does for you sorry abouyt the rant i hope you understand what i tried to say

irish sufferer
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 10/12/2007 4:21 PM (GMT -6)   
hi all,,,,i hve degenartive disc wit bulgin L5 S1,,n this was diagnoised 3 yrs ago,,1st yr n half not 2 bad,,found goin shoppin n standin 4 long periods of time id b in bed 4 few days every few months,,up 2 June tis yr things really started 2 get bad,,,i found even drivn 4 an hr or so or even aft doin sum house work,,bascially i was in chronic pain every day...i was 1st on xymel n valium 4 the spasms,,,then went in june on 2 DF118s which r codine based but still in agony,,espec in the morns,,at tis stage i was on mirap 4 depression,,was hvn injections by my specialist from the start n they didt work anymore either,,,so went 2 c a neurosurgeon n im now seen a surgeon n was waitin on results of my now 3rd mri scan.last 1 was taken yr n half ago,n he needed up 2 date 1 b4 he can op.but while i was waitin pain got so bad tat my doc sent me 2 the hospital after he put me on MSTs a slow releasing morphin tablet 4 a wk n they were useless,,i was 10 times worse,,,tis was only last wk,,n they gave me an injection of morphin n we timed it,,,it took only 8 mins 4 me 2 hve relief,,told the doc in hosp i was in love wit him ha! as i hadnt tis much relief in months,,anyway as a result of my hosp visit im now on durogestic patches (which shud work on there own)but not enough 4 me,,so am on the patches n OyNorm fast actin morphinin 2 take wen hve 2 n arcoxia anti-inflammatrys n valium, n now wen i wake hve 2 take 2 morphine tabs n anti inflam(1 a day) n valium b4 i can get out of bed,,n same again in the evenin,,but i hve 2 say its so great 2 at last b pain free,even if it takes me hvn 2 take vry strong meds 2 hve tis relief,,
now sayin tat,,my doc told me tat the drugs im on r usually 4 cancer patients,,n surgeon goin 2 pencil me in 2 hve fusion op wen he gets results,,so i wont b on these drugs 2 long,,,but it shows how much pain us sufferers r in 4 tis kind of meds 2 kill the pain,,docs 2 slow givin pain relief but they arnt goin through wat we r ...
my surgeon told me tat its only 50-50 tat it will work,,but as i only need 1 bone fused chances r good,,he said usually any1 gettin more than 1 bone 2 fuse, dont really work,,,so 2 u here, tat has more than 1 fused then tats prob why u sufferin so soon,,sumthing 2 ask ur surgeon,,
i no i cant n dont want 2 stay on these drugs 4 2 long,,,but the surgeon told me no real risks 2 nerve damage,,but as we no there will always b a risk wit any op,,
well im pain free,once i take meds but im willin 2 take the 50-50 he gave me,,the way i look at it,,i dont hve no options so il b hvn tis op in the nxt few months n i no wat the op involves but i dont no much about is wat happens post-op,,only tat il b in more pain than ever 4 awhile,,cud hve 2 wear a brace,,sum hve told me 1st 3 months will b the hardest n shud b bout ok after 6 months,but ive also been told of people tat hve been great aft 3 months,,,ive read tat walkin is prob best help n better results,,by startin off wit walkin the lenght of a room 2 walkin 2 the shop n progressin as time goes on,,but im really in the dark otherwise,,so wud b greatful if any1 can fill me in wit wats ahead of me,,especially if they hve only i bone fused,,,
well u c now from me tat ur not goin off ur head,,u really r in tat much pain,,so push ur doc 4 stronger meds n if u still not happy wen u hve a really bad day call him out n tell him u want 2 b refered 2 the hosp,,tat ur not livin like tis anymore,,,NO ONE shud hve 2 b in tat kind of pain these days wen there r drugs tat really do help,,i just think tat gps r affraid 2 give people morphine,,but hosp was well worth lyin in a bed in a corridor 4 hrs,,believe me,,,SO IF ANY1 OUT THERE CUD FILL ME IN ON WATS AHEAD 4 ME ID B GRATEFUL 4 ANY INFO N UR TIME,,,good luck n hope things will get better 4 u all soon xxxx Mar

BadBack2
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 10/12/2007 5:34 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi Ollie,

I relate so much to all you said in your posting.  I am 36 and most everyone around me (all but a few) cannot understand why I can possibly still be having back problems a year after  surgery.  I too have stopped telling people my back hurts, because unless you have been through it, no matter how well meaning someone may be, it is very difficult for them to understand. 

I am sorry you have to have another surgery - it does make you wonder when it is going to end.  The leg, back and butt pain drive me nuts.  I try to keep a positive attitude, but some days I do better at this than others.  I get very depressed and frustrated - I want to be out and about doing things.   I do understand what you are saying about enjoying the things you can do though.  It must have been nice to take your son to Disney.

 

 


L4-S1 Fusion, Oct. 2006
L4-S1: DDD & Herniated
Back pain since 1998

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