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Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 1560
   Posted 7/7/2008 6:00 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi, I'm new to this message boards. A little scenario of me and what I have been going through. Had a one disc laminectomy in 2000 after I was a CNA in a nursing home and got a bulging disc at S1-L5. At that point the disc at L5-4 was also bulging but the doctor decided not to mess with it until I was having symptoms. When this did not work I went to a neurosurgeon in a bigger city and he thought we should go ahead and do a two level fusion at S1-L5 and L5-L4. After this was done I did pretty good for two years (this would have been 2000-2002). 2002 L-3-L4 bulged and we again did a laminectomy which ended up as a fusion that fall. Pain plagued me for a year by then and the fusion did not work. 2003 had to go back in a do a revision on the fusion at L3-L4 (screws were loose and they put more hardware in the front of my spine to stabilize the spine). Still I was plagued with pain and the neurosurgeon could not determine where it was coming from. 2004 started seeing a pain specialist in where he ordered a CT and the works to figure out what was going on. Upon further tests nothing could be determined to cause my pain and I was now facing many years of pain medications.

Since then I have been seeing the pain specialist and have been on regimens of pain medications to alleviate the pain. Doctors have determined that I have Failed Back Syndrome and Chronic back pain. The treatments since then have included; blocks (too many to count), manipulation, physical therapy, pool therapy, Facet injections, massage therapy, acupuncture, acupressure, freezing of the facets at s1-L3 and many other things. I myself have done meditation, relaxation therapy and tons of other things that still don't seem to help.

Anyway, that is all about me. Thanks for listening

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 1713
   Posted 7/7/2008 7:41 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Scared for life,

Welcome to the Healing Well Forum. Glad you decided to post with us. You will find a lot of people here with similar backgrounds and certainly with back pain.

Wow, you are really going through something, aren't you? I am so sorry for what you are going through hon. I too, had a hemilaminectomy of L4/L5 when I was in my early thirties and for two years following, I was in a lot of pain. I went to PT for a year afterwards and I was lucky because that is what helped me. Having failed back syndrome is quite different. However, I do have fibromyalgia and have a lot of pain in my legs and feet as a result of it and am in chronic pain every day. I take lyrica three times a day and percocet four or five times a day to help manage the pain.

As you go to your pain management doctor, please continue to post on here and let us know how you are doing. We are interested and so glad that you are here.

God's blessings and gentle hugs,

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.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 1560
   Posted 7/7/2008 7:59 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Lindaloo. Glad to meet you as well. On about 6 different medications for many things anywhere from the pain clear to anxiety (which I am told that many who have FBS or Chronic pain deal with as well). Kadian for the pain (four a day)....Percocet for the BT pain (four a day)....Zanaflex for muscle spasms (one every 6 hrs)......Lexapro for the depression (one a day)....Tamazapam for the anxiety and for sleep (one every night) and lunesta for sleep (one a night) and of course my vits and supplements that I have always taken. I see doc in a week (every 3 months) and I think this time I am going to have him change the muscle relaxer, I have been on it quite some time and I am not getting any benefit from it so I think its time to change.

Unfortunately I deal with what everyone dealing with pain does; not being able to get more then 3 to 4 hours of sleep a night, the crankiness of feeling alone and utterly useless in life and other things as well. But, one thing in my life is a constant and that is my husband, he is always there to help and pick up the slack where I am lacking. Takes me 1/2 day to do a sink full of dishes.....all day to vacuum and so on. He's a god send when it comes to all of this and I have learned over the last 8 years to depend on him whenever I feel down or just out of sorts to pick me up and make me feel better. He takes me to my doc appts and sits by my side when I am having a bad day and tries to cheer me up when I am blue.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 7/7/2008 11:36 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi, Scared,
I don't have much time now but wanted to welcome you to the forum. I also had a double fusion (L4-S1) last fall that failed, and am facing pretty much what you and many of us are - a life of pain. The best we can do now is manage it, try to minimize it's effect on our lives as much as possible (easier said than done), and make some peace with it. I'm still strugglign with all those things.

This forum has been a godsend to me as I work through all those issues. It's also a great source of information, although we're not docs. I live alone, so be glad you have such a supportive husband. But sharing here will help take some of the load off of him to understand everything.

Again, welcome!


Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 1235
   Posted 7/9/2008 12:41 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello Scared,
I just wanted to welcome you to the forum! There is lots of support here, and I hope that you will find that you are not left feeling so alone. I also had a revision and replacement of two of the screws from my first fusion that were backing out of the vertebrae and bent and broken apparently. My revision was done 17 months after my first one.
I developed Cauda Equina Syndrome after my first fusion, but was told for most of the 17 months, that it was "failed back surgery syndrome". I feel for you, I know what it's like to live in constant pain, as all of us do here.
Anyway, welcome to the forum!
PLIF/TLIF Fusion w/Instrumentation L4-5 Spondololysthesis L4-5.Laminectomies L4-5, foraminal stenosis L3-4, L4-5, L5-S1, herniations L3-4, L4-5, L5-S1, central canal stenosis L3-4, L4-5 and L5-S1
POST OP CES 3/30-06
Neurogenic Bladder and Bowel, bilateral numbness legs and feet
Revision for failed Back surgery, pseudoarthrosis L4-5, hemilaminectomies L3-4, L4-5, L5-S1, bmp added to revision fusion, replaced two bent screws that were reversing out of vertebrae - August 2, 2007
On going back pain and neuropathic pain, failed back surgery, consult for scs, decided not to do that at this point.
Adhesive Arachnoiditis also......just what I didn't need..

Dragoness Warrior
Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 96
   Posted 7/9/2008 10:46 AM (GMT -6)   

Welcome!!  I haven't had a fusion, my doc said I'm too young, I'm 30, so we are kind of waiting on the artificial disc!  ARGH!  But I wanted to at least say hello!  I just finished a neuro stim trial and I'm in the midst of the decision for it!  So, I'm sorry that I don't have much to add, except that I'm sorry what you've been going through, it really stinks!  I've done most of those same things you have done, as I'm sure most others have too, just take it one day at a time!!

Thinking positive, though it doesn't actually relieve pain, helps a LOT!!  With your meditations, work on your back pain, see it as a red ball that you fill with your pain, fill it up and let it go, throw it out of your house!!  LOL!  That sometimes helps to give a little relief, or also "mend" your back as you meditate, sometimes doing that will help your body to heal itself.  I know its not the answer, but it helps!  Maybe sometimes it doesn't, or not enough, but it helps to center yourself and refresh your mind!

Good luck to you, and everyone else!!  Hope that everyone finds some sort of relief!

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16787
   Posted 7/9/2008 3:09 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi Scared and I too wanted to welcome you to HW. I hate to see you have to become a member of our exclusive little club, but at least we all have one thing in common PAIN. Thats the beauty of this site because the people here know what pain is about, what it can do to a person mentally and physically. I have 2 herniated dics in my neck-no surgery because I said no, I also have a disc at L5-S1 with no impingement, but I have a bad problem with the facet joint at L5-S1 and thats the booger that is wreaking havoc. I have the usual arthritis problems and just learned of moderate osteoporosis of the spine. I have many, many other bad health problems and I am an oxygen patient. But, hey, I just turned 55 and I ain't done yet. Many times I thought I was but somehow I manage to pull my boots up by the strap. I was recently given a brochure on a new surgery that is suppose to help with facet joints, that is still in the console of my car, unopened.

I had a pain pump implanted June of 05 and I will tell you it has made a big difference in my life as far as pain goes. It took me awhile to get there but it was due to other existing health problems, mainly swelling and difficulty breathing, which comes along with alot of medications as a side effect. I took a terrible fall at hime about 10 weeks ago. The muiscle spasms were awful, my pain dr has me on Zannaflex 10mg every 4-6 hours, well he changed it to every 2 hrs and added Baclofen to take a night. I was not a Zombie either taking the Zannaflex that way. Finally had some trigger point injections a few weeks ago and now things are calming back down.

You are very fortunate that your hubby is so supportive of you. Not many have that, mainly because you can't see pain and some have that mindset if you don't see it, it can't be that bad. My husband is still trying to accept things as they are and some days I stay totally away from him because I have my own to deal with.

I do hope you can get some relief when you see your dr. Hang in there and please post whenever you like. Susie


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