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lynn12 (@lynn12)

Chronic pain and spinal fusion

Spine Health | Last Active: May 14 8:35pm | Replies (169)

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I have a dilemma which I hope I can get some feedback for. I had laminectomy and fusion on C3-C6 for cervical stenosis in 2016 which has started aching again with deterioration of dexterity in hands. In April of 2017 I had two stage laminectomy and fusion of T11 – L5 because of unstable scoliosis and stenosis. a year later I started having pain in my lumbar back and left leg sciatica. Tests showed that I had developed pseudarthrosis and a hemorrhagic cyst at L5. I had revision surgery in Feb. 2019 with larger screws placed in the lumbar area and rods extended into my pelvic bones. The pain was worse than ever before and tests showed "lucencies" at several levels of screws. In September of 2019 I started having severe pain in my thoracic spine which radiated around to my ribs and whatever was within them more on the right side of my torso. My neurosurgeon would not acknowledge that the sciatica hadn't resolved nor the new pain in my mid back. On Jan. 30, 2019 neurosurgeon gave me a choice of replacing the screws again with larger ones, having a spinal cord stimulation device implanted or wait and see. I chose to wait and see. I finally got an appointment with a physiatrist who after my being unable to do P.T. ordered an MRI of my thoracic spine. It showed a herniated disc at T11 with compression of the nerve root. At this point I have had epidural steroid shots in T11 and L5 which didn't help at all with the severe pain this is causing, I'm afraid that another surgery is the only thing that is going to alleviate the pain and I don't think I can get through another surgery considering the state of deconditioning my body is now in. I have been looking into thoracic spine herniation surgery and unless I can find a surgeon who can do minimally invasive "video assisted thoracic surgery, the alternative of anterior thoracic open chest surgery is something I won't make it through. Does anyone have any advice for this situation or can suggest a way of finding surgeons in my state who are doing "VATS" surgery? If I have to, I will travel to where ever I need to. Thank you for any help!

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Replies to "I have a dilemma which I hope I can get some feedback for. I had laminectomy..."

So sorry darling. All I can offer are my prayers for you.

Hello @suzfuse46 and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. You have certainly been through a lot and can understandably see why are you are hesitant without exploring all your options.

I am going to bring in @jenniferhunter who may be able to lend her experiences your way.

Can you share what state you are in so that members can provide recommendations based on geography?