Chronic pain and spinal fusion

Posted by lynn12 @lynn12, Aug 16, 2018

I am wondering if there is anyone out there has experienced what I am dealing with? In 2006 I had a spinal fusion from T2 through L4. Actually the fusion failed and after one year had to be repeated, this time using a bone morphosizing protein that ensured fusion. Like most who have endured a surgery like this I am left with chronic pain. I have through the years also developed quite a dowagers hump. The surgeon explained that my problem went up so high that she actually bent the rod a bit forward during surgery otherwise noting that I may become off balance. As the years have gone by this hump is looking more and more pronounced. I absolutely hate it and feel so ugly, can anything safely be done or does it involve another dangerous surgical procedure? As you can imagine the thought of more surgery is frightening to me. What complicates matters is I am on Warfarin (blood thinner) due to aortic valve repelacement in 2001. Any surgery for me is always more complicated.

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@suzfuse46 Thank you for your kind words about the portrait. You can also find pictures of it with Dr. Fogelson and me on the first page of the Art for Healing discussion when he saw it the first time at my one year followup. I am glad you found a lot of spine information from the video link. There are lots of medical videos in the Seattle Science Foundation's You tube page that are very informative. There are other spine conferences too, but they may charge for access to watch the videos. I learned a lot about spine surgery and how surgeons evaluate problems by watching those videos. It's always a good idea to search for video presentations by surgeons you are considering seeing for a problem. Surgeons who are well respected are teaching at those conferences and also teaching their surgical techniques at cadaver labs at the conferences and explaining how they select patients for those procedures. That may sound shocking to some people, but that is how surgeons learn.

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It's not so shocking since I have often thought about donating my body after I expire since I certainly won't have need of it. If I can get through all these surgeries while I'm alive, I'm sure it would be a piece of cake to go through them at that time. At least someone would really finally find answers as to what has been going on in my body.

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