Chronic pain and spinal fusion

Posted by lynn12 @lynn12, Aug 16, 2018

Hi
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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@grandmar Thanks for the update. You'll update after your next appointment?

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@hopeful33250

@grandmar Thanks for the update. You'll update after your next appointment?

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@hopeful33250
I will be happy to update you after my next appointment, which will be a day or two before the surgery.
Thank you for the concern.
Ronnie

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@hopeful33250

@grandmar Hello Ronnie:

I am sure you were glad to at least know about the cyst in the spinal column. Like @lioness said, I too am wondering what the doctor can do about the cyst in the spine. Do you have any treatment plans for that?

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@grandmar thanks for update wishing you the best let me know what your decision is Linda

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@oregongirl

Yes let us know. I had shots in my neck today. Back to do lower back again next week. I guess they can only do treatments for three tiles. They are starting to help.

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@grandmar Im so glad the shots work for you mine do too but not right away TheDr here told me every 2months as it is a steriod Hard on kidneys just like Prednisone ,steriod also

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@lioness
Good Morning!
So happy for you that the shots work.
It took me 5 doctors before I actually found someone who was able to help me!
So for about 4 years I took shots that did not give me relief.
Now, 4 1/2 years later, since I found a doctor to help me, the shots no longer work, that is why I have opted for surgery.
For me, it is a good thing I did since there are spinal issues my pain doc did not know about.
I don't blame him for that, if I didn't have all the pain I have, my neurosurgeon would not have taken all the tests he did.

Here's to a pain-free day….
Ronnie (GRANDMAr)

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@lioness

@grandmar thanks for update wishing you the best let me know what your decision is Linda

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@lioness
Linda,
Thank you for the good wishes!
I am definitely having surgery Sept. 17th.
The only thing I do not know is how the doc is planning on dealing with the cyst in my spinal canal.

Have a pain-free day!
Ronnie

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I think it is critically important to research arachnoiditis. This is an incurable inflammation of the spine. My husband had spinal fusion in the lumbar spine area and two hip replacements and has had chronic pain in his spine, radiating down his legs. Several months ago he began feeling unusual sensations and frequent muscle spasms. He was diagnosed with arachnoiditis which has several causes, the main one being idiopathic (created by a procedure administered by a physician) My husband has had numerous steroid injections to his spine over the past 15 years and one of them precipitated an infection. Please look up Dr. Forest Tennant on the web. Though this condition has been known about for 100 years it has only recently been introduced to the general public. Though the shots may help for a bit they can lead to a condition that makes the situation even worse. Other conditions that can cause it are, spinal stenosis, back surgery, curvature of the spine etc. My husband has all three of those conditions but the injections seem to be the main culprit. We don't do a good enough job managing pain. You can print off Dr. Tennants booklet that introduces other medications, including opiates, to make fit through each day with as much relief as possible. Hope this has been helpful.

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@grandmar

@lioness
Linda,
Thank you for the good wishes!
I am definitely having surgery Sept. 17th.
The only thing I do not know is how the doc is planning on dealing with the cyst in my spinal canal.

Have a pain-free day!
Ronnie

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Grandmar hi I see neurosurgeon on Sept 14 Im anxiois to talk with him I went to rheumatologist and she refused to

inject my thumb I ha ve bone on bone in both thumbs funny about 2yrs ago she injected my right thumb so am going to talk to him about this or find another Dr.

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@lioness
Good for you. If you can't get your doc to give you the shot, find one who can. ADVOCATE, ADVOCATE, ADVOCATE!

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Grandmar Thats what Im going to do if he wont I will keep looking have a good day

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Hi All, I'm a newby to the forum. I had a fusion in 2014, and although it helped with one really big problem, it didn't help with a lot of other pain issues. I am very frustrated with my situation, although I'm sure there are some who have it a lot harder than I. I have wondered if the fusion hasn't created a muscular problem…seems as though the muscles in my lower back (fusion area) are always in ball and won't let go. Has anyone else experienced this? I am also (of course) on pain meds and I am just at the end of my rope with THAT whole "ball and chain". I feel very trapped with the whole mess! I would love to get rid of the pain meds and I think I'm going to taper and see if I don't feel better. I've heard that plenty of the pain is cause by the pain meds ( or caused by the reduction of meds, and the nerves coming back to life), but once you've reduced or stopped, the pain is not as bad as when one was ON the pain meds. Anyway, I just wanted to write a little something to encourage myself to talk about it, which is another problem I have…I don't talk about any of it, and I really should! It is hard to talk about it with people who don't KNOW about it, so, here I am! Ha! I am looking forward to returning to this forum and meeting more people who understand what it's like to struggle with this mess! Take care, 😀

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Hopekeeper I am not able to have a much needed fusion due to my weight and MAC/MAI, but you might want to check on medical marijuana for your situation. I don’t know the rules/laws in your state but it is a very helpful alternative to pain meds. Some choices are topical and might relieve your muscle pain. Good luck.

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