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.

@lynnydave12 Im sorry to hear of your problem The only thing
I can suggest is shoulder exercises slowly increase till you see some differences .I would try this before surgery this should be last result ask your Dr.about P.T also they maybe have specific exercises.

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@gingerw
Hi Ginger,
I read your reply to Irene regarding food addition.
I was just discussing that today.
An addiction is when you take or do something beyond the commonly suggested dose.
Those who go beyond the suggested amounts and can cause a 'real' illness either mentally or physically is an addiction.
I often hear people say that you cannot have a food addiction.
All you need to do is meet a food addict and have a conversation.
The food addict does not know how to eat a standard amount of food.
You might have a 1/4 cup of pasta with your meatballs, where an addict will probably have 1 cup of pasta for the meatballs
Addicts are usually hungry ALL the time and eat mindlessly. Rather than having a cupcake for a snack, the addicit will eat the box.
I am sure you can think of several more examples in reference to food.
Buth there is another symptom.
The food addict eats themself sick.
I don't mean a belly ache, I mean something serious.
Many addicts develop the following as they gain more and more weither: high blood pressure, diabetes, high triglycerides, high cholosterol, heart disease, huge growths on their body, the inability to walk any distance, breathing difficulties, etc.
How do I know if I am NOT in the medical field?
I know because I am a food addict.
I kept eating and eating, even though most of the meals were good healthyfood, my portions were way OUT OF CONTROL!
I developed pre-diabetis, I was pre-diabetic, high blook poressure, high tryglycerol, and others.
I hope thins information brings light to your thoughts.

Have a nice weekend!
Ronnie (GRANDMAr)

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@grandmar

@gingerw
Hi Ginger,
I read your reply to Irene regarding food addition.
I was just discussing that today.
An addiction is when you take or do something beyond the commonly suggested dose.
Those who go beyond the suggested amounts and can cause a 'real' illness either mentally or physically is an addiction.
I often hear people say that you cannot have a food addiction.
All you need to do is meet a food addict and have a conversation.
The food addict does not know how to eat a standard amount of food.
You might have a 1/4 cup of pasta with your meatballs, where an addict will probably have 1 cup of pasta for the meatballs
Addicts are usually hungry ALL the time and eat mindlessly. Rather than having a cupcake for a snack, the addicit will eat the box.
I am sure you can think of several more examples in reference to food.
Buth there is another symptom.
The food addict eats themself sick.
I don't mean a belly ache, I mean something serious.
Many addicts develop the following as they gain more and more weither: high blood pressure, diabetes, high triglycerides, high cholosterol, heart disease, huge growths on their body, the inability to walk any distance, breathing difficulties, etc.
How do I know if I am NOT in the medical field?
I know because I am a food addict.
I kept eating and eating, even though most of the meals were good healthyfood, my portions were way OUT OF CONTROL!
I developed pre-diabetis, I was pre-diabetic, high blook poressure, high tryglycerol, and others.
I hope thins information brings light to your thoughts.

Have a nice weekend!
Ronnie (GRANDMAr)

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@grandmar Like you, I am a food addict. There, I said it out loud for the first time in my life, although I have privately known it almost all my life. Food held court over my emotions, good and bad, and has been a refuge. And thanks to you, now I feel ready to address it.
Ginger

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@ginger first step is admitting it whatever it may be. Congrats now you can do something about it right? Me too Ive struggled with my weight all my life so I'm in it with you

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@lioness

@ginger first step is admitting it whatever it may be. Congrats now you can do something about it right? Me too Ive struggled with my weight all my life so I'm in it with you

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@ginger and @lioness

Those posts deserve a round of applause!

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@hopeful33250

@ginger and @lioness

Those posts deserve a round of applause!

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Hear, hear!!! Bravo!!!!

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That's sounds so Horrible I am so sorry that you had to go through all that. I sure hope you're able to find help real soon. I also had two Different spinal fusion. I have a 3 level fusion in my neck and a 4 level fusion in my back. I had real good Success in my neck surgery. Wish I could say the same for my back I have had 7 back surgery's over all the Fusion was the last one. That was 8 years ago and now I'm dealing with Chronic pain and now I have RSD wish has Completely changed and ruin my life. I now have two Spinal stimulators and a morphine pump to help control the pain. It all Started with me exercising one afternoon riding my bicycle And someone decided to go get drunk and get behind the wheel of his car and thought it was ok to drive. I have had 43 surgery's yes 43 that's right. Life is hard enough without someone else making it harder. Thank you all for letting me share its 3:41am sleep is something that was Taken away from me when he decided to drive drunk. Not sure What is in stored for me for the rest of my life I understand that I have to change my life and Learn how to live it differently now and I'm trying to Except the fact that life as I'v known it will never be that way again but I'm trying I haven't given up but I sure do miss my old life that I worked so hard for. But I know God didn't bring me this far for nothing. Thanks again for Allowing me to share.

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@james2189

That's sounds so Horrible I am so sorry that you had to go through all that. I sure hope you're able to find help real soon. I also had two Different spinal fusion. I have a 3 level fusion in my neck and a 4 level fusion in my back. I had real good Success in my neck surgery. Wish I could say the same for my back I have had 7 back surgery's over all the Fusion was the last one. That was 8 years ago and now I'm dealing with Chronic pain and now I have RSD wish has Completely changed and ruin my life. I now have two Spinal stimulators and a morphine pump to help control the pain. It all Started with me exercising one afternoon riding my bicycle And someone decided to go get drunk and get behind the wheel of his car and thought it was ok to drive. I have had 43 surgery's yes 43 that's right. Life is hard enough without someone else making it harder. Thank you all for letting me share its 3:41am sleep is something that was Taken away from me when he decided to drive drunk. Not sure What is in stored for me for the rest of my life I understand that I have to change my life and Learn how to live it differently now and I'm trying to Except the fact that life as I'v known it will never be that way again but I'm trying I haven't given up but I sure do miss my old life that I worked so hard for. But I know God didn't bring me this far for nothing. Thanks again for Allowing me to share.

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@james2189
Thank you for sharing your story!!!
I am so sorry for all you have been through.
I cannot imagine having so many surgeries.
Drunk driving is a whole other topic that I am sure many members can relate to.

I did not have any accidents that required the 2 spinal surgeries.
A major reason for these problems come from aging (I am 63 yo), weight (I lost 80 lbs.) and I believe that all the years I worked out inappropriately.
Whatever the reason, it is what it is!!!
For years I went to pain doctors for help.
When they could no longer help, surgery was the next option.

I know that the surgeries (c5/6 and L 4/5) may not be the entire answer but it has to be better than what I was experiencing.
My pain doctor told me a long time ago, something that you mentioned.
Regardless if I have surgery (which I did), I still need to be careful and adjust my life accordingly.
I retired 5 years ago at the age of 48 on SSI.
My retirement is nothing like I expected.
My pain doc said the same thing you did, I have to get used to living a different life style.
I refuse to become a cripple and do whatever they suggest in order to get back to my old self.

One last thing, I promise.
No one knows what life will be like.
None of us have asked to live in pain or a restrictive life.
So, we have to make the best of things and work our butts off in order to get some quality of life.
Remember, we don't have any alternatives (except death) that are acceptable.

Have a pain free day and keep writing.
You are not venting, you are sharing.
There are people who will find something you said as that AH, HA moment.

Ronnie (GRANDMAr)

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@grandmar

@james2189
Thank you for sharing your story!!!
I am so sorry for all you have been through.
I cannot imagine having so many surgeries.
Drunk driving is a whole other topic that I am sure many members can relate to.

I did not have any accidents that required the 2 spinal surgeries.
A major reason for these problems come from aging (I am 63 yo), weight (I lost 80 lbs.) and I believe that all the years I worked out inappropriately.
Whatever the reason, it is what it is!!!
For years I went to pain doctors for help.
When they could no longer help, surgery was the next option.

I know that the surgeries (c5/6 and L 4/5) may not be the entire answer but it has to be better than what I was experiencing.
My pain doctor told me a long time ago, something that you mentioned.
Regardless if I have surgery (which I did), I still need to be careful and adjust my life accordingly.
I retired 5 years ago at the age of 48 on SSI.
My retirement is nothing like I expected.
My pain doc said the same thing you did, I have to get used to living a different life style.
I refuse to become a cripple and do whatever they suggest in order to get back to my old self.

One last thing, I promise.
No one knows what life will be like.
None of us have asked to live in pain or a restrictive life.
So, we have to make the best of things and work our butts off in order to get some quality of life.
Remember, we don't have any alternatives (except death) that are acceptable.

Have a pain free day and keep writing.
You are not venting, you are sharing.
There are people who will find something you said as that AH, HA moment.

Ronnie (GRANDMAr)

Jump to this post

Thank you so much for your reply wasn't sure if I would get one or not. I have tried this before on other site but it was full of people Complaining that they couldn't find a good pain clinic to give them more pills. I would be so happy if I didn't need any at all. It's good to be able to talk to other people who are going through the same thing as you are. It breaks my heart to here some of the stores. I will be 54 in March and had to go on SSI 6 years ago What a eye open that was for me as far as money I had a Really good job working for myself. Never once did I ever think about how much money I spent at the grocery store. All I can say is thank God for coupon lol .. I'm with you about not trying to live like a Cripple most people dont even know What kind of pain I'm in each day. Life goes on just need to fine a Purpose too much time on my hands. I hope your day is better then yesterday and you can fine a reason to smile. 🙂

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@james2189

That's sounds so Horrible I am so sorry that you had to go through all that. I sure hope you're able to find help real soon. I also had two Different spinal fusion. I have a 3 level fusion in my neck and a 4 level fusion in my back. I had real good Success in my neck surgery. Wish I could say the same for my back I have had 7 back surgery's over all the Fusion was the last one. That was 8 years ago and now I'm dealing with Chronic pain and now I have RSD wish has Completely changed and ruin my life. I now have two Spinal stimulators and a morphine pump to help control the pain. It all Started with me exercising one afternoon riding my bicycle And someone decided to go get drunk and get behind the wheel of his car and thought it was ok to drive. I have had 43 surgery's yes 43 that's right. Life is hard enough without someone else making it harder. Thank you all for letting me share its 3:41am sleep is something that was Taken away from me when he decided to drive drunk. Not sure What is in stored for me for the rest of my life I understand that I have to change my life and Learn how to live it differently now and I'm trying to Except the fact that life as I'v known it will never be that way again but I'm trying I haven't given up but I sure do miss my old life that I worked so hard for. But I know God didn't bring me this far for nothing. Thanks again for Allowing me to share.

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@james2189 Thank you for sharing. I am sure that you have made a difference in someone's life today. Wishing you a Wednesday as pain-free as possible,
Ginger

Liked by lioness, james2189

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@lynn12

Hi
I had a spinal fusion in 2006. I was fused from T2 through L4. I had suffered many years from pain due to scoliosis as well as the other many common spinal ailments, spondlyothedisis, degenerative disc disease , etc. My plan was never to do surgery, choosing instead to do epidurals at different times. A car accident changed everything,making my very complicated spine completely unstable, hence the surgery. The first surgery in 2006, took 12 hours and did not fuse. The entire thing had to be done again in 2007, this time the fusion took hold. Many years have passed and I am so disappointed, left with chronic pain and what looks like a dowagers hump as my surgeon said my problem went so high she had to slightly bend the rod at the top otherwise I might have tipped forward or backward. I hate looking at myself when walking by a store front, I look l8ke a turtle. Is there anything that can be done just at the top, where this hump is? I just hate it but am petrified to have all the hardware removed. My surgeon told me to remove the hardware would be another two days of surgery at about 12 hours each time, with no guarantee’s. Is it possible to just corrrect the top where that ugly hump is? Does it mean they would have to break my bone where the hump has grown over the rod? I am guessing this is probably the only way and that frightens me to death. I am also on Warfarin as I had aortic valve replacement in 2001 and have a mechanical valve. Due to valve I have to be on this blood thinner forever, which when having surgery has much more additional risks, either losing too much blood or cutting back on the blood thinner too much and risk having a blood clot. Why can’t something be easier for me? Any ideas or advice would be much appreciated.

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@lynn12 Im sorry you have all this but you are right to fear this surgery I dont have any answers for you but will lift you up in prayer

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Hi
I had a spinal fusion in 2006. I was fused from T2 through L4. I had suffered many years from pain due to scoliosis as well as the other many common spinal ailments, spondlyothedisis, degenerative disc disease , etc. My plan was never to do surgery, choosing instead to do epidurals at different times. A car accident changed everything,making my very complicated spine completely unstable, hence the surgery. The first surgery in 2006, took 12 hours and did not fuse. The entire thing had to be done again in 2007, this time the fusion took hold. Many years have passed and I am so disappointed, left with chronic pain and what looks like a dowagers hump as my surgeon said my problem went so high she had to slightly bend the rod at the top otherwise I might have tipped forward or backward. I hate looking at myself when walking by a store front, I look l8ke a turtle. Is there anything that can be done just at the top, where this hump is? I just hate it but am petrified to have all the hardware removed. My surgeon told me to remove the hardware would be another two days of surgery at about 12 hours each time, with no guarantee’s. Is it possible to just corrrect the top where that ugly hump is? Does it mean they would have to break my bone where the hump has grown over the rod? I am guessing this is probably the only way and that frightens me to death. I am also on Warfarin as I had aortic valve replacement in 2001 and have a mechanical valve. Due to valve I have to be on this blood thinner forever, which when having surgery has much more additional risks, either losing too much blood or cutting back on the blood thinner too much and risk having a blood clot. Why can’t something be easier for me? Any ideas or advice would be much appreciated.

REPLY
@lynn12

Hi
I had a spinal fusion in 2006. I was fused from T2 through L4. I had suffered many years from pain due to scoliosis as well as the other many common spinal ailments, spondlyothedisis, degenerative disc disease , etc. My plan was never to do surgery, choosing instead to do epidurals at different times. A car accident changed everything,making my very complicated spine completely unstable, hence the surgery. The first surgery in 2006, took 12 hours and did not fuse. The entire thing had to be done again in 2007, this time the fusion took hold. Many years have passed and I am so disappointed, left with chronic pain and what looks like a dowagers hump as my surgeon said my problem went so high she had to slightly bend the rod at the top otherwise I might have tipped forward or backward. I hate looking at myself when walking by a store front, I look l8ke a turtle. Is there anything that can be done just at the top, where this hump is? I just hate it but am petrified to have all the hardware removed. My surgeon told me to remove the hardware would be another two days of surgery at about 12 hours each time, with no guarantee’s. Is it possible to just corrrect the top where that ugly hump is? Does it mean they would have to break my bone where the hump has grown over the rod? I am guessing this is probably the only way and that frightens me to death. I am also on Warfarin as I had aortic valve replacement in 2001 and have a mechanical valve. Due to valve I have to be on this blood thinner forever, which when having surgery has much more additional risks, either losing too much blood or cutting back on the blood thinner too much and risk having a blood clot. Why can’t something be easier for me? Any ideas or advice would be much appreciated.

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Hi @lynn12, welcome back to Connect. I moved your message to the discussion you started in a little while back so that you could easily get back in touch with you the members you connected with, who share experiences with chronic pain. It is understandable that you're not welcoming the thought of corrective surgery. You ask great questions however to help your decision making.

Did you ask your surgeon about what the 2 day, 12 hour each, surgeries would involve? She or he would be the only person who could knowledgeably tell you if by removing the hardware that they hump would be reduced or eliminated, and if so, how. I encourage you to contact your surgeon to ask these questions.
Lynn, would the goal of this surgery also be to reduce the pain?

Liked by lioness

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@mamacita

Hello,@lynn12. Oh my, what pain you must be in. I have had two back surgeries and one procedure which failed. I have two braces which help when I wear them as needed. I have DDD and spinal stenosis, Arthritis in all my joints, and severe Fibromyalgia. I have a cane and a walker, but I try to avoid using them. I don't want to be dependent on them. If I am shopping, I must have a buggy. A dear young friend had a spinal fusion a few years ago. I will try to contact her to see what worked for her. I will also do some research on the subject and get back with you. You are definitely in the right place. Different people will share their experiences with you. Some will direct you to procedures, methods, doctors, and clinics. Be your own consumer advocate. Love yourself. Practice self-care and honor this body. You are worth it! Love and light!
Mamacita

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@mamacita

Good Morning!

I was just reading your post from August 16th.
I found many of the things you are going through is similar to me.
I also had 2 back surgeries; one surgery the end February 2018 on my cervical spine, and another surgery 3 weeks ago on my lumbar spine.
It can take a full year to be sully healed so I have a ways to go.
My cervical just 3 weeks ago.
The first one, in my cervical spine (removed bad discs and replaced with artificial ones.
The cervical surgery was easy compaed to my lumbar which has been HORRIBLE!
I feel like I live in a drug related head.
I want to get off Effexor, but will probably wait until the holidays are over.
Monday will be the beginning of the 4th week of recovery.
I definately see improvement but I am still in quite a bit of pain and I need assistive walking device.
On the plus side, I am now able to fall asleep and remain asleep.
I am using my cane more often that the walker.
Except for the early morning, I am to move around with only my walker. I no longer need by hubby to hold me from the rear.
I've cut my meds way down, including the dreaded opiods……..like relearning to walk without assistive walking device.
I am trying to cut down the opiods for fear of becoming addicited.
I seem to be getting down the opiods.
I was taking 2 tabs and 5 mg.wcwey 4-6 hours.
It was moved to 10 mg.
Now, I am taking the opiods 2-3 times a day.
I now take 1 I1g) when I get up and when I go to sleep. If I have pain that wakes me up during the night, is all I take.
After reading about Effexor withdrawal, I believe I am going through some of the symptoms.

Well, good luck!!!
Have a terrific weekend!
Ronnie (GRANDMAr)

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Hello @grandmar

I just noticed your post (directed to @mamacita) however, I wanted to drop in to your conversation and let you know how pleased I am that you are one month into recovery and noticing some improvements. I'm sure it will take some more time, but I'm glad that you are seeing some good bench-marks in your pain and recovery. Will you keep in touch and post again?

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