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Appointment Today

MelissaJoMMelissaJo Posts: 196
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:26 AM in Lower Back Pain
WEll it has been a very long 5+ years for me. I am 32 yrs old and my back pain was so bad in 2004 that I had to have an L5-S1 fusion due to a buldging, torn disk. The way that I injured my back was when I was about 18 yrs. I was playing tackle football with some friends and at some point I threw the football, and threw it hard so I could get it to my team mate. Well right after I threw it, my arm wasn't even down to my side yet, I had excrusiating pain. I was laid up for a week and couldn't walk or anything. I never went to teh doc cuz I figured it would go away. WEll it did, then about once or twice a year it would flare up and I would have a decent amount of pain. But didn't need meds. Well by the time I hit 28 I could no longer deal with it. Had a fusion and have never been out of pain. Seems like to me the fusion didn't really help at all. Over the past 2+ years the pain has slowly come back, but in the last 8 months or so it has come back 10 fold. Anyway over the past 1.5 yrs I have had countless injections in different areas. All of which have made my pain WORSE!!!! My NS that did the surgery had done MRI's and XRays and said all is well. PM was over medicating me also so I left that practice. Anyway found a new doc and new PM. The new doc did a Myelogram and CT Scan on Dec 31st so today I go in for the results. My NS NEVER did either of these tests before! Doc thinks that I may have a failed fusion or something going on with the facet joint. Now a thing that bothers me also is that my new PM and new Dr have said that it is very strange that my NS went through my belly and only fused the front and nothing in the back. My PM said that of all his patients he has never seen it before and was almost dumb founded. Has anyone here been fused at L5-S1 through your belly only? Do you now have issues? I see my Ortho at 11 today and I can't wait to find out what is going on. I guess there really is no point in this post except for getting my nerves out and I guess the questions regarding the fusion. Anyway I hope all is well with everyone! Wish me luck that I wont have to have more hardware put in from the back!!! Thanks for reading and letting me vent!!! MJ


  • Vent all you want :)

    Since I did not have a lumbar fusion I won't comment on that-but will comment on the issue about why some doctors do things differently because the same thing happened to me. Some doctors do things one way because they think that is best, and others to it another way and some are not polite about the way they question the procedures the first doctor used.

    My second cervival surgery was from the front-the first from the back and the new doctor was also dumbfounded that the first would go throught the back instead of the front-said it was not possible to get to the facet joints properly by the back. But that first operation spared me from a scar in the front and I had no pain for almost 10 years. I think it was a success. I'm sure the next doctor I see about this issue, hopefully another 10 years down the road, will be dumbfounded why this doctor didn't fuse the neck! It's always a guessing game with doctors. But the point is-they want to do as little as they can at first because they can always redo an operation, and if it helps the patient-than the less they do, the better it is.

    There are thousands of people who have spine operations weekly and they are cured-never coming on SH looking for answers. Then there are us, legions who do, with ongoing issues.

    Well, good luck! I too am an advocate of CT Myelograms, as it was what found my pinched nerves when all the x-rays and MRI's showed only mild to moderate stenosis that shouldn't be causing me so much pain, so I went for months of worthless PT. I found from the internet that the myelo was the definetive test-none of the 3 doctors I saw even told me that. I had to argue with my neurologist to get that test done. He was ready to operate on my shoulder since the pain wss there and thought all my arm pain was referred pain.

    We have to fight for our health in these times when insurance co's tells doctors what they can test for and can't test. We have to be our own advocates - so educate yourself.

    Hope you have some news that will get you on the road to recovery. Good luck!
  • at your appointment today. I am an L5-S1 patient, but always posterior, never anterior. I do think those test results should show if something is wrong/out of place.

    Let us know what you find out!

  • Hi MJ,
    Sorry to hear you are still in so much pain. I too had an L5/S1 fusion through the stomach only. Mine was on 7/1/08 and I am still in a lot of pain and told that my fusion is doing well and I shouldn't be in this much pain. Your storys sounds exactly like mine except I didn't throw a football. About once a year I would do something stupid or not so stupid at all that would seem to throw my back out. I've been dealing with low back pain all my life but it became unbearable in my early twenties (i'm now 31).

    I am going to see a neuro on the 30th because ortho can no longer do anything more for me, pain mgmt doc gave up on me after only 1 SI joint injection since surgery and primary doc doesn't know what to do. My new CT scan says: L4-L5 disc is minimally degenerated with diffuse bulging, no disc hernation or spinal stenosis. Facet joints are very minimally degenerated with posterior marginal spur formation. L5-S1 shows mild bulge after fusion and discectomy, no disc herniation. Central Spinal canal is mildy narrowed on a congenital basis. Neural foramina are patent? Small posterior facet spurs are seen.

    I have no idea what most of that means but it sounds like there is something there that could be causing my pain but ortho says no. Also, how can the disc that was fused still show mild bulge. I thought they removed it? Did they take your's out?

    If anything, we can at least share out stories and understanding for each other's similar cases. I wish you the best of luck with your research and relief of pain. I hope that you do not have to have surgery again but if you do I pray it is a success.
  • I tell you I am soooooooo stinking over it!!!! I am just hoping and praying that I get SOME type of answer! I told my Ortho and my PM that if surgery would aleviate 20% of the pain I am for it and schedule it. I dont want another surgery as I have a 3yr old boy and 8 yr old girl adn I am a stay at home mom. ARG! Plus we have minimal family here in nevada. All my family is in Washington state so I have a sis in law and niece that can help when they can and that is it! I am sure friends would help also. But I just hated the recovery from my last surgery! The funny thing was that after surgery I had a different pain added to the pain I already had. Of course the healing pain went away but the L5-S1 pain that I was having has always been there. It did subside a little but boy howdy I can't take this anymore. With my pain meds I am at a steady 6-7 or so! I have percocet 10/325 up to 6 per day. I normally only need 4 but there are the days that I need more than six. I forgot to tell this PM that I needed the oxycodone without tylenol due to tylenol makes my tummy funky, but I can deal with it for a month! Think I hated about teh last ortho I went to the nurses there were rude and underestimated my pain. The head nurse there would only give me 4 10/325 norcos per day. And she said it was an extremely high dose!! 8} =)) ~X( It is like come on now. Which that dose didn't do anything. So I asked to be sent to the awesome one that I am going to now. Plus the PM doc is absolutely wonderful!!! He asked me what worked for me and he said how many oxycodone's do you want 6,8,10 per day? I said 6 would be good. LOL It is nice to find a PM doc like that especially teh way things are now. I request you (Ming) as a buddy so we can share more personal things that we are going through with out L5 S1 issues. I will post when I get back from my doc! Have a great day! MJ :)
  • I too will write back more. I have an appt with my primary doc at 3pm. I've been doing some research through my baby books. It's the only thing I have from my childhood to remind me of my mom and to prove that I had an injury during birth. I wrote down some journal entries that my mother wrote regarding my injury and going to see if doc can get any record of these appts she's referring to.

    Best of luck at your appt.
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