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Over 14 years post op

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:27 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery

Hi Everyone..

I came here in hopes of getting some advice that might point me in the right direction. If this is the wrong room for this discussion, i apologize.. Just let me know & i'll move it.

For anyone wanting to know a little bit about my medical history, you can check out my first post in Introductions. I'd type it all out again, but i doubt i'll be able to typoe for long because my left arm,shoulder, & now mid back, are making for a rotten day again.

My spine surgery happened May 19th, 2004. I don't know the exact term for the operation, but it entailed taking out one of my ribs, & using it to fuse T10-T12. In a nutshell.. the reason for the operation was.. It stared out with an infection in my spine. the infection entered through an open sore i had on my left stump. Because of that aggressive infection my bone started the process of deteriorating between those vertebra. About a year after the infection is when the doctors figured out the reason for my chronic moderate to severe pain, so the damage was pretty extensive. I was sent to a trauma surgeon in Milwaukee, who, two weeks after my first visit, took me to the O.R., removed one of my (I'm assuming) floating ribs, ground it up, fused it into the t10-t12 area.. then plate & screwed it into place. FYI.. if you ever have to have this surgery, or anything remotely similar.. and your over weight, as i was, & still am. "Lose weight before the operation." My advice for the day. Now back to the story..

Post operation.. i was told by the doctor that, the plate & screws would never come out, which relieved my fear of ever going through that again.. its been ovwer 14 years now with very little trouble. I haven't had any pain related to the plate since 1995.

Brief pertinate facts.

#1. The doctor that did that operation has practiced in another sate for over 12 years.

#2. I've been told that Dr.s who do these operations will not take on patients, they did not do them self. The analogy used likened it too "taking your car for a transmission shop to be rebuilt. The owner of the shop does the work & Warranties it. You leave with the car, get down the road, & the transmission falls on to the street. You don't want to take it back to the transmission shop you just left, so you go somewhere else, but no one will do it because it falls under a warranty of the first guys shop."

#3. The hospital where the operation was done in 1994 is not someplace i ever want to go again as a inpatient. This is only my opinion, but out of all the hospitals I've been in, this one is the worst when it comes to service. For example: being left in a bed with sheets soaked feces that was left on me when the aides & a couple nurses took me off the B.P.. Don't get me wrong.. I know things are busy on surgical inpatient floors, & I love nurses, & aides.. Most are very special people, & I have the utmost respect for them.. but jeepers! Every time!.. and i complained twice to charge nurses, & it still kept happening.

The reason I'm concerned about these thing is about a month ago i started having, what felt like left shoulder pain. Nothing big, just a constant throbbing throughout the day. As time goes on, the throbbing gets worst, seems like its moving down my arm to my elbow.. sometimes wrist. Last night.. OH.. BTW.. I talked to my doctor when i was in to see him for another reason, & his opinion after hearing my symptoms was Bursitis. I've had bursitis many times in my left knee. This doesn't come close to feeling like bursitis..Ok.. so last night I started feeling something in the shoulder.. kind of like someone sticking a sharp knife & pressing it too one specific place. It didn't move, or go away. This morning i can feel the swelling around the plate. Not only that, I'm feeling sharp shooting pains on the side where they cut me open to go in. On my left side. The suture line goes from under my arm pit & down to my hip in the form on a "S." The shooting pains that started today are towards the bottom of the $. My internist isn't a over reactor which is why I've stayed with him for 20 years. Before him anytime i was hit with an infection, I was slapped into the hospital with I.V.'s for weeks. This time however.. I don't know if I'm comfortable with the lax way he diagnosed bursditis

I'm not really sure what to ask. Things that come to mind right off are.

1. Should I be worried the plate has moved after 14 years?

2. Because I haven't seen anyone for this plate, am I in for a hard time if i need something fixed?

I think thats it. If there is anything i may have left out you'd like to know, feel free to email me or post here.. I'm not sure if i'll be able to get back here today, so please be patient if i don't respond right asway.

Jeepers.. Why can't I ever keep it short?!!!$%%J$

Thanks for reading.. Mike



  • Thats quite a bit to digest. Sorry for your troubles. I would definitely get a second opinion and an MRI/CT to see of anything has changed. Gather all the information and test results from your previous doctor and take them with you to the next doctor. Perhaps a specialist for you would be best. You said Milwaukee, I guess Wisconsin. What about UW Madison?? So many great things happen there and so many great doctors there. I would give them a call and see if they can get you in. Best Wishes and Good Luck
  • Thanks Pika..

    Thanks for your reply. Its weird you mention the UW docs. I'm trying to get into see one there now. However, In order to make the appointment though, they want me to get my doctor to do a CT or MRI & send them the report. We'll see how long this takes.. Thats if i can even convince him i don't have bursitis.
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