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SEVERE pain after poster fusion and MVA!

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:28 AM in Chronic Pain
My name is Mary. I am 22 years old, was diagnosed with advanced scoliosis at age 11 and underwent the standard posterior spinal fusion (T1 - L1) with harrington rods. Surgery was done in 1998. I had moderate pain for years following the surgery, but assumed that it was something I would just have to live with, seeing as this was a pretty invasive surgery. Well, as if this wasn't bad enough, I was involved in a really bad MVA in 2005, in which I pulled into oncoming traffic in the path of a fully-loaded 13-ton dump truck travelling at around 35+ mph. The truck struck my vehicle on my side and resulted in a fractured L2 and L3. Now...my question is this. Bear with me as it gets slightly convoluted. When I was hospitalized for my car wreck, a CT scan was performed and it was noted in my records that, in addition to the fractures, that there was a "right-sided laminar hook at the T1 level protruding into the spinal canal and causing decompression of the posterolateral cord." ER doctors never mentioned this to me, I only know this now, 4 years after the MVA, basically because I requested a copy of my records and read them out of boredom and curiosity. And this is the approximate area where 95% of my pain seems to originate. Is this just a coincidence? My orthopedic surgeon has never ordered me a CT scan, only does the regular standing lateral and AP x-rays. Last time I saw him, 2 years ago, it was because my pain has been increasing in severity and frequency ever since the MVA (now it is constant), and it is to the point now that I just can't stand it anymore. He diagnosed me as having whiplash and wrote me for PT. However, I have spoken with other doctors who all seem to think that this hook protruding into the spinal canal could potentially be the source of most of my pain. I am getting a 2nd opinion from a local neurosurgeon March 6th. Is this something that would potentially require surgical intervention to fix? Am I crazy for thinking that this is a problem and it is not supposed to be this way, and that I potentially have found the source of my pain? And most pressing to me...should I be concerned that this was never brought to my attention, only put in my med records for me to read about YEARS later, and no treatment was ever recommended? I guess I would just like to know whether or not I can expect to live with this level of pain for the rest of my life, and if there is any amount of real relief to be found besides relying on narcotic pain relievers. And one more question. My back problems have severely limited my ability to work...an office type job where I sit at a desk is the ONLY thing I am somewhat physically capable of doing, and even then I still have trouble. I can't stand for more than 15 mins at a time, bending, stooping, lifting more than about 20 lbs, any repetitive motions, anything require much movement is totally beyond my pain tolerance. I have a pretty high tolerance for pain. Should I be filing for disability, or would I be wasting my time at my age (22)??? Help!!!! I need some advice.


  • Hello my name is terry. I recently stopped taking my meds. I am perscribed 120 80mg oxycontins, I recently stopped taking them casue my pain has subsided recently casue my back was fused. I am now trying to find someone that is in pain and needs help locating meds or doctors. I am trying to use my life experinces and knowlage to help someone deal with everyday living with pain. email me


  • Hi Mary,

    Welcome to SH :) I'm still learning the lanuguage o? the MRI... so unfortunately i can't help you about the "hook" term and its meaning. But to a layperson, alot of your logic makes sense to me. Sounds like that appoitment in march will answer alot of your questions... maybe one question to ask the NS is "when X is in a report, what does it typically mean? How might X appear as a symptom?

    I wish you luck with the appointment, and maybe someone else on the site will know a bit more about this...

    Best of luck

    L4-L5 fusion 1998; ACDF C4-6 2008; DDD
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