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AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:28 AM in New Member Introductions
Hi everyone,
I had a fusion on September 12,2007, at 14 years old, for a grade 5 spondylolisthesis. It all started out when I was 13, after I had a snow boarding accident where I fell from a pretty large height. After that, I started having horrible leg pain, so I went to my family doctor who instructed me to try these stretches. I couldn't handle the pain these stretches were producing,and my mom knew. So, she made an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon, but this appointment wasn't for 6 months, and I was quickly getting worse as each week passed by. When I finially got to see a surgeon, he ordered an MRI and a set of x-rays. He said I had a very large slip at 100 degrees, and because I was having problems with my bladder, surgery was set up for a week later. I had a posterior spinal fusion and laminectomy(sp?), which took 14 hours in length. I was in the hospital for 8 days, out of school for two months, and was very restricted to what I did for about 6 months. When I got home,I was having horrible pain in my upper back,and my surgeon didn't know why,so he sent me to my pain doctor,who I still see, and she ordered an MRI. They said everything looked fine, except for a minor disc bulge. The pain was so bad, my pain doctor put me on lyrica,which I take 50mg in the morning and 150mg at night. Even though the pain was less with this medication,it certaintly wasn't enough to last me through the day. So,last month I had a set of 4 injections in my thoracic spine. They helped my pain a little. I probably went from an 8 to a 5-6 on a pain scale. That's where I am now as far as my upper back pain. On another topic, I started having stress incontinence(even though I'm 15 now lol) at about 6 months post-op. After going through an MRI and a urodynamic study with an EEG, my doctors said nothing was being pinched,and it was due to a weak bladder, and sent me to a urologist, who told me I also have a neurogenic bladder. When I first saw him in November, I was on the verge of having to have a catheter put in, but he gave me a chance to try double voiding. I practiced that for about a month, and when I saw him in December,he said I didn't need a catheter,and to continue double voiding. I see him again on March 16th. Now back to the topic of my surgeon(lol sorry if this is confusing), I saw him on February 3rd,and he said I had a complete fusion,and I didn't need to go back to see him for an entire year. He did bring up the option of having all the hardware removed,now that I have a solid fusion. This is because I can feel all 6 screws sticking out beneath my skin,and it really is uncomfotable. Pretty much when I go up againat a wall,sit in a chair, or lay on the couch I can feel the screws. And in the winter(thankfully,winter is almost over lol)I have a lot of aching in my lower back,and I have to sleep with a heating pad attached to my back in order to get comfortable. After discussing having the hardware removed with my mom, she thinks, if I do have the hardware removed ,I should wait until next year,but that would mean another harsh winter,which I don't want to go through. So,I would really appreciate any feedback on hardware removed because I'm absolutely clueless when it comes to this topic lol. Thanks,I really appreciate it. I'm glad I found this support group because I need people like me to talk to!=)


  • I haven't had any hardware, so have no opinion as to the removal. Sorry you have to go thru something like this so early in life, but hopefuly your youth will be an advantage.

    Good luck with your recovery. I'm sure someone will be along shortly with a more helpful reply.
  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. i have had pain since i was a teenager as well. i know the problems that go with having pain through high school. good luck as you search for pain relief! :D Jenny :)
  • Hello! I'm new here too. I had my first surgery when I was 19, it was a laminectomy. I know how hard it can be to recover from that, and I know how weird it is to have such terrible problems at a young age. I'm glad that it seems like your surgery went well, although I haven't considered fusion but I'm sure its hard dealing with the hardware. I can image whether or not to get it removed would be a tough choice especially considering the cold like you said.

    It sounds like your doctors did some similar things to you that they did to me. I couldn't do physical therapy because then I would be in bed for days with pain, and other things just didn't seem to help. I took Lyrica too, but I had seizures from that, and the injections just didn't do it for me either.

    Well best of luck to you! Don't ever let this stuff get you down! ^_^

  • Thanks for the welcome!
    Yeah,it's not fun being in a lot of pain as a teenager. Hopefully,with time, it will get better. I'm going to try and talk to my mom again about having the hardware removed. I might have my mom give my surgeon a call sometime next week,and ask more questions on this topic. It seems like a simple operation,and a shorter recovery than the fusion. My pain doctor(whoes also my neurologist)thinks that no surgeon would EVER go back in, or even go near my lower back because of how bad I was before, but here is my surgeon feeling confident of going back in lol.
    Again,thanks for the welcome=)
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