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why is back and legs pain so difficult to recover from?

strakerstraker Posts: 1,851
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:28 AM in Chronic Pain
i think that most of you lovely people know me by now so i wont go on about my problems .only in reference .my question is .why is post back surgery so painful and with long term pain implication.i ask because my mum at age 70 has had an aortic aneurysm repaired 5 months ago and she is fine now she does not even need pain relief.and she has a 16 inch cut down her front .so why does my 6 inch scar give me such hell .and why do most people that have had back operations then suffer with chronic pain ?? after all we have had an operation to fix us ..right?? so why the pain?? any one??


  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,856
    STRAKER, from time to time, I have wondered that myself.
    2 years ago I saw my 73 year MIL go through a Hip Replacement and within months she was bowling again and back to other activities. And that is pretty much the norm for hip replacements. Patients with heart surgery, may have an intital very careful and slow period but they regain most of what they had before (or seem to) pretty quickly.
    I've torn several ligaments in my knees, cracked ankle bones, dislocated and broken fingers and they all seem to heal ok. I had a vasectomy and in two weeks, back to normal.

    Even my cervical surgeries, I recovered quicker and I feel more successfully than I did with my lumbar surgeries.

    So, is there something about our backs that make it so much more difficult to heal from the discomfort and pain?
    Is it the weight bearing aspect, is it because we use our backs for just about everything? I dont really know.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Is what that is. If you could find one good, one substantiated reason why some (not all)have such a tough time recovering, you'd be a millionaire. Is it the person, the place, the surgeon, the procedure, the phase of the moon ... I really don't think anyone can answer that for you.

    Ron talks about his c-spine surgeries being cake compared to lumbar. My lumbar were cake compared to my c-spine. Of course we have different injuries and different surgeries and we have both led very different lives. I could spend all night generating a list of differences, but it would just succeed in keeping me awake, not answering your question.

    Regardless, we can't give in! I refuse to! I do that for my own sanity's sake. So take it a day or a moment at a time, and one day you'll be able to look back and see you've succeeded!

    Hang in there,

  • Hey Tony,

    I was actually sitting here thinking of that very same thing today as I sit reclined on the couch in extreme pain. I mentioned this in other posts before...wouldn't it be nice if they could hook us up to a diagnostic machine, have it spit out some message in code and all we have to do is take it to the doc to read it and fix it and then you are all better?

    What is it about us spiney's that finding the "fix" or atleast some good pain management that doesn't make me feel like a zombie. Is that possible? How can so many tests come up saying there isn't enough evidence to explain the pain you are in. Am I just a big, fat cry baby that can't handle pain or is there really something there that they are missing?

    It seems it would've been cheaper to do a full body CT Scan or MRI to check for everything than it was for the 7+ years of various, unsuccessful treatments including surgery.
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    Personally I think I'm being punished!.....OK OK I'm sorry
    Good luck Jim ~X(
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • That is a good question. I am a veteran of 15 surgeries- only 2 have been on my back and yet I never had any long term problems with the latter. And I thought a hysterectomy and a revision to dig out a useless ovary was bad. It took about a month for the pain of that to totally be gone. My MIL had a knee replacement and she's fine now, no residual pain. I have a relative that had a leg amputation but does suffer phantom leg pain now and then. I just don't get why back surgery is the one thing that you may or may not come back from.
  • Hello i think we have talked before i'm a 45 year old male that had a two level alif at l5s1 an l4 with a pro disc at at l3. I also had the carbon fiber cages with the two metal end plates an eight screws.I still have severe low low back pain with the same symptoms as before the surgery except before my right leg was the bad one know my left hurts an stays ice cold but my right one still hurts but is no longer cold My neuro has done ct mylo with dye an says all is great an im fused all the way I should of mentioned this before i had my surgery this last July an i also had BMP . I have a very good DR one of the best in Oklahoma but workers comp put me off for almost three years luckily i was a Foreman an didn't have to do anything.My Dr last Wednesday set me up to see a PM Dr i hope he can help me an is as caring as my neuro.An also i had a emg that showed residual ???? in left leg an my left was fine MY POOR WIFE has had to suffer along with me an she is great.I take endocet every four hours for pain an 500 mg of lyrica an soma four times a day do you think there is light at the end of the tunnel your surgery sounds alot like mine i read the bible alot that an my family is all that gets me thru the day i'm done babbling on i look forward to hearing back from you Von
  • Great question. I have rods in my neck with no problems at all. I never think of it until someone asks about the scar on my neck.
    My lower spine surgery is a whole new bucket of worms. I also have rods at L4 & L5 and have never had a pain free day. They say my problems is caused from the scar tissue that formed around the surgery site and is pressing on the nerves. Removing the scar tissue would cause more scar tissue to form and cause even more pain. No more surgery for me, not even the laser surgery to remove scar tissue.
    But why no neck pain?? Hmmmmmmmmm :? I am sure thare is scar tissue from that also but it does not cause me pain.
    I have no answers. Juse pain.
    Good luck...
    Patsy W
  • my last operation was to remove scar tissue as well as a bilateral discectomy .and ever since i have been a cripple in a worse state than before .i have been told that i have facet joint hypertrophy and the medics have offered me a fusion .but my doctor and my wife and i have decided no more surgery .i also refused a major operation for my thoracic outlet syndrome ,enough is enough!{the scar tissue is back again bye the way!
  • Sorry to hear the scar tissue's back again. I found out last month that I have it on the two levels they fused (see below). The pain has been so bad and it inspired my last post (I'm at it again). My MRI report says I may have trouble with a titanium screw extending into the lateral canal but it has to be investigated further. I hope it's just an artifact because I'm not looking to have any extra surgeries.
  • Yes that is what I was told about removing the scar tissue. More would form causing more pain. That Is why I always say...No more surgery....that is what is causing my problems now.
    I hope people who are thinking about having scar tissue removed read your post and decide against it although the thought of removing the sorce of the pain is a wondeful thought, it just is not worth it in the long run is it?
    Best to you Straker.
    Patsy W
  • for your input to this topic .it would be nice to find an answer so we could all got on with out lives and live without pain ...o..is that a pink pig i see before my eyes ??!!
  • What a good question! Ever since my fusion I have felt like I am in somebody else's body. All kinds of weird symptoms and pains (not just back) that I have never had before. For example, my immune system seems to be totally shot. After spending my entire adult life working in schools I had developed immunities to all the usual "bugs" - now it seems like I catch everything going around. And I have had on-going abdominal issues since about 2 weeks after surgery - a mystery. I have never been ill before except for the occasional cold. My only previous surgery was a total hysterectomy after which I had virtually no pain and was back at work in 2.5 weeks. This back surgery recovery thing has been a total shock!

    I love Ming's idea of a diagnostic machine! Sign me up! (Well, sign me up IF they then know how to fix whatever they find!)

  • as a car fanatics .i have always taken great care when purchasing vehicles ..but in my 25 years of motoring i have been stung on the odd occasion..where am i going with this??? tel me tell you i once looked at a BMW it looked wonderful but little did i know that its engine had been rebuilt and after a few 100 miles it blew up .now if BMW carnt get it right what chance have we got after a major make over on our spines!!! and unlike a car there's no after care warranty and we carnt just get a loan and buy a new one .we are stuck with a magnificent piece of bioengineering but when it goes wrong no one can really fit it{buy a hyundai you get 5 years warranty with it!!}
  • It truly is a matter of no matter how good the surgeon is, our own body can defy the odds and do something completely stupid, to itself!

    One little germ, one little chunk of scar tissue gone wrong...Anything, everything or nothing.

    (I'll pass on the hyundai) and the BMW :D
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