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4 months post fusion repair L1-S1 and can/t stand straight or walk withour excruciating pain

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:29 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I had a fusion L4-S1 in 2003, fusion of L1-S1 in November 2007, and a repair surgery in November 2008 because of loose screws and unstable instrumentation in L-1. New hardware was replaced (two rods and 11 screws) and a plate was added on the side of L1 and the vertebrae above it along with a "cage" full of transplant bone in the same area.
Four months out and I cannot stand up straight without terrible pain like 8-9 and even tears. I have to walk hunched over and still can only go 25 yards before having to sit or lean on something. This is in addition to my "normal" chronic pain of 7.
My Doc took xrays today and said there is a "wrong angle" in the Thoracic. and he has ordered a CT scan and said in cases like this he has fixed it by "breaking the spine." What is he talking about? I am sick of back pain, back surgery and depression. I am on minimal pain meds (darvocet) and my life is miserable for me and my family. I am a 54 year old male who wants to get back into life and I feel I am caught in a vortex. I thought I would be "fixed" after the last surgery....


  • what he is talking about, but wanted to pop in and say that I hope you soon get some relief from your pain. I have been hurting about the same length of time after you post op, and although I didnt have nearly the same surgery, I know how hard it is to keep your spirits up. I cant believe that you are only on darvocet for pain. Good for you. But on the flip side, chronic pain wears you down and if it gets too bad, maybe think of something a little stronger. It will not help your recovery is you are hurting that much all the tinme. Good Luck and I hope you get the answers you are looking for.
  • Sorry to read about your continued pain hydro-dave. I'm confused as to what levels you actually "had" done. Are you fused from L1 (the first lumbar vertebrea) right through L2,3,4 & 5 to S1 ? or from L4,L5 & S1. Like Robin, I haven't any clues re your Drs comments about "breaking the spine" but if it was me, I'd be on the phone to him getting him to explain FULLY about it. I hope you get some answers and relief soon.
  • I had a similar problem, and it turned out that I had a STRESS FRACTURE caused by the surgery (a screw fractured a vertabrae). They were going to re-operate, but it self-healed, and I'm still struggling to stand upright, but it is getting better and doc thinks it will fully heal. I'm only 4.5 months post-op.
    Have the surgeon do a CT scan to look for a fracture. And as for the "break the spine" thing--I've never heard of it but get a good second opinion or better doctor and find out what is really going on!
  • Thanks for the comments. I do have a solid fusion from L1 to S1. I had the top two screws loose and moving in and out of L1 after my surgery in 2007. The surgery 4.5 months ago was supposed to fix that and things were looking and feeling better until a month ago when pain started getting much worse and I couldn't stand up straght anymore. I am waiting for the CT scan now and believe me I will grill my doc about why this is happening and/or get a second opinion before I let him in me again to "break the spine."
    I am having trouble getting a pain specialist to even accept me as a patient because I have had a history of alcoholism even though that has not been a problem for years and my wife will regulate my medication for me. It is humiliating to get run out of the office at first appointments with pain docs, even though my wife is with me. They apparently think I am lying and just trying to get schedule II drugs to abuse. I am disgusted with doctors refusing to treat me out of fear or discrimination.
  • I am now 61 but at 49 had intense back pain. I was finally diagnosed with Schurmanns Kyphosis and my first surgery was to fuse T-1 to T-12. In 2007 they took out all of the hardware and in 2008 they fused T-1 to T-4. So after all of the years with a long fusion my 2 remaining discs are destroyed. I am having a MRI on my lumbar and then decide if I need L-4 to S-1. I will be totally fused from T-1 to S-1. I have been in pain for over a decade and can't believe that I want another surgery to give me some relief...if possible.
  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    edited 01/18/2014 - 7:41 PM
    Dvsfive ..This is a very old thread, I suggest you create your own thread so it gets notices....

    Please take the time to read this post and refer to it when you have questions

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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
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