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AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:29 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I am new to this website and would love any feedback. I am 33 years old and I am suffering for terrible pain. I would say I have suffered from back epidsodes ( my back would go out and then go into muscle spasms for about 3 weeks) for about 10 years. My last episode in July of 08' was very bad and never got better. I tried all conservative treatment without success. I decided I needed to do something fast because I was not working because of the pain, so I decided to go thru with surgery. I went to see many neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons locally and they said the only surgery that would work was a 2 level fusion however there could possibly be drawbacks later on with adjacent strees at the other levels. I looked at other possibilities such as the artificial disc but the 2 level was not indicated nor was I sure about the drawbacks of that. i found a doc that said the best option was to do a one level fusion at L4-L5 and and an artificial disc at L3-L4. I thought at about 2 1/2 months I was starting to do better and my pain was getting a little better. Then slowly my pain started come back, the dreaded deep aching throbbing pain in my low back. Then, I started getting new pains. I now have stabbing, burning, aching, throbbing in the low back and burning down both of my legs 24/7!!! It definitely seems like my pain is worse now than before the surgery. i am on heavy pain meds: 40mg 2x/day of oxycontin, and percocet 10mg as needed plus Lyrica 150mg 2x/day and muscle relaxers(which i don't think helps). My question is do you think I am suffering from failed back syndrome and if so, is there anything out there to help. I am no way going back in for another surgery!!! The physical therapist won't even treat me because he's too scared about lawsuits. I am trying some stretching and light exercise on my own. Is there anything else I could be trying. Sorry about all this writing but I am just looking for answers because I feel like I could be suffering from this forever!


  • You need to get an MRI or CTScan done. CtScan will determine if your body fused. I don't know if ctscan can show any impingement of nerves or if any of the other discs are bulging such as L5/S1. If you are having issues with your nerves, you may want to have an EMG done to see if there is any nerve damage. Make sure you get copies of all the written reports for any tests you may have.

    I was just diagnosed with failed fusion and broken hardware. My surgery was 7/1/08 L5/S1 fusion. My surgeon did not catch this on the ctscan he ordered in Nov 2008 but I went for another opinon cuz I knew something wasn't right and this new doc found the broken screws and failed fusion from the same ctscan my surgeon said looked good.
  • i agree mri.are you usingice paacks on back this helped me aloooooot.I hate to here of people being in so much pain. I hopethings get better for ya
  • Generally speaking, failed back syndrome will not be diagnosed for a period of one year. What is your surgeon telling you at this point?

    I would agree that you need another MRI to see if you have nerve compression or to find what is causing your symptoms.

    In the meantime, I would go easy on the exercises as you don't want to risk further damage. Avoid any activities that involve bending or twisting. You should keep up with your walking as it is the best exercise to aid healing and to stretch the nerve.

    Hope you can get some answers soon. If your surgeon is not being helpful, find a new spinal specialist to take a look.
  • I know too well about that awful pain and it scares you since you've just had surgery. I went through that with both surgeries and in each case the surgeon ordered an MRI w/contrast. You will hear that it's still early in the recovery and that's why you have pain, but you should always contact your surgeon because he's the only one that can tell if it is just a flare or new problems. The first time around (micro-d) I reherniated 4 weeks later. With my 2 level fusion, everything went well surgically but the pain didn't diminish and months later scar tissue is found on another MRI. Anyway, you should call your doctor so you're able to get help and find out what's going on. Take care
  • My personal opinion-yeah, ask for CT's but both CT's and MRI's are very hard to read if you have hardware in your back because of the artifact(interference) from the metal. Is your back pain worse or your leg pain? If your leg pain is worse, some surgeons feel that getting a selective nerve root injection(sort of like an epidural) is diagnostic. If you get 100% relief from this injection, that means that you have nerve impingement at that level.

    So, if I were you, I would ask doc his opinion, ask about CT, then get a 2nd opinion. You only have one spine.
  • I am scheduled for the same surgery on July 28th and do not like to hear such horror stories. Can you share where you had the procedure done?
  • thanks for everyone's responses. i did have the a facet block post surgery with no success. as far as where i had the surgery, it was in New York back in November. i thought the surgeon and his team were great. unfortunately, it just didn't turn out well from me. don't let me scare u away from the surgery bc you probably have a good shot at getting better. dont let me discourage. if u have any more questions about this surgery, please email at pillpusherpfe@yahoo.com
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