Hi guys. Haven't posted for awhile, mostly because I've been working full-time and dealing with pain full-time. But I would appreciate feedback from anyone else who has dealt with my particular symptoms.
I have had increasing lower back pain from the fusion site (L4-5) down through my sacrum and coccyx radiating outward to my hips. It is a burning pain, can get unbearable and is much worse as the day progresses. The burning radiates into and throughout my "saddle" area. When it is really bad I could almost believe I have a urinary tract infection except I've had that checked out and am fine. Believe it or not, when it starts hurting I can't even lie on my back -even the direct pressure on that area hurts. Also, as I have posted earlier, sitting all day is awful even with regular breaks. When I wake up in the morning, I feel fine. By 2 in the afternoon, the pain really kicks in and goes from bad to worse! I still have some leg and foot issues but they are not "deal breakers." I can handle them. It's the lower back, hip and pelvic pain.
My doc, who is fellowship trained and well reputed, did a MRI with contrast. It shows lots and lots of inflammation but everything else looks great. Fusion is good in the xrays. Doc say, for lack of another diagnosis, that it might be scar tissue. My physical therapist, who is the head of the clinic and has reviewed my MRI as well, says that "if" it is scar tissue, it is not showing on the MRI. The doc said the same thing. Apparently scar tissue shows up as "whiter brighter" area on the MRI.
1) Could the inflammation still be due to surgical trauma even after 6 months, do you think? I did have an extemely large synovial cyst removed which is why my surgery took an extra 2 hours and resulted in some extra loss of blood. Has anyone else heard that they have "inflammation" months after spinal fusion and what are the causes? Is there anything else I should suspect?
2) I have been referred to a pain managment center. Has anyone got tips in terms of what to expect there? I was totally off of narcotics but am back up to 10 to 15 mgs of lortab. Doc just prescribed nuerotin - 100 mgs X3 daily but after 3 days they have had no effect. My insurance won't pay for Lyrica. Is 100 mgs X 3 a regular dose of nuerontin?
I am exercising. I go to the pool and thanks to those of you who recommended aqua therapy, I must say that the pool makes me feel much better! It's just getting out and going home that's the bummer! I do stretches, etc.
I appreciate any comments, suggestions, tips and especially would like to hear from anyone who who has or had similiar symptoms. Thanks to all and hope you are doing better and getting stronger daily. I haven't given up hope!