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walking problems

terror8396tterror8396 Posts: 1,832
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:34 AM in Chronic Pain
i've written about this problem on numerous occasions. i've had 4 back surgeries and have had pain for approximately 10 years. my ortho dr retired and he was going to do an injection. i have a new one now and i will see him next week. anyway. my pain and inability to walk gets worse by the month. i still have pain in back-mid level and pain that goes from butt to mid leg on right side. at night the pain is worse,, and my leg gets numb. sometimes it is numb just in my foot and sometimes it is down my whole leg. just walking is a chore. i can walk about 100 ft then have to rest. it is really affecting my quality of life. i can't go for walks, shop, and even going to disneyland was a problem. i rented a chair. anyone suffer from the same problem? has anything helped? i have become very depressed over this and even my co workers have noticed. i teach and had 2 months to rest up, but to no avail. nothing works
I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.


  • I can really emphathize with you, but I do not have any answers...although I am still looking. I am lucky in that my pain goes away as soon as I sit or lie down...but I cannot walk either or stand for more than a very short time.

    My surgeon thinks my problem is from scarring on the nerve itself. This keeps it from making a proper connection, so it just kind of malfunctions and sends out pain signals.

    I know how discouraging it is to go through surgery and recovery and have it not bring any relief.

    Have you tried something like Cymbalta? It would help with depression and might also help with the pain. It would be worth a shot if you haven't tried it yet.

    Hang in there. I have hope that something will come along soon that will be of help to people like us!!

    xx Gwennie
  • two months off and no improvement. you have reason to be down about this. i cant offer any solution either. i get pain everywhere so my only hope is the scs as drs will not operate anymore. for me the depression is something i want to avoid more than the pain. my advice based on my situation is to do whatever necessary to ease the pain. if wheelchair helps then use it. try to do activities that dont hurt. keep as busy as you can to take mind off of pain. be carefull about any drugs that might make you more depressed. acceptance is difficult but sometimes is necessary....after 4 surgeries maybe the spinal cord stimulator would help.....pete
  • I know how difficult it is not to be ambulatory as you once were. I've been going through this myself, and the more I'm on my feet, the worse I feel. My lower back hurts more, and I get more nerve pains and muscle spasms. If I venture out somewhere, it needs to be someplace with a scooter or wheelchair. It's a catch 22 situation because it requires sitting on them and you know how that goes. Yes, I'm very limited so I spend most my days in bed surrounded with necessities (phone, water, meds, remote, etc). I hope that when I get to have my pain pump surgery, life will be a little better for me and I can tolerate doing more. For now I take my 80mgs of Oxycontin a day, 40mgs of oxycodone daily, along with the other meds. Have you had times where it feels like walking on glass? I sure have and it sucks. You've been through so much already and I was wondering if your doctors have recommended any alternatives such as the stim like Pete mentioned or possibly a pain pump. I know there is a solution out there for you too. Take care
  • Jon,
    Hello,you sound just like me,iam getting injections monday after 10 yrs living with it only taking precocets,new pain doc said very good pain injections out today,so i will try them again.she also getting me a tens unit with,lyrica 2x a day.

    get to pain center. Rick ncpa
  • Jon, I feel your pain (pun intended)! As time goes on I find that the distance I am able to walk is decreasing and I never leave home without my cane. I don't feel the ground "normal" because of the numbness & tingling in my foot (never goes away) and my balance is for crap. That's where the similarity ends, I haven't had surgery. Truth be told they haven't been able to diagnose me yet, although we've moved out of "spiney" land.

    My co-workers are becoming used to seeing me with my cane, some of them are glad to see it, as I've fallen at work before. Once I was talking to a co-worker and the next thing I knew I was flat on my back. Have no idea why I fell except I do have some short vertigo episodes.

    Sorry I can't offer any advice, I have found nothing that is helping me. My PM doc stopped giving me injections because they quit working. Now I'm purely on meds, attempting to find a diagnosis on what is really causing my problem.

    I hope your visit next week helps you out, my first ESI was heaven for about 8 months. Sometimes a new perspective opens up new treatment options, I hope your new doctor will be a winner for you!
  • thanks to all for the support. i walked across campus to get pictures for my class and one of my students thought i was going to have a heart attack because i was sweating and panting. it is a drag. hopefully my new ortho will have some answers and maybe let me have an mri. my old ortho did not want mri because he felt they are only for people who are going to have surgery. after 4 back operations i don't know if another would help or hinder. i will do anything to be able to do a minimum of walking. i keep all posted, i see this guy on the 25th
    thanks again
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • Dear Jon,

    I am sorry to hear that your two month break didn't go so well. (I was thinking you took off to Hawaii to soak up some sun and fun!)

    You have always exhibited and implemented good coping skills throughout your many years of pain. Keep that in mind, while you sort out these hurdles you are now facing. When walking becomes a continual painful battle, it is depressing and quite exhausting. I did the majority of our back-to-school clothes shopping in my wheelchair, due to my back pain. The school supply shopping was done in the evening hours and it was the fastest gathering I've ever done in my life. I wanted to leave the wheelchair at home and use the shopping cart for support... and I did just that. If you heard some strange "OMG!", "Eeee!", "Ahhhhh!" and "Ughhhh!" sounds a few days ago... that was me on my speedy spree. The kids got a good laugh out of seeing me toss their school lists aside and just fill the cart with the necessities and any other stuff that looked cool. Nikki is now in 4th grade and Zach is a Sophomore. I decided to donate the extras to Nikki's school, as Zach through a fit at the thought of using neon colored bunny erasers and glitter markers. I grounded him for a month due to his snotty attitude.... (just kidding).

    I truly hope your appointment goes well next week and you can get an injection for additional pain relief. It would be wonderful if this new doctor can come up with some new approaches to ease your pain.

    Please let us know how the visit goes. It saddens me to hear that you are depressed, but you have every right to be. I know you will get through this and we are here to help you, in any way we can.

    Take care, Jon.

  • It's good to see you back, but bad to see you back :D Wouldn't it have been lovely if your two month break had miraculously cured you! But since it didn't there are several things you can try. For the lower back pain, have you tried pain patches? They help me, but have to use them consistently, at least I do. I haven't found anything to really help the pain in my legs from walking or standing. I've tried Lyrica, which caused weight gain, but worked well, and now neurontin. Also baclophen and tramadol. Vicodeine for bt pain. Nothing really makes it go away totally. Warm pool therapy, and a nice hot jacuzzi really relaxes my lower back. I'm trying a massage on Monday. I have been told that medical mj helps nerve pain, but I haven't tried it. Good luck with the new doc, let us know what happens. Take care.

  • I know how you feel. I had alif fusion w/bmp l5s1 level last year. Still can not go anywear without my cane walking more than 15 minutes the pain is unbearable and i feel like my legs are giving out on me. All my doctor keeps telling me that it is still healing and he thinks he should have fuseed the l4l5 level because i had a laminectomy on that level in 2001 and he thinks that level was to weak to support the l5 ls1 fusion. I am beginng to think that they will try all types of procedures and hope they get the right one. I get very depressed about it went to see someone for it to help me. which is not really helping and it is very hard to get a second opinion and i am running out of options. I have no idea what to do next.
  • I forgot to mention do not forget that you are not alone with this. There are alot of us here in the same boat so just hang in there. Remember just take small steps each day.
  • I to have walking problems..
    Have You tried a cane? or a handicap placard for vehicle. (just a suggestion)..
    I hope you find relief soon..
    Hugs to all...Patsy
  • I have a cane and handicap placard that I never leave home without. Still with both I have a hard time walking it fells like I am going to fall while walking which scares the hell out of me. My doctor is having a hard time figuring out the problem with the bmp in the l5 s1 level i had in sept of 08' and the laminectomy on l4 l5 level oct 01'. It is also hard getting a second opinion.
  • Isn't that the worst John? I feel like I'm going to fall all the time too. Going to the grocery store is actually the best place for me to walk, I can use the shopping cart as a big walker. I just follow my wife around and then pay at the end. Hmmm, gotta work on that last part!

    I hope your doctor is able to figure out the problem and I sure hope you can get a second opinion, sometimes a fresh set of eyes makes all the difference in the world!
  • thanks all for the great posts
    i have taken the patches, but oxy is the best for me with fenatyl lollipops for breakthrough. i use a cane and yes a store is best for me also because shopping cart makes a great walker. my old ortho did not want to do another mri because i already have had 4 back surgeries and he felt that nothing else would help. but i still would like to see if something is going on down there and if it can help my walking then another surgery will not be a problem. the only good thing is that at beginning of school year, back of legs were very painful but now getting around and walking more at school seems to have solved that problem but i wake up every night with leg pain and numbness from my but to my knee. the problem is that fusions tend to put pressure on the disc above it and after a while that disc blows out. i hope that is not th ecase. i might need to have whole back fused if that is the case. or worse case, just live with it like i have. 2 more years before i retire and maybe more if wife can't find a job. at lease we have my insurance.
    thanks again to all for posiitive posts
    your friend in pain
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • Terror8396 I feel your pain just take it slow when you are at work. I know me when I get towards 5pm and I am not working the pain is unbearable in my back and legs. When i go for a walk i go to the supermarket because I can use the Cart to help me. I will not go for walks around the block because I had to have my wife pick me up because I could not go any further.

    Will be seeing a new doctor for a second opinion this friday. Only I told the doctors office I wanted a consultation.
  • Well went and got second opinion. the doctor took and xray and saw that the bmp in the l5 s1 level is still not fused and next month will be a year. He also confirmed what my doctor told me is that the l4 l5 is more then likely going to have to be fused. this will be my third surgery. If it helps me walk i will have the surgery. I see my doctor on sept 11th.
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