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Officially Hit Rock Bottom

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:35 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I have not been on here for a long while. I am just wondering if anyone has any advice for me.

I am only 25 years of age. I had a spinal fusion Dec 2007 from L4 to S1 due to spondylolisthesis. Since then I am living what seems to be a pointless existence as I feel I am in constant pain and I am being shoved from doctor to doctor and I think that none of them have a solution for me.

I cant sit for long but yet i cant stand for that long either so im caught every way. I have constant leg pain which i never had before. I have pain into one side of my backside which wasnt there before surgery. I was sent for a nerve test lately and all i got was a letter from my doctor saying that i have chronic nerve denervation, he literally signed the letter saying "i hope that answers your query".

I dont know where to go from here. My general doctor is a bit lost as to what to do for me. I am hoping someone can tell me what to do next or should I prepare myself to come to terms with being left this way?


  • Have you looked into pain management? After my surgery, same as yours, had same problem. Had ESI proceedure and gave great relief. Time for me to have another and can't wait. But hope you get help soon, know the feeling and it's not the least bit fun!
    Take care and good luck!
  • Sorry if I havnt much detail in that, im not sure what to write.

    Before the operation all I had was back pain and I kept getting leg weakness.

    After the operation I have :

    * Severe back pain
    * Pain and Stiffness when sitting
    * Numb tingling feet
    * Severe hamstring pain and tightness
    * Swollen and painful neck and shoulders
    * Muscle spasms and pain in both legs

    In general I have a pulled muscle in my legs every second day and I am getting no answer as to why this is happening either.

    I know Ireland is small and am aware that surgeons here may be unwilling to step on other surgeons toes here.

    I am willing to travel anywhere if some doctor can help me.
  • Im not sure what ESI is. That is another thing that is getting to me , i feel very silly about my situation as i feel i have no idea what is going on and doctors seem to be unable to help me.
  • Hello - If your at rock bottom now, then all you have ahead of you - is up!

    I pose this to you - because I was Diagnosed at 22 -23 with some stuff. I go so effin angry with the diagnosis that I worked for years pushing myself to work and heal that I never slowed down for probably 15 years. I saw the oportunity in this way- Ok - so now that I have this "stuff" does it make me weaker or stronger? I chose to take it as a challenge and try to find work that would pay me - and still allow me to "live" with the problems of a back problem. Was it hard- I will never tell you that it was easy! But to me - if was worth it!

    Please don't give up - Find a way to get around what you are seeing as your bottom and by all means involve your Physician, but do something for yourself too!

    Attitude is one of our greatest tools in this battle, I would encourage everyone to use it daily.

    I will never tell you that I have not had a bad day-or even a few together, but as I have lived with this for 25+ years, you can have your attitude lift both your spirits and your mind to see how to lve with what you are dealing with.

    Truthfully - I do hope your feeling better for have stopped here and asked.
  • If you had a fusion in 2007, have they sugessted to have the hardware out. That is what I am having done as my Ortho seems to think is is causing the same pain you are having. Just a thought. Please PM me, if I can help in any way.
  • Epidural spinal injection, you can look it up, I'm not real good explaing things!!
    What stage spondylithesis?
  • i was all set to give you suggestions, but I see you live in Ireland. That limits my knowledge as to options for you. So I'm going to go ahead and write what I was going to suggest, and let you winnow out what might or might not work where you live.

    I have had problems similar to yours. I had a PLIF at L4-5 in Jan. of 2008. I had a second surgery in Jan of this year...and while each surgery was "medically successful" i have the very same pain that I had prior to either surgery! I had spondy also. It sounds like our situations are similar. If that is the case, and of course, there is no way of knowing, I would tell you that your situation is far from hopeless and you certainly must not give up. You are way to young for that! I feel that new technologies will be available in the near future that will help both of us...but, in the meantime, I would suggest you find a fellowship-trained spinal specialist that has some new ideas for you. Rather than going the pain management route, I would suggest you start over with a new fresh pair of eyes that may be able to find something that is causing your pain.

    In order to do this, you might want to have a MRI in a imaging unit that allows you to do it in the position in which you experience pain...standing, flexing or sitting. Sometimes putting load on the discs as they are in real life allows a new perspective for imaging and may reveal what does not show when you are lying down. These machines can be difficult to find...not that many places use them and as a result, spinal specialists tend to say they make any difference. But I know two people that they made a big difference for!! So I am traveling to another city in Sept. to have a standing MRI.

    If none of this shows anything new, then you turn to pain management -- you can try various injections, nerve blocks, etc. or you might be a candidate for a neurostimulator that is implanted in the spine, and blocks pain signals from reaching the brain.

    But I would first start with some new consultations, if that is a possibility for you!!

    I'm following my own advice and am making some progress...and I encourage you to keep trying. It is too early to accept the advice of "learning to live with the pain."

    xx Gwennie
  • Have you had an MRI or CT scan post surgery?

    Or, how about a discogram?

    These are really good things to get done to determine what's going on.

    If you have chronic denervation - I don't know what that is, but it sounds like the nerves are dead (please correct me if I'm wrong) but I am dealing with some nerve damage as well - it's that 'pulled hamstring' feeling that you describe.

    Currently I have no idea what the future is on this nerve stuff for me, but I can tell you it's NOT fun. I have to constantly be on guard for when the muscles get charley-horses. It's nightly.

    The physical therapists want you stretching the muscles - try that. Eat bananas, take vitamins, drink lots of water to make sure it's not being made worse by a n inadequate diet.

    Also - walk, walk, walk, walk and walk some more. Motion is the lotion. Get some oxygen to those injured areas so they have the best chance of healing.

    Glad you found SH - it's truly a group of people who know what it's like. You are not alone.

  • Epidural spinal injection, you can look it up, I'm not real good explaing things!!
    What stage spondylithesis?
  • Thanks everyone for replying, ye are very helpful especially when im feeling that no1 understands at the moment.

    I have had CAT scan and MRI a few times after surgery and the doctors say that it is hard to see in around certain areas because of the hardware in there. They were suspicious of cauda equine syndrome for a while but then they said it is just denervation which to be honest hasnt been fully explained to me either.

    It is not an option to get the hardware out as they actually fused my spine in the slipped position as they were not able to reallign everything. Which is probably the reason for all my problems now.

    Ireland is a small country with only a few good spine specialists so i am finding it very hard to get a doctor that would give me fresh new ideas.

    I have had nerve root blocks and it has actually hightened my pain so they didnt do anymore. I had a discogram done and my discs seem to be ok.

    I have put down such a bad weekend with my hamstring, i havnt been able to straighted my right leg for 2 days now, this happens so often i am so frustrated.
  • Oh and it was a grade 2 spondy but my L5 vertibre was extremely deformed and undersized, this is another reason why they cudnt reduce the slip during the operation.

    They fuzed it at a 40% slip.
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