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6months post-op PLIF L4- fusion etc. major pain

crashhccrashh Posts: 40
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:35 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
So here I am again for more info. I am 6months post-op 3 level spinal fusion. I stopped with the pain meds back in may-june because my pain mngmt doc has me on so much crap that I was going nuts and then she had the balls to tell me I messed with my urine sample, I also had major relief of my leg pains so I stopped seeing her. I was ok for about a month. The I started to get the bad lower back pains and the leg raise pains again, I have not had those pains since before my spinal fusion. I went to my surgeon to see about alternate pain mgmnt. They did an xray and said my hardware looked ok and the bones were growing very fast and sent me on my way. Every time I went to PT I could walk and stretch but then body exercises I could not do because the pain was so bad. So they stopped my PT. I called my surgeon because the pain is getting much worse as time goes on. I finally got a call back after 3 weeks for this CT Malogram. I have already had a spinal fluid leak:( I do not want another:)but it seems that I have to do this test. I am really wanting this pain to go away, not sure if I should just go back on the pills or what. I cant sit down or upright. When I do and I try to get up there is so much pain. What do you folks think could be causing all this pain. Is it normal for me to have so much pain in my lower back all the time. What do I do in the meantime? I have another 2 weeks before I even get the results of the Ct-Malogram that I am to have on 8.11.09. I worry that my surgeon will tell me everything is fine , this is normal, I dont know if I can deal with this pain especially knowing that they cant do anything about it. Thanks for your time.


  • I am sorry to read that you are suffering so much. Is there anything that relieves the pain? Can you get a new pain management doctor that can help you find some meds that are tolerable or ask your surgeon to give you something to get you through the next couple of weeks before you have the CT Myleogram? While the CT is undesirable maybe it will shed some light on your situation and at least your doctor is trying to find the cause. I only have a one level fusion and I am in terrible pain, I can't imagine what a three level fusion would feel like. In my case I feel pretty confident that my pain is coming from the hardware. If I limit my movement and stay on muscle relaxers then I can significantly reduce my pain--almost eliminate it altogether. Additionally, I had a hardware block which gave me 80-90% relief for a couple of hours. Not that this is a fool proof test but it is used as an indicator for hardware pain. Don't give up on trying to find a solution. Hopefully other spineys with multi-level fusions can offer some insight and suggestions. Hang in there.
  • It's great to see you after so long, but it stinks that you are here again because you are in so much pain. I understand your anxiety over having the CT myleogram, especially after the CSF leak fiasco you went through. I was the same way and swore I would never let another doc near my spine with a needle. I was in total fear of another leak being produced and no doc wanting to acknowledge it or want to help. I had to get over that though.

    The good thing about a CT myleogram, is that the injection is done using flouroscopy, so it is easy to ensure that the needle is placed properly and it is also easy to see on the CT if the needle produces a leak.

    Keep working with your surgeon and let him get to the bottom of this for you. It stinks to have to wait on results, but it will be worth it in the end. The key is, that you know that you can feel better and have less or more tolerable pain levels. So stick to your guns on this until you get some resolution.

    With everything you've been through up to this point, I know you are a fighter. Put the gloves back on and get back into the ring if you need to!

    Hang in there my friend!

  • I went and did the CT-Malogram. not so bad.but i got that headache now , been there for 14 hours. Is the area where they put the needle in supposed to be swollen. its not huge but u can see a lump there. it has been the same size since i looked at it yesterday. i hope i am just worrying too much.
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