I would like to say I am a new member here but I have been lurking around for quite some time. Reading many post and articles. I find myself finally getting up the nerve to post.
I have been dealing with back pain for many years. I had a discectomy in 2003 and a laminectomy/fusion at L4-L5 in Jan of 08. After the fusion I complained about severe pain on the left side of my back over and over again. My surgeon said it was the muscles recovering and it was nothing to worry about. During the fusion he did find a lot of scar tissue from the previous surgery and nerves that were "crusted" down from the previous surgery that had to be freed up. I suffered a lot of nerve pain from that and the hopes were that the nerves would rejuvenate and the damage was not permanent. I eventually went back to work and dealt with the pain. Some days were better than others but I found myself just living and resting so I could go to work each day. My CT scan a year after the surgery showed extreme amounts of scar tissue and edema but I was fully fused. Still I was in constant pain.
Several months ago the pain became more than I could tolerate or control. I had an incident were I could not bare weight at all on my right leg and severe pain in my hip and groin. This pain was different than any I had ever experienced. My primary physician referred me to a different doctor thinking I was having hip problems. This doctor reviewed all my previous MRI's CT scans etc. and felt it wasn't hip pain but that I was having problems in the level below the fusion. Woo Hoo! Just what I wanted to hear. Things have gone from bad to worse. The Radiculopathy (sp?) has gotten out of control. It has gone from just being down the outside of the right leg where it was originally after the surgery to throughout the leg, hips, groin, feet, and into the left leg. I can't tolerate standing or sitting for any length of time, the pain in my back? Aggggh.... He has performed 2 MRI's and both show a slight herniation at the L5-S1 level but nothing significant. He is now requesting blood work suspecting some kind of bone infection in the spine. Each time he orders another test you wait a week to get it done and another for the results. I feel like my life is a series of "Hurry up and Wait."
Has anyone else who has had a spinal fusion had this kind of problem so late after the fusion. Maybe it's just a gut feeling but I somehow feel like either the scar tissue has taken over my back or the hardware is being rejected. But wouldn't I have know that long before now? It seems like with each passing day the pain gets worse and worse and I am slowly but surely losing the use of my legs. I have gone from pain to painful numbness and tingling and occasionally the legs will just turn to jelly and become useless.
This post has already been dreadfully long so I won't even get into all the drugs, Steroid injections, periods of rest, and PT I have tried.
Thanks for reading I know It's a long one.