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Any hope for me?-did 3 surgeries in 3years and have chronic pain

penny-annyppenny-anny Posts: 2
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:45 AM in Chronic Pain
Hi everyone.im new here. I want to know after all ive gone thru Which im going to post below- Do I have a 4th surgery, live in chonic pain for life. Or is there any thing more that can be done for me? Basically I slipped in 05. I was having lower back pain and leg pain for months. and pain was very severe. went to see neurosurgeon. he did mri xrays It showed that I had spondyulitis, and it was a grade 1.My disc was 25% slippige of disc Also there was and still is a spot on lower back size ofhalf dollar that when you press on it I jump and yell in pain. Well I decided to try surgery. So 1st surgery was in 2006 . So he did fusion with cages, screws, After surgery I was suppose to be healing up. But after alot of months still pain lower back and leg pain and still had that pain that if you touch I jump and scream in pain. And neurosurgeon also felt screw in back that was loosing up. So 2007 I had my 2nd surgery. Hardware removed and during surgery he seen fusion wasnt fusing correctly. So he did a refusion. Well here we go again in 2008 still having that pain in lower back and leg pain getting worse neurosurgeon did some tests and said lets try so water therapy and regular therapy. well that didnt do nothing. then I tried nerve blocks and nothing worked for pain. I was on pain meds for back and legs called hydromorphone and valium. Well this helped about only 30%. So after all that he said a lamenectomy should help. I said ill only do 1 more surgery. I had lamenectomy done and that didnt help At All. after 3 surgeries I went another neurosugeon and
in 2009 did mri on lower back and another emg test- After 3 surgeries these reports show NOW that I have degenective disc disease, sponylisis, athritis and severe scar tissue, and went from a grade 1 slippage to a grade 2 slippage of disc and now neuropathy in both legs, tingling, foot fallls asleep. the spot on lower back is still gives me pain. I only sleep 3 hours and wake up in pain and back,legs are stiff and have to move back slowly to my other side and do this every 3 hours while at night.
So Im in worse condition than I started and reports prove this. And my neurologists said do you want to try for 4th surgery? I said I did 3 and didnt work. Whats gonna say a 4th surgery will help.
So now that you know my story Please is there any other options for me? Im still on the meds but that only helps 30% Im in severe chronic pain. Is there anything I can do beside 4th surgery or do I have to live like this for rest of my life as im only 47. Please any answers or anyone who has gone thru what ive gone thru in 5th years Please help. Thank you


  • welcome to spine health
    you sound like me ! i am on my third surgery {maybe} but i can relate to the 3 hours a night sleep and the pain all the time i don't have any answers but i think that another surgery for you probable wont help .{i have the same feeling for myself too} have you been for any more opinions?
  • I think you should see another Doctor.

  • Sorry to hear you are in so much pain. Do you go to a pain management doctor? They may have other options to manage your pain. As far as a 4th surgery, if it were me, I would definitely go for a 3rd opinion.

    Best to you,

  • welcome to spine-health
    In my opinion i would get new doc asap...
    No way would they cut me again if that many didn't work ...pls get more docs opinions..

    I'm sorry for you pain...perhaps as Mari stated pain mang..
    Search around this site it is filled with info and great ppl who will definitly give you some ideas..

    I am lumbar fusion in 06..and had hardware problems so remove it ...i was great for yrs
    Perhaps just getting some help first with your pain from a specialist in that fields..then search for docs...
    Where are you from?? Does you insurance allow you to get other opinions??
    Sometimes it is hard to get away from a doc that we have been going to for so many yrs and perhaps we trust..but for this doc to offer you yet another surgery...I would run from that doc..(thats just my unproffesionial opinion..
    Keep posting you have found a great site

    neck,bone spurs pain started 04, back issues and fusion l4,l5 06~hardware removed.
    good few yrs. 09 pain sharp, numbness feet,legs, diagnosed fibro, neurop. legs.lung issues.
    daily goal do good thing for someone.
  • Welcome to Spine-Health. I'm sorry that you've had such major problems.

    I'm with Dave - sounds like you need to see a different surgeon. If I were you, I'd seek out an ortho, fellowship-trained spine surgeon, someone who only works on the spine. All of your surgeries have been done by neuros so maybe it's time to try an ortho, but like I said, fellowship-trained in spine surgery.

    I happen to have a surgeon that specializes in severe cervical problems and fixing botched cervical surgeries. He's an ortho and is fellowship-trained in spine surgery. He's awesome.

    Like someone said here before: We dont have neuro problems causing ortho problems .... we have ortho problems causing neuro problems.

    Take care and please keep us posted.
  • Welcome. Am I confused or is it them ^? You said you went to a new surgery after the 3rd surgeon. SO you have one opinion from a new doctor. I would get at least one more opinion before making a decision. ANd you may want to get a third opinion.

    Often a second or third surgery is needed but it sounds like the surgeon just didn't get it right. Don't give up. Just get some new eyes looking at you.
  • This means a whole real lot as Ive never talked to anyone about all ive gone thru except family.
    Kris-NY this will clear us confusion for all of you. After my 3rd surgery My neurosurgeon who did all 3 surgeries left and moved 2 weeks after he did my last surgery. so I had to find new neurologist. Found new neurologist he dididnt much of anything except give me my meds. So nothing was done for me after my last surgery. UNTIl very recently. Within last 4 months He Finally got the ok from my insurance to do mri and emg test. 2 years after my last surgery. my insurance kept denying me for mri. saying not medically nessary. I requested open mri becuase of pain and cant sit in machine for that long long. I got denied for open mri- Finally after 2 years I got approved for regular mri. It took them a real long time to do mri itself becuase of my pain. After he got mri reports and emg test.He didnt even have the actual mri's itself or emg 's with him when I was in the examinaton room to see my lower back and legs. He was reading off a mri report and emg reports that are typed up and says Nerve damage in both legs{I started with only 1 leg pain now both. Have severe neuropathy, sciatica in both legs, Thats the Emg test results. Mri says I have spodyolysis, went from grade 1 to now a grade2 slippage of disc. I have severere arthritis, degenitive disc disease. Never had any probelms before my fall. And as you can read after 3 surgeries im worse medically then before my my 1st surgery. 2 months ago tells me your options are having 4th surgery or live with pain and not being able to do much for rest of your life. I had him for 2 years. He just recently told me to try therapy. I did that about 2 months ago and therapist said Im not going to make you go thru complete therapy when small excercises you cant do that without pain level increasing to about level 9. So therapists said Im sending report to your neurologist saying you are in severe pain when doing minor excercises and therapy didnt annd wont work for you.
    well I went my neurologist appointment I have every 2 months and he tells me the other day he leaving hospital and next month you will have another neurologist,
    Please everyone i have to see a new neurologist{only neurologist in hospital} who doesnt know how much lower back pain I have {and still have small lump in lower back that if you push in I jump in pain and have had this since after 1st surgery. Last neurologist I had told me my 2nd surgery would solve that problem.} and leg pain. What happens if this new doc says I dont believe in meds? Pain management only does nerve blocks and shots, doesnt deal with pain medicines. This is only place that has a ride that picks me up and drops me back home. What can I say or do to convince him that my meds for my lower back that ive been on for over 4 years is the only thing helping me to get to these appointments, or walk 1 block with a cane or basic things. Without my lower back pain med which ive had same med and dosage for 4 years now Im in bed curled up with lower back curled cant do anything and am crying. Ive tried to do without my lower back med recently just to see how much pain I would have and if I could do anything without the lower back medicine. I didnt make it 1 day. I tried to do things out of bed but severe pain I went to my bed curled up and couldnt even get comfortable in bed. I knew after a certain time I had to take the medicine as I was on verge crying. For lower back pain I only take 1 medicine{Hydromorphone 4mg every 6 hr .}Been on same med and dosage for over 4 years now. I never asked for increase in dosage which could probably help me. Didnt mention it becuase most doc's look at you like your a druggie if patient says meds working but maybe increase in dosage since Ive been on them for 4 years will help me more and maybe I can do more if this was done. Without it Im screaming in pain. For neuropathy Im taking 600 mg every 6 hours as needed. So what can I say or do if this new neurologist says he doesnt belive in medicines?. as pain management doesnt do pain meds and primary care dcotor only follows rules of neurologists. and This is only neurologist in hospital. workmans comp most docotors dont deal or take that insurance. and after 3 surgeries Do I have any other options? Please my mom who is 70 can do alot more than I can and that make me sad, cry, angry, Again thank you all for helping me.
  • Penny,
    It is never easy recommending additional surgery and we all enter each individual event with the same hope and expectation for every one. You are brave for having taken the opportunity and used that evidence wisely and progressively. It is an interesting observation that you make when as you say for the most part medication is not part of PM, if anything a reduction of medication is promoted and less reliance on any increase. I stopped after my second surgery when I was told that any additional surgery would not work, although this was not what anyone wants to hear and you mention it may well have made my condition worse than it needed to be and that risk analysis of how beneficial any surgery may be is always a projection and the true success only realised after the event.

    Only you can decide and we all have to know when to stop and be accepting of the future whatever than might be, on the basis that things could be worse, that is sometimes of little comfort when the road ahead uncertain, we all wanted to be back to normal.

    Additional opinions are only relevant when the benefit of doing something outweighs doing nothing, if we all look long enough we may find somebody willing to assist, just as your second surgery did not rectify what was expected, hindsight is a wondrous thing and we could all look back and say if only.

    Either way does carry some risk and the remnants of accumulative surgery we have to live with, do we want the truth or just an opinion that agrees with what we would like the outcome to be, these are not easy decisions. We are individuals with unique history, in wanting to ease that pain we should not feel the pressure to be accepting of any proposal, as we have to live with the results.

    Take care and good luck.


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