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New Alaska

JMA375HHJJMA375HH Posts: 3
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:45 AM in New Member Introductions
Hello I had major lower back surgery 3 years ago, and have never fully recoverd. I still have many problems with lower back and legs. Somuch so I can't go back to work still.
My surgen whom I just saw said maybe try removing my metal and screws may help. This is S1-L4-L5. I can't get threw most days 3 to 4 hrs of standing walking and sitting when my lower back gives out and I start loseing my motor skills in my legs and also feel as if Iam getting pulled apart at the waist. My surgen did not give much hope for much change with the removle of my hardware. He said the nerve damage is to much and there is not much at this point that can be done.
I would like to get another Surgeon outside of Alaska that deals with the lower back that might beable to help me. Any suggestions would be great.

Thanks JMA


  • sorry that things did not work out well for you .i live in the UK so can't recommend a surgeon .but i just wanted to wish you well and i hope that someone in here can help you
  • But we are at opposite ends of the US (I'm in Florida(normally live in the UK too) looking after my son who just had fusion S1-L5)

    His surgeon in Florida was great! Fellowship trained spine surgeon which is what you need.

    If I can be of any help PM me. I hope you can find someone to help you. Life is difficult enough without chronic pain added to the mix.

    Gentle hugs to you.

  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can.so glad you stopped by.. i don't live in alaske either and can't help you with a doctor, but i am sure your persistence will pay off. don't give up! i am sorry your surgery was a failure and you feel even worse!! stop by anytime and let us know how you are doing! Jenny :)
  • You've come to the right forum for support.

    I live on the opposite side of the world and can't recommend another surgeon, but there will be others here who can make suggestions.

    I hope in time you can get a reduction in your pain.


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
  • At the risk of breaking the rules (which I'm not totally clear on), I would suggest that money should be no object and that you need to find the very best care. I have heard that there is a very famous place in Rochester, MN with a name like something you would put on a sandwich. (Did I do that delicately enough?) If you PM me, I can tell you more about it because I looked into it myself. I think you should consider planning a vacation there and arrange for a full evaluation. I have heard they are rated the #1 Neuro-surgical hospital in the country.

    To the moderators, I apologize if I crossed the line here. I'm not recommending any specific treatment, just an evaluation. If you feel this is inappropriate, then please feel free to remove this.

  • Sorry to hear you have found no relief. I'm curious about what your doctor told you before surgery. Many of us go into surgery with the doctor giving us poor chances for relief of pain but we risk surgery hoping that the doctor will be wrong and we will do better. I've also heard of patients who need surgery just for stabilization not pain relief.

    A second opinion is probably a good idea. But how far can you travel both physcially considering your pain and financially? I'm sure Seattle has some good hospitals. Any chance that there are specialist who make remote rounds? I know in upstate NY and out in AZ there are doctors who visit remote offices a few times a month to see patients. Of course any surgery would mean traveling to their hospital.

    Hope these ideas help. YOu know I was just wondering what your doc is doing to manage your pain right now? Also since this was your first post maybe you could share more about how you were hurt and what you have been through since. The more you can share the better chance someone will relate to you and be able to offer their experiences.
  • <):) I thank all of you for your help and support. I guess I should give a little more detail as to my situation. Basically back in 2003 I took a bad fall from a peace of equipment at work. I landed on concrete and bounced twice on my tail bone. After the accident I was in extrema pain for about 3 months but I just worked though it and gradually the pain, some what went away so I thought. Over a period of five years after the fall I noticed my legs and lower back increasing once again in much pain. I had trouble walking sitting and standing.

    I finally went to my wifes Surgeon and got my MRI he took one look and said I needed Surgery soon. Because this was work related I had to go threw the Workman's comp Ins (Thats a hole story in it's self.)Anyway I had the surgery in 07 and for a short time thought I was getting better.

    I guess I traded one set of pain for another physically and mentally. I get 2 or 3 hrs a day before I can't walk and have to lay down for the most part of the rest of the day. October will be three years and I feel like life is over for me.

    I am only 47 I love the out doors and I find I can no longer do much of anything I once enjoyed. The depression is killing me and my mind is no longer clear. The feeling of having your life and dreams just slowly fade away is something only people like us can understand.

    I have tried looking for the best Surgeons but that gets confusing. Workman's comp is sending me to Portland Oregon for a IME this August but if it's anything like the first one I had with these guys, well I don't hold much hope for a real exam. Anyway I am glad I found this forum. Thanks again JMA. Oh and my Doctor said when I asked about my outcome would be after first surgery and he said I should be 100%.
  • Saying that you should be 100% is really foolish. I can't tell you how many times in my life that I or one of my family members were told that a certain procedure is 98% successful, and then we ended up in the 2%. My last surgery was 80-90% chance of success. So far, I'm in the other 10-20%.

    I do want to say that I am so disappointed when I hear that Workers Comp patients are not receiving good care. I work for one of the top Property & Casualty insurance companies and we take great pride in our Workers Comp insurance product. I wonder if it's how the individual state laws are setup that cause the problem? I would really like to know why WC falls short of giving people the care they deserve. That's probably a huge hornet's nest, huh?

    Anyhow, I hope you find a good doctor who can take care of you!

  • Welcome friend! I too am sorry to hear of your continuing pain. I am assuming that you had a L4-S1 fusion since you speak of metal and screws. I had a 360 fusion of L4-S1. I am a little past 6 months and I still have low back pain.

    Have you had any imaging done recently? What do the doctors think is generating you pain? I would hope you have a pain management doctor. My PM has been so helpful in getting control of my pain and getting back some of my life. Are you on any medication?

    I work at a large facility that has at least 3 work comp agents in house. Many people have problems with work comp here. I am sorry you have to deal with them on top of the stress your pain must put you in.

    The reason I replied to your post was to tell you you are not alone. I truly understand your feeling depressed. I too have fought the dark feeling associated with continuing pain and having to give up things that you enjoy. I asked to be referred to a pain psychologist. He got me started on anti depressants and within 3 visits I was feeling better. I urge you to get treatment for your depression if you have not. I am not ashamed to say that I needed help. Some anti-depressants can also help with nerve related pain. By visit number 3 the psychologist told me I was fine and that I could talk with him if I needed to again, but he did not believe I needed anything else.

    I truely wish you success in getting some relief. I have found this site to be most helpful in my journey. Keep us posted on your progress.
  • I'm in Anchorage. I hope you will PM me who you have seen. I would like to know what they have done for you for pain managment and treatment options. I will tell you who my NS is if you like. If you haven't seen him it would be worth it to get a second opinion from him. He is in the large practice here.

    I had a PLIF L4-S1 in 2008 that has been successful. I was about 75% dislocated ay L5/S1 and 25% at L4/L5. For me it was great.

    Hang in there,


  • I just want to thank everyone for there support. I put my up coming surgery on hold for now and rescheduled to see my Surgeon instead. Because everything in my MRI looks good I see no reason to go in and remove my metal at this time and take a chance at making things worse.

    I plan on seeing what turns up with this IME coming up then seeing what my surgeon has to say one more time. I believe the wise thing to do in the end is see someone at a larger Medical center out side of Alaska at some point.

    I don't feel so alone anymore and all the support from you all has given me much needed hope and has maid my mind calm down to the point I feel like I can deal with the depression better. I will stay in touch . Thanks again JMA
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    Maybe a nerve conduction test and an EMG Might be helpful. It could also be possible that the next disc up couldn't take the added pressure. So a MRI or ct scan could also be helpful. It happened to me, twice!
    I've been to Alaska twice. And I love it!
    Good luck, Jim
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
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