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back and neck pain

pigfarmerppigfarmer Posts: 32
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:46 AM in New Member Introductions
Hi everyone, i'm new to spine-health. I've looked at posts for a few years, and got a lot of good information on here and decided to join. I have had a total of nine spine surgeries, starting in 2000 when I got trampled by eight 300lb. hogs and ruptured my L5/S1. From then it's just been going back to work on my hog farm, doing more damage, and having another sugery. I am now fused from S1 to L2, and have another two herniated lumbar discs, along with three cervical herniations. My main problem, along with so many of you on here, is pain. I got a second opinion from a NS who thought he'd seen bone overgrowth from bmp used in prior surgeries, lumbar approach, that was pushing on my spinal cord, causing my legs to be quite weak and numb. He said he would have to do a myelogram to confirm this due to the metal artifact getting in the way on the MRI. When I went back for my second appt. with him, he acted like he did'nt know what I was talking about, and just said good luck and hope I could find some relief. My wife and I just sat there in disbelief! My regular NS is a really nice guy and I really like him, but I'm wondering if he's trying to cover up that he put to much bmp material in and now it's causing a problem! Sorry for venting so long, but all my PM doctor wants to do is give me more shots and more morphine, and my NS won't admit he made a mistake and correct it!! I would like to tell him I'm not going to sue you, just make me feel better! I had to sell my hog farm, which I had been doing since I could walk, and apply for disability, so now I'm dealing with being very deppressed also! I'm at the end of my rope and just needed some people like you guys to give me some help. If it wasn't for my wife and kids, I would probably be dead by now. By the way I'm 45, married for 25 years in two weeks, and have 3 kids, 2 boys in college, and my baby girl is a senior in high school this year. Very sorry for being so long, but needed to talk to some people who understand what I'm going through!! Thanks for reading this, if anybody does.
11 back surgeries, fused from L3/S1. Now have four herniated disc in neck from C3/C7. And two new herniated disc in lumbar at L1-2, L2-3. Passed 73 kidney stones, five surgeries on left ankle that now has seven screws in it and is fused. Both shoulders


  • Welcome to Spine Health

    Wow I don't know what to say about your predicament. I wish there was an easy answer for you. So when you asked the NS about the previous appointment when he talked about a myelogram and bony overgrowth, what was his comment? Did he acknowledge talking about it or did he just move on to the next topic? When you say he acted as if he didn't know what you were talking about, did he even offer to check your records to see if he had made any notes in regards to his concern? Is this NS the one who has done all your surgeries? If you really like the guy and trust him to be doing surgery, do you feel that he's approachable enough to discuss your concerns with? Was he maybe having an off day?

    I certainly hope you are able to figure a way to get some relief and get things taken care of before they get worse. I have learned that I have to be my own advocate. The docs, no matter how good they are and how much they care, go home at night and have their own life. Unfortunately our lives revolve around the few hours a day that they are at work and when we can get a portion of their time. So when we have those few moments to be in their focus, we have to be ready to take full advantage of that time and be prepared to speak for ourselves.

    Hope you can work something out.

  • Welcome to Spine-Health.

    I'm sorry to hear about all you've gone through. I agree with "C" that you should probably approach the NS again. If that doesn't work, can you get a second opinion from another doc?

    BMP overgrowth is not all that uncommon and I believe your doc should be willing to help you. My he was just having an off day and will once again offer to schedule a myelogram.

    Please keep us posted on what happens.

  • Hi Farmer

    I can certainly understand your frustration. I had several complications that came from my surgery. When I brought the problems to my surgeon he was very defensive but couldn't deny that they happened in surgery.

    Since then I have spoken with a mal-practice attorney since these are problems that are not fixable and will stay with me for life (I'm 45 also). What I was told is that spine surgeons (neuro in particular) are a very close group and that they will not testify against each other. No testimony equals no lawsuit.

    What I also learned is that mal-practice only applies if the actions of the surgeon were grossly wrong. Which would be something like operating on the wrong level or leaving something inside. Since no one knows exactly how much BMP to place your situation probably wouldn't be considered mal-practice.

    I'm sharing all of this because you mention telling the surgeon that you wouldn't sue if he could just make you feel better. That is probably not what is stopping him since he knows it would be hard to bring a case against him. More likely in my opinion is that he is being defensive about what he sees as criticism of his work. The egos of many doctors is legendary.

    On the other side the second surgeon you went to is making a guess at what might be wrong. I've had the experience where the surgeon was all excited to see the problem and then when they thought about it they later said they couldn't operate. Sometimes I think they want so much to help that they don't really weight the odds before opening their mouths.

    I would suggest finding another surgeon for an opinion. I've seen four surgeons now on top of all the other doctors. Keep really good notes on what each says. And make sure your wife goes with you. Right now your brain wants a fix so badly that it may be selectively listening.

    I hope it helps to hear from someone with similar experiences.
  • Thanks for the comments everybody. Yes this was already my second opinion, my ns who has done my last five surgeries, and I really like, has already told me he doesn't think there is anything he can do. This ns when I asked him about my first appt. said yes he did write down that he thought it was overgrowth, and would need a myelogram, but upon further review decided it was metal artifact and there was nothing he could do. That's when he said good luck and was done with me. My regular Ns and my second opinion are only 80 miles apart, so maybe they know each other for all I know, and would'nt go against each other. I'm just really frustrated that I'm in this much pain and nothing can be done. I have, they say, about a grapefruit size mass of scar tissue in my low back, but if they clean it up, it will just come back. But I'm at the point if it helps for a couple years I'm all for it! Feels like I could cut a hole in my back, and the pressure would just explode out! Sorry kind of a gross thought there, but hey! I love reading on here, because of people that are going through what I am, even though I wouldn't wish this on anybody! What really makes me mad is when family or friends say I know what your're going through, because there back has been hurting for a week!! Sorry just venting again, anymore info would be appreciated! Thanks
    11 back surgeries, fused from L3/S1. Now have four herniated disc in neck from C3/C7. And two new herniated disc in lumbar at L1-2, L2-3. Passed 73 kidney stones, five surgeries on left ankle that now has seven screws in it and is fused. Both shoulders
  • You mention you have or are going to apply for disability. Do you have a copy of all of your medical records, including the notes from your last two visits? Also, I would see about getting copies of your x-rays, MRIs, etc. Some radiology departments will give you an actual CD of those tests.

    In my humble opinion, a third consult with another surgeon would be worth trying. Gather all your records on your surgeries and especially your last MRI for this consultant to see.

    I wish you and your family the best....

  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. sorry you are in so much pain.. you have been through quite a bit already and are still facing more treatment!! that is hard to deal with so i hope you let us help you go through this with you.. good luck on finding pain relief soon. Jenny :)
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