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Pinpointing Pain

kyadog115kkyadog115 Posts: 266
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:46 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I know i've posted a million questions already but....L-5 S-1 is being fused 9/20. I know that is very low in the spinal colum.I have low pain but i also have it a bit higher than that . I do not mean in the thoracic area, in the lumbar area but i just am concerned that the L5 isnt the only cause. I asked the surgeon about this and he said its hard to say. That its not like the "stomach"...if pain is coming from right side then they could say liver, or left side they'd say appendix..(as an example).....he said he would know or see more once he got inside my back....do u agree w/this?I ask cuz I'm afraid to have them operate and get no relief.


  • Your concern is very understandable and from what I was told when I expressed the same concerns, it is very common. My surgeon told me that due to referred pain, it is very difficult to know if surgery in one area will get rid of all referred pain.

    I know for me, I was really nervous going into surgery not really confident that the area the surgery was going to address, was the sole pain generator. I was concerned that I would wake up and still have some of the pain and would have to have yet another surgery to correct that. I was afraid we would get into a vicious cycle of chasing down the pain.

    Fortunately it was just referred pain from the area that the surgery was targeting. Once things were cleaned up and repaired, my pain was gone.

    I hope this makes sense. It's kind of difficult to put into words.

  • My concerns exactly...a "viscious cycle" of surgeries. I dont quite understand the "refered Pain" concept.

    I assume what u r saying is that the bad disc or whatever it may be would cause pain elsewhere...is that correct? I'm hoping thats the case cuz as I say,I can def.feel the herniation but the pain "Radiates" out to the right side and above.....is this similar to u saying "refered Pain"
  • Not sure if you had the discogram yet, can't remember if you did? I would mention that pain you're having to the Surgeon at that time or if you see him again. Not sure if they only open up the level only to do the surgery so other levels aren't viewed. My MRI showed DDD in the whole area of my spine with facet joint issues that's causing my pain just wondering if you have pain from elsewhere or it's referred pain like C mentioned. Hope your Surgeon can answer this question for you. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Referred pain: Pain felt at a site other than where the cause is situated

  • Charry..
    No, I have never had a dicogram. I understand their painful, so dont really want 1 either. But as I mentioned in my initial posting, I did inform the surgeon of this pain and his explaination was as I wrote above. I do not see him again until the day of surgery. At that time I will again advise him and ask him to do whatever it takes and whatever he can to ease the pain. I do not wanna keep having surgery..


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  • When I had my 2 level PLIF 3+ years ago, it was originally scheduled for 1 level (L5/S1). L4/L5 was questionable going in and my surgeon and I agreed that he had the authority to make the appropriate call once I was opened up. Needless to say, the questionable level was unstable and he decided to fuse that area also. From you posts, I can see your getting pretty nervous. Try to do something, anything that will distract you from the upcoming surgery.

    Good Luck.

  • When you have a bad disk, you end up with a lot of mechanical pain as well as your body tries to compensate and "fix" the problem and you end up with muscle spasms, etc. At least, that's the impression I get from reading the articles here.

    Anyway, my issues are at L1 and down and I have pain up to my shoulderblades.
  • Dave,
    Thanks...I am getting nervous!Thats a good idea about having him make the determination once in there. I'm going to have that discussion w/him.
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