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BuckeyeMom35BBuckeyeMom35 Posts: 10
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:48 AM in Chronic Pain
Hey everyone.. I have been reading this forum for awhile, thought I would join today!! I have been dealing with lower back problems since 2007. Done the injections (way too many to count), PT w/water therapy, tens, pills ect.. I have had 2 back surgeries l4-l5 fusion 12-30-08 and woke up in even more pain that never went away!! Had a repeat discogram by my surgeon late August 09 and was back in surgery 10-15-09 for an extension of my fusion down to the s1 level. That fusion went so much better and alot less pain postop but back pain never really went away. Well pain is still there so we are going in on 12-29-10 to remove the hardware hoping that will help calm my pain down. I am mostly having lower back pain, hip pain and left leg pain. I may have to have an internal bone growth stimulator put in during this surgery to help the bones fuse better or could end up with my hardware being left in longer. But I am so hoping my surgeon just gets to remove the hardware and all done!! I was also diagnosed with Lupus after my second fusion and just had an abdominal hysterectomy in may (was hoping that would help some of my lower back/hip pain but that wasn't why I had it done!). I go to a wonderful PM doctor and currently just doing medications until after this surgery to help with the pain. I guess enough about me:) Thanks for reading!!


  • You have been a busy girl huh... That is a lot! I know that after I had the hardware removed I had a pretty good year, no pain meds - A O.K. that was about the end of the good times, but hopefully you will have much better success. I know a lot of people feel much better after the hardware is removed and for quite a long time! Let's hope that is how yours goes, nice and smooth.
    I don't envy you on the hyster either, that takes such a long time to heal up all those stomach muscles after they cut them. Jeez! Hopefully you'll get this done and you'll be good to go!! Nice to meet you, take care - Marion
  • i hope that you will find some new friends and plenty of information here .please feel free to ask anyone anything if you think it may help you .i myself have 15 years pain under my belt and various painful procedures including discography/epidural facet joint injections and two failed operations ion my lower back i am just waiting for an ALIF next years .i am in the uk .nice to meet you
  • THANKS so much everyone!! It sure has been a long road, we are so ready to be done with all. My doctor did mention failed back surgery to me at my appt on monday,but will go into that more after we get the hardware removed. He also mentioned I will probably have to have another MRI after the screws/bars are out to see what is going on with the level above my fusion as he is thinking it might be going bad too. Although I am not sure I can do more surgery at this point ugghh!! He did do xrays on Monday and thinks the screws are moving a little bit and maybe causing my pain. I am SO hoping that is all that is going on.

    My legs really flared up after my first surgery but did calm down some after a few month (back to where they were at presurgery).
  • Hi Melinda,

    Welcome to the Spine-Health support forum. Glad you came out of "lurk" mode to join the conversations. :)

    It sounds like you've traveled this painful path for a while now. For a bit of comparison, I'm just a little over a month post-op 2-level lumbar fusion and my back feels good most of the time but I have worse nerve pain in my leg than I did before the surgery. Sounds a little like your experience. I'm really hoping this is a temporary thing that has to do maybe with putting a bit of a stretch on the nerve when the spacers were put in to separate the vertebrae [edit]. My discs had been flat for years so the nerves would now logically be stretched some, or so I am hoping.

    I hope your December surgery solves your problems so that you can start the new year without pain!

    2009 Foraminotomy C6-72010 PLIF L4-S1Multi RFA's, cervical inj, lumbar injLaminectomy L3-4 and fusion w/internal fixation T10-L4 July 17Fusion C2-C5 yet to be scheduled
  • welcome to the site Melinda there is some good support on here so sorry the pain you are in
  • i had the hardware removed. i believe you have to wait 2 years according to my ortho. waited 2 years, by the way major surgery. i was in hospital for 4 days vs 11 days for fusion. i hate to be the bearer of bad news but it did not help my pain and i had a lot and i mean a lot of metal. i have the opportunity again after 10 years and my last fusion, 2 years ago to do it again. i will pass on it. it is a hard decision to make so you have to decide if it is worth it. for me it isn't. the more surgery you have on your back, i have had 4, the worse the pain seems to be. now i can't walk 100yds without stopping.
    good luck
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
  • The two year wait for removing the hardware is not a hard and fast rule. I had mine removed at 10 months. Fortunately, the bridge between the lamina was solid enough.

  • My neuro is fine with the hardware coming out. He wanted me to try to wait a year before taking it out and I have done that.

    I only have to stay overnight with this surgery. Last fusion surgery I got to come home on the 3rd day . My doctor told me this won't be has painful as the fusion.
  • it is not as painful but they still had me hooked up to the morphine pump for 3 days out of 4. Maybe because i had so much metal is why i was in hospital longer. he put the hardware in a baggie for me and i was amazed at the amount of metal, stents, screws, etc that was in there. i had level 4-5 fusion the first time. last fusion was 3. my disc blew out due to pressure from from my first fusion on the disc. they tried a laminectomy at first but did not work then they did a fusion. they were going to fuse level 2 last time but ruled against it because 2 was in good shape. i know one has to wait for the hardware to fuse with the bone and the bone graph taking and solidifyiing.
    once again
    good luck
    I have 4 fusions from L5-3, the latest last May '12 where they fixed my disc that broke.They went through my side this time. I take 40 mg of oxycontin 4x a day and 4 fenatyl lollipops 300 micro gms 4x a day.
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