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Someone please help me..

JessicaNJJessicaN Posts: 13
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:49 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I have had chronice back pain for over three and a half years now.. I have had a diskectomy, and then nine months ago I had a lumbar fusion. from L-4 to S-1. The surgery was excruciating, and still at this point in the recovery I am feeling very hopeless. The pain is still so Intense.But I had no Idea I would feel this awful this far after the surgery. I had the best neurosurgeon in Utah, I feel like I really did my research, and My L5-S1 disk was almost non existant and was grinding vertebra to vertebra, so the artificial disk and fusion was necessary. It consumes my life. It is constant, and the nerve pain from my hips down to my feet is killing me. I have tried physical therapy, chiropractic, K laser, stem, stretching, ice/heat, baths, pain killers daily, muscle relaxers, holistic healers.. and the list goes on..I was recently told I may have S1 dysfunction, and bursitis of the hip. is anyone else having similar pain?


  • Hey Jessica! I too had a diskectomy a few months ago, and surprise...mine didn't work either. I've done physical therapy, chiropractors, and about 9 "non invasive" procedures on my l5. I still have horrible pain down my legs and in my hips. My surgeon is also one of the top rated in my new jersey area. Had a cervical facet block injection today because he has told me there's nothing more he can do for my lower back and has started to address my neck pain. I stopped taking my pin meeds muscle relaxers anti-inflamitories and nerve blockers because I wanted to "be a normal functioning person" as of today I've decided that the pain in the past 3 weeks isn't worth it and am returning to my regular regimen of pills. My doctor will not preform a fusion on me because he says I'm too young, On a positive note have found that I can "predict"the weather by my pain levels, and I find that if I take a little lay down break during the day my pain isn't as horrible as when I try to push myself too hard.

    Sorry if this sounds like I'm rambling, but it's late here and as I said I'm back on the meeds and just had a procedure today, lol. But I hope it may have helped a little.

    P.s. My doctor is a pain management/spine specialist, do you have one of those by you? Perhaps a second opinion couldn't hurt...
  • Howdy, and Welcome to Spine Health! I've not had lumbar surgery yet - still working on the stinky neck! I do have a question though based on your post. Have they tried any nerve pain medications for you yet?

    Due to issues with my neck and back, my pain got to the intractable mode. My surgeon put me on Lyrica, and holy wow... I was able to be human again. There are a lot of different pain medications for nerve related pain, so you and your doctor might have to experiment to see what works? I hope you can get some relief and answers to what is going on. Again, Welcome aboard!!!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I'm so sorry. It seems to many diskectomys don't work all that often. It sucks.I know what you mean about wanting to be a normal funtioning person. Too bad its not that easy. I was only 21 when I had my diskectomy, and twenty three when I had my fusion. So I am Young too.Believe me I had a whole lot of people(doctors included)saying I was too young for these procedures, but the Films dont lie. My neurosurgeon actually told me on our first visit that he was shocked when He walked in the room, because from looking at my MRI in the hall, he was assuming i'd atleast be fifty!It sounds strange but although its disheartening to hear that it looks really bad, its also comforting to be able to know that you are not crazy and imagining the pain. weird.I hope you have some relief, I would never wish a fusion on anyone, but I kinda feel like its necessary. unfortunately since mine I have had such strange hip pains that I never had before. At least my spine is fused and stable atleast.
  • Hay, hay! Be nice! (G) Some of us are umm arrrhhh near that magic number! (G) 48 and a half here. :)

    Really in all seriousness, some folks can have an MRI that looks absolutely nasty, but NO symptoms, others can have little hernias and be writhing in pain. Your doctor has to take all of his tests to complete the puzzle. So sorry to hear you're going through this so young. I crashed a helicopter a month shy of 23, and that started my journey. Support *HUGZ* :)

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Thanks Brenda!
    I have actually tried neurontin, and lyrica a couple of months ago. strangely with the lyrica, I almost felt like I had really weird side effects. like insomnia and I felt really depressed. I have no idea if it had anything to do with the medication change, or if I was just at a really awful place in my recovery. maybe I should give it another shot. I just feel like I am constantly icing/ heating my back and hips. Cant sleep with out it. Anyway Im sorry about your pain!I am so glad I found this. It is so different talking to people that actually "get it" Thank you:)
  • oh and Brenda, I did not mean that in a mean way, just that at twenty one, I had some progressed degeneration that is more typical of a fifties + spine.. Not a twenties + spine.You know what I mean? sorry!
  • Jessica,

    Nodding... I have a list somewhere (I printed it, but can't find it right now) of various "nerve" related medications. I've seen on here that some (Like me) do well on Lyrica, others, a nightmare! I know for me, 90% or so of my pain ...maybe 80% now, is nerve pain, so Lyrica after I got past the side affects, gave me back tons of my day to day activities. :)

    Pain management can mix between PT, shots, medications, massage etc. There are bunches of opportunities to give us relief. Keep being an advocate for yourself - especially now a days. I so hope that you can find something that helps.

    Here's a thought. Have you started a daily pain log? I ask that because sometimes if your doctor can "see" when you hurt and how, it can help them to give you more pain management options. :) Fingers crossed that you get relief. *HUG*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Hi Jessica,
    I had the same surgery as you..about the same time..Mine was on March 1st. I am sorry you are not where you wanted to be this far along. I am always worried my healing is going slow compared to others on here, then I read a story like yours. I was able to return to a sit down job last month. I still have pain at the surgery site at all times it seems. I have annoying nerve pain in my left foot but that comes and goes. I have severe pain if I try and do too much. I also have left hip pain that comes and goes. I was 37 when I had the surgery..38 now. This surgery is a long and hard recovery. It is impossible to explain to those that have never had it. I am a nurse and thought I knew what to expect..boy was I wrong.
    Have you had any f/u appts that show you are fusing? I was fusing by month 2 so I am lucky I guess. Hang in there. Know you are not alone. This board is full of wonderful and supportive people. They are here for questions and to vent too.

  • Oops also Jessica I use a TENS unit that does wonders for me. I got it from therapy. I actually only did therapy for like 3 weeks. It made things so much worse my surgeon cancelled it and I was never referred back. I am so glad I got the TENS from them. I have noticed that I need to be careful because the TENS masks the pain and if I do too much and take the unit off I am in misery!! I also had a back brace for the 1st 3 months. Which was weird when I took it off. Felt like my back was a noodle..took a while to build those muscles back up.
  • No problem Jessica. I like to say that I'm almost 50, but with a 90 year olds back! It's all relative. You say you have a 50 year old back, and me, a 90 year old back. See? Rofla!! I hope you're feeling better today. *HUGZ*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Hmmm, that is interesting. Ya my surgery day was march 19th, so really close to yours. At each appt my surgeons(PA) says it all looks great, and in October he said it was fused..Which is great..Just confusing as to why my pain is still so intense. I am a hairstylist, so im always on my feet, but I still feel like I wear my brace a couple times a week, or anytime I go grocery shopping or do house work..If I dont It just throbs! Maybe I should ask my doctor about the TENS unit. I dont know a whole lot about them. But I need to try something else... I just feel like the pain is getting crazy. Thanks for your comments!
  • I love my TENS unit. It is small and portable. I have worn mine at work. It has 4 adhesive patches you put where it hurts. I wear my soft brace if I am going to be doing too much. Standing that long throughout the day would kill me..I don't know how you do it..and cutting hair I am sure you bend forward slightly. I can't imagine..my back would be killing me too. I have a bar stool with a back to it that my husband drags into the kitchen for me if I need to be in there doing something for a long period of time...like we canned vegetables this fall. I can't stand for that long..so I sat and cut up the vegetables. It makes a huge difference for me. Are you taking sit down breaks in between customers? Maybe it would help if you could sit for 5 or 10 minutes between each haircut..Just a suggestion.
  • hI,
    Thats 3, You have the same surgery date as Jellyhall, and me. Just a little FYI.
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