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Treatment solutions????

janiemcmanjjaniemcman Posts: 10
I am 58 y.o. with history of scoliosis, kyphosis, pseudoarthrosis and spondyliolithesis. I've had over 10 spinal surgeries. Started at age 12 and they used bovine (cow) grafts. Had a body cast and wore Milwaukee brace for over a year. About 1965 my body started rejecting the bovine grafts and had to have surgeries redone harvesting bone from my hip. Then in 1988 started having lots of pain and went to an adult scoliosis specialist. My previous fusion failed and was done again with metal hardware. I am now fused L4-5 and L5-S1. Pain progressing to the point I had to retire on disability in 1999. Since that time I've had PT, psychotherapy, injections and no success. About a year ago primary care dr referred me to pain management to only be told he wouldn't touch someone with my extensive problems. What are they here for?

So I have just deteriorated and have suffered financially, emotionally as well in my personal relationships.

I would like to know if anyone has any success with relief with similar history. Looking into radiofrequency ablation, neuro stimulator or pain pump.

I live in a rural area and any "expert" I go to will probably require travel so I am doing my homework and need your help. Please let me know of your successes as well as failures.


  • hi there,
    welcome and not sure what to say but wow you have been thru so very much...gentle hugs.....
    Few ??? so what type of doc is handling your pain meds then....or you not on any??
    Seems to me you would need a referral to a neurosurgeon....
    I have had alot of different pm's and didnt care for any of them..either they get upset the injections dont work or they want me on alot alot of meds....

    I see that were you live it's not easy for you to get to see spine docs...is there any universities in your area...i would suggest looking into those...they seem to take ppl with mulit-issues...
    I am not anywere near what you have going on
    infact i'm not sure what some of those things are that you have...
    I'm sorry you have suffered most of your life and i wish i could offer you some answers...
    i'm sure you will get ppl on here that will offer some great advice...this is great place to come for advice or even to vent ....which i do often..
    hope to see ya in chat sometime

    welcome again
    and bless ya
    mary from chicago
    i have fibromyalgia,neuropathy in legs and spine issues l5,s1 cronic pain always,,,insomnia
    neck,bone spurs pain started 04, back issues and fusion l4,l5 06~hardware removed.
    good few yrs. 09 pain sharp, numbness feet,legs, diagnosed fibro, neurop. legs.lung issues.
    daily goal do good thing for someone.
  • Thanks for your reply. Gentle hugs are okay. It's funny you mention that because I have a big nephew and when he hugs me it hurts... but I'll take a little pain for affection any day. Yes, I have been to University Hospitals - Charlottesville, VA and Duke University in NC. Both excellent facilities. It's just so hard to travel that far when you are in pain.

    I was also diagnosed with fibromyalgia and took Lyrica for a long time but I'm not sure how they came up with that diagnosis. I think they just needed to put a name to a chronic condition to get some meds through insurance. How did you come by your diagnosis?

    As far as neurosurgeons --- blah, blah, blah! I spit on them as they have been the most inhumane providers of health care I have come across. They don't believe you and yes they get upset when their "injections" don't take. Have they ever been in so much pain that you will allow someone to stick you with a huge needle hoping to get it in the right spot? When I got my first one, they hit the nerve or somewhere spot on and I thought I would die. I almost jumped off the table and my sisters could hear me scream outside in the waiting room. I won't ever put myself through that again. I am getting a referral to another pm dr who does practice both here and 50 miles away in Richmond, VA. They have had great success with the neuro stimulator.

    I'm just hoping the new year brings relief. Hope you have a safe one and we can chat some time.
  • It's a shame that you have had such bad experiences with neurosurgeons. Please don't lump all of them into the same category, it hurts them, us and you. There are many great neurosurgeons who really care about their patients and do their best to help them. All it takes is one good one or one bad one to influence how you feel. We do discourage "doctor bashing" on these forums, because other than to allow a member to vent frustration, it doesn't serve much useful purpose towards helping the general population.

    As far as the 3 options you have listed, normally spinal cord stimulation and pain pumps are considered as a last resort. RF Ablation is a gold standard and is something that helps a lot of people. If you do a site search on RF Ablation or Rhizotomy, you will find a ton of information on both. Also we have a Spinal Cord Stimulation forum a a lot of Pain Pump discussion in the Pain Management forum.

    Welcome to Spine Health, I hope you find it to be a great family and excellent resource!


    Spine Health Moderator
  • You are correct that I should not bash any provider. That was my experience thus far. I am sure and hoping to find the right match. When you have had such an extensive history and been told what "bad shape" you were in. I already know how bad I am. Doctors just need to put themselves in the patient's shoes more often than they do. I know it gets clinical for them but it is very personal for use.
  • I really wish I could help with the doctor aspect of your issues. I personally choose to use an orthopedic doctor because my nerve problems are caused by the bones not being right. I figure if the bones aren't right going to a bone specialist is the way to go. I guess I've been extremely lucky. As for the shots, not sure when you last had them, but the majority of mine have been under sedation. The only one not sedated for was the hardware block and it didn't hurt. Seems anymore most use sedation because they don't want you moving while they are doing the live x-rays. As a side note the shots haven't been effective on me either. I am currently in pain management until the hardware can be removed. My PM doc is a Physiatrist. He specializes in non surgical resolution of pain. Not sure if you would have one in your area.
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