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Other Surgical Alternatives for Pain after surgery failed

asignor908aasignor908 Posts: 339
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:50 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi all,

I seek some wisdom this time instead of just support. I've had to surgeries in the last 6 months. 1st in August ACDF, and then December Laminectomy L-4 to S-1 to resoolve numerous pain issues in lower back, hip, and legs down to feet.

Some things improved, while others got worse and new things cropped up. Now I am on more pain meds just to try to manage the pain so I can function. It does help quite a bit, but in no way reduces enough to feel ok.

Before the surgery I asked the NS, what if this doesn't work and he replied there were other things he could do. I will see him on the 18th about that and I am thinking he was talking about possibly a pain implant or something like that.

I am asking if someone can give me an idea of what would be some possble treatments or procedures that he may want to try to alleviate this constant pain issue. I know no one here is a doctor, I hust want ideas as to what I could be looking at. Being in pain like this all the time is depressing and I am ready for a third procedure if there's a reasonable chance it will help espcially if it lowers or eliminates the need for pain meds. So please give me whatever ideas you may have.

Thanks for your continued support.


  • Does anyone have any ideas on what could be done next, like some sort of pain implant??
    AL S
  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    Anything from SCS to implantable pain pump or epidural steroid injections or abalations, etc.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • Are you referring to pain in your neck or back? If it's regarding your back and the surgery you just had in December, you probably will get upset with me but you need to give yourself time. Of course, that being said, you should still talk to the doctor at the upcoming appointment about these concerns.

    I know this isn't what you are looking for but I just wanted to give you some encouragement that you are only about 8 weeks out. If you've seen *some* improvement, you will likely continue to see more just slowly. Have you started PT yet? If not, I would try that. You've had a tough few months.

    But if all else fails, I believe they can give you a stimulator and there are other options.

    Also, if it's pain, there are nerve blocker meds if there is permanent nerve damage (though that's subjective too).

    It's most important to understand the source of the pain.

    - hip pain can be caused by poor body mechanics. This happened to me b/c of my leg pain/weakness.
    - leg pain can be caused by the same thing or nerve pain.

    So if it's body mechanics, PT might help
    If it's nerve related, there are medications to block the pain, etc.

    Good luck at the dr. Let us know what he says.

    I'm a year out from 2nd surgery. It took a good 3 months before I saw real improvement and by real, I mean noticeable reduction in pain, how long I could sit for, and then at month 4, I realized I had regained strength in my leg and could push up on my toe. I think I'm still improving and people around me notice it too. It's little improvements but folks that don't see me every day, do see the improvements every couple of weeks.

  • I am not trying to rush it, but the pain has actually gotten worse since the lower back surgery in December which is what I'm reffering to.

    My NS seemed to think I would have had less pain somewhat quickly if it worked. I was home after surgery for 2 days when my right leg became unusable and in horrific pain. I couldn't move and had to be taken by ambulance back to the hospital and treated with steroids to which did get the nerve to calm down so I went home after a week and I've mange on pain meds since. They help keep the pain bearable.

    I did have PT at home for 4 weeks after surgery, but they felt it was only aggrivating my pain problems which it did. That's why I am so concerned about my options because this is worse not better. My neck surgery was a success, but the lower back not at all.

    Now I am in severe pain, can't walk very well, and I am very depressed and taking antidepressants. So I guess I am freaking out, but the prospect of no relief scares the crap out of me.
    AL S
  • Like I said, I didn't want to upset you.
    When I woke up from my 2nd surgery, I remember thinking "now what?" I even asked my doctor why we did the surgery and/or should I have just gone forward with a fusion.

    He reassured me and reminded me we were following a plan. I think that helped me. So, it is really important for you to ask your doctor what the plan is if this doesn't work and if the next thing doesn't work. I find I'm a control freak so the "plan" is important to me.

    I will tell you that my pain after my 1st surgery was very similar to yours, it really didn't change. After the 2nd surgery I saw incremental changes. I know if you are not feeling there is improvement, then you probably do know to start looking head.

    Lower back is so much more challenging than the neck.

    Let us know what your doctor says.
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