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Hi. I am a recovery Spinal Fusion Patient that just had a Radiowave Ablation..

ChristianneCChristianne Posts: 3
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:51 AM in Scoliosis
Hi there-

19 years ago I had an anterior/posterior spinal fusion. I am fused from my hips to above my shoulder blades. I have only 6 vertebra that are not fused. I have constant pain every day, especially when the weather is humid...if the humidity is over 65% I am in agony. I have spinal stenosis from my arthritis and the bone growth is growing so rapidly that almost every nerve in my back is being pushed on and I have mostly pain everywhere but I have nasty flare ups where I can feel shooting pain inside my body and it is just unbearable! I am diagnosed with Spinal Stenosis and Degenerative Disk disease as well. It doesn't seem like Dr's know how to deal with people like me, who have such complex problems, except for labeling us as Chronic Pain sufferers and handing us drugs.

I started seeing a pain management doctor about two years ago and had been getting Marcaine/ Kenalog injections every three weeks, sometimes I only got relief for five days and then it was back to square one. I have been diagnosed with Chronic Myofasial Pain too. I keep a pain journal and have only had 3 pain free days this year. I am 39 years old and sometimes getting out of bed to make coffee is an ordeal. I live alone and can only bring up one bag of groceries up my steps at a time. It's not a good way to live and very frustrating.

Above my fusion I have a lot of wear and tear on my vertebra and a few bulging disks. I feel most days that someone is hitting me with a baseball bat and the sensation never goes away, unless I am asleep. I was reluctant to take any pain killers but now I take Vicodin but only 3 per day as I know they're addictive. I work full time and I sit at the computer all day long. By lunchtime I cannot feel anything below my hips...just numbness.

I saw a neurologist for a while to do trigger point injections but they didn't help. I have bone pain not muscle pain so it was a waste of time. I am on FMLA at work and take almost one day a week off which stinks but when I can't even dress myself or get down my steps for the pain, it's the only thing I can do. Just rest. But that is depressing in itself, just laying around alone does not help and people really do not understand. Do I have to live like this forever?

The Vicodin only takes the edge off that's it. I thought it would do more but my pain is deep and persistent. When I take the Vicodin it feels like I am taking Tylenol but I am afraid to take anything stronger as I do not want to get addicted and be a zombie. That is not a satisfying life for me as I am as active as I can be. I get Chiropractic care for the disks that can move and do a massage every week but it's only a temporary fix. I do light exercises at the gym, I stretch everyday and since it will be summer soon I joined the pool near me and try to swim everyday, if I can drag myself there!

I had facet point injections in my neck and they gave me about a months relief so my PM Dr did a Radiowave Ablation right above my fusion and it cut my pain right there from a 10 to about a 8. This was hopeful, I thought to myself. When I went back to him on Tuesday I asked about getting the rest of my neck done like this and he said he was reluctant to do it. He said I am like a crumbling brick building, that once he fixes one area the others will have to be fixed again, so that was VERY discouraging.

If there's anyone out there that has any suggestions, I would love to hear them. I am at the point where I am reduced to tears a few times a week as when I had the surgery I thought I would be all better but since I had bone harvested from my hips, shoulder blades and ribs everything hurts! My surgeon never told me about the side effects that would plague me 2 decades later but I had to have the surgery as my curvature was 80% and my ribs were starting to constrict my lungs. I had no choice in the matter. I would love to hear from anyone that is suffering as I am. I just keep praying for myself and everyone out there like me that is suffering from Chronic Pain. God bless and hopefully I will hear from anyone that is in pain like me.


  • My problems are only in the lumbar area but I do understand the concept of the pain always being there. My only suggestion would be to not look down on the narcotics so much. If they help, then take them. You're not going to become addicted to them. You will develop a dependency for them, but what would you rather want, be in pain or dependent on a drug that makes you a little more comfortable.

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