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Hello Everyone Plz Help

nurselynnaiennurselynnaie Posts: 167
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:55 AM in New Member Introductions
I am 3 years post op from a three level lumbar spinal fusion L3 L4 L5 with disc removal. I had my first surgery jan of 08 then due to increase pain ended up having a second surgery feb of 08 after complaining several time to my doctor he did a MRI and found that one of the screws had gone through the bone and into my spinal canal. I had a full recovery with moderate discomfort due to nerve damage, but it was tolerable and I returned to work as a nurse. I completed all my therapy and worked ever since. UNTIL, May 6th of this year when I was helping pull up a lady at work and I got a sharp stabbing pain down my left butt, leg to my shin. I was sent to the comp doctor and did everything I was suppose to. They sent me to a neurologist who assured me this was gonna be a easy fix due to the fact that I never had any pain in my left side before and he was almost positive I just pinched a nerve... well needless to say I went back yesterday after it took over a month to get the test he wanted done approved by comp and he said well I thought you were a easy fix but you are no where close to easy, I think I need to send you to one of my affiliates who deals more with spinal fusions it appears your surgery needs to be done OVER. He explained that where they put the cages in the disc spaces had no bone growth and that the screws are moving around pinching my nerves. I then called today to get the appointment with the so called affiliate who specializes in this and was told he didnt want to see me I needed to go to the pain management part of the practice and the specialist, neurosurgeon and pain management doctors would all be there to consult and decide. This scares me ... I do not think I could do a third surgery mentally it is draining. I have tried to research on line what they told me yesterday and can find no information. I am so confused all my post op visits were fine everything's fine is all I heard even when I said to the doctor I can hear the screws moving in my back . Now three years later I am told this...Has anyone ever heard of anything like this ? Gone through it? I have worked full time with plenty of overtime for the past three years w no issues until now and it is the opposite side that has pain the original....I am scared of the outcome and I need this to be over
Thanks for reading
I hope someone can help


  • Hi sheryl,

    First let me say welcome to spine-health. Have a look around and you will find others here with failed fusions. The question is do you know that you were ever fused? I would get copies of your medical records and images and review wether you indeed ever fused? That might shed some light on what has happened, while it won't change the course of your treatment, at least you will know what happened. There is of course the other possibility that you fused and the bone reabsorbed. While it doesn't happen often it can happen. Also is it both levels that need to be redone and didn't fuse or just one of the two levels? I also think knowing what happened will help you to make a decision on your future treatment as well.

    Just thought I would stop by and welcome you to spine-health. Just know the one thing is we all understand the pain your going through and how tough it is to do repeat surgeries.
  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. so sorry to read of your failed surgeries.. you must be going through so many emotions right now.. please be sure and have a look around and make yourself at home.. good luck as you search for answers to your pain problems.. stop by anytime.. there is always a spiney around! Jenny :)
  • Welcome to spine health! Sorry that you are going through this all over again 3 years later.

    Tamtam asked some great questions that I too was wondering about. Unfortunately there are alot of people who have had to go back in and have a re-do of their fusion.

    As scary as it is, it is a good thing that you are meeting with all three, as they will all work together to figure this out and discuss the best route for you.

    Are you also able to get another outside opinion from a fellowship trained orthopedic or neurosurgeon?

    Wishing you all the best! We will be here to support you through it all.

    >:D< Karen
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
  • Hi everyone ... I appreciate your messages and as weird is it is I feel a little better that there are people who care and understand. I feel all alone most of the time...All I hear from my family is you will be fine ..lol fine?? ya well I don't think I will ever be fine as my original injury was in Oct of 06 and still five years later I am not fine in fact am worse. Anyway, yes I have all my records and I have kept all my films from x rays ct scans MRI among a few of the procedures. Everything in my records says that everything was fine screws werent loose, fusion fusing well blah blah blah ... which makes me wonder why after three years now there is no bone in the spaces around the cages the screws are loose and wobbling back and forth which is why I sometimes get a intense pinch and sharp pain down my leg that drops me to the floor. Why all of a sudden the pain was so intense I havent worked since May.. Which so everyone knows I have been a single mother of 4 who never got child support who soley took care of her children which requiered working 50+ hours a week usually... so being home is a big change in lifestyle for me which of course disturbs me and makes me feel like I cant provide for my family. From what they told me it is the whole fusion that needs to be repaired basically do it all over again. I am so confused. I have been having panic attacks like crazy since my appointment. With my first surgery I lost too much blood they were unable to get my blood pressure and I thought I was gonna die, not to mention that due to lots of spinal fluid loss I had to lay flat for three days ... My appointment is on Sept 12th for the pain management ... which seems like forever away and all I keep thinking is I dont want pain management I wasnt it freaking fixed !!! lol... There is nothing like being 36 and your 17 year old son helping u in and out of the shower and pull your pants up after going to the bathroom lol ...
  • HI,
    Gee, what a time you are having...as others said, it will be good to see the 3 dr's to ask questions and hopefully find out exactly what is going on..
    And with a family to care for...this is a tough situation, and I hope you can find the relief you need.
    Try to relax, write a list of questions for the dr's so you don't forget when you get there, and I give high regards to the 17 yr old son, who is helping you out!! Many times even spouses aren't helpful, so it's great to see a guy, who is so empathetic - you must be a very good mom, single or not!!
    Feel better soon..
  • I am lucky when it comes to my kids and my boyfriend now I know it won't be the same I won't be so alone. I know everyone on here is right I just have to be greatful that the doctors are all going to work together to get me the best solution possible, I feel like I am weak when I read some of these posts and everything everyone else has been through. It is Saturday and I hope everyone has a great weekend... We deserve it... Thanks so much everyone I think this site might be what helps me through this the most along with my family. :)
  • I understand where you are coming from about feeling alone. My family will listen to part of my stuff but usually my husband will interupt me and say let's talk about better things. What our families and friends sometimes fail to realize is that sometimes it feels better just to talk about it and have someone who will listen and share the same concern. It is not that you are looking for sympathy. It is the support and answers we desire. I wish you the best of luck and feel free to message me anytime. Hope that you can find the answers and support you need!
  • Hi Laney sounds like we are on the same page with many things. My boyfriend listens and listens even listens to me moan in my sleep he says. His responses are always " you are going to be fine, we are going to fix you, think about when we are gonna go on vacation...ect" I love that he is so positive.. but from my point it is like ... I have been like this since 2006 two surgerys later and worse off, Vacation haha lol I am not working only getting comp can barely feed my kids there is no vacation in our future.
    I know he is just trying to make me feel better and I really appreciate it , but I also know most of those things aren't realistic at least right now.
    I read some of these stories and think I could be much worse off and I feel like a sissy for complaining so much. Then sometimes I feel like driving away and think my poor kids would be so much better off if I wouldnt be such a burden having to ask them to do everything for me or yelling so much when I am in pain. I know my boyfriend would be better off with someone who could do the things he wants to do or someone who could at least be happy once in awhile. The pain is causing depression ( along with not working).
    It is hard to go from doing everything including working 50 plus hours a week to getting reminded not to push the vaccum urrrr lol :) I am trying to go with the flow I am sure I will feel better when they know more or at least tell me more
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