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back pain, neck pain, can't take any more

pigfarmerppigfarmer Posts: 32
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:56 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hello everyone,
It's been a while since I have posted on here, but needed some help from people who know what I'm going through. It's got to the point that I don't leave my house unless my wife makes me. All my pain doc wants to do is keep giving me injections, and upping my dose of morphine to the point that all I want to do is sleep. My lower back hurts so bad I don't think I can do much more. But my back Doctor, who is a neurosurgeon, said there is nothing more he can do. I have a grapefruit size mass of scar tissue in my lower back that he said going back in to clean it up would only help for a little while, but at this point I would take any relief. And for my neck, I have 3 bulging discs along with severe arthritis and bone spurs. The doc said I have the neck of an 85 year old, but doesn't think there is anything he could do to help me. Sorry I'm venting, but you guys really helped me before. I went to another Doctor for a second opinion, and he said yeah your back is a disaster, and your neck could be helped with surgery, but didn't want no part of helping me. I've went as far as going online to find out the best way to kill myself, but know I have a family that supports me and loves me. Sorry for so long of post, any help would be appreciated.
11 back surgeries, fused from L3/S1. Now have four herniated disc in neck from C3/C7. And two new herniated disc in lumbar at L1-2, L2-3. Passed 73 kidney stones, five surgeries on left ankle that now has seven screws in it and is fused. Both shoulders
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Comments

  • I have many of the same problems that you are experiencing. My lumbar from L3-S1 is nothing but scar tissue wrapped around nerves. My Neurosurgeon said pretty much the same thing as yours, that there is nothing permanent that he can do at this point because the problem will just return. My neck, however, he did just add to my fusion, which helped some with the arm and neck pain.

    I know your frustration, and can commiserate. One of my ways to continue when the pain and isolation get to me is to just hope for improvements in surgery that will help with scar tissue. I know that new things keep coming out to help people with chronic pain, so I keep researching to see if the next thing may be something that can help.

    My doctor said something as he was releasing me from the hospital after just one night after my last surgery. He said that 25 years ago the surgery that I just had would have taken 8-10 hours and included 2 weeks in hospital. Improvements keep happening and the next one might be the one for us!!
    Gary
  • Thanks for your comment gaj399. Sounds like you've been through the ringer too. Can you tell me when you decided to do the neck surgery. When did you say OK I've had enough, or was it due to an accident. My lumbar surgeries I didn't have no choice, due to getting trampled by my hogs. They decided for me to have surgery. But my neck has just been a long dragged out affair, going on 11 years now, and I don't think I can take much more. It's just nice talking to someone that's been through, and is still going through, what I have. My wife and kids, bless their hearts, try to understand, but really can't. Now I just need to find a doctor who will listen to me.
    11 back surgeries, fused from L3/S1. Now have four herniated disc in neck from C3/C7. And two new herniated disc in lumbar at L1-2, L2-3. Passed 73 kidney stones, five surgeries on left ankle that now has seven screws in it and is fused. Both shoulders
  • Pig Farmer,

    As you can see, I have a few issues neck and spine. My NS also said nothing was going on to worry about, and there was nothing he could do. My body screamed "bullsh**" and I went and saw Neurologists and surgeons. I finally moved to an Orthopedic spine surgeon who specifically does 'complex' spine messes.

    He ran a bunch of tests and (even I saw it right out of the box) saw that not only did my fusion not happen, but it destabilized the majority of my neck. (See sig). If NS's aren't helping, you might want to consider sliding to the "bone side" of the house and see an Orthopedic spine specialist or surgeon who is fellowship trained in the spine.

    It made the world of difference for me. I am very pleased with this surgeon. I am seeing more and more what a Neuro vs Ortho will look at, and what each are interested in... Just a thought to consider.

    Brenda
    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Thanks for the info Brenda. My first surgery was done by an ortho doc, but then the last 8 were done by a neuro. Yeah I agree, I think it's time for a change, but I'll have to do some researching for my area for a good ortho as the one that done mine has retired. I don't know, maybe mine isn't bad enough on paper to have sugery. They told me I had 3 bulging/protruding discs with flattening of the thecal sac, and lots of osteophytes, worse at the C6-C7 level, because this level showed significant narrowing of the disc space. But all I know is It's effecting my everyday life now, to the point I can hardly turn my neck anymore, and the spasms between my shoulder blades is awful. When did you finally say enough is enough.

    Paul
    11 back surgeries, fused from L3/S1. Now have four herniated disc in neck from C3/C7. And two new herniated disc in lumbar at L1-2, L2-3. Passed 73 kidney stones, five surgeries on left ankle that now has seven screws in it and is fused. Both shoulders
  • Howdy Paul,

    I'm a mess, and far, far, far from even whispering "enough is enough" except for when I had enough of Neuro types and basically blowing me off. (G)

    Sometimes (as was told to me) a different perspective or type of eyes is needed to see what might be going on. I.e. (especially since you too had multiple surgeries) did you fully fuse? Any stability issues? Had an MRI positionally instead of recumbent (laying down)?

    See there are still a bunch of questions you can write down, look at, and then start researching doctors in locations you're willing to go that could be best for you. I am a digger, and when I'm not satisfied or feel something is missing, I dig. :)

    Brenda
    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Yes they said my fusions are all solid and stable. No I have never had a positional mri, because I don't even know where they would have one at. I have heard they tell a better story of what is really going on than the lay down ones. My last mri was in March of 2010, but my neuro won't order a new one, to see if anything has changed. I can't sit for longer than 10 minutes without having the feeling somebody is stabbing me in my tailbone. And now with the neck problems, I just can't take much more of the pain. Oh yeah I forgot to mention that I fell off my roof last fall cleaning out my gutters, and broke my fibula, and dislocated my ankle. Just got done in August 2011 with my 4th surgery on my ankle, reconstruction of my ligiments and all that good stuff. They fit me with a 1000 dollar brace, and said sometime in the next 5 years I would have to get an artificial ankle. Sorry I'm rambling again. Do you know where to find a positional mri?
    11 back surgeries, fused from L3/S1. Now have four herniated disc in neck from C3/C7. And two new herniated disc in lumbar at L1-2, L2-3. Passed 73 kidney stones, five surgeries on left ankle that now has seven screws in it and is fused. Both shoulders
  • Paul,

    My NS told me of the first one and its location, but after that I Google searched "Stand-up MRI in Miami" and found the others. What you might want to do is just search in your state (like mine would be) "Stand up MRI in Florida".... and see what you get? We have 4 locations throughout Florida. I believe only 1 or 2 companies run them presently?

    I thought for the longest time that my leg issues were due to my L2/3/4 and my feet my L5/S1, but my OS feels pretty strongly that it is more likely my neck instability is causing more of my leg problems than my back! A factor that none of the Neuro's mentioned by the way. Should have that answer within the week. Sigh...if so, stuck with whatever damage is there. Key, keep pushing!!!

    Brenda
    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I will try to find an mri closest to me, and try to find a good ortho in my area. Thanks for all the info. I will be praying that your upcoming surgery gives you alot of relief, and won't be too much pain after the surgery. I would like to move to Florida because I feel so much better in the heat than I do in the cold and snow, but my wife isn't quite up to it yet, but I'm working on her. She said she does't want to leave our kids, but I have two of them that would move down there and the third is thinking about it. Our last one graduated from high school in May, so it would be alot easier to move now. We go down there for a couple of weeks every January, in the Venice area, because that's where each of our parents have a trailer down there in the winter. I feel so much better down there in the heat than I do in the cold, but my wife doesn't really like it much over 80 so that could be a problem. Thanks again



    Paul
    11 back surgeries, fused from L3/S1. Now have four herniated disc in neck from C3/C7. And two new herniated disc in lumbar at L1-2, L2-3. Passed 73 kidney stones, five surgeries on left ankle that now has seven screws in it and is fused. Both shoulders
  • Paul,

    Hopefully you will be able to find a good fit as I did. Each one that looked interesting, I did more and more research (schools, training, specialties, interns etc.) as well as what kind of surgeries they do, how recent and how good. Well, you get the jest of it.

    As for living down here and your wife, maybe a snow-bird type of lifestyle? It of course all depends on your types of jobs and flexibility of lifestyle. That could be a great middle ground for your wife. Winter down here (80's and fairly dry), and summers up at you alls house. :)

    Brenda
    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • :SS Hello Paul from the UK. Although I am still in a lot of pain and awaiting my 3rd spine operation I consider myself very lucky to be treated by our wonderful NHS. I had a PLIF plus major rebuilding work in December 2008 and have had a little bother with lower pain since then which has been treated with injections of I think cortisteroids. Had ACDF of C4/5/6 in September 2010 and my main problem since then is still experiencing swallowing trouble. I was I thought pain free in the Cervical area for life but alas now suffering from neck/shoulder spasms and most severe pain. My Spinal Surgeon has decided that I now require facet joints fusion in areas C6 and C7 which he hopes will also stabilise my very bad balance. This operation will probably be done Posterior but as I shall have to wait until around Nov/Dec for this to be done they will give me a series of neck injections again this time under some form of sedation I hope. It seems to me that once I had PLIF in 2008 it caused undue stress on the remainder of my spine!! Told my Surgeon that there will not be much spine left for him to operate on!! I am now unfortunately back on Tramadol as pain relief for no other medicine worked. When I have been in hospital I found that morphine made me not know where I was so I ask to come off it asap. Good luck to you from the unusually sunny UK where temp today is approaching 30C!! Crazy for October. I have also had both knees replaced.
  • You asked how I decided to go ahead with another neck fusion. My body made the decision for me! I was getting nerve damage that would have become permanent if I had not had anything done. This time the pain was not the determining factor. I had some pain in my neck and shoulder and arm, but nothing too bad. I did have severe weekness in my arm that continued getting worse and worse. Finally after several tests, there was no doubt that something had to be done soon or I would lose the use of my right arm, so off to surgery I went again.
    Gary
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