I wonder if anyone can help as I am hitting an absolutely brick wall with the doctors over here in the UK. I had a triple spinal fusion in my lumbar spine in May 2011. Since then, the pain has not improved and I have lost some control of my left leg.
I take 6 Paracetamol, 6 Tramadol on a good day and then top that up with Diazepam and Morphine as and when I need it. After the surgery I have had an MRI scan that shows (apparently) that there is plenty of space for the nerves so they have no idea why I can't control my leg. I have also had an X-ray that shows the screws/rods (I have 3 cages) all look OK and that the bone is growing round the screws nicely.
But, that doesn't explain the pain. Although my pain radiates all down my left side, into the right side and then down my legs - when you actually touch my back there are 2 spots that are horrifically painful - they are at the top of my scar roughly around where the top screws are. These "pain spots" have been consistent since the operation and I have several massages each week to try and keep the muscle spasm manageable and use 3 or 4 hot water bottles each day to try and control the pain.
My doctors say that nothing can be done and I have to live with it. I am 39 with 2 small kids and to be honest, I am struggling. I can't sit in a chair at all without either ceasing up or getting in severe pain so I spend my days either on a reclining chair, sofa or in bed (on bad days). I do the school run in my automatic car in the mornings and afternoons but not much more. I use crutches to get about for short distances and a reclining wheelchair for anything more.
I am not the type to sit around doing nothing and I still ride a horse twice a week using lots more drugs and velcro to stick my bad leg to the saddle. Plus I am just learning to ski in a sit-ski as we had booked a family ski holiday before the failed operation last year. I am doing my best!
My questions are this:
- could the MRI scan or X-ray be missing something that is not quite right with the placement of the screws at the top of my fusion where I get my pain hotspots? If so, are there any other options to investigate the problem?
- could the pain hotspots be caused by really bad scar tissue? If so, can it be removed and how can it be removed?
- do I reallly need to take this level of drugs for the rest of my life? If so, surely they must be causing me some damage?
Any help, ideas, suggestions - in fact anything would be really apppreciated as I do not know where to turn and still feeling like this 10 months after the operation just doesn't feel right.