My story started 16 years ago. I had a graft banding operation on L4 L5 which was a success, allowing me to continue with my very active life.
Then in October 2010 i began having pain which incerased within a short period. Eventually, after tests and exploratry operation i had all the old metalwork removed, and instead of bands I had connecting rods used to fix the area properly. I also had L4 L5 Decompression, both laminectamy and discectamy, and fusion. After 10 weeks of recovery and hydro I began having leg pains (which became immobilising) along with continual chronic lumber pain. I returned to have more treatment and MRI/ CT scans on the regino showing a compressed nerve which was not seen on the scans prior to the operation. I agreed to have the next procedure done being nerve root block injections to L3 L4, which worked immediately on the leg pain but the high level of lumber pain remained as strong then as before the main operation.
3 days later the siatic pain had returned, worse than ever, so I was admitted again in November for Decompression of L3 L4. 2 weeks later I had about 2 weeks of 'soft' siatic pain but had 3 'shocks' in my left leg.
Today the leg pain seems to have subsided. We are now 8 weeks out of surgery, I have been doing regular hydro theraphy, slowly building up on the movement and and reps. However, and here is the worry, the chronic pain is still very much there. It is a radiating pain, level of about 6 on average but can be from 4 to 7-8. I the pain feels like an intense heat and covers a big area, from top of buttock to 1/2 way up the back. I have local pain at the operated are which feels like someone pushing a knuckle into my spine, which I could handle, but this chronic radiating pain can sometimes make me feel sick.
I had thought this could be muscle/ tissue damage, but the worry is it is the same as before the operation. I actually feel no further forwards right now.
Medication - daily Naproxen 500mg x2, Omeprazole x1 and Solphadol x8 (500mg codine 30mg paracetamol. Also 3x 30mg amatriptoline (1 am and 2 pm).
My question for you is this; Is this a 'common' pain to others for this sort of thing? if so, does it go away and when? could it be caused by something totally different to what I have been treated for?
I have studied this site in some detail, many of the symptoms are familiar and many names are given to such prelonged pain but most refer to the siatic pain as a result of the operation. I have had that and have had further surgery to get rid of it. My pain is a radiating chronic lumber to mid back pain which was there to start and is there still now, as strong as it ever was if not more so.
My surgeon has said that if I return for the followup meeting and I remain in pain then he has come to the end of the road for him. Further to the above questions I would be interested to know what to ask or suggest to him in order to try and explore ideas of what is going on.
I am at my wits end with it. I have been off work for 1 year now, I am 43 and the surgeon says I have the back of a 70 year old. I think I would be able to deal with it better if others have experience of this and / or advice. It may be a condition removed from the work I have had.
Thank you for taking the time to read my mail and I would really appreciate any comments, advice or help.
Adrian - UK