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I had my followup today with CT scans of my cervical and thoracic spine to see how I am healing from my laminectomy and fusion. Not only did my NS say it looked great but he also said I am fusing exceptionally well. He gave me a script for lyrica for the nerve pain I still have but looks like I cant take it apparently tricare is refusing to fill it because they wont pay for it. But at least I am fusing.


  • That is great news! So glad to hear that not only is the fusing process starting, but that it is going exceptionally well!
  • That's great news!!!! You should have a fusing party!
    33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.
  • Oh dear. That is how I feel every time I read someone has been told they are fusing or have fused.
    I had a complex 360 10 hr fusion in Feb 2009. I had complications but not because of poor
    Surgery, low blood pressure wouldn't go up, blood transfusions, several seconds without enough
    Oxygen, terrible reaction to 1 of the medications right after surgery, 2 days after surgery I started
    Hallucinating & was awake for 4 nights & 5 days, really traumatic. I fell out of bed while in the

    I went directly to an excellent rehab hospital directly from the hospital & was there about 8 days.
    My back still hurts a lot, never really regained a good level of stamina, hurts, etc.

    This past summer my foot started hurting, then my leg, then my knee & finally I was applying ice
    Throughout the night & finally went to my regular Dr. Who is great. I had nerve damage in the
    Left leg from surgery & it is the weaker leg. The right leg, the strong leg was hurting. The Dr.
    Said he was sending me to physical therapy, he thought my hurting leg was worn out from
    Doing the work for the weak leg & that was making the strong leg overwork all these 3 1/2 years.

    So, went for therapy, it was great & my hurting leg was able to get stronger & it hardly bothers me.

    I have kept up my physical therapy, land & also go to the pool at the gym & do my entire aqua
    Therapy routine, 3 times a week, 50 minutes a session.

    Here is my main worry, I have a yearly checkup with my Surgeon in 3 days. He is incredibly rude,
    Says things you wouldn't believe & I never call there, go to my appts, my bill is paid & I am kinda
    Nice. He has nothing to do with my medication, I never bother them.

    Every time I have asked him, at my appts. If I have fusing, he gets very curt & says you would have to
    Have a special test to find that out. Your hardware is in place, X-rays do not show fusing.

    Well, the X-ray department is so advanced & just the best place at the Surgeons office. It looks like
    Star Wars back there. Last year, the Surgeon was called away & his new P.A, told me, when
    I asked if he saw fusing, he said, well, maybe there is a little bit of bone....when he asked how
    I had been, I kind of stammered around & he said- the P.A., that the Surgeon only accepts
    Perfection & because my fusion wasn't perfect & that the Surgeon has not much of a bedside
    Manner, that is why he isn't always the easiest Dr. To talk to. He doesn't like it when he can't
    Make someone perfect.

    Also, that he probably wouldn't release me until 5 years after surgery, I am at 4 years now.
    My back is weak, I hurt, I get exhausted walking through a store for an hour, a simple meal
    Preparation, wipes me out, I have to go to bed at like 7 p.m. Because my back won't stay
    Up any longer, it is like my back has it's own....personality. That is 7 p.m. Every night.
    I have to sleep in a separate room from my husband, my back is so touchy.

    I am scared to death of the Surgeon, my appt is Thursday at 8 a.m. He acts like he hates me.
    I told the P.A., I thought my surgery was so complicated, that it turned out as well as it could.

    This time, I am going in without my husband or my sister, I read where that makes some Surgeons
    Think you want to be babied. My memory is kinda short term impaired because of the seconds of
    No oxygen.

    I am on S.S. disability, I can't not go back to him. My long term family Dr. Who totally is with me
    Through this whole thing & prescribes my pain medicine & muscle relaxer, is, retiring. His
    Replacement I hope will be a good match, my Dr. Said he is sure she will understand my huge
    Amount of years of records. That's another reason I have to continue with this Surgeon.
    Plus, every physical therapist, nurse, other Dr.s have told me what an unusual surgery I had &
    How beautifully my incisions are done. I would want him to operate on me if something comes
    Up & I ever needed more surgery.

    I also had a rib removed & a complete discectomy, all my discs out, in the same operation.

    I'm so stressed over the appointment coming up, I don't know what to do.
    He won't want to hear bout my leg & the physical therapy, even though I
    Know they would have faxed him my reports.

    I am so self conscious, I only get worried around him, he makes me feel as if I
    Am malingering or exaggerating, even though, I never get a chance to hardly say
    A word. & I am so Not! An exaggerator!

    Any advice?

    I feel ridiculous, I am 53 years old...& I am scared...of this man, this Surgeon.

    & why can't he tell if I have fused, after all this time? My pain is constant, I
    Do have a good tolerance, I'm used to hurting.

    I had scoliosis & it began to rapidly progress, that is why I had surgery,
    & I know, this post is too long!

    I do have an appt with my therapist, I have a lot of anxiety, so we can practice
    About my appt. with the Surgeon. I also take medication for anxiety.

    I feel, ridiculous & the Surgeon makes me feel ridiculed!

    & if I haven't fused, is that why I hurt & my back is week?
  • odile53oodile53 Posts: 65
    edited 03/05/2013 - 9:54 PM
    Yeah, I'm fusing, too. Three weeks ago they confirmed it, and took away the chairback portion of the brace. I was ecstatic, since I had spent the previous eight weeks fantasizing about BURNING that thing in a bonfire! I just have to wear the belt portion now, have to leave it off for aquatherapy, and next week I'm supposed to start weaning myself off it.

    The elation lasted a few hours, until I realized just HOW MUCH energy is expended in keeping oneself upright! My entire lower trunk was aching from muscle exertion.

    Still, I'm thrilled, and I'm very grateful. Congratulations to you, bpreachers, just make sure that you're aware that you still have a ways to go yet.

    For Susie--some surgeons are just plain divas, with the bedside manner of an annoyed porcupine. My neurosurgeon is nice, on the whole, but I've seen diva-like tendencies with him, and have jokingly called him out on it; fortunately, he has enough of a sense of humor to laugh when I do that. I'm a wisecracker, and would normally tell you, "You need to grow some spine, girl!," but that's what you're concerned about here, and I'm in no way putting you down. Chronic pain would debilitate anyone, to the point of being extremely emotionally vulnerable.

    What we go see these neurosurgeons for is their technical expertise, not their bedside manner. If the best one in the world had a miserable personality, I'd still see him, and snarl right back at him (I'm an old nurse, and pretty good at snarling myself.) But it seems he really has you intimidated, and I have no idea why he acts like that. Maybe he is just a jerk.

    It sounds to me like you need some backup in your corner, right there on-site during the appointment. Is there any way your therapist can go with you to the appointment, so you can get your needs addressed? Or do you have a friend who is a nurse or a counselor, who can make Dr. McNasty listen to you?
    I'm not a spinal diagnosis. I'm a human being with a spinal diagnosis.
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