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Multiple Fusions over several years.....

Good morning. I will give my back's history as briefly as is possible. I had scoliosis surgery in 1980 at age 14 with a Harrington rod. That fused from T11-L3. Years later, severe pain sent me to a surgeon here in Texas who did 3 nerve decompression surgeries to take the pressure of the nerves. During the first surgery he was going to remove the Harrington rod but said that there was too much bone overgrowth to attempt it. He did, however, take out the bottom hook. The nerve decom surgeries only worked for a brief time and eventually, in 2009 I had a 360 fusion taking the fused vertabrae from where the first one stopped and all the way to my sacrum.

In 2010 I started having severe neck pain and issues in my arm/hand and yada, yada, yada, ended up (same surgeon) having my C5-C7 fused in March of 2011.

So let's just say with all those fused vertabrae, I'm not exactly Gumby. Problem is, I go from uncomfortable to in pain almost all of the time. I went through the pain mgmt doctors and the opiate pain meds which the body eventually just builds up a tolerance to and frankly I couldn't picture spending the rest of my life on them. The injections and nerve ablations and so on.

It is now suspected that I have SI joint dysfunction. A new surgeon I've gone to has discovered this and suggested surgery. My insurance provider, so far, has SI joint fusion listed as "experimental and investigational". So, I'm waiting on an appeal and frankly, at this point, I'm not sure more surgery is the answer.

I suppose I'm writing as I thought that chatting with fellow sufferers might be therapeutic and I will learn some things along the way as well.

Thank you for listening to my rather verbose introduction.
Sharon in Texas....


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    I am sure that you will find your time on Spine-Health very rewarding. This site is a powerful and integrated system that is dynamic and continues to grow.
    Here are just some of the highlights:

    - Detailed medical libraries of Articles and Videos that address almost every Spinal Conditions and Treatment

    - The Wellness section contains articles, tips and videos to help patients after surgery and also to help people avoid surgery.

    - Under the Resource tab, there is a section Doctor Advice Health Center which can be invaluable.

    - As a bonus, Spine-Health provides these patient forums. Here is where you can meet thousands of other people who understand and can relate to your situation. You will soon become part of the Spiney family who provide comfort and the advantages of a Support System. You are now part of this family that is approximately 20,600 International members and growing daily.

    - It is very important to understand the Forum Rules to make sure all of your posts do not violate any of the rules.

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    If you have any questions or need assistance, you can use the Private Message facility to contact any one of the Moderators on my team:
    dilauro , tamtam or liz

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • flowerpotsfflowerpots Posts: 379
    edited 04/09/2013 - 6:30 AM
    Your at the right place.We are very friendly and supportive here. I hope you find help here. I just had surgery L4L5S1 and I wouldn't have done it without there help.Good luck and hopefully someone can help you here. kathy
    Kathy B
  • I feel better already with such lovely, warm welcomes. I am a very lucky woman, I have an incredibly supportive husband and we talk about my back and plans of action, he comes with me to all of my appointments etc. But sometimes I want to give him a break. People who are going through the same thing, are a comfort and givers of strength.

    Thank you so much Flowerpot and Liz
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