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Im major pain...constantly

Hello all! I'm new here. Just joined a few minutes ago.

I have been dealing with back pain for 3 years now from a fall. I had disc protrusions as well as annular tears. Well a year after my first MRI and diagnosis I had another MRI to see if anything changed...and well nothing changed. I have been diagnosed with chronic pain disability as well as major depression disorder due to my pain and inability to work now because of my back. I have seen a rheumatologist, and a neurologist. As soon as I saw the Neurologist and upon his examination he has said that I needed back surgery and was referring me to see a Neurosurgeon and was putting me on the urgent list. Well I see the Neurosurgeon this coming week. I saw the Neurologist only 2 months ago. So where I am from getting in to see a Neurosurgeon that fast is amazing!

That all said, I can no longer stand any longer than it takes to cut up a fresh pepper. I don't sleep because of pain and when I do finally get to sleep I wake up numb and tingly from my lower back down my legs. Now this part here may be TMI, but once I almost didn't make it to the bathroom as I started to suddenly urinate. It was a good thing I was real close to my bathroom and another time during a bowel movement I had excruitating pain in my lower back. Those symptoms haven't happened any more then once, but I do constantly feel like I always have to pee. I DO NOT have a UTI either. My dr has been informed of this. I cannot sit for long as it's too much pressure on my back. And then my legs go numb. I can't lay for long so I am constantly moving positions to try to be comfy somehow. My social life sucks cause I can't go far because I am dependent on my heating pad. And again I can't sit long. I can't even get to church often because of pain.

So the Neurologist said I need to have a few discs removed and the fusions done. Ughhh. My sister is a Nurse and is currently studying to become a Nurse Practioner. She has warned me about getting a fusion done. I know this is of a last resort. But I can't take this pain anymore. I'm crying because of pain.

The pain meds I have tried were T3, then codeine, now I'm on percacet but it's not taking the pain away, it takes the edge off of it and not for long. I cannot take NSAIDS. I have tried them and they don't work. I currently am also taking gabapentin for my nerve pain. That is helping with the numbness and tingly feeling in my legs, but this back pain is horrible.

Has anyone had the fusion? I'm looking for views from those who have had it. Is it bad to have the fusion? I'm so lost.


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    Please take the time to read this post and refer to it when you have questions

    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 growing.
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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • I am sorry to hear all the pain and things you are going through, when you see the neurosurgeon he will be able to give you some tests and let you know what's next. Just when you feel you done to much take small rests and then when you are ready you can finsh what you are doing. The toilet I had the same problem before my first surgery I lost all sensation but it is very important you tell you surgeon this next week . I hope things don't get any worse . Take care
  • Jzjmom. Sorry for all ur pain! My heart breaks for you. Have u looked into laser spine surgery? They zap off the herniated area or if the disk is very thin they can just pluck it out and don't replace it. My husband has had both. Fusion in lower and laser in thoracic. Now we're dealing with major nerve pain. What state r u in?
  • Sorry to hear that you are going through what I am. Surgery is a double edge sword, and in my case, the post-op edge was sharper. I put off surgery until I could no longer tie my shoes, the main issue was one particular lumbar vertebrate that had slipped forward and would only continue without surgery. ( I broke my back in an accident, both lumbar and thoracic). At that point the pain in my hip and leg was horrible, and the thoracic fracture compounded the issue. I had multiple epidural spinal injections and took increasing doses of pain medication until it just wasn't enough (5 years). It has been 9 months since my surgery, in which they fused most of my lumbar and one "S" vertebrate. Major surgery, full year recovery time. Although the major pain in my hip/lower back has been relieved, I am having worse pain and MAJOR stiffness that is affecting my upper back and neck. I don't know if I made the right move, at this point it's looking like I made a big mistake. I am hoping that my body is still adjusting to the fusion and it will begin to improve SOON. I studied, took my time, and got opinions from 2 surgeons. My advise to you is to continue opioid therapy, and ask your pain management doctor to temporarily increase your dose and approve 12-16 physical therapy sessions. The increased pain meds will help get you through the therapy. If you complete EVERY session and are still having problems then ask your pain mgmt. DR to refer you to a surgeon. Make sure to get multiple opinions.

    Best of luck, you are not alone when you are wide awake at night in pain, desperate, wondering what to do. I couldn't sleep again tonight and found this site, this is my first post. I'm off to find some advice, hope I helped.

  • backache99backache99 Posts: 1,338
    edited 02/08/2014 - 8:44 AM
    I could have written your post myself and in the past I probably have ,first let me say the things you are going through are normal..let me reiterate .....its ;;normal ..for people with bad problems nothing that you have said worries me as I have personally been there and got the tee shirt .
    now the news is not good .as I am not allowed to diagnose I can give myself as an example}so here goes sleep I only get two hours then back pain wakes me what I do is got on my recliner propped up with 4 strategically placed memory foam pillows ..if you don't own a decent recliner I would get one if you can they are a lifeline ,,also a good TENS with hypoallergenic electrodes may help {I have mine on now} note that electrode placement is the key to a good result with tens DON'T THINK OF TENS AS A CURE ,,MORE AS AN EXTRA TABLET ..a decent mattress may help too the octaspring is the second generation memory foam and is very good I have one on an electrically adjustable base again not a cure ..more to make your life a bit comfier .if you are debating a fusion please note that they are end of line treatment for bad backs and are brutal to recover from and recovery is long and hard especially if you have had previous spinal surgery . check around and go to a consultant that has a good reputation ...remember a fusion is to stabilise the spine and any pain relief is a bonus .drugs ..I can only take narcotics and diazepam I can't take the gaba range of drugs .as they almost killed me due to severe water retention .maybe ..if you're still in pain you need to have a chat with your doctor to change your medication .I know that you don't feel like it but if you can swim ..this can help with pain and lift your mood .belive me my friend I know where your are pain wise and its awful ,I wish I had the answer but I don't and I am facing more investigation too I also need bladder surgery as well as possible spinal surgery .I am afraid that once you start with spinal surgery it tend to be the start of more operations on your back ..its just the way it is for some people .I also get awful leg and foot problems again that's from the fusion ..they swell and are very painful ..I am under investigation for this ..my consultant thinks its adjacent disk disease or S1 problems have a good read about fusions and ADR there is plenty of info on here just enter ALIF or PLIF or fusion in the top box and a list of post will come up and some professional advice will be available too ..you have joined the bad back club ..a place where no one want to be .try not to let it get you down .I have been like this for 17 years now and the last tens have been devastating to my life .I wish you well in whatever you decide to go for and I hope recovery is fast for you good luck
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
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