Hi after about 8 years of horrible back pain I was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease. Between L4-L5 there was nothing left & it was bone on bone. L5-S1 was a tiny bit of disc but that little bit was herniated. I had a lot of sciatic pain that was causing bathroom issues so I was informed surgery was my only option. I had a double spinal fusion on Aug. 13, 2013 & I'm still in a lot of pain.
I did all the normal things following, back brace for 3 months following surgery & then did 4 months of physical therapy. I would've gone longer but my therapist said there wasn't much more they could do for me. However I still do the exercises at home. At my 6 month follow up with my Orthopedic surgeon (surgery was performed by him & a neurosurgeon) when I voiced my ongoing pain concerns the doctor told me that I just need to get used to it because I will have pain the rest of my life.
To me that wasn't good enough & I'm only 38 & not willing to doom myself to a life of pain. I started seeing a pain doctor. He has me on norco 10's five times a day, muscle relaxer 3 times a day, Lyrica 3 times a day (although insurance company isn't going to cover it anymore) tens unit, some kind of prescription pain cream, and Pamelor for depression. I get very sick to my stomach in the evenings so he put me on Reglan but I'm afraid of those side effects. To be honest I don't take the norco 5 times a day every day because it makes me sleepy & I have kids so I can't sleep all day. Plus I know its what's causing the throwing up. I usually take 4 but when the pain is bad I do take 5.. I've also had lots of procedures where they inject steroids directly in my back. Can't remember all the names but I think the last one was caudal something or other.
Lately I've been having LOTS of burning pain that starts in the middle & radiates to my shoulder blades. I had pain there before surgery but it has increased a lot recently. Between that & the low back back pain I can't ever get comfortable. I'm constantly changing positions from the recliner & the couch trying to find a comfortable position. I use ice packs often but that doesn't do much of anything. In the past year I haven't been pain free except when I was in the hospital on IV pain pump with Dilaudid. Obviously that's not an option lol.
My pain doctor said I have a lot of scar tissue that is pressing on the nerves but it might break up over time. He has also hinted that my surgery might be considered a failed surgery & wants me to see a different neurosurgeon for a 2nd opinion. He is pushing hard for me to get tens unit type thing installed in my back & I'm scared to do that. I don't want another back surgery even though this isn't a major surgery like my last one.
I can't go on living like this. I have back spasms often & yesterday I had one so bad that it traveled up my right arm (usually its just the legs) and caused my fingers to form a claw like shape that had to pulled apart by my husband. I'm also having urine leakage again but not has bad as before surgery. I'm very worried about all these new symptoms & I can't go on living. Does anyone have suggestions or advice on things that will help me?