Hi! I'm new to this Forum and look forward to meeting some of you and seeking and giving advice on what does and doesn't work for us. I understand that we will not get medical answers as such, but knowing that others are going through the same type of lower back pain and similar medical histories and being able to discuss what we are doing, what has worked, not worked, etc. will surely help when you have hit a no progress stage.
My name is Alison; I'm 71 and have had my first major lower back pain which hasn't stopped since November 25, 2014 when I was diagnosed with a compression fracture of L-4 via a MRI. The next day I had a Vertebroplasty Procedure where they inject surgical glue into the compression fracture in hopes of stabilizing it and helping the next vertebrae not to fracture. I understand that L-4, L-5, and S-1 can be quite problematic. In fact, I have a friend who had surgery to ease the pain he is enduring. So far, so good for him. WIth just the one verified fracture, surgery hasn't been suggested.
Let me go back to where all this began. In March 2012 I had to stop teaching middle school immediately due not to back problems, but to an asthma issue that has caused my immune system to just about crash according to my pulmonary specialist. So, I missed the kids and retired at 69 - closer to 70. Then at the end of October 2013 I was suffering from a ciprofloxacin reaction and joined the SURVIVING CYPRO support group - as I consider it. Side effects were terrible and debilitating and I was left with lack of balance, severe edema, and peripheral neuropathy. I was seeing a neurologist when I fell in my daughter's bedroom on the carpet. I didn't think I was hurt. How wrong I was!
On Nov. 5th my husband took me to ER. I couldn't walk. I was diagnosed via X-ray with a fractured pelvic socket! Put in a rehab center for over 7 months during which 5 months of no weight bearing on my right leg (fractured right pelvic socket) because my orthopedic surgeon was concerned that my bone mass had no integrity (osteoporosis) and one of the bones was migrating to the socket and had that happened they never told me what would happen to me, but I assume, I would not walk again. Instead my orthopedic surgeon decided that he was not qualified to do the needed hip replacement because of the osteoporosis and the migration. A specially designed just for me hip replacement was in order. I transferred to another orthopedic surgeon who specialized in difficult cases. Success! The pain from that fractured pelvic socket disappeared immediately after the surgery! I was progressing well until my P.T. said I needed to do stairs. I lost my balance and twisted my left ankle (sprained it badly) and soon was diagnosed with 3 stress fractures in my right foot and back to no weight bearing. I was sent home in a wheel chair with Home Health Care. I was again progressing nicely when on Nov. 25th, I had a sharp pain IN MY LOWER BACK. ER took a MRI and confirmed a compression fracture of L-4. From Nov. 25th on till today Feb. 17, I have not been free of lower back pain that includes the lower back RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE AND TRAVELS AS IT WERE TO THE RIGHT HIP AND LOWER. SPASMS OCCUR OFTEN WHICH MAKE THE PAIN EVEN WORSE. MY PCP has me on oxycodone with acetiphenimen (SP) - 325-5 and lorazipam (SP?) (a muscle relaxer) as well as an anti-spasm HCL (?) pill and I can take every 3 hours as needed for pain. I'm down to 5 pills a day. Either the pain is less or I'm just getting more used to it. ???
I was walking up to 130 steps with a walker, of course, until a week ago, when for the second time since Nov. 25, 2014 I had such a severe pain in the lower back that radiated all the way down the leg and involved the Sciatic nerve. My daughter, who happens to be a P.T. and works in a different area thought I just might also have Piriformis Syndrome. My PCP sent me to a neurosurgeon who again took an X-ray and said there were no compression fractures the first of 2015. And he saw nothing majorly wrong with the spine. But the osteoporosis and arthritis combination was taking a toll. He wanted me to enroll in a pain management program. But my PCP wanted me to wait it out and see. (Researching back problems in general and all types, I found that often back problems are not diagnosed or not diagnosed correctly and most back problems according to some research resolve on their own given enough time - around 4 months. Well, I'm not at 4 months yet, but rather from the compression fracture till now is 2 and a half months. And I'm not walking at all right now. Very discouraging and painful. I now have the greatest compassion for anyone with back problems!
Sorry, I tend to write like I talk - too much! Any suggestions? And how about you?