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Waiting for Work Comp approval for both side SI fusion

TraceySTTraceyS Posts: 2
edited 03/25/2015 - 6:46 AM in Sacroiliac (SI) Joint Problems
I fell and injured my back waitressing in 1985. Since then I have had more than 10 back surgeries, including spinal fusion using threaded cages at L4, L5, S1, followed by hardware in and hardware out. One of my surgeries caused a dural tear causing me to leak a large amount of spinal fluid. I had spinal cord stimulator surgery twice before they realized it just won't work because I have synthetic dura over the dural tear. Synthetic dura will not conduct the stim message to my brain. Because my spine is so rigid from fusion, all the pressure has been on my SI joints, causing them to actually break from my hip bone. I am fully disabled, have been for more than 10 years. Up until a year ago, I had carved out a life for myself that I could live with. It was full of pain but I was also able to find joy in many things, especially walking my dog and taking in foster dogs for a Golden Retriever Rescue. On one of those walks, a year ago, the pain in my low back, hip area became unbearable. I can no longer do any of the things I love. My husband has completely lost his partner. My Pain Specialist sent me to an Ortho Surgeon who has recommended SI fusion on both sides. I have a hearing to fight my Work Comp insurances denial of my surgery on May 1st. I am plenty scared of these 2 surgeries, I have had many complications in the past, including infections. However, I am 52, I love life and I don't want to spend it in my recliner in front of the TV. I am hoping and praying that these surgeries will be approved and eventually helpful in easing my pain. Am I crazy to do this surgery??!!

Welcome to Spine-Health

It would be very helpful if you could provide us with more details. So many times we read about members who have different tests and they all come back negative. The more clues and information you provide, the better chances in finding out what is wrong,

Here are some questions that you should answer:

  • - When did this first start?
    - Was it the result of an accident or trauma?
    - What doctors have you seen? (Orthopedic, Neurosurgeon, Spine Specialist, etc)
    - What Conservative treatments have you had? Which ones?
    - What diagnostic tests have you had? And their results (MRI, CTScan, XRay, EMG, etc)
    - What medications are you currently using? (details, dosage, frequency, etc)
    - Has surgery been discussed as an option? (If so, what kind)
    - Is there any nerve pain/damage associated?
    - What is your doctor’s action plan for treating you?

Providing answers to questions like this will give the member community here a better understanding
of your situation and make it easier to respond.

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Everything that is posted here is based on personal experiences and perhaps additional research.
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  • - Analysis or interpretation of any diagnostic test (ie MRI, CTscan, Xray, etc)
    - Medical advice of any kind
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What could be good for someone could spell disaster for another.
You should also consult your doctor to better understand your condition and the do’s and don’t’s.

It is very important that new members (or even seasoned members) provide others with details about their condition(s). It is virtually impossible to help another member when all the details we have are
I’ve had this for years, it hurts, I cant move my shoulder – what could this be, what treatment should I get?

Diagnosing spinal problems can be very difficult. In many ways its like a game of clue. Especially, when the diagnostic tests come back negative – no trouble found! Then its up to the patient and the doctor to start digging deeper. The doctor is like a detective. They need clues to help them move along. So, you as the patient need to provide the doctor with all sorts of clues. That is like it is here. Without having information about a condition, its impossible for anyone here to try to help.

Specific comments :

Personal Opinion, not medical advice :

--- Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Moderator : 03/25/15 12:47 est


  • Calico49CCalico49 Posts: 3
    edited 04/12/2015 - 8:01 AM
    In 2006 I had SI joint fusion. They put two screws on both sides. It helped for a while but then I started having pain around the top right screw. Went to pain management for years, tried everything they had to offer, nothing helped more than a day or two. Then I developed problems with the L3-4 & L4-5 so surgery was done to put rods and cages in. A month later one of the screws came out and embedded in the nerves. So we had to go back in to fix that. I did ok for seven months and the screws came out again. Intense nerve pain with three screws embedded. So we had to go back in to remove one side of three screws and rods. Pain lessened for a while but I still had the right si joint pain, that never goes away. A year later the L2-3 was causing pain in the right groin. Then on 6/9/13 the L2-3 had to be fixed. Which helped a little to start but the surgeon did not put the screws in right, I have had to endure pain since. Now I have developed scoliosis in the Lumbar section, again have loose screws And I am facing a major surgery, actually 3 in 2 weeks time and a long recovery in a rehab. I too am looking for the best way to get my spine back to a working state. I don't want to be stiff and not be able to bend. We are talking about L1-S1 is there any one who has gone through this? I would like to hear how you are. Oh, I have found that the top screw on the right si joint is loose, even though a specialist at Vanderbilt said there was nothing wrong with the SI joints. Please let me know if you know of a type of surgery that has worked for someone.
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