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Can I please ask for updates on people who have endured back surgery?

mistismmistis Posts: 1
edited 08/12/2015 - 12:58 PM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I am 28 years old, my issues began when I was 25. I had surgery (spinal fusion L5-S1 and disc replacement) but I'm WAY worse. I fear I'll never get better. It's been 4 months and I feel like I'm getting worse everyday. I've asked the Dr and he doesn't seem to care or he just keeps telling me I'll be fine. My upper back hurts so bad, the pain radiates constantly. Even with Percocet, I'm in pain it's just easier to move. My lower back hurts and pinches constantly. Prior to the surgery, I had a minor pinch on my right side, now it's severe and shoots down both my legs constantly. I wake in the morning in so much pain I have to wait for my medication to kick in before I can move. I lay there and cry it's so severe. I have to keep my 9 year old away because he gets so worried and scared, I don't want him to see his mommy like that. I also have a 1 1/2 year old who gets so upset that mommy can't hold him or play with him. It's hell everyday. My husband is so helpful but I feel terrible that I'm holding my family back. We can't go anywhere and haven't been able to for years. If we do go somewhere, I smile through the pain and pay for it for days. I did this to get better, I'm not. I hope I will be better soon but as I said, I'm worse than ever. I almost wish I hadn't done it, at least I could somewhat function before. I've told my Dr over and over and he just gets irritated it seems and tells me it's a stage. My upper back wasn't like this before, it hurt but NOTHING near this. I just want some kind of hope this will pass, I will get better, I won't be 40-50 years old in a wheel chair having my children push my around places, I'll be able to play with my children and give them a great, happy, fun life. They're missing on so much, it's not fair. I just want the truth so I'll know if I'll be better or be like this forever. Thank you for taking the time to read this and share your input, I appreciate it.

Welcome to Spine-Health

One of the most important things that members can do is to provide the rest of the community with as much information about themselves as possible. It is so very difficult for anyone to respond when we do not have enough information to go on. This is not meant to indicate that you are doing anything wrong or violated any rule, we are just trying to be pro-active and get the information upfront so that people can start responding and your thread is more effective.

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, The fact that your test results are negative does not mean that you are fine and without any concerns. Many times it takes several diagnostic tests and procedures to isolate a specific condition.

Here are some questions that you should answer:

  • - When did this first start?

    . Year, Your age, etc
- Was it the result of an accident or trauma?
- Are there others in your family with similar medication conditions?
- What doctors have you seen? (Orthopedic, Neurosurgeon, Spine Specialist, etc)

  • . Which doctor did you start with? Ie Primary Care Physician
    . Who are you currently seeing?
- What Conservative treatments have you had? Which ones?

  • . Physical Therapy
    . Ultrasound / Tens unit
    . Spinal Injections
    . Acupuncture
    . Massage Therapy
- What diagnostic tests have you had? And their results (MRI, CTScan, XRay, EMG, etc)

  • . Summarize the results, please do not post all details, we cannot analyze them
    . How many different tests have you had over the years? Similar results?
- What medications are you currently using? (details, dosage, frequency, etc)

  • . Name of Medication
    . How long have you been using this?
    . Results
- 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.

Please take a look at our forum rules: Forum Rules

I also strongly suggest that you take a look at our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) which can be found at the top of the forum menu tab or by going to FAQ There you will find much information that will

  • - Help you better utilize the Spine-Health system
    - Provide pointers on how to make your threads / posts
    - Tips on how to create your avatar (your picture), posting images, etc
    - General pieces of valuable information

Please remember that no one at Spine-Health is a formally trained medical professional.
Everything that is posted here is based on personal experiences and perhaps additional research.
As such, no member is permitted to provide

  • - Analysis or interpretation of any diagnostic test (ie MRI, CTscan, Xray, etc)
    - Medical advice of any kind
    - Recommendations in terms of Medications, Treatments, Exercises, etc

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 it’s like a game of clue. Especially, when the diagnostic tests come back negative – no trouble found! Then it’s 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 : 08/12/15 18:57 est


  • I'm so sorry you're struggling like this. I know what it's like to be young and have young kids and be in constant severe pain. It's really tough and discouraging.

    Have you gotten a second opinion? I think that's probably where I would start before anything else. There are so many things that could be going on and I wouldn't even know where to begin, but I definitely think if you haven't already done so, that you should find another neurosurgeon/orthopedic surgeon and get everything rechecked.

    I haven't had perfect results from my fusion, but I am not worse than before. I can function with about 95% normalcy, which is a huge difference from this time last year, and I would say I was back to my "new" normal at around 6-7 months post-surgery. I still have rough days here and there where something will hurt a bit or I just don't feel great, but nothing severe enough to take anything more than an over the counter pain reliever.

    I hope you can find some answers soon.
    Left leg radiculopathy/sciatic pain
    L5/S1 microdiscectomy - May 30, 2014
    L5/S1 microdiscectomy - Aug 14, 2014
    L5/S1 TLIF - Sept. 24, 2014
    Left-side screws/rod removed along with bone fragment Dec. 29, 2014
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,877
    is really not a very long time. Any spinal surgery takes time . You first start with the surgical recovery time, then you move on to the initial phases of feeling better, pain relief, starting physical therapy, etc. Then you move onto the recovery period. That can last anywhere from 9 weeks up to 9 months ore more. So much depends on the extent of the actual surgery.

    During this recovery period, so many people experience the see saw ride. Some days you are feeling ok, then there are days where everything is so miserable. The pain situation you are describing sounds so much like other people who have had fusion surgery. At this time, its probably impossible to think about a bright future. Everything is focusing on the current pain, discomfort, all the negatives that come along with it. Raising a family, just besides the physical aspect, the emotional impacts at times can be greater.

    Will it all get better? There are never guarantees. But, I can say that there are number of ingredients that are necessary to put everything in your favor.

    • - Follow all restrictions and limitations
      - Do all the approved exercises
      - Stay with your physical therapy
      - Eat healthy
      - Do not overdo it
      - Focus on the positive
    So many of us have been where you are today. After one of my multiple spinal surgeries, I didn't do all of those things. Instead, being young at 28, I felt I could do anything. Surgery was successful, so nothing could stop me. That thinking played a key role in requiring additional spinal surgeries. After I while, I was a bit down, I couldn't do what I did before, raising a family became harder (at least in my mind, because I couldn't be everything a father was suppose to be).. But that was all in my head. Its amazing how children understand when a parent has had some physical problems. I am now 65, my children are 40 and 37 and to this day, they still come by to help out, because they know I can not do everything.

    My success? Keeping the most positive and upbeat approach... Even when things look so gloomy, I found ways to make them brighter.

    I hope that in years to come, you will be able to look back at this time and realize it was just a difficult period. George Harrison wrote a song that I still keep close to me All things must pass

    You trusted on your surgeon to perform the operation, now trust in yourself to do everything you can to make your life as bright and productive as possible. Does that mean a completely pain free existence? Perhaps not, but dont worry about that now.

    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • gfishggfish Pittsburgh PAPosts: 160
    A 7 level thoracic fusion. Its been really hard. Im a 50 year old carpenter, I did things with my back. Or needed it to work I should say. You asked for an update, so I will tell you of mine. My neurosurgeon was not happy to see my MRI after a fall at work, Was really close to being pairalized. My spine was curving forward from the compression fracture, and two cracked vertebrae. All he could do was bend some rods and screw them to the cuve of my back. Not sure why he could not straighten it out. Did say that would be to hard for me, and the operation would be huge. That was 8 months ago. And not a bit better, could even say worse. If im not walking slightly hunched over, I walk like frankenstein. Pain?? its bad. Radiates all around my back to my chest. Can feel the hardwear if I try to twist or bend. Walking long and seating is an issue. Im looking to get a second opinion on what my surgeon did. Im frustrated, angry and upset. This is not where I did not wanted to be at this point of my life. Sick of waking up in the morning and tring to move. I sleep flat on my back, and never move. So Im kind of stiff getting out of bed. I have printed alot of words from Ranchhand and alot from Dilauro and a few others on this site. 10 things not to say to a person in chronic pain is on my fridge and in my wallet. And if you can find some, read Ranchhands words of encouragement,.. on my fridge to. And last read, A letter to normals, from a person with chronic pain. Just type anything in the google custom search box at the top of the page. You can read for hours about friends with the same problems. What has worked for them and how they deal with pain. Good luck.
    Greg fisher
  • You may want to consider pain management as well. Also I see where you have a 1 1/2 year old and if I were a betting man I would bet when those little arms go up to mommy, she bends over and picks the little one up cuz that's what mommy' do. If so, it could be hindering your recovery. I know it's hard but think about your recovery. Best of luck and stay positive.
  • Doreen2DDoreen2 Posts: 44
    edited 08/15/2015 - 8:22 AM
    Hey there, I am so sorry to hear of your pain. You are still recovering. I know for me, when the little arms reach up I want to bend over but have learned I can't. Can you get low enough for your child to sit with you? Ibuprofen/Advil, ice and heat were my best friends after my laminectomy 17 years ago. I did not have fusion but I did have sciatic pain all the way to my foot. The doc said the nerve would heal one mm a day so give it 6 months. He was right. It is frustrating, I was frustrated. I'm sorry you are in pain. I hope you can get some relief soon
    8/31/15 microdiscetomy laminotomy
    8/15 reruptured l5
    12/24/13 laminotomy/discetomy of L5
    9/98 laminectomy l4/l5
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