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Sick of the pain now. Any advice would be good.

medicalsecmmedicalsec Posts: 5
edited 11/10/2015 - 9:43 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi all. I had a 10 hour spinal fusion surgery with titanium plates and screws in March 2014. After 2 years of trying to find out what was causing all my back, leg, buttock and foot pain. I was eventually diagnosed with spondylolisthesis (where the facet joint had fractured and the vertebrae had slipped over the one below it, with a herniated disc), and after the surgery everything seem great, the leg pain etc had subsided and i thought all was well, however how wrong i was, about 3 months after the operation i started to develop excruciating pain in my lower back and hips, i went back to the consultant and was diagnosed with Sacroiliac joint dysfunction secondary to the fusion surgery which causes me a hell of a lot more pain than the pre operative pain, so i had injections into both SI joints which did not work and i now am in more pain than ever, my consultant says that as the injections had no effect and did not provide any help he is at a loss as to what is causing the pain. He did another MRI which also now shows that i have now developed Facet joint arthritis, bulging disc and Spinal Stenosis all above where the fusion was done, so all he can do now is refer me to the pain management team with a view to doing some trigger point injections and facet joint injections, and then after that another round of SI joint injections. The pain now is unmanageable even with the use of Co Codamol 4 times a day and Bu Trans morphine patches i am still in agony, i do not get much sleep and my mobility has suffered so much so that i now use a mobility scooter if i have to go anywhere because with onset of walking i am in agony not just after i have started to walk, i can't sit comfortably and need to grab the end of my mattress at night to turn over in bed. To make matters worse i also have Osteoarthritis in both my shoulders and have 2 surgeries on the left and one on the right with rotator cuff repairs, have undergone months of physio for this including acupuncture all of which have failed to give me any real strength back and now i have been told by the physio's that both my shoulders are now more or less going to stay the way they are and no matter how much i try to get the strength back i will not, so my shoulders will be like this for life, i'm only 48 so i have some time to go yet. I have been referred to pain management but i don't see that this is going to help as surgeries etc have not done me any good all they have done is make me worse. I am now very depressed and could do with some advice about how to manage the pain i'm going through. Thankfully my daughter's do a lot for me like cooking me a meal, doing the housework, shopping etc, they even have to wash, dry and dress most of my body.
Has anyone had any success with pain management, although i know there is no cure for athrtitis a bit of positive comments may help my mood and spur me on to think there will be some light at the end of this very dark tunnel.
Thanks in advance for reading this and any comments of help will be much appreciated.

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 : 11/10/15 15:43 est



  • hvillshhvills Suzhou, ChinaPosts: 728
    WOW... you've been through a lot. For myself I was diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis several months after my second back surgery. The daily pain in my joints was terrible and the orthopedic doctor didn't have a clue... but luckily I saw an arthritis specialist and he correctly diagnosed the issue. Shortly thereafter he put me on weekly injections of Etanercept which is one of several drugs in a relatively new class of arthritis treatments called "biological response modifiers" and it has done wonders for my joint pain... it's the best thing I've done for my joint pain in years. Ask your doctor about... or go see an arthritis specialist... you can also research it a bit more yourself at Wikipedia... just enter Etancerpt. Good luck...
    Harry - 63 year old male...
    PLIF L4-L5-S1 due to disc degeneration... May 23, 2013
    PLIF L5-S1 due to failed fusion and broken screw... Jan 19, 2015
    Microdiscectomy, decompression L3-L4 due to herniated disc... Jan 19, 2015
  • gfishggfish Pittsburgh PAPosts: 159
    edited 11/19/2015 - 12:20 PM
    You are not alone. I had a 7 level thoracic fusion. I also go to a pain management doctor. At first i was calling him a pill doctor. But now that changed. I just got over having an phenomena for 2 weeks. It really wiped me out. I stopped taking my pain meds only because I was to tired, sick, coughing, and the runs. As soon as I got better the pain from my back came on like the fist day I fell and got hurt. The pills dont take my pain away.. but I manage with it. The doctor has to find what works and dont work. As we cant be fixed. But managed. If that makes any sense. Im sure he/she will get you walking, doing more than you do now. But to be 100%, probably not. But there is a light at the end. There is a lot a pain doctor can do. First he has to get to know you and work with you. He is there to help you. Good luck. I do feel you pain.
    Greg fisher
  • I went to a pain management doc in a vain attempt to avoid back surgery. Now, 2 surgeries later,... well not all the pain management worked for me, but there were definite things it couldn't solve. I did have a pretty positive experience and the doctor was able to prescribe a variety of medications, and treatments that did help manage my pain... I thin for me the surgery managed my pain better, but for you, pain management may really help a lot.
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