I would appreciate whatever you all might have to offer here.
My sister, age 72, began to have serious lumbar pain about three years ago (no accident or trauma). In June of 2014, she had a lumbar fusion (L4-L5 with cages) that ultimately failed. Lots of pain, lots of efforts to manage pain, lots of opioids. In August of 2015, she had revision surgery (old rods and pins removed, new ones put in along with more fusion at L3-L4 and L5-S1).
She has seen two neurosurgeons, two pain specialists and others such as her primary and a psychological counselor. She has done PT after both surgeries; she had spinal injections after the first surgery. She has used a TENS unit.
Her current neurosurgeon ordered a CT myelogram, done Dec. 1 (no one has called her back yet with results but she assumes that means all was normal, though she'll keep bugging them to call her back).
Over nearly three years she has been on just about every narc available. Currently she is on Fentanyl patch (75mcg), hydrocodone, and gabapentin.
Nothing seems to get her out of severe, chronic pain. Her life is pretty much ruined. My question is this:
If you have had revision surgery for failed lumbar fusion, is there any hope that (even though four months have elapsed without significant decrease of pain) she could see any improvement in her condition? I am beginning to feel hopeless, though I never, ever let her know that. How does anyone live like this?