Hi, This looks like an awesome place to be. I've read some of the posts and look forward to going thru more and meeting people and if there's something I can offer I'm more than happy to do so. In particular I've had back, neck and shoulder problems for over 30 yrs now all as a result of a car accident in which everything was fractured. I had a fractured shoulder, collar bone, open fracture on hip, fractured pelvis, and fracture at T4,5&6, which all 3 were completely knocked to the left side of the spine. None of the fractures were ever set, the drs just left everything the way they were for fear of causing paralysis. They had said that they had never seen such a severe fracture and not be paralyzed so they just didn't wast to take chances. I was in a body cast for 3 1/2 months, given 1 wk of pt and turned loose. For 10 yrs I withstood alot of pain and limitations on things I could/couldn't do, visited drs and told that there was nothing they could do and I just had to put up with the burning, searing, stabbing pain. Once in a great while I might have gotten a few darvocet to help, which was like enhanced tylenol...but was greatful for even just a little relief. Finally after 10 yrs the pain just became overwhelming and I had to actively persue help. The surgeon I went to said that this was way out of his league but he knew of a renowned specialist EDITED and if he was willing to travel to WA he would be the only dr he would recommend to attempt this special surgery, which is called an "egg-shell" procedure. We were able to set things up and at this point I was in so much pain I was actually looking forward to it. Especially being told that I wouldn't have the pain (or not as severe) and that I could return to a "normal" life. They also forgot to tell me that this was the first surgery of this kind ever performed in the NW. I think I would have backed out and let someone else be the first and second. Was also told I would have Harrington Rods and that they were light weight and they themselves would not cause problems. But, when the drs opened me up they found a mess. Thru the years I had been told that the fractures (spinal) had fused, all the MRI's, tomograms, CT scans, etc lead they to believe this too, but they were wrong. All 3 fracture sites were very unstable and they said I could have just sneezed wrong and have been paralyzed...talk about scared!! They also had to use Cortel Duboise insturmentation because of the severity and they need something that would hold things together better. It took them over 14 hours but they did it. When I woke up I was in so much pain I was praying for death. I'm a small boned woman and these rods, wires, screws, etc stuck out all over the place. After the dr seen this and heard my complaints he was in agreeance that after 17 months if the spine had fused he would go back in and remove the insturmentation. I was really regretting the move I made to have this surgery, but I really had no option because eventually was heading for a wheelchair and even with the surgery they said that in years down the road I still could. I counted the months until the rods could be removed and was so thankful when they did come out. And for a couple months I did actually feel pretty good. Then things started going down hill. The pain returned, with new places to hurt too...the instrumentation they had put in to fuse my back went from C3-T11, so now the whole back is more or less involved instead of just the upper thorasic. The dr I had here helped with the pain management for about a year and then said I shouldn't need them any more and let me go. I searched off and on for a few years for a dr to help with the pain but was just always told I would just have to live with it, read a book, do something to take my mind off of it...I don't know about you all but when you are consumed 24-7 with unrelenting pain you can't concentrate on anything. Tried all the methods, biofeedback, relaxation techn., pt (just made worse) because the more I use arms, bend back, etc just made it worse. I couldn't do massage therapy, because even tho in most spots on my back I have no feeling (because of severed nerves) I cannot handle anyone/thing to touch my back except a heating pad turned on high so it can penetrate deep in the back muscles.
Some good news tho is that for the last 9 yrs I have been able to find a dr to manage the pain for me and it has made such a difference in my life. I know I will never be pain free, but at least I'm pain tolerable.
There's more I'd like to share, but I feel as tho I've already written a short story and don't want to bore people to death . But I hope that some of the things I've been thru may help someone and I look forward to keeping up with this site. In looking at the forums it seems as tho I fall into alot of the catagories Thanks for taking the time to read this, take care and I look forward to "chatting" with some of you.
Doctors name and contact details removed by forum Moderator (paulgla). We do not permit publishing specific doctor's or institution names and contact details.