I had my first lumbar fusion in December 2011. I was finally starting rehab in or around May 2012. In July, I fell in my garage straight down on my tailbone. I had immediate pain of course. I tried to continue with rehab but the pain was so bad, I could not continue, could not even straighten up. At first, my surgeon thought I might have a compression fracture but I did not. So, my surgeon asked me to begin pain management procedures in August for everything you can imagine; fact joints, sacro joints, single side, both sides, rhizatomy, trigger point, t10-T11 injections (found on a bone scan that we did not know existed, my surgeon suggested my lower lumbar pain might come from that. So, from August 2012, I have had pain management injections every month thereafter until I had another fusion of L2-L3 in February, 2013 and then further injections up until a few weeks ago.
All of this started from that one fall in July 2012. I am not even sure why I needed the 2nd fusion. None of this would have been required if I had not fallen, it is pretty obvious that everything started to occur pretty much a month after this fall. I have asked my surgeon and frankly I do not recall if he every gave me an answer.
So, my pain is now around L4 down to my lowest part of my spine, not the vertebra but your "cocus"? Every time I bend, I get a huge shock, I can only straighten up very slowly, walking, standing, sitting can only be done for a maximum of around around an hour or so, then I have to move or the pain/aching will continue to get worse. However, the funny thing is, in order to try to get a tiny bit of exercise, I can actually get on my bike to ride around our community and I get the slightest bit of relief, not much, but a little. My spine feels as if I am pulling the vertebrae apart, relieving pressure. I can actually feel it. An article I read recently in Bicycling Magazine reflected some guy who had similar relief and his surgeon said it may be the pulling apart of the vertebrae? I have no idea, but when the pressure feels a tiny bit less, I feel a slight bit of relief. There are no indications that something may be wrong with hardware or the fusions.
I cannot lift my hips off of a bed to get out (I have to roll out by grabbing my headboard), the pain seems to radiate down my L5 to the right, down my buttock, into my right leg across my upper thigh to my ankle. Getting out of a car is work, I have to grab the top of the door frame and pull myself out. My gate is affected and I have weakness in my right leg.
So far, since last August (a month after I fell), I think I have had 20 or so epidurals or injections in every point imaginable. Still NO RELIEF and frankly, my pain actually seems to be moving. The surgical site does not have pain, only severe stiffness and it aches, hard to straighten up. It is the area BELOW the fused site L4. All strong pain meds have done nothing, pool work has failed as I cannot kick my legs back as I feel pain and it also feels like I have a rod in my back that prevents me from bending.Heat, cold, electrical, back braces, injections, massage. Nothing has worked. I am popping hydracodone, vicadin, oxy like they are candy. All they do is give me some temporary relief but I am out of it. I can even bend over but it's the drugs. I don't like powerful pain pills so I tried to not use them but I am back to taking them now. All anti-inflamatories and patches have not done a thing.
Oh, I am now experiencing pain in my pelvis area/hip which is new. What if the fused site has made my l5 and below unstable? I don't know what else to say to my surgeon anymore. I feel embarrassed that I always see him with a complaint, I feel guilty. It's actually hard to describe to him how my pain is. He looks at me and says little. He gave me recently some exercises that address someone who had a sacro joint fusion. I can do almost none. All I can say is I cannot function at all normally. I went for a second opinion by a well know Ortho/Surgeon and he basically said my surgeon was doing a good job, he did not even give me an idea or what might be happening, I felt like he did not want to get involved. He was with me for a total of about 5 minutes and I had brought him probably 15 exays/MRI's.
Bottom line; what did I do from falling directly on my tailbone??? This all stemmed from that one incident. Sure, I am 56, an athlete all my life, so there is of course degenerative indications, but again, this all started with my fall.
I feel like this problem is going to be with me now for the rest of my life, what do I have, what do I do? If someone could, please let me know your thoughts on this, I am pretty much in agony. New to this forum. Maybe someone can email or text me too, just to make sure I am using this forum correctly.