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Fusion L4,5& S-1, DDD, bone spurs, 2 failed TKRs

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:24 AM in New Member Introductions
8> I have been told by my MANY surgeons, pain specialists, etc that my osteoarthritis (along with all the other things wrong) is that of a 95 yr old person and I'm only 45. I was told this when I was 35! I have had 3 low back surgeries, ending w/fusion L4-5-SI, multiple left knee surgeries starting when I was 13 resulting in 2 failed total knee replacements. I have severe DDD through out my entire spine, starting with my neck. I have several bone spurs that are poking into my spinal cord, but not through them (thank GOD!) My 1st back surgery was when I was 18, now at 45 the docs are just amazed that I continue to work full time. (who else is going to pay the bills?) They fill me full of narcotic pain meds - Morphine, Dilaudid, muscle relaxers, tranquilizers, sleeping pills, you name it, I've tried it for the past 18 yrs. I keep working out at the gym because I know if I stop I'm just going to get worse. My left knee straightens to 15 degrees and bends to almost 45 degrees. It's filled with scar tissue. The 1st doc put in 2 sizes too big, the wrong type of knee and crooked. The 2nd doc did everything right, but wasn't able to remove a steel rod in my femur as it started to break, so he sawed it off and drilled it down. Because I had so much damage from the 1st TKR, and my threshold for pain meds was so high, we weren't able to control the pain enough during therapy & once I had to return the machine that bends your knee for you (can't remember the name) my knee just stiffened up & I couldn't get it moving. I had it bent to 95 degrees and at 0 for straightening. There isn't a day I don't hope that someone with really good car insurance runs me over so my kids will get a good settlement along with my life insurance. It's been 28 yrs of chronic pain, surgeries, hope for help and let down. I try really hard to keep a good attitude, but it's extremely hard. No one understands what it's like to hurt so bad every minute of every day you would rather be dead unless they have gone through it themselves. I have gone from an extremely athletic person, built 2 homes from the gound up with just my husband & another guy to someone who sometimes needs help just to get out of bed or put on my socks/shoes/clothes. Does anyone out there have any suggestions, help? I'm at my wits end. I've tried chiropractors, osteopaths, surgery, massage, physical therapy, MANY epidural steriod shots (so many the doc finally said I can't have anymore for now), the Chinese thing where they poke you with needles (I forget the name). You name it, I've done it. The docs do tests on me just to try to learn more because they've never seen anyone with such extensive arthritis, DDD, etc at such a young age. I feel like a guinea pig, but not getting any benefit from it. I don't mean to complain, but if ANYONE has any ideas, I would SO APPRECIATE it!! Sorry for the long story.


  • I am glad that you found us because we are really good at understanding and supporting each other. You will find lots of folks here that suffer the same type of daily pain that you do. Have you tried the long acting opiates for pain relief? (I am assuming that you have). There must be some type and therapeutic level of pain med that can help you. I so admire the fact that you are still able to work. I struggled for 4 years and had to stop after my last surgery. Please post anytime that you want or need to talk. There is usually someone around to talk to. Also, keep us posted and I wish you luck in finding some type of relief.
    BTW - long acting opiates, I meant like the patch, oxy, methadone, etc.
  • :) hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. i have had back problems since i was 15 so i know of the doctors and hospitals and pain that takes away from those important years. :T i don't have alot of answers for you. perhaps you are doing too much at the gym. maybe backing down a bit is the answer. not stopping, gosh we do need exercise! but doing an easier workout or even, now don't laugh, swimming for awhile. you can still put tons of energy into it and you would give your knees and other joints a break. well, i guess that is my big idea. you haven't tried it so who knows? please take care of yourself whatever you do!! Jenny :)
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