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Lower back pain two years after spinal fusion



  • 2014 I had back fusion after discovering I had l4/5 spondylolisthesis & bilateral stenosis which was trapping my siacatic nerve plus trapping my spinal cord which resulted in cysts on my spine,i had to wear a back brace for nearly a yr.Now since the surgery I am still in the same pain, bending, dressing my left side, walking, driving, getting in and out of the car, sitting in chairs I have to use a cushion because the pain becomes to much. I had a mri scan last month I was 100% sure it would come back with arthritis but nothing showed up apart form scaring. I also thort maybe I could still have bilateral foraminal stenosis which is a form of arthritis and is the same pain I had before surgery but my doctor said no, the fusion would have cured that. Some days I am like a old person moving around I have no life and live in constant pain, every doctor I see I don't get any answers but yet the pain gets no better, can anybody help ???
  • I had an L1/S5 titanium fusion in 2005. The first surgery failed as the cage dislodged, so they operated again to amend it. But I was on a floormat for 22 months before and after surgery, as I could not sit. I devised a daily rehab routine for myself which I stuck to rigidly - 3 walks a day, physio exercises & had to take painkillers. Remarkably I never developed depression. I was 32 at the time. My employers could no longer pay me, but kept me on their staff role.

    I have now got two beautiful children. But.......I have had pain in my spine & funny sensations in my legs since December 2004! The surgery eventually enabled me to sit again. Eventually after a couple of years I could drive long distances again & have even been able to sit on long-haul flights. Finding this website today has been an encouragement to me though, as I manage back pain every day - and have done for 10 years. It's hard isn't it. I call myself 'warrior princess' because I refuse to be overwhelmed & have my life stopped again - but people without back pain don't realise how brave you have to be when you have ongoing back & leg pain. I do ballet once a week now - this helps as it's all about core strength. I am on a waiting list for a Pilates class. When I could barely walk & had to lie on a floormat 10 years ago, the Alexander Technique was an absolute God-send. So I continue with pain, but try to keep my chin up. I am now 42 with a young family husband & career. I am a Brit (I think this is an American website?) so I guess I tenaciously try & keep that "stiff upper lip" thing us Brits are apparently known for! But reading that there are other people out there who have similar ongoing pain etc has some how been an encouragement to me today, on a day when my back is complaining quite a lot. I guess there is no quick & easy fix to these backs eh!
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  • Yes I had spinal fusion done 2 years ago and it was ok for a few months then pain came back 
    I get pain across lower back and in both legs 
    now for last month or so my right leg has started to go totally numb again if I stand to long. Also when I sit on toilet my leg starts to go numb right away. 
    Mall the pains are progressively getting worse 
    I am scheduled to. Have a spinal cord stimulator implanted. Just to try give me some quality of life 
    before my accident I was a union carpenter doing high end wood work.  Then one day it's all over cause of an accident on the job. 
    Being a person who has worked since he was 12 years old and nearly 50 now. To be suddenly totally disabled has ruined my life 
    the depression guilt and anxiety I have regularly has turned me from a very confident robust person who loved his job and his people he worked with into a very depressed person with no confidence anymore I have alienated myself and feel like I'm on the outside looking in the suffering my family has gone through as a result of me no longer being the strong person I was is enormous I'm wracked with guilt and sadness all the time.  It just seems so unfair 
    I can't seem to find my place in the world anymore  I have no purpose all from a little accident. 
    Sorry to ramble but I'm sure a lot of people on here can relate to the emotional toll when your whole identity is taken.  
  • hvillshhvills Suzhou, ChinaPosts: 971
    edited 08/23/2016 - 8:06 PM


    Fusion recovery is tough... I've been there and done that... but it sounds like you have some further/new spine issues that haven't been addressed.  Once you are fully fused you should be able to stand and/or sit on the toilet with no issues.  Have you had any kind of recent MRI or other imaging of your back??  What is the thinking or explanation from your doctor for wanting to use a spinal cord stimulator?? 

    Harry - 65 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
  • Mikey66MMikey66 Marysville, caPosts: 5
    I had surgery 7-22-16, they fused from t12 to L5.  One year later I was doing good until one day had low back pain told my regular doctor about . He said just try to do more exercise.  But then onenter week later I felt like a pop on the rt side of my shoulder blade on the back. My whole rt side swelled up. I went to er clinic   but was told I just pulled a muscle.  So 6month later my surgeon wanted to put a pain stimulator, at after the test for stimulator he came out and told my girlfriend  that he saw some screws loose on my hardware.  He said I needed a CT scan the next day. After that he said surgery had failed and that one screw was hitting one of my nerves or muscle. He said I would need surgery and would have to fuse me from T4 to ulium.  That it was a big surgery and they still don't know how much damage I have from hardware.  I go back to surgery on 10-12-16, . Has anyone had their hardware failure. 
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