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Has anyone else who has had a spinal fusion had this kind of problem so late after the fusion.



  • My heart goes out to both of you, you have been through so much and a lot of it needlessly.
    I have no advice for either of you, but I just wanted to say i'm thinking of you and sending positive thoughts your way.
    Take care and I hope you find something that will at least ease some of your pain.
  • Thank you so much. I don't think there's much advice anyone can give either of us, but it is comforting to me to know I'm not alone with what i'm going through. Not that I would wish this on ANYONE, but I'd felt so alone for so long in what I've experienced and gone through, and am going through, for so long that while I hate to think of anyone going through this or something similar, I least I don't feel crazy anymore!
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  • I hadn't thought about starting my own thread, perhaps I will. I stumbled onto yours and was like "wow, somebody else has had the h*ll I've had! I'm not alone!" that I stopped looking!

    The loose screw and the bone spur were both detected on CT/Myelogram. The screw part of my problem was detected only because the radiologist was conscientious enough to pull my last CT/Myelo for comparison purposes. Were it not for that, I'm not at all convinced the loose screw would have been found this go around either.

    After being told yesterday that the surgeon's next available appointment for a consult was not until APRIL and being devastated at the prospect of living with this for that much longer, I got a call late yesterday saying the surgeon had spoken directly to my pain mgmt. doctor, had gone and pulled my films and instructed his office staff to get me in TODAY. So I'm seeing the surgeon at 10am this morning (3-9-10).

    In the same breath I am relieved I don't have to wait, ready to have the blasted 4th surgery and get the show on the road, and absolutely terrified at the prospect.

    The surgeon is actually closing his office for Spring Break (he must have kids) from March 11 to the 17th and I do NOT relish having surgery before that because while there are several other surgeons in his group, I don't like getting started with one just to be passed off to another. I've held out and coped this long, I think I can hold out another week to allow him to return from Spring Break and be here post-operatively, which I prefer. I may feel differently after speaking to him today, but right now my gut says wait until he's back from vacation to do this. What's another week in the grand scheme of things, right?

    Thanks to all for listening!
  • Thank you so much All. Really, I do appreciate the support and advice.

    I got a call from my physiatrist yesterday evening. It was very late in the day and I had not called yet on my results because...well I just am tired of begging for answers. (At least he called me.)

    Answay, it was late and my pain level was at an all time high. I answered and he said Hi, I said Hi, how are you? He said, and I quote. "I'm fine and apparantly so are you. Yes, you have a lot of scar tissue but there's just nothing smashing into anything in there."

    That did not go over real well. Trying to keep the tears at bay I said, "Great. I was hoping you would say there was something wrong. I'm doing everything right. Doing the PT exercisies, swimming, resting, trying to lead a normal life and any amount of increased activity and the pain mgt just isn't working. Now again, you say there's nothing wrong with me." He said, I'm not saying there's nothing wrong. You have great "great post operative pain and we need a better plan. Come into my office tomorrow morning and we'll talk."

    POST OPERATIVE PAIN? SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ME UNDERSTAND THIS. My fusion was 2 years ago. I had relief for about 2 maybe 3 months.

    Well, either way I'm on my way!

    Wish me luck. I'm running on Empty with no sleep.

    Especially onsidering my experience with my "Alien Probe" this is just way to hard to accept.!
  • I had that sharp pain in my back when I moved a certain way. My hardware was removed a year and a half ago and I've never had that problem again. Find someone to remove the hardware. It may not correct all of your problems but it can't hurt and the peace of mind won't hurt either.

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  • when you're told there's nothing wrong with you all too well, I won't go into details as I don't want to hijack your post. Just want to say you are not crazy, the pain is real, and if you feel there is something wrong then keep seeing doctors until someone listens.
  • Thank you Kylie. I need to keep hearing that.

    Dave, Did your hardware show up bad or damaged in an image? How did you get someone to agree to remove it. Everyone I talk to seems to think that removing hardware is the unpardonable sin. LOL!

    My appointment went better than expected. Change of meds, examination, long discussion about the current state of my spine. I have been cleared to start PT again so we will try again to get some strengthening going. I am having problems in the neck now so we are going to start on that too.

    The doctor half jokingly says he thinks that 9 years from now somebody is going to find something in an image and say "why didn't we see that 9 years ago?"

    He's confident I'm not making it up and my pain and symptoms are real. DRUM ROLL PLEASE! He started the process of referral and is sending me to Cleveland Clinic. As he stated! "My EGO isn't so big I'm not afraid to let someone else take a look around to see what I've missed." Hey, I can respect that.

    So, all and all, it's a good thing. I'm excited about it! I'm just tired and TESTED OUT!

  • you won't find many that will admit defeat rather than say nothing is wrong!
    I hope the Cleveland Clinic finds the little bugger causing all the problems.
  • Yeah for getting a referral to Cleveland Clinic!!!

    I had lots of things going on in my back with my fusion, including stabbing pains in my hootie and bootie. It feels like a knife tip inside. When my too big/loose hardware was removed, those episodes have greatly decreased. I cannot say that they are gone totally, but it is better since the loose/too big hardware came out.

    Hardware removal is a breeze. I was ready to go home after I woke up from surgery, but made me stay overnight to get antibiotics.

    I really, really, hope someone at Cleveland Clinic can help you. It seems kind of weird to wish they find something wrong, but at least to have an answer to validate your symptoms might help.
  • frog said:

    dave, did your hardware show up bad or damaged in an image? how did you get someone to agree to remove it. everyone i talk to seems to think that removing hardware is the unpardonable sin. lol!
    my hardware looked perfectly fine. they can do blocks around the hardware to determine if that's the problem. i did not have any tests to determine if my hardware was causing a problem with the exception of a ct scan to determine the progress of my fusion. according to my surgeon, sometimes you just have to remove it. once you're fused, the hardware is superfluous.

    now my hardware removal was a little more complex than just removing it. my surgeon also did a revision fusion on one level (my outer bridge was solid so hardware wasn't necessary) and i had a facetectomy at l4-s1. the hardware used to grab on the muscles whenever i went to put my socks on but the facetectomy was the final touch in alleviating a lot of my back pain.

    be careful when they discuss bulges or mild herniations at other levels. everyone has them. my discs from l1-l4 are all herniated but are not overly symptomatic. make sure your diagnostics match up with the symptoms you are presenting. go to chirogeek.com and review the dermatome theory & mapping tab for further information.

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