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Frustrated and in Pain, but Optimistic

txmoogittxmoogi Posts: 4
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:40 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
:SS

Pretty new to this type forum , but I joined few months back but have never posted. So this one will have multiple post in one.

I am a 54 year old female and have some additional medical conditions like diabetes & hypertension.

MAJOR HISTORY
July 1989 injury to l3,l4,& l5 (Office worker lifted way to heavy of box on top of not lifting improperly)
6 months of doctors, oh so many tests , shots, pt and physical conditioning.
l5 fusion in Dec1990. Better but numbness and pain never really went away
July 1991 New surgeon found original did not take!!
Nov 1991 anterior posterior fusion of l4 & l5, with 10 days in hosp, immediately went into a body brace that went over chest down to top of legs & down left leg to mid-thigh. wore 3 months with near complete immobilization, leg part was cut off and wore brace for 3 more months limited sitting and standing. Had PT and seemed to do pretty good for few years was told of disability rating but to long ago so do not remember rating think 25 %, but never really wanted to totally give up and was able to return to workforce and family past times of being active in outdoor activity.

Trouble was started in 1999 and were caused by auto accidents where I was hit from behind 3 times with last one in 2003. Most of injuries involved upper back & neck.(Also large breasted all my life). Then I found a really great Chiro whom used “low force” chiropractic techniques and I stopped having a lot of the problems even almost got rid of my stiffness in low back that made me waddle like a duck. Went for injections in left hip every now and then but no major problems with my lumbar area. Felt great!!!!

Kids out of house and hubby & I made a move from East Texas to SW Texas and I decided to attend college. (Fall 2004 to Spring 2007 ) and was going for nursing in which had to have medical & physical release..(Oh yes did get the release) Then due to finances. and husbands transfer not able to return. I gained weight and had trouble getting diabetes under control until about Sept of this past year.

Finally have lost some weight and diabetes & hypertension under control. Found new Chiro in Nov 2008 still was going for hip injection about one time each year. In March of 2009 fell in garage and injured all of back including shoulder, neck, & head. Nothing broke so returned to chiro (no relief). Then went to the orthopedic physician who had been giving me the hip shots and since pain now in areas not related to just hip was referred for PT with water therapy, .and spine specialist with group (of course this doc could not see me for 2 months) Then appt was canceled 1 day before my appointment because doctor going to be out of town. and new appointment was going to have to be another month later. (Oh yes pain level now at 10 out of 10). Did go for PT but had absolutely no relief not able to sit or stand for very long I also had taken Aleve, Hydrocodone which seem to help over the years, then Darvocet for bit now using Percocet with no relief. Finally decided to go to family physician who immediately sent me for MRI of C spine & L spine the next day. She also got me an appointment with a spine surgeon 1 week later.

MRI reveled bunches but main concern for the Spine doctor was the herniated disc at L1 L2 & L2 L3 . He told me about a non invasive procedure called XLIF (eXtreme Lateral Interbody Fusion). He also gave me the websites spine health & spine universe and asked me to research and view the videos. He still wanted me to go to a pain management physician. I had 2 Transforaminal epidural spinal injections each on different levels, Oct 27, 2009 then on Nov 17, 2009 both gave temporary 3 day relief (was numb) Was sent back to Spine Surgeon and he stated he thought the XLIF should be perform explaining he keeps you overnight and recoup should be real easy I agreed whole heartedly. Sooooooooo!!!! Long story short will be going in at 5:30 am on Friday-Jan 8, 2010 to have the procedure done at 7:00 am In all the whirlwind that day I did not ask all the questions I should have but went preregistration yesterday and RN explained some of my limitations so I have an idea.

But my wonderfully supportive (I do mean this with all my heart & soul) husband and my main concern is that I will now be fused in all if not part of my lumbar area and not sure what to expect.. I know it is different patient to patient to the other so I am going to research (which I love to do but limited due to sitting limitations for now) the forum for any information. If anyone has any prayers, advise, encouragement and even criticisms please post or tell me where to find information for me to research.

Sorry if post seems long but was suppose to start all this in
txmoogi
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Comments

  • welcome to the site----this is a great place to talk!Let us know how your procedure goes on the 8th--we are here to listen!
  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    Welcome to our site. Many of us have had multiple surgeries (unfortunately) and can help you with questions or concerns you may have.

    My hubby has gradually realized that my back will never be all better and he's good at helping....but sometimes I have to remind him. When we bought a new clothes washer I wanted a front loader with the pedestal to make it higher. He grudgingly gave in. I've said we'll do the same when the dryer dies. He says it's too expensive...I said so is back surgery that keeps me from working.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
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  • Welcome txmoogi!

    I have a question- does it hurt to move? Do you deliberatly NOT move so it won't hurt as much? Then being stiffer and not moving post-op will not be a big deal. At least that is the way I looked at it. I welcomed the idea that I would be fused and not able to move because movement was agony!

    I only had a 2 level fusion but my NS used PEEK cages. They are plastic that is slighthly flexible. This keeps me a little bit flexible so that my adjacent discs hold up better.

    Have you checked out the Post-op Must haves list? It will help you get a handle on things that you might not have thought about. Warning - there are WAY more things on that list than I needed. Everyone is a bit different. But there were some INVALUABLE items too - silk PJ's, the carry-all basket that holds pen, notepad, thermometer, remote controls, rx's etc.

    I'm glad you are finally going in for some relief. Just don't expect anything but PAIN for the first few months. My pre-op nurse just told me she thinks spinal fusions are the most painful of surgeries. Open heart is bad but they can really drug up those patients and keep them out of it. The spinal patients have to be alert enough to report on any neurological changes - no heavy hitting drugs for us.

    Do NOT bend, lift or twist until you are released by your dr. Plan on at least a year of recovery. I'm not too knowledgeable on the xliaf, but a fusion is a fusion, it takes time for the bone to grow.

    Good luck.
    Amy
  • Not sure I am progressing enough or not:
    Quick History
    1990 L4L5 fusion (failed)
    1991 anterior/posterior L4L45
    Jan 8, 2010 L2L3/L3L4 XLIF
    Have 3 pc brace
    2wks after surgery returned to surgeon told no need for brace unless I want to wear it. No squating, bending, twisting, lift no more than 10 lbs. Walk as much as possible around house. to drive for about 3-4 weeks. No phy therapy.

    I do not return for 2 months after 2 wk follow up.  March 22, 2010. Will have xray to ck if surgery took. 

    I still can not walk more than about 5 to 10 min also can not sit very long. 10 to 20 mins. I drove yesterday and was ok but left hip, thigh, & leg tingle and get numb feeling. Low back feels real tight with moderate to severe pain (allergic to codiene, & dorvacet & percacet cause me to throw up) 

    Question is do I need to push to walk and drive more?? Is the pain level normal.  I know I have read some people jump right back.    
    txmoogi
  • Not sure I am progressing enough or not:
    Quick History
    1990 L4L5 fusion (failed)
    1991 anterior/posterior L4L45
    Jan 8, 2010 L2L3/L3L4 XLIF
    Have 3 pc brace
    2wks after surgery returned to surgeon told no need for brace unless I want to wear it. No squating, bending, twisting, lift no more than 10 lbs. Walk as much as possible around house. to drive for about 3-4 weeks. No phy therapy.

    I do not return for 2 months after 2 wk follow up.  March 22, 2010. Will have xray to ck if surgery took. 

    I still can not walk more than about 5 to 10 min also can not sit very long. 10 to 20 mins. I drove yesterday and was ok but left hip, thigh, & leg tingle and get numb feeling. Low back feels real tight with moderate to severe pain (allergic to codiene, & dorvacet & percacet cause me to throw up) 

    Question is do I need to push to walk and drive more?? Is the pain level normal.  I know I have read some people jump right back.    
    txmoogi
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