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I’ve now had two back operations recently, on strong medication and still in a lot of pain. April 2008 it was a multi-level hybrid, L3/L4,L4/L5 ADR and L5/S1 fusion. Then April last year had revision fusion at L5/S1 – this time with bolts and a rod plus SIJ fusion, and have been in pain ever since. In Feb/March this year I was admitted for pain management and SIJ de-nervation which has not helped relieve the pain at all.
I met with the surgeon today and I really don't know what to do. My SIJ fusion has definitely not worked and the de-nervation gave me no relief at all. The first option we discussed was bolting each joint from the side but going through each of the glutes - a massive operation and one that would restrict movement and take a long while to get over. The other way was to do a revision fusion and this time fix plates over the joints. This is slightly less invasive, going through the same incision as I had last year. I'm told there would be a 50/50 chance of it working. The surgeon is going to investigate options further with an ortho surgeon more experienced and to find out if there are newer and less invasive ways of getting to where the bolts have to go. He will also give some more thought about the revision/plate option and promised to get back end of next week. The other option is to do nothing and to go back on the list to go Input Pain Management, which for a few reasons, I am not keen on. Going there is admitting defeat that there is no way to stop the pain. I don't want to be treated for chronic pain - I just want to be rid of it.
I am not very keen to say the least on having any more surgery, and my family and friends are all saying not to have more surgery. It's easy for others to say this but they do not have to endure the constant pain, feeling drugged all the time and the feeling of uselessness along with remembering the life I had before all of this started.
I am really at a loss to know what to do for the best when there is a chance of having yet more surgery that doesn't rid me of the unrelenting pain.
Does anyone know of anybody that has had SIJ revision fusion that has been successful?
I desperately want my old life back but it looks increasingly like that is never going to happen.
Brian (London UK)