Just wondered if anyone can help me with similar experiences as am getting desperate again!
In May 2010 I had lumbar fusion surgery at L4, L5 & S1 due to degenerative disc disease. From May until November my lower back recovered well and signs are that this surgery has been a success so far (ie no constant sciatica down both legs, no constant lower back pain) BUT what I'm now finding is that my thoracic area (and even ribs) are suffering hugely at the moment. This started in Novemeber and got worse & worse, I have recently been back to my doctor and to a chiroprator, who have advised that due to the fact such a large segment on my lambar spine is now fused, the rest of my back will be taking the strain. I am also having physio, attending a back class at my hospital and due my last post-op appointment in March so I am on the case but at times, the pain in my middle back is SO painful it's reducing me to tears and I can literally hardly move all day, it's like someone has their hands inside my torso and is twisting my spine and ribs. I am back onto stronger meds and going back to chiro this week but what I'm wondering is if anyone else has experienced this - is it a case of the upper back will in time get stronger as my body adjusts and the pain will reduce? I've been told my recovery from this op will be about 18months so I am only 9months in but just as I was starting to feel better this all started up. Is it a case of it has to get worse before it gets better? I have a TENS machine on order and am due to go back to my doctors this week to review medication, as some nights the pain is keeping me awake for hours. My chiropractor has told me I have a very flat spine and that the thoracic vertebrae hardly curve, making the work they have to do even harder. I have an area of stiff pain in my back in this area also. My physio says that the muscles in this whole area of my back are extremeley tight and has given me exercises that should help with this (although they haven't done so yet)
Obviously with being a DDD sufferer, they have told me that longterm they cannot rule out that the vertebrae further up my back won't deteriorate in the same way as my lumbar area did, but I never imagined that this would only have taken 9 months?!
I am 34 years old and currently unable to work or function normally, I just want my life back! Or even to know that this might be temporary pain and that there is light at the end of the tunnel would be great...
Anyone out there had similar experience? I am just concerned with maintaining the longterm health of the rest of my spine as spinal surgery is tough and I want to look after the rest of my back for the rest of my life, and hopefully go on to have children also.
On the plus side, anyone reading this who is about to under-go lumbar fusion can take the good from this - that my lower back is now what I would consider to feel (almost) normal and that all my leg and foot pains are gone!
Thanks guys, I look forward to hearing from you.