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Feel like I'm backed in a corner

tracibennttracibenn Posts: 95
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:57 AM in Chronic Pain
I dont know where to start or where to go with this story....had my fusion of L5-S1 on Feb.1. I thought all went great. The burning of my right leg was gone. For the next few months I still had bad pain in my lower back. I assumed it was surgical pain still. Here I am still in pain and its nearly October. I've been to my surgeon many times telling him that my lower back is killing me, so he sent me to Phys Therapy (after he told me at my 3 month post op that he thinks PT is a waste of time) and he sent me to PM for injections. I had an injection in my SI joint and 2 caudal injections with no relief. My PM doc is so amazingly wonderful. He has been supportive of finding out the reason I still have such pain. Sent me to MRI and that showed mild buldge at L4-L5 with central canal narrowing of 9mm. When I showed the MRI report to my surgeon he said ehh you have arthritis. Really?? Arthritis? Im miserable. Its interfering with my life. Now, I am starting to have issues with my bladder, like it gets too full and then starts leaking. PM said that is my back and when i called the Surgeon his PA said its not back related becuase they didn't work on anything that low. It seems all he is focused on is the level he fused, and he won't expand his horizons and find out what is going on elsewhere. I go back to him on Tuesday. My PM said if he doesn't offer to do anything to look for any more issues to call him right away and he will help me. Its good to have someone on my side, but it would be better if it was my surgeon! My primary care said he wanted me to go to a neuro and called over the referral. They won't see me becuase it hasn't been a year yet. I dont know what to do, where to go, I feel like I'm running in circles. I start nursing school again in Jan (after taking the year off for my ALIF) and I have GOT to have this resolved!!!

SOOO sorry this has gotten long, I dont have anyone at all to talk to about this.



  • Traci- can your PM reffer you to another surgeon of your PCP will not? What kind of doctor is your current surgeon ?

    Sorry to hear about your troubles.

    Feel Better,

  • My current one is an ortho who specializes in the spine. My guess is that my PM will find me someone to help me. My PCP tried and it didn't work unfortunately.
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  • My thoughts...you are far enough out from the fusion, to start looking for an alternate opinion.
  • Tracibenn,
    I can totally relate to your feelings. Unfortunately, I was referred to an ortho surgeon prior to my fusion who actually told me that "you need a fusion but I'm not touching you because you have an attorney and a litigious attitude". I also believe that since you are still having pain this far down the road that you are entitled to a second opinion. I had to go to the extreme of settling my w/c case so that I could go to an extremely well thought of surgeon and have it paid for by my health insurance. Don't let anyone stand in your way and if you're not getting the answers you believe you should, go to someone else. If they all say the sam thing, then is the time to look for another route.
  • I had another appointment with my surgeon today. 10 minutes start to finish. He claims that everything looks normal. Well, then why do I hurt so bad??? He also asked me why the PM did epidural injections instead of the facet injections that he requested. Well, the PM didn't feel that I needed facet injections, he thought the caudal injections would work. Plus, the "order" for the facet injections were written on a piece of scratch paper and I took it to the PM. My surgeon also told me that if the PM doesn't do what he asks he wants to find me a new PM. I think I'll be finding a new surgeon if that happens. The PM seems to be the only caring and compassionate one who wants to find the problem for me. I know my PM doesn't think the facet joints are causing the problem, so we will see what he says/does when i go see him again. I can't keep going on like this. I"m so worn out and tired of pain and discomfort!
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  • If you are having difficulty now with retention and your bladder leaking, seeing a urogynecologist or a plain old urologist who can diagnose whether your condition is related to your spine and I suspect it is. My lumbar canal is currently 3.4 mm wide.....and it has definately impacted both my bladder and bowels.
    Your PM doctor needs to get you into see another surgeon, be it ortho or neuro but you really do need to be seen by one, sooner rather than later.
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