Hi all... I am new here and am looking for support with this on going back pain.
I am a Registered Nurse and last July (2011) I was pulling a patient up in bed and felt excruciating pain that landed me in the ER of my own hospital. I was sent to a Gen. Prac. for Workers Comp cases and he sent me to PT saying it was a muscle strain. 8 weeks later during PT, the pain was so intense that I broke down in tears during and was then referred to a Neurologist who did some EMG testing. That doc then referred me to a Neurosurgeon. The surgeon had me do an MRI which showed a disc rupture at L5-S1. He said a simple surgery would relieve the pain by removing the disc material from my nerve root. After surgery, I had initial minor relief which returned worse than before by week 5 post op. At the 12 week post op visit, he said "Well I dont know what is wrong, you should be up dancing around." Obviously SOMETHING was wrong as I was still hunched over unable to walk correctly or sit/stand for more than 10 minutes. He referred me to an Ortho. And I thank God that he did... Workers Comp sent me to my current doc who tried some conservative treatment at first (steroid injection) which didnt work. He then said that going in and taking a look to see what was wrong was my next best option. Well, he did and found that my facet joint on my right side was so tight that he couldnt get his instruments in. That was what was causing my nerve pain and other pain. It is now 4.5 weeks after that surgery and am currently trying to wean off of pain meds that I have been on for almost 7 months. I am worried because after my surgery he said that because of the removal of the right facet joint, it may cause instability and will require a fusion if instability occurs. I still have pain especially when sitting/standing for more than 10-15 min. and I feel wierd (i have no other way to describe the sensation) clunking when i move certain ways (rolling over, sitting up from a chair, sitting down from standing, and sometimes when I step on or off of a curb). I just worry about needing another surgery to fuse my L5-S1. I dont want to have a third surgery in under a year. I see my Ortho in a week when he should lower my dose of meds, and will discuss what happens next.
Sorry for the long post... just worried about not being able to do all of the things i used to do. (Im very active, healthy, athletic and not being able to do anything other than lay on the couch is KILLING ME!)