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Chronic Lumbar Pain

I'm new to this site and have just recently seen a specialist who has diagnosed me with failed back syndrome. I am in the military and was injured in a Paratroop Excercise in 2010. After a year with intense sciatica and developing neuro deficits (led drop and parastesia in right leg), I had a discectomy L4-L5 to relieve these symptoms. I thought surgery went well because the leg symptoms disappeared. But 5 days post-op I developed intense pain 8/10 in my surgical area radiating down to my tailbone. It felt like a 6" nail had been driven down my spine. My life changed dramatically overnight. Gone were all of the active sports I played and Excercising I enjoyed. Over the past year I have had many MRI's/CT's/Bone Scan and seen countless Doctors and specialist. Spent many hrs doing physical therapy, only to be left in excruciating pain. Yesterday I saw a great spine specialist who took all of my tests in for review. He informed me I suffer from scar tissue formed around my nerves that will leave me in chronic pain for the rest of my life. I did not take this very well. The doctor informed me that there was very little that could be done, other than prescribing pain and nerve medication. There is one treatment called caudal epidural with a racz catheter, that they would be willing to perform if I'm up for it. I was wondering if anyone here could help with any advice for dealing with this type of pain or is suffering from failed back syndrome. Also if anyone has had this type of injection, could let me know if it worked for them. I am in a bad place right now and any help would be greatly appreciated.


  • Sorry to hear about your condition. I went thru the same explenation years ago, since then I take pain meds and muscle relaxers. I have found that right combination. So it helps to get that number down to a 6-7. to get around and have a life. I havent heard ofcaudal epidural with a racz catheter, but everyone responds differantly to all procedures. So it might be good for you to read up on it and hopefully someone here has had that procedure and can tell you about it. See if this specialist is williing to take you on and help you find the correct combo if meds to help you be able to cope and function. Good luck to you, I hope it works out.
  • patwhite101ppatwhite101 Posts: 1,213
    edited 07/15/2012 - 9:23 AM
    I suffer with brutal, brutal pain in my feet and legs because scar tissue is impimging on the nerves that run down my legs and into my feet. I had a fusion at L4 & L5. I was told the only thing any Doctor could do for me was treat my pain. I thought I had tried every injection there is but that one is new to me. Opioids are the only pain meds that work well for chronic pain. Morphine and Oxycontin are 2 of them. There is a spinal cord stimulator(SCS) that may help your pain but it does not work for everyone.It did not work for me but it does work well for most people. I had a pain pump implant two years ago and it has saved my life!! I know of a few Soldiers that have pain pump implants. If you would like more information please feel free to send me a PM.
    Best of luck
    Patsy W
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  • meydey321mmeydey321 Posts: 2,435
    edited 07/25/2012 - 5:57 AM
    Unfortunately I am also in this predicament. Was diagnosed with fbss/ or post laminectomy syndrome consisting of severe chronic lower back pain & sciatica due to permanent nerve damage in right leg. Had diaudid pain pump put in couple yrs ago. But now doctor thinks i have a new disc herniation on segment next to my incision-i have left sided low back pain radiating down to my left foot. Also have scar tissue encasing nerve root and can feel a protruding scar tissue lump over incision. The pain pump made my life a little better but know i am going thru acute pain again. Hope you find relief and better quality of life. Take care
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