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6 Months out of a percutaneous T3-T10 Fusion w/ Hardware and I have a large bump over left T8-9 area

So my journey has been a long one. Back in June 2014 I was having really bad back pains in my upper right scapula area. I went to the doctors because the pain became a lot to deal with. I had worked out all the time so I thought that I might have just strained something and within a couple days it would just solve itself. Well let's just say it was only the beginning. Coincidentally, the doctors thought the same thing. They told me to calm down on activities for a week and take it slow. So that is what I did. The pain never went away in fact, it only got worse, much worse. I started to see these doctors every week because it was getting so hard to deal with. They kept telling me the same thing and did the "bend over and touch your toes and let me feel your back" method to decide what my problem was. Well the last week leading up to August 20th 2014 I couldn't even get out of bed some days. The last 3 days I had to be in bed laying flat on my back because if I tried to move any other way it would bring me to tears. Well on Aug 19th I FINALLY got  x-rays done. After 5 visits.  They got the results back and said they still couldn't really see anything wrong. That night when I was laying in bed I would try and adjust my body and my knees would knock together and it would send this feeling of electricity throughout my whole body. Well, on Aug 20, 2014 I got out of bed to urinate and I couldn't. I had to go so bad and, Nothing. I had to go so bad that it was painful. At noon I collapsed and everything from the sternum down was completely numb and tingly, like when your foot falls asleep but on steroids. I was rushed to the hospital and  they gave me an MRI and they found what the problem had been this whole time. I had an epidural abscess in my spinal cord. An untreated one at that. I was immediately mercy flighted to a level one trauma hospital and had an emergency laminectomy with decompression and they removed  T3-T5 of my spinal process. The abscess was so bad that it started to turn my process into a pastey feel the surgeons said. Well the next day I woke up "okay" from surgery but since I was rushed to quickly into surgery that we didn't have a FULL blood work up yet. I started to decline quickly the next day and it was because I also had a MRSA infection. So after doing the first surgery it kind of opened my body up for a party that no one wants to be at. My fever spiked because I went septic and had a stroke in my spinal cord.  It was life or death and had to be rushed back into surgery and repeat the lammy with decompression washout with total removal of my T3-T8 spinal process. Those doctors saved my life that day. I was completely paralyzed after that. Took 2 months of intervenal IV meds to get the MRSA under control. I was in a wheel chair for 6 months and after a year in PT twice a week I am proud to say that I can walk using canadian crutches. I still have limited feeling and sensation from my sternum down but from fighting hard and not giving up my motor functions have gotten much better and I have a good sense for the pressures on the bottoms of my feet. The biggest fight we have right now is these damn neurogenic bladder and bowel issues. Boy do I hate diapers and catheters haha. I forgot to mention I am now only 27 years old. Of course there is a whole lot to be filled in between Aug 2014 and today but I just wanted to give a little back ground before I get into why I am writing this post. Now, because I was septic they couldn't put in hardware to stabilize my spine for the portion of the process they took out. They were afraid that by drilling into my bones the infection would follow right behind it. They said that because I was young and that your rib cage is a natural stabilizer to your spine that hopefully we could avoid surgical intervention for a while. I personally also think that they would never see me working as hard as I did to walk because of the mess my body was in after the 2 lammies. There was so much damage done from the infection only god could heal those wounds. Well last Thanksgiving I was having these really bad pains that wrapped from right side of my back all the way around into my rib cage. Pain was always a common thing even after my surgery but it's just one of those things you get used to after a while and learn to deal with. Nerve pain, wooooo weeeee, don't even get me started with nerve pain. This was different though, very different. I went and got an MRI around Christmas time and they found that I had fractured my T6 and T7 pedicle bones. T6 had actually been fractured for so long that it showed signs of trying to heal itself. I was collapsing forward. I kind of looked like Quasimodo  from the Hunchback of Notre Dam. Great news, right! Well, 3 weeks later at the end of January I had to have an 8 level spinal fusion with hardware from T3-T10 which they did percutaneously . They wanted to avoid at all cost slicing me down the middle again because it would so much damage once again and I have already made progress that every doctor still can't believe today. Well I have been having these really really sharp pains whenever I do anything strenuous. Literally everything. Even when I turn to my right to wipe my ass I have to brace for it the pain with a deep breathe.  Now, I was bending over this morning my fiance, who is a gift from god let me add, noticed I had a large bump directly over the bottom left side incision of where my hardware was placed. My best guess if I had to put a location on it would be the T8-T9 area. The right side incision is completely flat. Has anyone ever seen something like this? Or heard of this? I see my Neuro Surgeon on August 8th but I just wanted to reach out. This has been a miracle journey in my eyes because no one ever thought I would make it this far. I am grateful every single day, even for the bad stuff. Thank you guys so much for taking the time to read through this and any ideas would be great. God Bless...
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Comments

  • hvillshhvills Suzhou, ChinaPosts: 971
    edited 07/22/2016 - 8:51 AM

    Brantley...

    You are an amazing human being... I thought I had been through a lot with my back issues... but you have been to hell and back.... and so young... you're a real fighter!!!  Good on you...!!!!   I'm not a doctor and haven't experienced any kind of bumps around my back surgery incisions... but if I were you I wouldn't wait until Aug 8th... I would go in and see my doctor immediately or at least call their office and discuss the problem.  The bump certainly doesn't sound normal and the pain is telling you something is wrong.  Don't let the situation get worse... you've fought so hard to get this far don't set yourself up for more serious problems by delaying treat of your current issues.  Pleaseeeee... call your doctor today.

    Harry - 65 year old male...
    PLIF L4-L5-S1 due to disc degeneration... May 23, 2013
    PLIF L5-S1 due to failed fusion and broken screw... Jan 19, 2015
    Microdiscectomy, decompression L3-L4 due to herniated disc... Jan 19, 2015
  • I agree with hvills. With all your progress & odd stuff that happens I wouldn't wait. 
    I have to say I'm in tears reading this. The pain,suffering, perseverance, determination, you are a wonderment. Bless your heart! So positive even with all your trials & tribulations. May the Lord give you all that your heart desires. 

    I did a quick search here in spine health & some of the members have had this experience but theirs were only right after their surgery. What if there's an infection or something? MRSA is serious business. Seeing as how you have had it in the past, I'd get in right away to make sure it isn't spreading. Hoping & praying you'll be fine. Please update us when you find out.
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  • WOW! God Bless you!!

    Syracuse NY? Youre not too far from me...


    As hvills said, call your doc today! Wont hurt, can only help.

  • WOW BD that's a horrific story and the fact that an MRI was delayed so long makes me sick! I am just curious about this new fracture. If it is really an old fracture why didn't it get picked up on your first MRI? I am so sad to hear of all this. Thoracic surgery is a beast. My Neurosurgeon told me and I also read you are never the same after Thoracic surgery .I was told I will have lots of neurological from my Thoracic cord compression, at some point but I don't know if surgery will ever be an option. Don't know if I can go through anything like what you have! Wish you the best and God Bless you!
  • bdedmond23bbdedmond23 SyracusePosts: 4
    edited 07/22/2016 - 1:41 PM
    Thanks everyone, I really do appreciate all of your kind words. It puts a smile on my face to read things like that. The thing is that I don't ever really share my journey with too many people because I have been through so much and have been given so many blessings that 23 months ago I was told would never happen. I am have been doing Auqa Therapy the past month and a half because I have finally healed enough from the fusion to start getting a little stronger. I was in a "turtle shell brace" for 95 days after January 19th so there wasn't a whole lot you can do. I have been waiting to start PT again because I know that if you fight hard to get better that the results can be miracle like. Reason I am saying that is throughout my journey I have seen so many people that have it so much worse, at least in my eyes. I am sooo sooo sooo grateful that I can walk with my canes. I HATED my wheelchair. I felt so hopeless and hated that I had to ask for help and I felt like a burden to people. Even though everyone always told me different. When you walk through Wal-Mart people don't know the hell you have been through so I just look at life that way. Try and show my strength through humility and just try and help anyone I can along the way. Anyway, it's to much to tell anyone in a readers digest version anyway haha. So I just tell people, "I had some back problems but I am very blessed".


    I did reach out to my Neuro Surgeon this morning and emailed him some pictures so I am just waiting to hear back from him on what he thinks. It's a pretty gnarly bump and it's directly over my incision where the screws were placed. It's hard as a rock too. I try not to get myself worked up to much because I have found out by now that whatever is going to happen is in gods hands at this point. Even thought I do get super anxious at times haha

    Kay-  I was always in pain and they were giving me steroid injections in my back and I kept having poor results from them. I also have zero feeling in my back so that's why we didn't know I had the fractures because I didn't know any better. I was so used to being in pain that I didn't know the difference until Thanksgiving last year when I knew something changed because the physical pain changed and I just knew something wasn't right. They said I was probably walking around with the T6 pedicle fracture for probably 6 months. It just took T7 getting fractured before my brain registered, "holy crap!".  
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  • hvillshhvills Suzhou, ChinaPosts: 971

    Brantley

    I also do swimming therapy 4-5 times a week... I really love it.  It was/has been a really key part of my getting my back and core muscle strength back.  Not to mention it puts zero stress on my old arthritic joints.   I hope you learn to enjoy it as well... it's a great boost both physically and emotionally.

    Harry - 65 year old male...
    PLIF L4-L5-S1 due to disc degeneration... May 23, 2013
    PLIF L5-S1 due to failed fusion and broken screw... Jan 19, 2015
    Microdiscectomy, decompression L3-L4 due to herniated disc... Jan 19, 2015
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    hello bdedmond23 !
    welcome to spine-health
    please click on link for helpful information!
    Sue
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • I made a new post of what we finally figured out everyone. Took us 6 months but we figured it out. Talk about how something that seems so small can turn into something so big...
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