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Old 11-21-2003, 10:22 AM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 2
Gretbran HB User
looking for help for a 47yr old who had a spinal fusion in 1972

Hello, My brother was in a motorcycle/car accident in 1972. It was extremely
serious- a broken back with spinal cord involvement. They repaired him as
best as they could with the technologly available at the time, but mainly they
were just trying to save his life.
Over the years, he has been treated with PT, medication and another surgery
in the mid 1990's. Here is the problem now: Because of the strain on his
disks above and below the fusion site, he now has a herniated L2. This happened in May, 2003. This has been treated with steriod injections (every 3 months or so) with less and less relief. He also gets steriod injections at another site for sciatica, which is caused by (as I understand it) the nerve bundle at the base of his spine being pinched, crowded, etc by scar tissue from the original surgery. He has been having the injections for this problem for the
past 2 years.
He is also on HEAVY medications, enough to kill a horse as the saying goes.
We are at the end of our collective ropes. He has to take SO much medication
just to stop from screaming (the pain does not (rarely anyway)
go away, he can tolerate it), that he is goofy, disoriented, just drugged out.
This is affecting his quality of life, especially this last year in that he has spent
more time in bed than out.

We cannot find ANYONE that after looking at his films and reading the medical
records that will touch him for any kind of repair to this disk because of the
extensive scarring.
We are desparately looking for someone anywhere with the knowledge,
skills and boldness to help him.
Please and thank you in advance for any help on this

 
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Old 11-21-2003, 11:22 AM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Missouri
Posts: 2,128
carol632 HB User
Re: looking for help for a 47yr old who had a spinal fusion in 1972

I am sorry to hear of your brother's awful pain. Has anyone suggested that he try the intrathecal morphine pump? Or the spinal cord stimulator? It sounds like oral drugs and injections are not helping much anymore...I was at that point, too, until my doc finally pushed me into considering the pump. After 2 years of debate, I agreed and had it implanted on July l5, this year. It has been like a miracle for me. Rarely, if ever, do I have to take additional oral meds, and usually it is my own fault for overdoing. Maybe you could have a talk with your brothers doctors and see what they say about this. If they are of no help, ask for a pain management or neurosurgeon who are more open about the pump option. I hope this helps you some.
Carol
__________________
2 lami's, 3 fusions
bone spur removal
cerv. fusion, 1 level
morphine pump

 
Old 11-22-2003, 05:45 PM   #3
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 2
Gretbran HB User
Re: looking for help for a 47yr old who had a spinal fusion in 1972

[QUOTE=carol632]I am sorry to hear of your brother's awful pain. Has anyone suggested that he try the intrathecal morphine pump? Or the spinal cord stimulator? It sounds like oral drugs and injections are not helping much anymore...I was at that point, too, until my doc finally pushed me into considering the pump. After 2 years of debate, I agreed and had it implanted on July l5, this year. It has been like a miracle for me. Rarely, if ever, do I have to take additional oral meds, and usually it is my own fault for overdoing. Maybe you could have a talk with your brothers doctors and see what they say about this. If they are of no help, ask for a pain management or neurosurgeon who are more open about the pump option. I hope this helps you some.
Carol[/QUOTE]

Thanks Carol632, I don't know if this is the correct way to respond to you, but here goes. He has certainly looked into getting a pump, but for many reasons, the strongest of which is the very high risk of infection, he really really does not want to go this route. On the other hand, I would like to hear more from you about what exactly it is like to manage one of these things. Thanks again, Gretbran

 
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