I've got a 6th lumbar vertebrae. It was discovered after I was in a terrible auto accident 25 years ago. Since that time, I have had a "bony protrusion" growing on the left side of my lower back. It has been surgically removed three times, but continues to reoccur.
I've suffered severe back pain for the last 25 years. Recently I found a new pain management doctor, who has actually studied my problem (gasp/ a real doctor who wants to know WHY I hurt, instead of one telling me that I don't hurt at all).
New x-rays I had done last week show that the "bony protrusion" is actually the L6 vertebrae, and it is growing sideways to the left. It is a huge plate of bone that has actually partially fused with my illium (hip bone). It appears that I have broken this bone multiple times during the normal course of daily motion. It explains why my pain is so very intense at times that I can't breathe, and why after about 2 months I feel better for a while. Then it seems to break again, at the place where it wants to grow to the illium. Then I have two broken bone edges that rub against each other until they begin to knit again. And then it breaks again.
I know this sounds impossible, but the short explanation is that my L6 verterbae has grown all the way across my left side and partially attached to the illium. When my hip moves, my vertebrea is pulled and this bone bridge keeps breaking off.
My doctor doesn't know how to fix this. He is contacting surgeons, but not having any luck so far.
Has this happened to anyone else? If so, was it fixed? How?
At this point I am living my life on pain pills which only help a little. I am in almost constant pain and now afraid to do simple things like walk or sweep a floor.
Any help or suggestions would be most appreciated.
Sorry to hear your pain, and that you have a condition that is so rare... I never heard of this... Just make sure other spine specialists agree that this is the case.. I know that your pain dr sounds great, and most likely is, but you never know..
You do indeed have a unique set up there. Logically, I do not understand why they can not go in and remove some of the bone and also shave areas to keep things from rubbing against one another and thinking that would certainly "help" ease some of your pain in that area.
My goodness. I am glad you have a doctor trying to help you.
We all understand what you mean by wanting to be able to do daily things. I have had to give up what I love the most this year, which is gardening. I have a "magazine cover" gorgeous log home in the foothills of the blueridge mountains and I can't get out to attend to the gardening and enhancing the landscaping.. and also the daily chores goes without saying. It gets really frustrating I know.
I have lived with back issues since age 18 and am now 44. Most ongoing and recent issues has been going on for over 3 years, where i have not been able to do much at all. I had a fusion 4/18 at L4/L5 and am working hard to heal and get back to doing most of those things again. So, those weeds better look out!!
Try and keep upbeat and positive as you can, it really helps things go just a bit easier.
Please continue to post and let us know what is going on with you. We all learn from each other and your in a unique situation which I am extremely interested in seeing how you are doing and being treated moving forward.
I wish you the best and relief from your pain. Take care and hang in there. Tammy
Last edited by Justoneofus; 08-22-2006 at 05:07 PM.
Thank you both for your responses. Its very comforting to hear from people who are rooting for me to get past this. Tammy, your home sounds absolutely lovely, and I sincerely hope that you can get your hands into the dirt of your garden soon. Mo, thanks for your encouragement as well.
To answer your question regarding "trimming" the bones: that has been done three times in the past, and the situation continues to reocurr. I only seem to have relief for a few months before it starts up again, and I have decided that the gain is not worth the risk, or the total downtime associated with the surgery.
Over the years, I have become accustomed to living with chronic pain. I have managed to live my life pretty much the way I want to in spite of the obvious drawbacks of living on medication. The biggest issue I have right now is that the pain is getting worse, and becoming impossible to ignore. I'm actually beginning to believe that this can (and probably will) cripple me permanently. That statement isn't a plea for sympathy, its just something I will have to adjust for in my life.
I do hold on to the hope that someone out there can come up with a way to fix the problem.
Just to share a little bit w/you about my back. I just had a L3-L5 fusion about 1 1/2 weeks ago. But before doing the surgery my MRI showed the pinched nerve, herniated disk, and transverse process grown to my ilium. I believe that is pretty close to what you are talking about. My pain management dr gave me an injection under the buttock deep inside there. It's hard to explain but that did take care of the pain. Everytime I would walk it made me limp, and couldn't walk straight upwards. This is hard to explain....I just couldn't straighten up and walk correctly for about 30 minutes after first trying each time. That was whether I was waking up from a night's sleep or just getting up out of a chair to walk to the kitchen or somewhere. I forget what the name of that injection was called because it was really a strange name. But I promise it really helped me. That was the only way I could explain it to the doctor was that it was deep, deep inside my buttock way down almost to the top of the femur (leg) bone. Maybe before they connect. My surgeon didn't do anything about it when he did my fusion but I also don't hurt there anymore either, since the steriod injection. Not sure if this helps you any but maybe a steriod injection might do you some good. I don't expect mine to last forever but it is still pain free for now. Best of luck to you.