Hello - I have been in ongoing chronic pain for 13 months now, of unknown origin. In Dec. 05, I had discectomy/laminectomy of L5-S1. While not 100%, I did feel a little improved. In February, I was sent to physical therapy for severe vertigo, and was put on an exercise "fit" ball, and my back was on fire the next morning.
By March, after falling in a public parking lot (loss of feeling in feet) and moving to a new state which prompted multiple ER trips, I was taken for a second surgery which turned in to an L5-S1 fusion with bone media.
Doc for 2nd surgery (both orthopedic docs) took xrays twice since March and told me I was nicely fusing. When I told him the horrible pain and numbness was not improved, he offered an ESI, which I refused, since I had already had 3 in the last 12 months with no result.
Finally had an appointment with a highly recommend neurosurgeon 2 hours away, and just from the recent xrays told me that 1) there is no evidence of a fusion AT ALL and 2) I either have a missing or severely fractured facet joint at L5-S1, likely causing a shearing action within my spine.
I basically can't sit, stand or sleep - when I get up in the morning, I move like a 95 year old until I "loosen up", and my life consists of sitting in a chair and doing light activities, such as mild laundry, short dinners, etc. Just have been waiting to "get better", and finally realized I was not improving even minutely. I just turned 40 and can't imagine living like this for the rest of my life. I feel sorry for my husband, but he has actually been a great support and very caring and understanding.
I am going for intensive testing in a week, with a lumbar fusion and CT mylegram with reconstructive views.
The good news is that he thinks that if my facet joint is missing, that I should be greatly improved with another fusion. We have no idea if anything else is also wrong, as I haven't had any testing other than the 2 xrays since March. At the very least, we will need to address my missing facet joint.
Has anyone heard of a missing facet joint? Did it possibly break off during the last surgery? (Not mentioned in surgery notes.) Doing a search on the internet yields almost nothing.