I really need you all to help me out if you can. I have been suffering with my back problems for 10 years but severly for 5 years. Long story short I I tried all non surgical procedures before undergoing my first surgery 1 year ago. Originally my surgeon thought he was going in to do a simple fusion. However when he got in there he noticed that I had far more problems than what showed on all my x-rays, ct scans, MRIs etc. I had broken bones throughout my lumbar region, slipped discs, crushed nerves, lumbar lordosis etc. My surgeon did everything he could to fix all the above problems. The only remaining issue was that he could not but the cadaver plate in because I had a major nerve laying across where he needed to go. It was too risky to attempt it so his plan was to wait until I recovered and then he would go in through the front and put it in. So needless to say the surgey went well (considering!).
About 2-3 weeks after my surgery I started to get a lot of pain. After getting some diagnostic tests done it was discovered that I had a broken screw. So now I had to undergo another surgery but this one would be much more complicated. It ended up being a 10 1/2 hour surgery. There were a couple complications but overall everything went well. It was a very tough recovery but things were pretty good until about the 1 month mark.
At that point I started getting a lot of really familiar pain. I wasn't scheduled to see my surgeon for a few more weeks.
I finally saw him yesterday. It turns out that I have a break in the cadaver bone graft that was put in during my second surgery. I was given a disc replacement (among many other things) and I needed this cadaver plate in as a "spacer". My surgeon had never seen one of these break in his entire career. He was pretty speechless. I have been called a "Surgeons Challenge". From all of my diagnostic tests not showing what was really goingon to having extremly bad crushed nerves and now this. It's crazy.
Has anyone ever experienced this? Or do you know someone that has? And if so what did the surgeon do to fix it? My surgeon wants me to wait 3 weeks and he has me pretty much on bed rest. At the 3 week mark he is going to re-test me and go from there. He thinks that maybe it will go back into place and start to fuse witht he rest of the bone. Or it will displace even more. If it doesn't get any worse but my pain remains as it is then he will perform another surgery to fix it. I'm at wits end here. I'm 25 and I feel 85.
Anyone have anything for me? Please help if you can. Thanks all. Take care. Beachgirl.
You poor thing! You have certainly been through the wringer with all of this. They usually are very careful in checking the cadaver bones and retest etc, before they are okayed for use. I hope your doctor reports this.
Goodness.. no easy fix for your issue at the moment, but patience. I dont blame you for being royally frustrated, I would be too and then some!
Sounds like your doctor is on the ball though and willing do what is right for you.
Hang in there gal!! Better days are ahead. Tammy
"believe in the beauty of your dreams"- E. Roosevelt
L5/S1 bulging @ 18, now 46; still there (but no pain)
Fusion at L4/L5 Apr -2006
Solidly Fused Nov-2006
A Success, but still improving!
I'm so sorry your going thru so much at such a young age. I have had 4 failed fusions so I do kinda know how you feel. I am at the suffering, wait for my dr. appt stage myself. I can't imagine how you must feel. I'm 45, I could never have tolerated all of this at your age.
I will be praying, infortunately that is all I have to offer althought prayer is a powerful thing. Good Luck and please keep us posted on how you are.
"Thru every dark corner is a door to a new light"
So sorry you are having such a hard time since surgery. I don't know anyone who has had that happen. So I can only give you big cyber HUGS and hope you find an answer soon. Make sure to get that bed rest and I hope your doctor has good news for you in 3 weeks!!!
Thanks everyone that has responded already. It's hugely appreciated and having people prayer for me is of course very much appreciated as well.
It is a very frustrating issue for me and for my surgeon. He is an excellent doctor and I have total trust in him. I know he has done everyone right fromt eh very beginning to now. It's not his fault at all and I know that. Thank goodness that he hasn't given up on me. There's been so many problems.
I just don't know what to do with myself. Aside from the bed rest it so tolling mentally and emotionally and of course physically. It's very difficult to get through the days sometimes without crying all the time. I do realize that hopefully this is just a mishap and you know, in a way maybe it's a blessing. I know that I am in so much pain so because this has now broken, maybe that is why my pain level is so high. And maybe now my surgeon can do a 3rd operation and things will work out and I'll finally have a good strong fusion and lumbar area. Sometimes you have to dig really, really deep to find the good in things. I guess that's what keeps us going. Hopefully it will work out. TIme will tell on this one.
Thansk again to all my buddys that replied. Much appreciated. If there is anyone out there that has any info on this and or experience than please, please share. Thanks so much. Take care all. Have a great day. Beachgirl.
Sweetie!! My heart is achin for you and your spine (Mine too by the way!!). Spinal pain is the pits and the waiting and not knowing stinks. I can sooo relate to the crying episodes one minute and being incredibly strong the next moment. I feel that the LORD has a plan for each and everyone of us; however, I must admit sometimes I don't understand his reasoning.
In a way as crazy as this sounds, I am feeling positive because they know why you are having pain so maybe the bed rest will heal your pain or further surgery.
Take care and know that we care and are pulling for you.
I have the cadaver spacer and I have no clue how it could break. That is insane!!!!!!!!!! I know you have total trust in your doc but please get another opinion before you let him open you up again. I fear all the scar tissue for you. You realize that the cadaver is human bone. What could have broke it? I sugest you get another opinion or have him state in writing what the problem is. I was talking to my surgeon about your case on Monday and he stated that sometimes info gets misunderstood by patients and doctors then add a message board to that and who know whats really going on.
L4-S1 TLIF FEB 06
TRYING TO MAKE IT THROUGH RECOVERY
Hi, Beachgirl, I am so sorry for all of the things that you are going through. I can not offer you any advice on the cadaver spacer, but I wanted to let you know that you are in my prayers. Take it easy and I hope you feel better soon. Please keep us posted on what happens at your appointment in 3 weeks.
Thanks to everyone that responded again. It's always appreciated. Even if you don't have any ansawers, the thoughts and prayers are of course always welcoming.
Sheri - I appreciate the fact that you took the time to check with your doc about this. The exact problem that I have run into is that the femoral ring has broken. The femoral ring is made up of cadaver bone. My surgeon explained it really well to me and my parents. Although he has no ideas as to why and or how this could have happened, I have total faith in the fact that he will find out and will do everything he can to correct it. He has never run into this in his career and he will I'm sure, discuss this with his mentors and collegues.
As far as scar tissue that is a concern for him as well. I have already gone through 2 major back surgeries. 1 in which my back was opened up soley and the second my back and stomach was opened up. This time around (if the femoral ring doesn't manage to fuse back together) he will only go in through my stomach. The ring broke in such a manor that it has slipped towards my stomach and not my back. That is the best case scenario as it's not hitting the nerve root. I am in tremendous amount of pain at times and unfortunatly he couldn't explain that part of it. I will know so much more in 2 weeks when I go back to see him for my follow up x-rays and appt.
I honestly appreciate your concerns and the fact that you took your time to respond. I honestly know that I have a really great surgeon working on me and not only that but he has a fantastic team at the hospital that he works with and that I have had work on me as well. He is a really great guy and if I doubt him for a second I will certainly get another opinion.
Thanks again to everyone for all the help. Take care.