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Old 01-23-2007, 11:54 AM   #1
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kimlisafreeman HB User
Unhappy Back pain 1 1/2 years after spinal fusion

Hi Everyone,

I'm new here and was wondering if anyone could give me any answers to my back problems. Diagnosed with Spondolythesis at L5 - S1 in May of 05. Tried PT, injections for 4 months,. Opted for spinal fusion. Had fusion in July 05. I am now in more pain than before surgery. In addition to increased sciatica pain and back pain, I also have pain and numbness in lower abdomin where incision is from spinal fusion and also a lot of burning pain, numbness in my right oblique area. I had anterior/posterior fusion with bone graft and instrumentation. Pain gets worse the longer I stand/walk or try to excersise. My surgeron first said this was post-op pain and would go away after several months. However, last week he said that he doens't think the pain in abdomen or right oblique muscles is related to the fusion. He is full of it. I really think he damaged some nerves and now just wont' fess up. He obviously doesnt' want a malpratice suit. I am thinking of retaining a lawyer because he did not once say to me that I could be in more pain after surgery or have this abdomen/oblique pain!! He is supposed to be one of the top surgeons in NYC but I don't think that at all!! If anyone is looking for a surgeon in the NYC area, please let me know and I will tell who my doctor was; you should not go to him. What bothers me most is that he doesn't even examine me when I see him. He just talks and tells me to tough my toes. Never once has he examined my abdomen or right side. I am now going to see my regular doc and have him run some tests in these areas to see if the problem can be diagnosed. Has anyone had similar experience or any advise? I will be trying accpunture and now take Oxycotin which I don't want to take at all but it is the only thing that helps! I thought the surgery would alieviate my problem not make it worse. I also have 3 herniated discs in neck from a car accident 5 years ago. So I have pain in neck and arms as well. I would like to have children and I am very scared of the complications I will have due to my injuries and the medication. Thanks to all.

Last edited by kimlisafreeman; 01-23-2007 at 12:11 PM.

 
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Old 01-23-2007, 12:14 PM   #2
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roxyroo HB User
Re: Back pain 1 1/2 years after spinal fusion

Hello there. i feel for you, I really do. I have just had my 3rd of these operations in the last 5 years. It is possible that your fusion has failed, which they call Pseudoarthrosis. This is what happened to me. In addition, they should be checking to see if your hardware is intact. I have had breakage of screws after the first surgery, and then breakage of the rods after the second. It is quite possible that you do have nerve damage....I do. The skin around the incisions is numb and has no feeling, and in addition, after the second surgery (posterior/anterior), i have suffered difficulty with bladder function and control which is nerve damage from the surgery..Although the surgeon will "poo poo" that as a result of the surgery as well. Is he xraying you when you go in? You should ask for a CT scan, which is the only thing that can tell you if the fusion is solid. I wish I could be more optimistic for you, but I certainly can relate to your symptoms....after having my 3rd surgery, I am still in significant pain, and have a burning pain in addition which I believe is from the irritation from the hardware. I would see about getting your doctor to do the ct scan...he probably won't want to, because if the fusion failed, they will have to redo it again. I hope that you have better luck than me with it. My thoughts are with you.

 
Old 01-24-2007, 12:17 AM   #3
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tattman HB User
Re: Back pain 1 1/2 years after spinal fusion

Just read your post and I have to say I know what you are going through in some of the things you have spoken about. But some I just don't know about. Being a male when my doctor operated on me he told me that he could go through the same place as you but if he did it wrong and cut in the wrong place my male function would be rendered useless, so he went through my back. So I have no idea about your stomach problems, sorry about that. But on my second back op I had cages placed into the disc space. Well a couple of months later I began to feel pain once more. Like you we know what is back pain and what is pain from a operation. So I know that something was really wrong. A xray was taken and sent to my doctor and he rang me a couple of weeks later telling me that I needed my 3rd operation. As one of the cages that was placed in had actually started to unscrew itself from my backbone and was the cause of the new pain. I still have them in my back to this day but now they have finally locked in. And the third time they done the screws and plates like they have been doing for years. But I'm still in pain, but just get your doctor to take a xray just incase something has come loose in your back. Don't ask him you sometimes have to demand that action be taken. But I was lucky and my doctor done the right thing by me. Best of luck and I hope this has helped a little.

Last edited by tattman; 01-24-2007 at 12:21 AM.

 
Old 01-24-2007, 01:31 AM   #4
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Location: Olathe, KS, USA
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Rustysgurl HB User
Re: Back pain 1 1/2 years after spinal fusion

I'm also in pain after a fusion and can definitely empathize. It is possible that you suffered nerve damage. Here's the question - was your fusion done by an orthopedic surgeon or a neurosurgeon. Why? Because I've been operated on my both, and in my experience, neurosurgeons in general hate to admit they've done anything wrong. If your surgery was done by a neurosurgeon, I'd probably be inclined to ask an attorney to look into it. Do you have the wherewithal to get a second opinion? If your current doctor is reticent to find out what's causing your pain, I'd definitely ask to see someone else. Whatever you do, I hope they find out what's wrong and get you the relief you need.

Mary

 
Old 01-24-2007, 05:00 AM   #5
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shawley HB User
Re: Back pain 1 1/2 years after spinal fusion

[COLOR="Red"][B][SIZE="3"]
Please don't quote me on this , but it sounds like a non-union failed fusion. I also had a Dr. who wouldn't confess I had one and I found another Dr. who looked at my MRI and knew right away that I never fused. Please get another opinion and good luck. [/SIZE][/B][/COLOR]

 
Old 01-24-2007, 05:05 AM   #6
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shawley HB User
Re: Back pain 1 1/2 years after spinal fusion

[COLOR="DarkGreen"][SIZE="3"]Mary please be careful what your saying , I know everyone has there opinion but you can't say one surgeon is better than the other "UNLESS" One specializes in the spine only or has a spine fellowship , your neurosurgeon could have been like mine and MOSTLY worked on the brain and spinalcord and not the spine itself. Just wanted to clear that up. I know your trying to help and it's appreciated ALOT.
Have a wonderful day RustyGurl.( Rusty Wallace ? )[/SIZE][/COLOR][QUOTE=Rustysgurl;2760298]I'm also in pain after a fusion and can definitely empathize. It is possible that you suffered nerve damage. Here's the question - was your fusion done by an orthopedic surgeon or a neurosurgeon. Why? Because I've been operated on my both, and in my experience, neurosurgeons in general hate to admit they've done anything wrong. If your surgery was done by a neurosurgeon, I'd probably be inclined to ask an attorney to look into it. Do you have the wherewithal to get a second opinion? If your current doctor is reticent to find out what's causing your pain, I'd definitely ask to see someone else. Whatever you do, I hope they find out what's wrong and get you the relief you need.

Mary
[/QUOTE]

 
Old 06-22-2010, 07:17 PM   #7
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carmen1260 HB User
Re: Back pain 1 1/2 years after spinal fusion

Hi kimlisfreeman i sympathize with you, i am having a simular situation i too had a l4-5 fusion this past March,it was my third surgery and like you the pain is back and more painful than ever..my doctor does the same thing..i also think he screwed up and wont fess up and unfortunately i work for his practice, I am still on disabilty looking for a solution cause i'm not ready to be opened up again and i cant work with this pain all day long..good Luck, god bless

 
Old 06-23-2010, 10:12 AM   #8
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swheat HB User
Re: Back pain 1 1/2 years after spinal fusion

[QUOTE=kimlisafreeman;2759244]Hi Everyone,

I'm new here and was wondering if anyone could give me any answers to my back problems. Diagnosed with Spondolythesis at L5 - S1 in May of 05. Tried PT, injections for 4 months,. Opted for spinal fusion. Had fusion in July 05. I am now in more pain than before surgery. In addition to increased sciatica pain and back pain, I also have pain and numbness in lower abdomin where incision is from spinal fusion and also a lot of burning pain, numbness in my right oblique area. I had anterior/posterior fusion with bone graft and instrumentation. Pain gets worse the longer I stand/walk or try to excersise. My surgeron first said this was post-op pain and would go away after several months. However, last week he said that he doens't think the pain in abdomen or right oblique muscles is related to the fusion. He is full of it. I really think he damaged some nerves and now just wont' fess up. He obviously doesnt' want a malpratice suit. I am thinking of retaining a lawyer because he did not once say to me that I could be in more pain after surgery or have this abdomen/oblique pain!! He is supposed to be one of the top surgeons in NYC but I don't think that at all!! If anyone is looking for a surgeon in the NYC area, please let me know and I will tell who my doctor was; you should not go to him. What bothers me most is that he doesn't even examine me when I see him. He just talks and tells me to tough my toes. Never once has he examined my abdomen or right side. I am now going to see my regular doc and have him run some tests in these areas to see if the problem can be diagnosed. Has anyone had similar experience or any advise? I will be trying accpunture and now take Oxycotin which I don't want to take at all but it is the only thing that helps! I thought the surgery would alieviate my problem not make it worse. I also have 3 herniated discs in neck from a car accident 5 years ago. So I have pain in neck and arms as well. I would like to have children and I am very scared of the complications I will have due to my injuries and the medication. Thanks to all.[/QUOTE]

I just got done with third back surgery L6 to s1 fused with instruments DR.said he might have to go thru abdomen but he consulted with another surgen and we able to do bone fusion from back . The reason for the third surgery they took rods out from fist surgery becouse they didnt match the new titanium ones they us today . So when they took the old hardware out the bone fusion broke. the vertabra colapsed forwar making me stoop over forward they let me go for a year like this missarabl pain. know i have peranent nerve damage.But the reason he wanted to go thru abdomen was to wedge up the vertabra that colapst . When he talke to other surgen he said he could get to from back. Always grt second opinion. Try to us nuro surgen. sorry this was so long .I just know the pain your in.Steve

 
Old 06-23-2010, 10:34 AM   #9
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swheat HB User
Re: Back pain 1 1/2 years after spinal fusion

[QUOTE=shawley;2760457][COLOR="DarkGreen"][SIZE="3"]Mary please be careful what your saying , I know everyone has there opinion but you can't say one surgeon is better than the other "UNLESS" One specializes in the spine only or has a spine fellowship , your neurosurgeon could have been like mine and MOSTLY worked on the brain and spinalcord and not the spine itself. Just wanted to clear that up. I know your trying to help and it's appreciated ALOT.
Have a wonderful day RustyGurl.( Rusty Wallace ? )[/SIZE][/COLOR][/QUOTE]

Ive had three major back surgerys no Dr. is going to admit he don something wrong .Let me trow this out there a DR. can only diagnose and do the best he can to help you. But once you do damage to the back you always going to have some kind of pain .You just need to try and learn how to live with it. and try not to do any thing reinjur it.And the older you get the worse it gets sorry probly not what you wanted to here But I been there dont that. Steve

 
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