This is mt first time posting to a message board or fourm. I have spent the past couple months reading postings on different boards to see if I was crazy with everything Im going though and feeling. That being said here is what is going on. The past 2 years I have been dealing with low back pain/leg pain. Went though all the tests to find out I have 3 bad lumbar disks. June I went though a L5/S1 Fusion and felt better for 2 months. Started having back and leg pain again. My surgon said everything was fine I should not be having any problems. I have just found out that there is a fracured pedical screw with nerve root displacement? My surgen has wiped his hands and forwarded me to the Pain Clinic. I went through a injection yesterday that was almost like a diskgram! I really dont know where to go from here. Tired of doctors and the system. Where do I go from here?
That is unbelievable that your surgeon is not planning on fixing the hardware that is broken and is sending you to pain management instead. If he is unwilling to fix it, I think it is time to seek other medical attention from a spinal surgeon/neurosurgeon.
Welcome to the board. You have come to the right place for lots of support as we all have issues with our backs. I agree with everyone your surgeon has a responsiblity to fix the screw. How did you find this out did your surgeon order an mri or ct scan?
Dave: Just to had to what all of us have said, and indeed if it is a hardware failure, I would contact you local medical board, the hospital, and see another surgeon. If it's hardware failure pain mgte isn't going to help the prob. It would have to be fixed.
Let us know, since I'm still confused as to what actually happened i.e. additional pedical bone prob, or hardware failure. I had hardware failure and the Dr had to fixed it even though it was too late for me on nerve damage caused by the screw penetrating the sciatic nerve. Most people would have considered a law suit, but I didn't want to be involved in any more cases. My original injury was a car accident and then I had various things go wrong with many fusions, but in my case it was because I had bad bone (porous bone and bone loss) due to osteoporosis at the age of 24.
Thanks for the support!
I had to find out the screw was fractured by my Family DR. The Surgen has known this for 4 months and has said nothing. The fractured screw has shown on XRAY, and CT's and MRI's. It's has been arguing over test results since having pain again. I felt like nobody was hearing me, and being told in so many words it was in my head. I know L3/L4 has a full thickness annular tear, L4/L5 is degenerative, L5/S1 was degenerative with lose of disk height and left nerve impingment. The plan was to fuse L5/S1 to releave pressure on the other disks. The surgen wanted to do another discography before surgery because he didnt like the one done from the Pain Clinic. The Pain Clinic said this was a valid test and didnt need to be repeated. Who wants to go through a discorgraphy again? Before surgery I took myself off all my meds except Percocet 3 to 4 a day. Currently Im taking Vicodin and Nerontin with little relief. Yesterday was the epidural that was not fun. The doctor or radioologist preforming the epidural was very concerned due to the pain during the procedure. I geuss this is not normal, usally means the nerve or nerves are still being compressed. I have a job I love but it is almost impossable to do. Now with the surgen basicly bouncing me I dont know what to do. I have no faith in doctors at this point. Who wants to clean up another surgens mess. The liabilty factor. Thought about disabilty but those are words nobody wants to talk about. Im upset, confused, hurt, and dont know where to go from here..
Dave, I'm sorry to hear that your surgeon decided to wash his hands of you. Sheesh! He put in hardware and it's broken and he's not going to do anything about it?
Maybe your family doctor can be of help, since he's the one who finally told you about the screw. He might be able to get you in to see another surgeon, since they probably won't want to get involved if you just call them yourself. "Lawsuit" is lurking in the back of my mind, but that's secondary, if you ever even wanted to go there. You need to get the hardware dealt with. Don't give up. Enlist your GP's help and see if you get anywhere. Let us know how it's going.
Im 41 and feel like 90. It is hard to believe all the horror stories till it happens to you. I will be seeing my GP this week. He is in the same health care system so he will probably refill meds and refer me to the pain clinic. On the other hand I will go see my ortho, he did my knee, another long story. He is great at getting things done. I is almost like you have to diagnose yourself before walking in the door. When I did speak up and explained my problems to this surgen I was told "thats odd". After reading post after post Im not odd or crazy. I would like to have a nerosurgen who has more than 5 minutes to explain what is going on. Keep my fingers crossed. On a different note, it is so hard to get up everyday knowing the pain your going to go through. This is really starting to break me down. My outlook on life is becoming skewed, the damage financally is devistating. I will try and keep my head up for the next few weeks to see how all this unfolds.
Hang in there Dave. That doctor obviously has no bedside manner that could even enterain an houseplant! Certain doctors.. once they've done the surgery.. they are done!
Failed hardware is not a reason for a suit in my opinion, but shame on him for not stepping up and trying to help you resolve this, especially since he did the original surgery. Who better to go back in and repair or remove the screw if you are solidly fused at this point. If you are fused.. it's not needed anyway. But if you are not and everything else is intact, they may try and avoid going in right now and keep you comfortable by injections etc until you are solidly fused, then go in and remove your hardware (provided that screw isn't doing damage in there by being broken).
But.. hopefully your ortho will steer you in the right direction. Chin up guy! Things WILL get better!
"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!
Dave I have went throught the same thing , I kept telling my neurosurgeon I was having extreame pain , he sent me for a MRI and it showed a broken pedical screw , he said I can't do anything surgically for you ,go get nerve blocks. After a bunch of nerve blocks I went to see a spine specialist after looking at my films he said I had a non union and that fractured screw has to come out. Go to another doctor. I'm still having pain after 4 years of this[/SIZE][/COLOR]
I don't know why we have to have such problems finding doctors. Time and time again it seems like we get screwed over, or mistreated or ignored. I am sorry you are going through this. I believe as usual, you are going to have to be your own advocate and keep pushing till you find some help.
Was your fusion a sucess?
Sorry you are going through this. I have found in my area if they are in the same surgical group they won't even look at you, which sucks. Good luck with the OS.
Justoneofus is right about failed fusion not being a reason for a lawsuit. I was thinking more about his not revealing that there was a hardware problem and just sending you away. Believe me, I'm not quick to sue. I've never brought suit against anyone, though there have been a few instances when I probably could have.
Nice to not feel alone,
My surgery was in June so not quite fused yet. With the pain Im having, I'm not sure if it was a sucess or not. It was supose to be a 3 level fusion to begin with, being 41 and the sucess of fusing 3 levels, nobody wanted to go there. Tomorrow I will be getting all the XRAY and CT, MRI notes to go through. I'll read though whats what. My GP has resupplied my perscriptions till getting back to the Pain Clinic. I really dont want to pump all that crap into my system. I hate asking for pain meds, getting that look.Then again I keep loosing weight since surgery. The Othro Doc will point me to a good surgen different Health Care System. How do you deal with the financal part of all this. Dr bills, perscriptions, copays etc. Not sure how Im going to keep doing my job either. See a attorney? My head just spins with all this stuff. I really would like some type of life. When does qualiy of life come into the picture?
Dave, I want to say that I am so sorry you are going thru all of this and pray that you find some help soon. Pain after a fusion stinks but I can't imagine dealing with a surgeon who is not completely upfront with you.
Thanks Pepper, Vette, and all others!
Each day more peices of the puzzle are found. I had a short talk with a Ortho Back Specialist today... He said the pedical screw broke because of stress causing a non union fusion! The unstable levels at 3/4, 4/5 caused to much stress on 5/S1 (Fusion Level) and the rods causing the screw to fracture, causing the fusion not to work. More infomation in 5 minutes that what the F@#! nerosurgen has told me in 10 months. I'll be setting up a appointment with him shortly. He did not say how this gets fixed? My geuss is not easy. I cant believe a dr would keep a patient in the dark or not fix this problem. He wont get any refferals from me.You all are so great and thank you for your posts, prayers and thoughts. Hopefully I can give back once this settles down. I'm not looking to sue this guy but rather protect my familys welfare. Any of you thing I need to get a attorney for SSDI. I was sent back to work 2 months after the first surgery. Or does this just freak the drs out. I tend to be naieve. Hope the rest of you are feeling better. Anything I can do just ask..