I'm after hints/advice etc. I fractured my t7 vertabra back in october last year and I'm still in pain now. I had x-rays and a CT scan, it showed a stable fracture, my t7 looked like a door wedge on them. I wore a lightweight brace Nov till feb and occasionally stick it on now.
I felt half better in feb 07 but since then its got worse. I had an xray mid march and it showed a new tiny fracture and that the vertabra had compacted a little. I got the impression that this wasn't that unusual I've been told not to worry and I should still make a full recovery. I trust my consultant, GP, and physio, but I'm tired of hearing just give it another a couple of months. I'm still only up and about for half the day.
I'm taking dihydrocodiene (have been on and off since Jan) I do find it effective but towards the end of the day I'm fuzzy headed (take 6-8 30mg a day.) I'm waiting for an appointment with the pain clinic at the local hospital.
Any one out there suffered anything similar? How long does it really take? Should I be pestering the docs for more CT scans? Any advice at all? I've tried using the search but didn't really find out much.
Roos, I am so sorry you are suffering so much. At this point, if you have any doubt or having any frustration at all, I would recommend seeking another opinion from a spinal surgeon or neurologist. This is your back and I would not take any chances. It is always best to get a second or third opinion if your insurance allows it. Sometimes it is worth taking all the reports and x-rays, and even paying out of pocket for a consult.
I agree with Diet. It's good that you feel confident in your current health care "team," but, if they're out of ideas and suggestion, it might be worth seeing if there are other opinions out there. That doessn't mean you need to stop seeing your current dr's entirely. You're just getting another perspective. It sounds like you've really taken their advice and you're not where you think you should be yet.
Be persistent taking care of yourself - you're worth the effort! And your back will thank you.
[COLOR="Navy"]Ross, welcome to the board. I'm sorry for the trouble. You might get a better response on the spine board as this board is primarily lower lumbar and not thorasic...not to say you aren't welcome and that we won't offer advice!
One thing is you didn't mention your age.. Unfortunately what you are hearing is the truth. It takes TIME. And of course, when you are suffering the last thing that you want to hear is that it takes time. You want it fixed now. Have you been in therapy and or water therapy? Have they helped? Have they given you exercises, are you doing them? Are you doing everything that the dr. have asked of you?
You might want to get a second opinion from a back dr. just to get another opinion. If nothing else that will help put your mind at rest. Pestering your doctor for more scans isn't going to prove anything really. Here's just a point of reference. For fusion, they say not to expect to see anything for 6 month...unfortunately it's doesn't move as fast as we would like...
You would probabaly get benefit from being under the care of a good pm that can balance your pain for you so can get back on your feet and have a fairly regular day. Mine has been a god send to me. He keeps my pain on a balance that keeps my day as productive as I could hope for.
I don't have insurance, but thats not so much a problem here (Jersey, Channel Islands, just off france) so far I've paid practically nothing. So long as its not a waste of money I don't mind throwing some of my limited cash at it!
I see my consultant once every couple of months, my gp once a month, go to physio 3 times a week since jan, and see a dr and ocupational nurse through work. They are all pretty good and generally on the same wave length, but they don't talk to each other, theres no central file either. I feel like I'm constantly telling each of them what the others have said. Can get confusing so I have been keeping a diary for the last few months. They all know what I'm up too and how I'm feeling.
I've been really good honest! I do my stretches, have taken it easy when told to, and vice versa. My physio is really good. I do streching, light jogging (not now though) rowing machine etc. Before I went back to work I went swimming (on their advice) but just don't have the time or energy right now.
I did push to go back to work quite hard. I went back in feb, my boss has been great, I work when I want, for how long I want, generally in front of a computer but I have found things to do standing up. They raised my desk to the correct height and the only chair I'm semi comfortable in is my work one (they gave me an old one for my flat as well.) I'm up to 5hrs a day now (started out on 1hr a day.) I manage 2/3hrs in the morning, lie down for a couple of hours then 2/3 in the afternoon (my office is 10mins from my flat.)
I'm 27, the injury happened when I crashed my paraglider. I've asked all the above how long at various times, and its always give it a couple of months. My gp has said that because its a traumatic injury theres no way of saying how long it will take.
I'm not quite sure what you mean by fusion or pm (pain management?) I'm waiting for an appointment at a pain clinic, I got sent a load of questionaires and the letter explained it was a multi disiplinary approach including an aneasthetist, psychologist and physiotherapist. I do feel lucky getting all this for free, well i do pay my taxes! I'm not bed bound, but if I'm not at work, or physio I'm generally lying down, its slowly driving me nuts.
I can't be the first person though to have done this, it wasn't even a spectacular crash, easily equivalent to falling off a bike. Guess I'd just like hear how long its taken other people. A few friends of friends have compressed vertabra before but many years ago, there a bit vague on how long it took but thought about 3 months (thats why I'm starting to have a few doubts.)
I had a look at the spine board, and couldn't make my mind up where I should try, will maybe try posting there and directing them here.
Long reply, so I'll stop here for tea and dihydrocodiene!
Last edited by Roos; 05-02-2007 at 12:21 PM.
Reason: my grammer is rubbish.
PM is Pain Management. Here in the states when you reach the point where you are in constant pain and all else has failed or you are in a wait and see game for surgery, you may get referred to a Pain Management Dr. They use a combination of different modalities to try to balance your pain. It can include everything from accupuncture to visualization to stims units to physical therapy to drugs. Their primary function is to help you live with the pain. A good PM dr. is worth his weight in gold.
It sounds like you are approaching this in a good manner. What would be neat is if you could get all your practioners to sit down together-what a novel concept-and discuss your treatment..that not happening, the journal is the next best thing. Copious notes are the way to go.
Fusion involved major sugery when they go in and fuse two discs together to provide stability to an area that is no longer stable on its own. Not something that you want to do if you don't have to do.
What it boils down to is patience..It takes time for these injuries to heal. And the fact that you are back at work does slow the healing time down some because you are irritating the area that was injured...I know, not what you wanted to hear...[/COLOR]
Pm sounds like the pain clinic, so fingers crossed I get a good one and soon.
Thanks, I think it would be a lot more effective if they would get together, but at least I get to see them I guess!
Fusion doesn't sound like a barrel of laughs, nobodies mentioned any surgery to me, I guess its not that bad.
Correct, not what I want to hear but I can wait some more:-) I'm hoping work isn't slowing it down to much, its a trade off between recovery and paying the bills. Its lucky that my work is so close, and I can come and go as I please.
Hello, how are you? I just wanted to welcome you to the boards! I am not sure how long it takes for that type of fracture to heal. But I just wanted to welcome you and let you know that you came to the right place. Take care
Having looked at some of the other threads about, I'm not to bad thanks. Struggling to sleep, its 2:30am here, but its more an uncomfortable type pain than multiple red hot mind bending daggers in the back. Commiserations to all those.
Ok saw a doctor at the pain clinic earlier in the week. Thought I should post back the findings for the record.
The gist of it was that the spine can take 18 months to re align itself. The pain I'm experiancing is part of the healing process but he suspects its become slightly sensitive. Have been switched onto slow release tramadol and have started a course of gabapectin. Hes refered me for an MRI just to double check.
I can still feel it but I'm not as worried. Feel a little more uncomfortable on the new pills, but it'll take 3 weeks to get up to a full dose of the gabapectin. I've got my appetite back though and thats a huge bonus. He assured me its still looking very good for a full recovery.
First time anyones said it could be as long as 18 months, but I'm 6 months into that already, and being smarter than the average bear I hope my backs back and I'll be flying before the end of the year!
Thought I'd update my post for prosperity, and there doesn't seem like there is much info on compression fractures on the net. I've kept looking at the back and pain management sections here but have kept quiet.
Ive been seeing the pain clinic or pain management centre every couple of months since the last post.
I've had ups and downs with the pills. Briefly the tramadol stopped working for me after 4 months. It wasn't providing much relief I was up to the max dose, it seemed to set off what I now know is sleep paralysis, but it took a few months and some stress to realize what it was. I am now on 40mg oxycontin, 900mg gabapentin and 100mg amatriptiline a day.
I had not missed a day of work since feb 07, so I had holiday leave stacked up. After getting my docs blessing, insurance, and persuading my boss, friends and family (not easy and not in that order!) I took the whole of December off and went hiking in Nepal (under strict instructions not to carry my bags!)
I was lucky and found a great guide and porter. I ended up walking over 300km in 4 weeks. After a week I halved the oxycontin, and after 2 we were averaging 6hrs walking a day (some days 8 or 9.) My back felt better and I had a great time. I'm now physically fitter than ever before and was amazed and how quick the pain seemed to almost disappear.
Now back at work, and the backs not so great again (but better than before!) It is definitely sitting that causes me a problem. I was surprised though at how quickly the pain eased when I led a more active lifestyle.I am no couch potatoe either, I walk 1hr each day at least, and am at the gym for 2hrs a day twice a week.
I'm off to the pain clinic next week. I would like to know why sitting causes more pain than walking. I will also be asking that if the MRIs and CT scans show that my back is ok, why the pain, and why the pills? The pain management is good, but I think its time they had another look at what is causing it? (the scans are over 8 months old)
Anyway I would throughly recommend walking as a break from it all, especially if your back feels better when moving about. The Himalayas are amazing and I know a great safe guide!
Hi, I'm brand new here looking for answers as well. I broke my t7 3 1/2 years ago. Took then 2 1/2 years to find out I fractured my back. They put my on gabapentin and vicadin. It's ok but I suffer daily. I work full time and really suffer when I get home and on off days. I have a nerve that is very irritated and it makes my skin hurt all the time. It is driving me insanity literally. Put myself in the hospital for suicides watch for a week. They didn't help one bit for my pain issue they just locked me up for the week. This probably don't help you. But I hope you find answers.