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Old 12-22-2007, 06:37 AM   #1
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Something's not right. Complication from injection?

I don't know what's going on, and I'm very upset. Ever since a week or so after my hardware removal (it will be three months on Christmas), I've had growing pain in my right hip, very similar to part of the pain I had before my last fusion. I chalked it up to not being very active as I was healing, just muscle weakness. At my appt with my surgeon at about a month post op, he felt I had tried to get back into things too quickly, which I naively did. So I slowed down. The hip pain continued to get worse, and he sent me to the pain management guys upstairs. Got my first injection, seemed like it maybe helped a little, then got a second injection two days ago. In the past week, it's become clear that there are two separate hip things going on in the same hip. One seems to be more in the joint, and that's the one the injection was for. The other seems to be related to my spine. Last week, by the end of the day I was in more pain than usual, a shot of pain whenever I got the slightest bit off center. If I walked not gently enough, a shot of pain; if I reached for something and went a millimeter too far, a shot of pain. Since the second injection, this other hip pain has exploded. As soon as I get up in the morning, it's there. Every step I take has the potential to give me that shot of pain, and about every 10 steps I do get it. I've gotten my cane back out for even a short walk. I'm not using it in the house, but I won't be going anywhere else without it.

I saw my surgeon yesterday and was hoping he'd say it was just muscle weakness, but I don't really think it is. I have pretty good muscle tone, especially my abdominals, the most important ones for me. He told me what I had feared, and what made sense: it's time to get a CAT scan and make sure the hardware removal didn't disturb something else in there. Maybe another piece of hardware has loosened, maybe there's been disturbance to the fusion, or maybe something else. I just want to cry. I don't want another surgery. 4 is enough.

And the PM guy said if this injection doesn't do it, it's time for a total hip workup, that I may have gotten some degeneration in there, too, now, and may be looking at a hip replacement. I'm not that old, not even 50 yet! How can that be?

Has anyone gotten an injection that made other pains worse? Maybe this last injection just irritated something, maybe as it works its way in (or out, or whatever it does), this other pain will calm down. I can't even walk across a room without pain. Normally, church is a highlight of my week, but I'm dreading it tomorrow, as I know I can't do it without the cane, and I just don't want to answer the questions it's going to raise. I'm going to burst into tears as soon as anyone says anything. I'm just so upset. The hardware removal should have marked the end of this ordeal. Instead, I'm worse off and getting worse and worse everyday. Yesterday was bad, this morning I'm worse than yesterday morning. I'm so tired of hurting.

Emily

 
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Old 12-22-2007, 07:01 AM   #2
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Re: Something's not right. Complication from injection?

Emily -- (((((((((((HUGS))))))))))))). I don't want to sound negative but I feel that I could never sugar coat anything for any of my spinney friends. This is one thing that my surgeon warned me about with removal of my hardware that it can cause things to fall apart at the fusion site which is why in my case he only removed one side not both sides. The right side was giving me problems not the left so he decided to only remove the right side. He told me that things can still fall apart because the right side is looser and the right side is carrying more of the load. I will pray that this is not the case for you. If I remember right you were only 1 year out from your fusion before removal ?? Things are still healing at one year and I think your surgeon is doing the right thing by ordering the CT scan. Better to know exactly what is going on.

Do you have an abdominal plate? This is one thing my surgeon says that he may need to add later this year to firm everything up. I am being watched closely for this.

As far as the hip work up, I think that is a fantastic idea so that you will know what you are working with. I actually think you doctors are awesome because they are listening to you and checking everything out which is a good thing. THANK YOU JESUS.

I am so sorry you are suffering so.... are they giving you enough medication so that you are not in so much pain.

As far as others, just tell them to pray - maybe print up a little prayer request card to give to those who ask instead of having to repeat that you are having problems over and over.

Good luck dear and I am praying for you.

Last edited by ms_west; 12-22-2007 at 07:02 AM.

 
Old 12-22-2007, 09:29 AM   #3
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Re: Something's not right. Complication from injection?

Hi Deb, I'm sorry... I really cant guess what could be causing it, but I think getting the hips checked is a good thing, just to make sure & cover all bases. I did not have fusion, just multilevel laminectomies...but at my 2 month or so check up, I was feeling some pressure deep inside my outer hip areas on both sides when standing or walkign too long. It felt more achy than anything. I also had a snapping in my right hip in the groin area (which is where the actual hip joint it) but I think this snapping was more due to the awkward way I had to walk due to ankle pain. But anyway, I mentioned it all to my surgeon & he set up a quick appt. with the Hip specialist in his group. I had hip MRI's done as that doc wanted to make sure I didnt have avascular necrosis of the hip, which can happen after even spine surgeries if for any reason blood supply gets cut off nearby. Plus I have possible lupus & this necrosis can happen more easily in several autoimmune disorders. So the hip guy wanted to make sure to rule out necrosis quickly & thankfully it was ruled out in my case. I did find out I do have OA in my hip, though, great...and a possible spur, which could have also contributed to my hip snapping. Hip doc gave me a few months refills for Celebrex, but it didnt really help much.

Since this July, though, I've had 3 episodes now of severe nerve pain in one or both outer hip areas. The intense pain seems to lessen over a few weeks, but I still could not walk for too long otherwise it came back. It also feels like a big weight is pushing down onto my hips/pelvis/sacral area, its kind of hard to explain. And when standing or walking too long, the deep achiness gets worse & sometimes the nerve pain starts...and then I kind of have to shuffle w/o moving my hips to much to go sit down. One time this all came on slowly, but twice now it came on quickly. 2 times ago I was reaching under a hutch for something, got up and felt as if I was stabbed in my spine with a hot knife. Then the spasms started, and when I walked for a bit, the nerve pain in both hips was horrific. So then I knew something happened inside to hit nerves but it was on both sides. Then on Thanksgiving night, I got out of bed & my left outer hip gave me the most painful nerve pain I ever had. This also lessened up somewhat afer a couple weeks, but I finally got a caudal epidural this past Monday, which has helped alot.

Either way, even tho I didnt have fusion, I think I can understand somewhat how your hip pain feels. Definitely make sure the docs check everything so nothing gets missed!

 
Old 12-22-2007, 09:38 AM   #4
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Re: Something's not right. Complication from injection?

((((hugs)))) I hope this work-up reveals something useful and treatable. It does sound like your doctor is giving you conservative and thoughtful care. I have no idea what it could be. Hopefully, it's nothing too severe. I'm thinking of you.
- Margaret

 
Old 12-22-2007, 10:04 AM   #5
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Re: Something's not right. Complication from injection?

Oh Emily,
I'm so sorry you are in so much pain. What is happening to us two girls in Richmond? Today I am in extreme pain and so depressed. I hope everything is OK with your fusion. Is your CT scheduled already? Are your pain meds working? I am saying a prayer for you and sending (((((gentle hugs)))))) your way.

Deb

 
Old 12-22-2007, 11:39 AM   #6
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Re: Something's not right. Complication from injection?

Hi Emily,

I'm really sorry to hear that things are still being obstinate. You've been through so much and it makes me sad to hear about your pains. Not that I need any help feeling sad... remember that this is the time of year when ol' man depression can hit us the hardest. I'm willing to bet that, if this was happening during a different part of the year, that it would be a little easier to take. I know I've been super depressed over the last week (I take pills for it, I've been battling moderate to severe clinical D for most of my life). So part of it may just be the season.

I wish I had someting more concrete to offer you besides cyber-hugs and prayers. I guess all I can add is remember that this is the season of "giving" and to let your family give you the love and support that they want to.

I'm super sorry that this is happening. We'll all hope and pray that it's nothing big. You've been so supportive to all of us and to me especially and I wish I could put some healing in a box and send it to you. I'll even pay the 2-day air so it gets to you by Christmas!!!

-David

Last edited by camperboy; 12-22-2007 at 11:39 AM.

 
Old 12-22-2007, 07:05 PM   #7
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Re: Something's not right. Complication from injection?

Emily,
I'm really sorry to hear that you're having so much trouble since your hardware removal. I certainly hope that your dr can get to the bottom of it with the tests that you're going to have. Best wishes for a painless Christmas! cas

 
Old 12-22-2007, 11:38 PM   #8
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Re: Something's not right. Complication from injection?

Hi Emily, I am sorry to hear that you still aren't doing any better. I was hoping that the hardware removal was going to be a positive thing for you. Maybe things just need more time to settle down is all.

You said you have been feeling depressed. Besides the pain, and this time of year.. could any new medications or combos be to blame? Something to ponder on, but also something you will want to let your doctor know about too.

I hope that the spirit of the holiday will take your mind off some of the pain and that you and your home are filled with joy and laughter.

Happy holidays. Tammy
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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!

 
Old 12-23-2007, 03:52 PM   #9
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Re: Something's not right. Complication from injection?

Hey Emily,
How is your pain today? Thinking of you.

Deb

 
Old 12-23-2007, 05:28 PM   #10
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Re: Something's not right. Complication from injection?

Emily,

I had just one injection as part of the pain managment process before the surgery...

I went to thepary and she said lie on your back and lets check your range of motion she went to raise my left leg and bend it a little and push it back towards my chest and in my most nice painfull way told her to STOP!!!!!

She did and asked what was wrong? As I wiped the MAN tears for m my eyes I told her that I was done with thepary and it was jsut that simple. I went and found my spine surgeon and that was that...

Surgery was ion 12 Feb 07 ... and I have not looked back so to speak. I have lost another 7 pounds some how...since my trip to the ER almsot 2 weeks ago...How or why I have not a clue...I am beginning to think that it is from my ACM1 and that my mid brain starting to fall more down on my spine ust have somehting to do with it. I have an appt. on the 8th on next month to see him about how things are getting worse all the time the nuerologist and another MRI of the brain I am sure is not far after or away from then....

In a way I want to tell my employer of Civil Service and in a way not. It would explain why I struggle some times making announcments over the PA -
I will say the name and what extension and if I do not write it down I almost forget it and there is the long pause and people think I am a scatter head.
I tell them I am still getting use to all the new names that I have to learn and so on... But I have to write it down or 3 out of 5 times I have to really think about who it is that I am paging...


But anyway one set of injections was enough for me for ever..........

It has worked wonders for shawley and more power to him....He deserves and needs the break from the pain...

To ALL HAPPY HOLIDAYS....

roy47-48


 
Old 12-24-2007, 07:04 AM   #11
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Re: Something's not right. Complication from injection?

I didn't get to come on here yesterday. Thanks so much for your support, everyone! I'm still in a lot of pain, not constant, but that jolt in my hip when I'm walking. The pain meds don't really do anything for that. My husband was telling me to up my meds for it, but I told him it was like taking an aspirin to help your headache and then you stub your toe. The aspirin isn't going to help the pain from stubbing your toe. It's a sudden trauma, like getting slapped, and the pain med isn't going to affect it. I guess the good news (?) is that this pain is kind of masking my normal pain!

I made it through church. I got myself together and just told people that I'm having a little flare up. That satisified most people. For the ones who genuinely wanted to know more, I just kept it short and not too detailed. They'll pray. I don't want to talk about it.

I'm still waiting for the CT folks to call. I don't know why they do it this way. They send you home to wait for the call. You aren't "allowed" to call yourself to schedule it. I was hoping they could rush it a bit. I mean, how busy do you think they are today? How many people are scheduling a CT scan for Christmas Eve? But I could do it! My shopping's been done since before Thanksgiving! I'm free! Since I reached my out of pocket cap for the year, it sure would be nice if they could get me in before the end of the year. Otherwise, I'm gonna have to shell out more big bucks. But I'll pay it if I have to. I just want to know what's wrong.




Roy, I'm worried about you! I don't blame you for not wanting to tell them about this. I'd do the same thing. But man, I hope there's nothing serious going on. The weight loss is not a good thing, and neither is the change in your thoughts, not being able to pull out the name you need to announce. I hope it can all be connected to something very minor, maybe a medication reaction or something. Keep in touch!

Thank you, everyone! It helps so much to be able to talk to people who understand. I really appreciate your support!

Emily

 
Old 12-25-2007, 05:21 PM   #12
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Re: Something's not right. Complication from injection?

Merry Christmass Emily , sorry your having so many problems . I think when these Dr.'s fuse us they sometimes don't have our hips lined up straight and that causes problems down the line .. My Chiro said my hip is crooked because when the fastened them screws in place I was at a twist . Maybe thats why all of us have hip pains and stuff ? I don't know really but its a thought ..

Sorry .

Shawley

 
Old 12-26-2007, 05:41 PM   #13
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Re: Something's not right. Complication from injection?

Hi Emily,
How are you today? Did they schedule your CT? Hopw you had a good holiday!

Deb

 
Old 12-27-2007, 04:47 AM   #14
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Re: Something's not right. Complication from injection?

Hi Deb,
We had a very nice Christmas, all of the kids here, no one working, everyone helped me make our traditional dinner, so not too much stress on me, and good family time.

I'm scheduled for Saturday for the CT scan. I just want to know what's wrong, good or bad. I'm ready to hear bad news if the hardware removal did something. I'll get my head wrapped around it. But I need to know and get the ball rolling if there's anything that can be done.

I'm actually feeling a bit better, but I've been sooooo good! I was starting to feel better two days ago, then lifted something, just for a second, that was over 10 pounds. Put me right back where I had been. That really confirmed for me that the injection probably made it worse, but wasn't the root of the problem. Something had to have gotten disturbed with the fusion or the remaining hardware. I'm praying that the CT scan will show what's going on and I won't be told that nothing's wrong. Something IS wrong!

Hope you had a good Christmas, too!
Take care,
Emily

 
Old 12-27-2007, 04:55 AM   #15
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Re: Something's not right. Complication from injection?

I am so sorry you are hurting so badly and pray that you find the answers you need to get the ball rolling.

 
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