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Old 05-14-2011, 11:59 AM   #1
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Abouth to have 3rd spine surgery and I only just turned 30

So, I am going in for number 3 within 2 years. Surgery is Monday the 23rd. When is this going to stop? They are removing the hardware from L4-S1 because it is really loose (but the fusion itself healed), and they probably have to fuse L3-L4 because my disc is torn and the discogram showed it to be causing pain. Is anyone else in a similar situation? Why does it seem like one back surgery leads to many many more. I have been in pain non stop since this started. I have never felt better. At my second fusion the surgeon accidentally sliced my sciatic nerve with a surgical tool so that has been not fun. At first I had no feeling in my left leg, as of now, a year and a half later, I still have spots of numbness, tingling and pain, and hypersensitivity meaning I don't like things to touch my foot and leg. It feels like finger nails on a chalk board. I am terrified of another surgery. I have had 3 spine surgeries, but 5 surgeries in the last 2 years- the others un-related. I have been through a lot. So I need some encouragement.

Thanks

 
Old 05-14-2011, 02:20 PM   #2
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Re: Abouth to have 3rd spine surgery and I only just turned 30

Welcome back to the board...and I'm sorry that you still have the need to be here.

Are you using the same surgeon, or are you with someone else now? What are the plans for this surgery?

I read through some of your older posts and see that things were never quite right after your first surgery...which led to the second. I must say, I haven't heard of anyone having their sciatic nerve cut during fusion.

I just wanted to mention that I first had a PLIF at L4-5 which was "successful" but did not resolve my sciatic and other nerve pain issues. I had a second small surgery that was a bit experimental...and that didn't resolve my issues either. For about 15 months I searched for answers, because nothing was apparent on MRI, etc. and the surgeons I consulted with kept telling me there was no apparent reason why I was in pain, that the nerves did not appear to be compressed. Eventually it was surmised that I had additional instability and I ended up having a 3 level fusion from L3 to S1. That was almost one year ago.

Even though I was told I had permanent nerve damage, that turned out not to be the case. I have slight numbness in the toes but other than that, I am mostly pain-free. I'm still gaining muscle strength etc. and don't consider myself fully recovered yet...but I am very pleased with the results.

I hope you have carefully researched your options and feel that your surgery will be performed by the most qualified surgeon you could find....Try not to be fearful....Hopefully the third time will be the charm for you, too.

Wishing you all the best....
TT

 
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Old 05-14-2011, 04:17 PM   #3
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Re: Abouth to have 3rd spine surgery and I only just turned 30

Thanks for your response, I am surprised you remember me. I have reviewed all my options, and I have tried many conservative treatments including PT and accupuncture. Steroid shots make me worse for some reason. At this point my options include a morphine pump, that electro magnetic stimulator, and what I am doing. I have been carefully considering this since last fall, and I have spoken to all my dr's including my psychiatrist. Everyone is in favor of the surgery. Hopefully all that will need to be done is the hardware removal. I am with the same surgeon. Despite what mistake he made in the OR, he is considering one of the best in the Twin Cities, so I do feel comfortable with him. I just have to do something. I cant live like this and I can't stay on pain meds forever.

 
Old 05-14-2011, 07:00 PM   #4
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Re: Abouth to have 3rd spine surgery and I only just turned 30

I am sorry you have had to go through so much pain. IF I were you, I definitely wouldn't be sticking with that surgeon. Even though it was an accident, why stick with someone even if they are "one of the best"- there have to be other well qualified individuals. Not to scare you, but what if he messes up again? I hope you re-examine your options. I'm sorry if this came across as harsh, it was intended to help.
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Last edited by Amyb76; 05-14-2011 at 07:01 PM.

 
Old 05-14-2011, 08:10 PM   #5
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Re: Abouth to have 3rd spine surgery and I only just turned 30

I talked to my regular doctor about that (about maybe getting a new referral) and she said it was best to stay with the same doctors. I don't know why but I feel comfortable with him. I think it was actually an intern who did it, not Pinto. Plus I like the nursing staff and the clinic and the hospital. It is the best hospital to have back surgery at here (Abbott if anyone is from around here). They did take really good care of me for months afterwards. I understand your point though, most people would say the same thing. Pinto knows me and knows my body and my situation.

 
Old 05-15-2011, 07:43 AM   #6
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Re: Abouth to have 3rd spine surgery and I only just turned 30

Oh I also spoken with an attorney's nurse practitioner to see if I had a case. After the info was reviewed, it was decided that I had no case, with them anyway. I have contacted another attorney. Its not just the bills. I got fired from my job for needing so much time off, I still can't work. Because of this we are struggling financially and may loose our home. Our credit is shot from owing so many medical bills so I am scared about that. My emotional state has declined a lot, I am in intensive therapy.... all because of severe chronic pain. I actually have PTSD and anxiety dissorder from my first fusion. I woke up and no pain meds had been given to me at all yet. I thought I was dying. So maybe this next attorney will have a different opinion.

 
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Old 05-15-2011, 08:16 AM   #7
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Re: Abouth to have 3rd spine surgery and I only just turned 30

I am truly so sorry you are going through all of this. Are there attorneys that specialize in medical malpractice? I hope someone takes your case pro bono. Maybe consider consulting with them in case you haven't already. I am so, so sorry for all you have gone through. Thinking of you.
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Old 05-15-2011, 08:52 AM   #8
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Re: Abouth to have 3rd spine surgery and I only just turned 30

Amy, you don't need money to consult with "most" medical malpractice attorneys. They work on a contingency basis, meaning they will get an agreed-upon percentage of any damages the patient is awarded if the case is successful.

But finding someone to take the case may be difficult because it is difficult to prove how the patient has been "damaged" and whether the doctor, hospital, etc. is responsible.

Megss ~ Does the surgeon think your current pain is a result of the loose hardware? From your description, it sounds like he plans on removing the hardware, but that you are fused at L4 to S1, and he might add on at L3-4, deciding when he gets in there...is that correct?

 
Old 05-15-2011, 10:22 AM   #9
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Re: Abouth to have 3rd spine surgery and I only just turned 30

Yes you are correct. The x ray shows the hardware is loose so that should help my back pain. He said there is an 85% chance is will lessen my back pain considerable (based on some study). He doesn't think it will help my leg though. I had an MRI Friday so I should know before surgery (in the next few days hopefully) if they are going to fuse L3-L4.

 
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