It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Back Problems Message Board
Post New Thread   Closed Thread
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 11-23-2011, 06:03 AM   #1
Newbie
(male)
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Cleveland, ohio
Posts: 2
Fairway30 HB User
Increased pain years after L1-L4 fusion

I am looking for some help. In 1999 I was in an accident and had an L1-L4 fusion. Up until about two years ago, I was relatively pain free. However, that has now all changed. The lower back pain began and then started working into butt and back of legs. I have been through extensive physical therapy which did no good. I saw my original surgeon and he said the fusion looks fine. I am now seeing a pain management doctor who does nothing but prescribes a bunch of drugs to help me get through the day. They say the problem is a result of scar tissue which has built up over time. I am only 50 years old and am extremely active (when possible). I don't like taking the drugs and believe there has to be help out there. I can only imagine what my life will be like in 10 years if things continue to deteriorate the way they have the past two. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

 
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 11-23-2011, 06:27 AM   #2
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Chester, VA
Posts: 1,756
noevr HB Usernoevr HB Usernoevr HB Usernoevr HB Usernoevr HB Usernoevr HB Usernoevr HB Usernoevr HB Usernoevr HB Usernoevr HB Usernoevr HB User
Re: Increased pain years after L1-L4 fusion

Fairway,

Hi, so sorry you are going thru this pain. I was wondering if you were any meds for nerve pain or just pain meds? Has the Pain Dr tried injections yet?

There are several meds out there besides pain meds that can help with the pain going into the legs (lyrica, neurontin, topomax, etc). The pain into the butt sounds like L5/S-1 but I'm no Dr. Have they done any recent test to make sure?

Hope the med info helps.

 
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 11-23-2011, 08:13 AM   #3
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 6,732
teteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB User
Re: Increased pain years after L1-L4 fusion

Welcome to the board.

I presume you had a recent MRI or CT scan and that it didn't show any degeneration at the level below your fusion?

Obviously none of us have formal medical training, so always keep that in mind as you are reading on this, or other similar forums. I imagine your fusion does "look fine", especially if you have been relatively pain-free for the past ten years, but there would probably be some degenerative changes in your back, under the best of circumstances, in ten years time.

It is a well-known fact that the spinal segments adjoining a fusion (L5-S1 in your case) are subjected to a great deal of stress as they become the first area where the lumbar spine can move post surgery. I would think it very plausible that you may have developed some issues at this segment, or possibly with the SI joints.

I would really question that scar tissue is now causing a problem ten years after surgery. Who am I to question what you were told by your surgeon...BUT, everything I've been told about scar tissue leads me to believe that it is static tissue that fills in a void after surgery, collagen that grows into a specific space, then stops growing. If it just continued to grow for the remainder of the patient's life, it would eventually squeeze out all the organs of the body.

I don't begin to understand the mechanism within the body that allows new tissue to grow for a specific period of time and then "turn off" but it is my understanding that that's what happens -- scar tissue forms and fills in from about 6 weeks to 12 weeks post surgery. Apparently what allows it to turn off is applied internal pressure -- in this case, stretching. This is why walking is so important after lumbar surgeries. It remains the best way to keep those spinal nerves stretched out. This applied internal pressure causes an enzyme to be produced, which signals the brain that the growth is complete, and, at this point, the production of scar tissue turns off.

I've been told that scar tissue is similar in appearance and texture to cotton candy...and, it is sticky. The major problem with it is not its existence, but it causes problems when it attaches to a nerve or adheres to an organ or elsewhere. It is often a big problem in pelvic surgeries.

What type of pain are you having now? Is it all the time or what activities make it better or worse? If it is nerve pain, are you taking something like neurontin (gabapentin) or Lyrica? These are the meds that are usually tried for nerve pain as the usual pain medications have little effect on nerve pain.

 
Closed Thread

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Board Replies Last Post
Unexplained "new" pain after a Caudal Injection Brnt2acrisp Arachnoiditis 22 04-08-2011 08:06 AM
Back "pain" L1/L2 pertinky Back Problems 1 08-04-2010 02:46 PM
1 1/2 years post,still pain,anyone else? cheeto3 Back Problems 11 09-30-2008 06:22 PM
New Pain California Ann Back Problems 2 02-06-2007 05:22 PM
how can I tell which is causing the most pain? missree Back Problems 6 05-12-2006 06:06 PM




Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is Off
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Sign Up Today!

Ask our community of thousands of members your health questions, and learn from others experiences. Join the conversation!

I want my free account

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:21 AM.



Site owned and operated by HealthBoards.comô
Terms of Use © 1998-2014 HealthBoards.comô All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!