I had a 3-level spinal fusion on July 25th and I'm in sooo much pain still. I don't think it did any good just seems like its gotten worse! Even my fiancee thinks Im in more pain now! I've been back to the hospital that I had my surgery at but they didn't do anything except tell me to go to the doctor. I don't have the money to go to my doctor at the moment and my meds don't seem to help :-(. What can I do? I am only 30yrs old and have an 11yr old son that I have to take care of. It hurts when I laydown, sit and even when Im standing. Could the screws be too long?? Im only 5'2 and about 130lbs. It feels like my spine is poking out in one spot at the top of my scar. Is that normal? Sorry about the long post.
The following user gives a hug of support to guesswhat5701: workinmom572 (10-19-2012)
[QUOTE=teteri66;5075320]Have you been in this much pain all along post fusion? Was there a period where you thought you were making progress and then things went downhill?
What type of fusion did you have (did they go in from the back, front or "side?") What were your original problems and reason for the surgery?[/QUOTE]
Yes I have been in pain since but it seems to be getting worse not better. They went in from the back only. I have a 12in scar on my back. I went through some bad physical abuse in 08 and he messed up my back by stomping on it. Also Had degenerative disc disorder and bad arthritis and we thought it was only 2 levels but when I had the Discogram we found out it was 3 levels so he did the 3-level fusion. We tried every possible thing before we did surgery. I've been through 3 rounds of pt prior, 3 rounds of injections, did the compression but nothing worked. My doc told me it would be a 50/50 chance that it would work but I was desperate to try to relieve the pain so went ahead with it.
It sounds like your spine was probably more damaged than most. Have you talked with your doctor recently? At three months he ought to be able to give you some information pertaining to why you are still in so much pain.
That is a very long scar--I'm fused from L3 to S1 and I'd guess my scar is about half that long. (Mine was an open surgery from the back...) My guess is that the surgeon ran into some additional issues and opened you up a bit further to check it out.
It is possible that the fusion has slipped or a screw has broken. It is possible that a screw was misplaced. A friend of mine had one that was going through a nerve. She lived with that for over 15 months before she found someone to take a look at it. The doctor kept telling her it was the nerve recovering....
It is not a "normal" recovery when you do not make some improvement, even if it is a miniscule amount. By three months you should see some improvement. My first fusion (one level, L4-L5) was medically successful, but it did not resolve my pain. I felt that it was more than just "nerve pain" by the 4th month...but it took me another year to get someone to believe me and want to do something about it. The good news is that eventually they got it right and I am doing well now.
I would encourage you to call your surgeon. You may have to convince him that your pain is more than just normal recovery, so be prepared for that. If he isn't willing to take your complaints seriously at about six months post surgery you might want to consult with another spine surgeon for an evaluation.
Good luck, and please let us know how you are doing.
Well at 3 months I am still having to use my walker which sucks cause Im limited to the places i can go in my house. My doc was on vacation so I went to the hospital where I had my surgery cause I was hurting so bad and they didn't do anything. Just told me to go to my doctor. They didn't even take XRAYS.