Sigh, So here I am, again. Muscle spams up to my mid back. stabbing and burning lower right. Worsening numbness and tingling down left leg into foot. Oh and the ever worsening pain for the need of a hip replacement the was fairly recently diagnosed by a Chiropractor I went to out of desperation. The pelvis was found to be tilted which in turn caused the hoip joine to wear incorrectly.
I had fusion in 09 of L4 L5 S1, dicectomy lami 6 screw 2 rods. I had minor issue a few years prior to a fall at work. So most of the Drs I saw were Workers Comp. What an eye opening experience the whole Workers Comp process was ! terrible !! They will do and say anything to get you back to work, healthy or not ! the Drs get paid by the workers comp Ins companies.
Its been a freaking nightmare. I feel more disable now...over 3 yrs after surgery that was supposed to fix my back enough so I could work !. well its worse now than wen i started. I've had the same complaints post surgery and they have gotten worse. I'm tired of the pain meds, i'm tired of not being about to do much. I spend half my day laying down. I do get in the pool almost everyday is is the only time i can get close to symptom free ! There are times when the pain builds and builds but I need to do things...like get to a Drs appt. etc. My body has always have a reaction to pain where i pass out. It happened once in public at a Walmart. I rarely go out. I shop alot on line. I only drive local because of the meds.
I was finally told by Workers Comp Ins that they are refusing any further treatment. I am now see Drs at Rothman Institute at Jefferson in Philly. I finally had an MRI from them. The workers Comp drs never did an MRI post surgery even with all my complaints! Well there are changes on the MRI and i'm scheduled for SI joint injection and EMG never testing. I'm trying to stay positive.
I'm so tired of the depression. Some days I just want to say UNCLE i give up ! I live a lone and feel very isolated sometimes. I've pulled away from any friends I had. I felt like all i did was complain. Pain and discomfort have run my life for way to long ! If these new Drs cant help me...I honestly dont know what i'm going to do. !
I really needed to vent....Denice
Hello Denice. I can't believe you couldn't get a new MRI after you felt things were not right with the surgery. My doctor ordered one at three weeks post fusion when all my pain was exactly the same. The technicians did complain bitterly and kept telling me "we never do MRIs this early post surgery...."
Rothman certainly has a fine reputation. Hopefully they will be able to find out what is still causing your pain. Do you have a copy of the MRI report? It might be helpful if you could post it.
I had to work very hard to get to the bottom of my issues and to discover the pain generators. If I'd taken the original suggestions from all the specialists I consulted with after my first fusion, I think I would be a shut-in depending on a neurostimulator for pain relief.
I noticed on another thread you mentioned the total immersion swimming technique that you have found helpful. I wondered if you were able to teach yourself or do you use a TI coach?
I think the main reason for the Dr not doing an MRI was to keep costs down as much as possible for Worker Comp Ins Company. Workers Comp chooses the Dr you go to.
One of the PM drs wanted to inplant a SCS (spinal cord stimulator) after the 3 lumbar injections did nothing. That can always be an option hopefully i will never have to use.
As for total immersion. I've been swimming even before my back issues...not as often. Where I swim there are a few Masters level swimmers that have been very helpful. One is actually a TI instructor but I have never had an actual lesson. She knows I'm always up for tips or corrections. Its more for endurance swimmers like the swim leg of a triathlon. Being able to get pain free in the pool is better than any of the drugs I take!!
Last edited by Administrator; 01-20-2013 at 12:29 AM.
I have watched a TI video and have the book but it is hard to pick up without having watched someone in the pool actually swimming that way.
They wanted to implant a SCS after my first fusion did not resolve my pain (actually, it made NO difference -- I wasn't worse, but I was just the same as before the surgery)...but I refused. Then I spent two years looking for answers and did eventually convince them that I still had issues that were causing nerve compression...which is when I had the 3 level fusion.
I hope you will find someone at Rothman that can help you.
Don't give up on TI. You roll your whole body as you reach out. Like you would log roll. Dont twist at your waist. The one thing I do different is the kick. I do constant flutter kick. Watch it over and over. Pick out one thing you know you should correct. It look me a while to get as smooth and fast as I am. People have actually told me how smooth and fast I am. I also do deep water running/walking. I dont use a floatation belt but it can be very helpful.
I wanted to tell you that I have a friend who had a fusion several years ago that never provided nerve pain relief. Her doctor, who is head of the spine surgery program at a big teaching hospital and who has a big reputation, kept telling her first that she just needed time...and then after a year or so, started telling her that her MRI looked great and that there was no reason she should be in pain. Eventually he sent her to a pain psychologist so she could learn to deal with it...and he implied that the pain was all in her head.
I kept encouraging her to get other opinions, which she did. When the new surgeons would hear who her surgeon was, they would basically concur with him, telling her the surgery looked great. Finally a surgeon who primarily deals with revision surgeries looked at her MRI and felt something wasn't quite right. He ordered a bone scan and some other tests and eventually determined that she was not fused -- one area was not complete and a screw was going through her L4 nerve root. Finally after years of being told the pain was in her head, she had an answer.
She ended up having a complex revision surgery from which she is still recovering.
It may turn out that you have a similar situation where something isn't quite right with your surgery.
I'm glad you have the swimming to provide a little relief from the constant pain. I wasn't allowed to swim on my stomach except when using a snorkel up until recently. (I had spondylolisthesis.)
The doctors did make me feel that was little nuts. Then I started doubting myself. I've heard a number of stories like your friends. Thats why i'm pushing for answers. I'm hopeful and optimistic with the team of Doctors at Rothman. They arent dismissing my symptoms or even my opinion of what i think might be going on. I've given them reports and notes from every Dr, physical therapist, chiropractor and actupuncturist. Although they all dont see eye to eye on how things should be handled they are all top people (except for the workers comp Dr !) in there fields and there notes deserved to be at least read and could very well provide insite they might have missed other wise. I'll keep ya posted on how thing progress.