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  • Still in very severe pain 14 months after fusion surgery so depressed.

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    Old 04-14-2012, 01:38 PM   #1
    sparky121's Avatar
    Join Date: Apr 2012
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    Unhappy Still in very severe pain 14 months after fusion surgery so depressed.

    Hi all, my name is Michelle and I have had 3 back surgeries in 3 and 1/2 years. I had fusion surgery on L5-S1 last year, and now I have 4 bulging discs above the fusion. I have severe degenerative disc disease. At my L5-S1 I have epidural fibrosis at the nerve root. Before surgery my legs were fine but after surgery my right leg was numb and still is. I feel like I have a ball connected to the bottom of my foot.
    My neurosurgeon ( really starting not to like him anymore) told me at my follow up app. after surgery that I had 2 bulging discs above the fusion but he couldn't do anything about it because my fusion surgery was a workers comp issue and the people at workers comp was dictating what he could do and what he couldn't do. I wasn't able to return back to work after surgery so I lost my insurance. Because I was hurt at work the workers comp continue to pay for pain management for the surgery site. I am on pain pills, robaxin, and neurotin. I am also on cymbalta and clonipin for depression.
    I don't sleep well because I can't get comfortable, I can't sit for long or stand for long periods of time. I am so depressed because I feel like my life has been took away. My pain management dr said she would not recommend any more surgery that we would just manage the pain. I have had to file for disability to. I just don't have anyone to talk to about all of this. I feel like everyone thinks I should be okay since I have had 3 surgeries but I am not.

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    Old 04-14-2012, 11:51 PM   #2
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    Re: Still in very severe pain 14 months after fusion surgery so depressed.

    Welcome! You've come to the right place. Even the most empathetic friends and family have a hard time understanding what people with chronic conditions go through.

    Many fusion patients end up with issues in adjacent discs. Have you had any physical therapy? Strengthening may help to stabilize your damaged discs and to prevent further damage to your spine.

    Old 04-16-2012, 08:50 AM   #3
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    Location: New Orleans, LA
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    Re: Still in very severe pain 14 months after fusion surgery so depressed.

    Hi Sparky121 - I fully understand your pain. 11 years ago I had a fusion at L4-5 level. At the time, my doctor told me I had a mild herniation at the level above this but felt it wasn't bad enough to do a fusion. I did fine for 8 years and then 3 years ago, I bent down to get something off the floor of my car and I haven't been the same since. My boss sent me to a doctor he uses in some of his cases and he put me through another MRI and x-rays. The results is that I also have sciatica, nerve clumping and arachnoiditis. Arachnoiditis is rare and doctors do not talk about it - because there is no cure for it. I get my info on that on the internet. When I had my surgery, my doctor told me that I can never have another surgery. This of course was 11 years ago and technology has changed so much. This new doctor told me he did not recommend additional surgery at this time and to "tolerate" it as long as I can. Then we will start again with the steriod shots and go from there. I have good days and bad days. Unfortunately this past weekend I had bad days and it's continuing to today. I get the electric shocks in my low back and the pain in my hip and leg. I cannot get any comfort. I also go to a pain doctor and I am on pain meds. Have been for 3 years now. I get to where I'm so sick of taking the pain meds and also, I feel they do not work anymore. I can only take so much at work, which is another reason they don't help anymore. This morning I decided to call to make an appointment with this new doctor to start the process again - meaning the shots and go from there. His next available appointment is June 5th!!! Needless to say I am super depressed. My house is a mess because I cannot do any housework. I mean I can do a little but not enough to say my house is clean. My husband does what he can to help but I feel bad about putting it all on him. My husband and I talk about me going on disability but we all know what that entails and how long it takes to get on it. Plus, I have good days and when I do I feel that I should continue to work as long as I can, but it's hard to do. I really don't want to lose my job but it's difficult to come in when I'm feeling so horrible. I'm a legal assistant and I sit a lot which is one of the worst things to do in my situation. Good luck and keep in touch. I'm hear to listen and share.

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