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Tuff Questions

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Old 10-27-2007, 10:31 AM   #1
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Tuff Questions

I have not posted in a while, but I'm still in pain and I have a few questions.
I have had 1 fusion and 2 stimulators and nothing seems to work. I had the second stim out for a year as both units quit working after a few months. (ANS) brand.

Now I had another disk-o-gram and the radiologist and the neurologist think that the problem is failed back syndrome.

Finally the question. Do you think someone could have a fusion and have the same pain for 5 years? I just think that if they fussed the correct spot the pain would change somewhat, like more or less or different, but it never changed. I now see my family doc for meds and he is great. I've been taking the Tramadol ER 1 a day and endoset as needed max 3 day.

I have some days when I don't need but 1 and other days when I could take the whole bottle and it wouldn't help, so we decided that I should see a pain management doc again. I walked in and after reading my charts and before he examined me he said, " it looks like we need to either put a pump in you or maybe you would do better with the new Medtronic 3 lead stimulator" I said no thanks real quick to the pump and he said, "ok after I examine you we can talk about the stimulator". I want pain relief as much as anyone but I've tried 2 stimulators. I think another fusion might help, but to do the same L4-L5 again after no change the first time...I don't know.

If anyone has any ideas please let me know as I don't know what to do.

Thanks very much, Mike

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Old 10-27-2007, 04:35 PM   #2
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Re: Tuff Questions

If you have tried two pumps and neither worked, I would NOT allow them to do another. Every surgery has the potential to make your pain and problems worse, not better. Take it from me. I am in PM due to "surgery that will fix the problem." They are so casual with cutting into people. This is my opinion on the back surgery too. You already are suffering from failed back syndrome. Wouldn't it be awful to have that twice, and your pain increase rather than decrease?? You already know that it can happen, it has already!

Please stay away from surgery at all costs until there are no other options. Doctors always want to operate and "fix the problem." Problem is, sometimes it is not going to be fixed. Period. In that case, get a great PM doctor and move on.

Good Luck to You!

Old 10-27-2007, 06:55 PM   #3
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Re: Tuff Questions

I have had the diagnosis of "failed back syndrome" and have never really gotten a good explanation as to what that means. Sometimes I think it's a general label that docs throw out there when they can't figure out what's causing back pain. Because of my osteoporosis I've had more than a dozen compression fractures in my spine and almost as many corresponding surgeries to fuse the vertabrae. If you had a fusion that never healed correctly and have had continued pain since the surgery, then you might want to consider another attempt at a fusion. I don't have as negative an attitude toward back surgery as most people have because all of my surgeries have solved the problems I was having at the time. My surgeon is very, very conservative and as I write this post I have 2 compression fractures at L3-L4 that he won't operate on. His doesn't think surgery would relieve the pain I'm feeling at that level, prefering to send me to physical therapy to strengthen the muscles surrounding the fractures as a means of pain relief. Hope you find an answer. Memere (K'Mac)

Old 10-28-2007, 08:21 AM   #4
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Re: Tuff Questions

just a quick question for you only becasue i went thru this particular hell myself.are you 100% certain that that fusion actually took in the first place?sometimes the fusions just do not actually 'connect' and really fuse the bone endplates together like they just happens with some fusion surgeries.mine never did and it took me over nine months of trying to convince my neurosurgeons NURSE that something was not right inside my neck.what are your symptoms at this point from that area?are they a constant non stop type thing or more intermittant in nature?do you have hardware or no hardware there?just one possibility.marcia
3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

Old 10-29-2007, 01:25 PM   #5
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Re: Tuff Questions

Thank you for your replies. I do not know if the fusion was successful. I had the same pain after surgery as I did before the surgery. I'm going to a orthopedic surgeon for a second opinion about another fusion. I guess I'll get the lumbar injections, they never helped before, but it has been some time.

Marcia, I hurt all the time and I try to tell myself suck it up and be a man. As you can see, that's not working. I want to try everything again before I give in to the fusion or stimulator.

Thanks again, Mike

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