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    Old 11-14-2007, 07:51 AM   #1
    babyboomer6
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    Any have Failed Back Surgery?

    I think I have failed back surgery, as I have excruciating pain in my lower to middle back. Also all the way down to my buttocks and hips. I had a double fusion instrumentation 14 months ago. And the past 6mo. have been hell on earth. It only felt good the first few weeks out of surgery. I will have a MRI JAN. 4TH. (SECOND OPINION) MY FIRST SURGEON TOLD ME NOT TO COME BACK AFTER MY 5MO. CHECK-UP, AS ALL WAS WELL. Hmmm? Just want to know if anyone has had this and what there symtoms are. boomer

     
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    Old 11-14-2007, 10:51 AM   #2
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    Re: Any have Failed Back Surgery?

    L5-s1 fused 2.5 years ago, I felt great for about 6 months or so after surgery mysefl and only continued to get worse. Long story short I too had a failed back surgery and it never fused. I then continued to go ahead and "refuse" the l5-s1 and add another disc l4-l5 on top of it since this sight was now "bad". I had similiar sypmtons like you are describing however, it does not mean you have a failed surgery. You may have a new injury to another disc above this sight or both like i did. You may even just have chronic pain. Go ahead and get that MRI and see what is going on but dont jump to conclusions yet. I am sure that Your DR or DR's will find out where the pain is coming from. Also just a tip that worked for me. I had an MRI and a CT scan, also xrays. The CT scan was the only one that actually showed my "failed" fusion. I am at work and cant go to in detail at the moment with all of this but hopefully this will help in some way. Please keep us up to date as to what happens with you and I hope all goes well. It will stink to find another problem with your back but like me I knew something was not feeling right no matter what the tests read and I was relieved and saddened at the same time to find a diagnosis. God bless and I hope that all goes well.

     
    Old 11-14-2007, 10:51 AM   #3
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    Re: Any have Failed Back Surgery?

    L5-s1 fused 2.5 years ago, I felt great for about 6 months or so after surgery mysefl and only continued to get worse. Long story short I too had a failed back surgery and it never fused. I then continued to go ahead and "refuse" the l5-s1 and add another disc l4-l5 on top of it since this sight was now "bad". I had similiar sypmtons like you are describing however, it does not mean you have a failed surgery. You may have a new injury to another disc above this sight or both like i did. You may even just have chronic pain. Go ahead and get that MRI and see what is going on but dont jump to conclusions yet. I am sure that Your DR or DR's will find out where the pain is coming from. Also just a tip that worked for me. I had an MRI and a CT scan, also xrays. The CT scan was the only one that actually showed my "failed" fusion. I am at work and cant go to in detail at the moment with all of this but hopefully this will help in some way. Please keep us up to date as to what happens with you and I hope all goes well. It will stink to find another problem with your back but like me I knew something was not feeling right no matter what the tests read and I was relieved and saddened at the same time to find a diagnosis. God bless and I hope that all goes well.

     
    Old 11-14-2007, 11:10 AM   #4
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    Re: Any have Failed Back Surgery?

    Sounds familiar...go straight to another specialists for an opinion. I think you are going to need additional surgery...sometimes when they fix one problem there is another that develops and I know the pain you are in. Get on a pain patch for some relief while you are waiting for your second opinion and further testing.

     
    Old 11-15-2007, 12:15 AM   #5
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    Re: Any have Failed Back Surgery?

    Babyboomer, I am almost 16months post L4/5-s1 fusion with hardware with another surgery 12 months ago. I have never been out of pain. In fact, my back pain is worse as well as I have RSD which is a nerve disorder that was caused from my first surgery. So after the second surgery to remove an abnormal amount of scar tissue I was sent for additional MRI and cat scan and it was determined that I have Failed Back Surgery Syndrome. I have not been back to work since my last day before my surgery. I was trying to improve my life with the fusion and this is what I got. I think that the second opinion is a good thing and maybe there is something wrong. I know that I have problems with L3 it has gotten worse since my fusion because of the strain on it. It was already bad but at this point I never want to have another surgery again.
    Good luck,
    Barbara

     
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    Old 11-15-2007, 05:56 AM   #6
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    Re: Any have Failed Back Surgery?

    Hi Baby Boomer, Failed back surgery syndrome is just an explanatory DX. You had surgery, you still hurt, but it doesn't mean the fusion failed. It just means the surgery didn't rellive all your pain. Hopefully it provided stability and they could decompress nerve if needed, but there is no way to tell if your fusion has failed untill your hardware starts breaking, slipping or the vertabrea start shifting when they shouldn't because they are supposed to be fused. The vertabrea won't shift untill the hardware fails, so there is no way to tell if the hardware is holding things in place and the donar bone is dead and waiting to be re-absorbed or removed. Hardware can hold up for years befor the stress breaks or bends it.

    Hardware isn't designed to be the sole support for a lifetime. I had surgery in 93, 96 and 99 and every surgery was declared a surgical success as far as relieveing crushed nerves that caused leg pain, loss of reflexes, foot drop and other neuro disfunction, but it certainly didn't relieve pain. It wasn't untill hardware actually broke did they realize the fusions failed. If bone had grown their wouldn't be stress on hardware to break it. Unfortubnately there is no diagnostic test to tell for certain if the donar bone is alive and thriving or dead and waiting to reabsorbed. So you wait untill you see obvious signs of failure, like broken hardware or movement that shouldn't occur during flexion and extension Xrays.

    One of the posters is absolutely true that a fusion puts aditional stress on the discs above and below. I stared with a 2 level fusion, then a 3, then a 6 and if they were to go back in, they would have to extend it up 3 more levels.

    14 months is really too soon unless you have been putting alot of stress on the hardware and returned to jogging daily or heavy lifting or high levels of activity. The more you stress a failed fusion, the faster the hardware will go.

    Don't confuse a descriptive DX like FBSS with actual failure. Docs have a different standard of failure, pain doesn' t mean the fusion failed. Your fusion may be solid but it could leave you in pain or cause problems above and below the fusion site. When they can't figure out why you still hurt, FBS is the standard DX which is no more than a description of the condition you are in now. That's if they don't tell you everything is fine and the pain is all your head or you have a drug problem at some point before recognizing actual failure to fuse.

    Like I said, my fusions were a success right up untill diagnostics showed the hardware snapped, screws broke and pulll out when I lean forward or bend back. Once the only thing holding things in place breaks, then vertabrea that are supoosed to be fused in place start moving and shifting which speads the proces of damage to the discs above and below.

    Good luck, Dave

     
    Old 11-15-2007, 10:02 PM   #7
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    Re: Any have Failed Back Surgery?

    [QUOTE=babyboomer6;3306143]I think I have failed back surgery, as I have excruciating pain in my lower to middle back. Also all the way down to my buttocks and hips. I had a double fusion instrumentation 14 months ago. And the past 6mo. have been hell on earth. It only felt good the first few weeks out of surgery. I will have a MRI JAN. 4TH. (SECOND OPINION) MY FIRST SURGEON TOLD ME NOT TO COME BACK AFTER MY 5MO. CHECK-UP, AS ALL WAS WELL. Hmmm? Just want to know if anyone has had this and what there symtoms are. boomer[/QUOTE]

    I'm your twin. LOL Had a double fusion 14 months ago (Sept 2006). Also had disectomy and Laminectomy. Have 2 rods and 6 screws. For the first few months I started feeling good. Then in Dec. 2006 the pain started. It just keeps getting worse and worse. I had two MRI's and all normal except some intramuscular edema which is nothing supposedly. I did not have pain down my leg before the fusion. Had an EMG which shows mild nerve damage. Did not even feel them put the needle in. I've been living on Oxycodone, Skelaxin and Lyrica since Dec. 2006. I just had an epidural shot yesterday. My leg is killing me. But I read that if it hurts alot that it means the shot is where it is suppose to be. They tell me it is probably scar tissue pressing on the nerve root. If you remove it, it just comes back. They think the shots may lessen the pain by 50 percent. Who knows. I was the one that asked for Pain Management. They were just content enough to keep giving me pain meds over and over. Feel better.

     
    Old 11-16-2007, 10:53 AM   #8
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    Re: Any have Failed Back Surgery?

    lots of us share similar complaints some have had excellent referrals re visions and or able to get back for full care. While others of us fell through the cracks with insurance issues, $ woes.
    Also double level fusion c 4-7 and for me it did not address the pain and added 2 years of heck to boot.
    There are many more alternatives out there now if one can find excess, $, and if there insurance will cover it .
    As stated by others there was no garentee the surgery could take care of pain issues, and there was also information given once fusions occur cascading affects can and do occur.
    On the back boards you hear of some successes i am grateful for those folks where it worked. But some folks come here because they realize either it wasn't the issue that was causing pain and or areas above and below the fusion areas started to fail as well.
    I hope you can find relief and answers as well

     
    Old 11-19-2007, 11:43 PM   #9
    Michael8466
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    Re: Any have Failed Back Surgery?

    I'm now on my 13th month since my surgery and it's just getting worse. I went back to my neuro and he said he doesn't want to operate again because it would not help and not to come back. I guess I need to find a different specialist.

     
    Old 11-20-2007, 09:47 AM   #10
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    Re: Any have Failed Back Surgery?

    I was told that I have a failed back surgery. That was over a year ago. That I am fused, but the pain was not relieved. My surgeon looked into it with additional test and that I need yet another surgery to remove hardware, remove some bone in the canals and also look at another level that has bone spurs. My hardware continues to look great. The pain is chronic and at a level of 10 most of the time.

     
    Old 11-20-2007, 01:46 PM   #11
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    Re: Any have Failed Back Surgery?

    My case is identical to Chris's on this matter... Sorry you are in so much pain. But it can be a lot of different reasons why you have so much pain.
    I hope you will find answers for your questions...
    Best of luck to you

     
    Old 11-21-2007, 03:53 AM   #12
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    Re: Any have Failed Back Surgery?

    I had a discectomy at l5-s1 level in april 2005, conservative tx didn't help. disc herniation, I developed radicular nerve pain in right leg, numbness, heaviness, tingling, creepy crawly sensations..every step I take feels like the flesh is tearing away from the bone and at the same time a million pins and needles stabbing. had similar symptoms in left leg, but the right was the main one. exactly 12 days after the surgery while trying to hobble down the hall to get to the bathroom I felt the most excruciating pain like someone kicked me in my back...it was the disc collapsing!! now there is practically any space left between the discs, it's just grinding bone on bone. and re-herniated to top it off! the pain got so much worse, the symptoms are equally in both legs and then some, my legs just basically buckle from beneath me , and dysesthesias.
    for the longest time, these docs would like at me like I was some lunatic whenever I explained my symptoms to them....to the point where when I got nerve studies done and they confirmed with the EMG exactly what I had been telling them all along. I was actually excited when the tests came back positive. It was like, I told you so, now will you help me get some relief? doctors can be so insensitive, my surgeon who did the procedure actually scolded asking me why did I keep coming to his office, there was nothing more he could do for me and that I would just have to learn to live with it!!!
    I now have to have more surgery, bilateral laminectomy and a dynamic stabilization....if I still in pain, they'll repeat the procedure on the next level...
    I've postpone numerous times because I so scared to do it. I can't cope with going thru another surgery right now and still having to deal with chronic pain.
    I swear they keep trying to screw with my mind saying it's "minimally invasive"
    to sugar coat it like it's not a big deal. wouldn't you be reluctant as well, I mean my first procedure was "minimally invasive" and things got worse, so I supposed to trust in another surgery.

     
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