Hi, I am new to this site and this is my first post. I am 42 and I had a spinal fusion (L5-S1) and a laminectomy in March, I am approaching 6 months post surgery. I am in a lot of pain still and I can't seem to get my doctor to listen to me. I have had an MRI and it shows that there is some swelling around the screws. I have been in therapy for about 3 months and it isn't helping. For about the last 10 mins of my therapy sessions I get a massage and that seems to help for about an hour at tops. The therapist says that it immediately turns red when rubbing, which he said means toxins are being released and states that my muscles feel "grizzley and rigid." It hurts really bad when I am sitting on the floor and go to stand up and bending to standing straight. I can't get my surgeon to listen what I say about the pain. She first told me it can take 3 months to heal then it was a year and now I am hearing 2 years. She tells me to hang in there. I can't do this much longer. I was getting percocet which wasn't helping much at all anyway. Well this week without examining me she decided she couldn't justify writing me a script for the percocet any longer and wrote one for Lortab. Lortab really doesn't do anything. I also have some degenerative disc in my c4-c5 and experencing my hands and arms going to sleep. My regular doctor sent me to get an emg performed which came back normal. However the neurologist made the comment to me that my shoulders and neck were so tight the more than likely it was myofascial pain. My physical therapist thinks that maybe I have fibromyalgia. When I get up in the morning my feet and knees hurt so bad that I can barely walk. About after an hour I start to feel a little better. I am never pain-free, I would like to just have tolerable pain. What can I say or do to get my doctors to listen to me? Maybe I am not good at explaining myself, but I would think when I tell them I am in pain and they can see the tears streaming down my face they would understand. I am very frustrated at this point. I am wondering if I should ask for an epidural injection? I welcome all thoughts. Thank you for listening to me ramble.
I am sorry to hear about your medical problems and can feel your pain. In my opinion you should consult another neurologist/neurosurgeon to find the cause of pain. It could be due to failed surgery, ligament tears, allergic reaction to material of screw, wrong positioning of screws causing chronic inflammation due to movement, localized infection around screw, pinched nerves, improper positioning of plates etc, or structural changes developing in the spine due to surgery.
It could also be a myofascial pain, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis of the spinal and other joints.
Since you have severe pain in knee and feet when you get up in the morning and since the pain eases with movement, osteoarthritis should be considered. You may respond to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pain medications and physiotherapy of all joints of your legs. Please consult a doctor regarding this. Take care!
The medical advice given should not be considered a substitute for medical care provided by a doctor who can examine you. The advice may not be completely correct for you as the doctor cannot examine you and does not know your complete medical history. Hence this reply to your post should only be considered as a guiding line and you must consult your doctor at the earliest for your medical problem.
I cansympathize with you.I also had the same exact surgery back in 1992 and have never been pain free since. Unfortunately over time the back either gets mo0re osteoarthritic as vell as the areas above the fusion taking on more "weight" which results in them becoming unstable as was the reason for the first surgery. I developed fibromyalgia not long after my back surgery. It began with numbness and tingling in my arms and hands then stiffness in my neck as well. Lucky for you they know what fibro is. When I began my journey with it they didn't know. I suffered for 5 yrs before being diagnosed. There are many fibro support groups out there. Go online at google and you'll find one. there are also online groups too. Diet, exercise as well as decrease stress and some supplements help. I agree with the Dr. that responded to you that you need to see another neurosurgeon. Know that most medical diagnostic studies are only about 50-60 % accurate. Make sure a doc listens to you, looks at your symptoms as well as diagnostics. I have had 2 more back surgeries since 1992 and I am still no9t right. I cannot walk at present cause no doc wants to touch my spinal stenosis which is very well seem on MRI and MYELOGRAM WITH A CT.nfortunately after a back surgery and you then go to a different surgeon they don't want to touch you because they kinda want to stick up for their fellow docs. It's wrong but it happens all the time. I am going to find another doc and keep going until someone gets it right. Wish you lol.
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