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ive had it with this pain!!!!!
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ive had it with this pain!!!!!

For the last 2 weeks, my fusion area (had fusion surgery w/instrumentation at l5/s1 on 2/22) has had what I can only describe as "popping" or "twanging" associated with this sharp, piercing pain that radiates around the fusion area when I move. I did discuss this with my dr on my 7 week post-op appt last week. He didn't appear concerned, nor did he really answer my question about what "it" was and why it was happening. Its been getting worse and I'm afraid I'm at the beginning of developing panic attacks upon going from a sitting position to a standing one, rolling over in bed, or even walking. It happens randomly and the sharp pain lasts about 30 seconds then fades into a inflammation type ache. If the "popping" happens enough in an hour, my back feels so inflammed that it affects my walk as I am so stiff in my lower back. I've googled the heck out of this phenomena...couldn't find anything. My hardware is intact, nothing is loose as I have had a couple exrays taken at my appt last week. This site is my last hope. Perhaps there is other kindred spirits who have gone thru this that maybe able to help explain its occurences to me. I make sure my posture is straight and that I do not twist when I stand, etc. The only thing I can think of is that my paraspinal muscles and ligaments in that area are having issues? I'm not sure, just guessing. If it wernt for this, i'd be doing ok. This is what keeps me on my percocets. If anyone has had similar experiences...plz share, thank u:)
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Avatar_m_tn
I haven't been on here in few days, but I was really surprised to see this post. Last time you responded to me, you had said that you were feeling better and had a really good day. Sorry to hear you haven't been feeling well, are you going to PT anytime soon?

Take Care of Yourself

K
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi kalvin, I had been feeling better...until this began. I went to my dr's office today and talked with the medical assistant about my questions. She had received my msg and talked with my surgeon and had sum answers for me. Not necessarily what I wanted to hear, but she said I had had such extensive work done at l5/s1 (posterior lumbar interbody fusion, laminectomy, foraminotomy, peek cage inserted, complete removal of pars fractures, and I don't remember what else) that I would be more than likely experiencing things above and below my fusion site. That my recovery will be like a roller coaster with ups and downs. Since I've never had this surgery, didn't know anyone who had it to talk to about recovery and what its like, I'm not sure what "new pains or sensations" are normal and what isn't normal. At my 7 week post op visit, my dr said my my back hadn't started fusing yet, that it could take up to 3 months for fusing to show up. I have another appt in 5 weeks. My dr doesn't want me doing any physical therapy but walking, stair climber, or glider til he sees my back beginning to fuse. Is this normal? From other ppl's stories, I've read that they begin physical therapy at 6-8 weeks. Anyway thanks for droppin by kalvin, as soon as I figure out what is normal to feel andwhat isn't on my journey, then I shall cease worrying:)
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Avatar_m_tn
Wow, I didn't realize you had so many different procedures done, removal of pars fractures, that's some serious stuff.  There's probably a lot of compensating going on with your spine and muscles above and below your fusion. The popping noise you were talking about is fairly common with post-op back surgeries, but all the various pains I had were different from what you describe. Hopefully, its just muscular in nature. Sorry I can't be more help.

Your right a lot of people start P.T at 6-8 weeks, but I do know that some Doctors won't send you until there's evidence that the fusing has began. I didn't go until 12 weeks. I think Doctors do it on a case by case basis. When I first started it, It was painful and I hated It, but after awhile it actually began to increase my endurance and reduce my pain. I know what your go through is hard, try not to be too discouraged. Everything will workout in the end.

Hope you feel better.

k
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks again kalvin, ur the best!!!! *hugs* how long ago did u have ur fusion? I'm sure u told me but I forgot. I have the nerve pain in my legs still but for once, my back pain (surgery site) surpasses my leg pain lol. Have a great day!!!:)
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Avatar_f_tn
Oh, I forgot to add my exciting news. I have heard about tens units and have wanted to try one out for awhile. My dr has approved one for me and I should be receiving a call from the company who disperses them and a rep should be comming tp my house with one to show me how to use it. I'm thrilled to try out a non-pharmacutical method for my pain!!!!:)
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Avatar_m_tn
The lumbar fusion was about 8 years ago, and I had back pain too, but the nerve pain and burning in my leg was much worse and it hurt for a long time after surgery, eventually it did begin to let up. The cervical one was 5 years ago last Monday, that one didn't turn out so good, that's why I remember the exact day of the month.

I hope the tens helps you, I got one from a friend of mine and used it mainly on my upper back. It seemed to help a little. No one ever showed me how to use mine, and I had it on one day went I went to see my Chiropractor, and he said that you should never put the electrodes on your spine, apparently I had one that was really close. I didn't know, like I said, I didn't have anybody actually show me how to use it. So make sure you do. I haven't been feeling too good, that's why I haven't been on here as much.

Hope your feeling better today

K
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm sorry to hear u havnt felt well kalvin, I'm all too familiar with not feeling well!!!! Is ur feelings of unwellness to do with ur past surgeries? I hope u get feeling better!!!!!
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Avatar_m_tn
All of my pain issues are related to my neck. I have really severe upper back, chest and shoulder pain and I get a lot of shocking nerve pain in these areas. I know whats causing it and I know I need to get a Doctor and get it taken care of, its just a really bad time for me to be thinking about surgery and recovery.

How are you doing? You didn't say anything about that.

K
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Avatar_f_tn
I wish I could take half of ur pain and discomfort so u can function!! How much work have u already had in ur cervical region? I can't remember. Today was ok. Me and my daughter took our dogs for a walk and got out in the sunshine for awhil. That was nice, I've missed walking my dogs. I won't ever take walking for granted again lol. I found my notes from my surgery and was wanting to remember all that was done to my back. So besides what I already mentioned, I had a facetectomy, tlif, posterior decompression of neural elements for spondylolisthesis, and psf l5/s1 with inFUSE , locally harvested bone autograft and morselized bone allograft. I don't know what the difference is btw posterior spinal internal fixation at l5/s1 (psif) and posterior spinal fusion (psf) l5/s1 is. I remember awakening to this bone crunching headache around the tops of my ears on the sides of my head and it was scabby there and oh so painful to put my glasses on behind my ears. Found out when I got a copy of my notes that an application of cranial tongs was used for intraoperative positioning. It was very uncomfortable and painful for 4-5 days after my suergery lol. Anyway, there it is...everything that was done to my spine lol. Is there anything u can do at home to try to lessen ur pain and discomfort? I hate to see others in pain!!!! *hugs*
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Avatar_f_tn
I wish I could take half of ur pain and discomfort so u can function!! How much work have u already had in ur cervical region? I can't remember. Today was ok. Me and my daughter took our dogs for a walk and got out in the sunshine for awhil. That was nice, I've missed walking my dogs. I won't ever take walking for granted again lol. I found my notes from my surgery and was wanting to remember all that was done to my back. So besides what I already mentioned, I had a facetectomy, tlif, posterior decompression of neural elements for spondylolisthesis, and psf l5/s1 with inFUSE , locally harvested bone autograft and morselized bone allograft. I don't know what the difference is btw posterior spinal internal fixation at l5/s1 (psif) and posterior spinal fusion (psf) l5/s1 is. I remember awakening to this bone crunching headache around the tops of my ears on the sides of my head and it was scabby there and oh so painful to put my glasses on behind my ears. Found out when I got a copy of my notes that an application of cranial tongs was used for intraoperative positioning. It was very uncomfortable and painful for 4-5 days after my suergery lol. Anyway, there it is...everything that was done to my spine lol. Is there anything u can do at home to try to lessen ur pain and discomfort? I hate to see others in pain!!!! *hugs*
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Avatar_f_tn
Why does my posts post twice??
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Avatar_m_tn
When are you getting your TENS unit? It will really help you alot. I love mine ;)  I really hope you start feeling better once you start PT. I just finished my PT and went to my 3 month follow up this morning. And I'm scheduled for another MRI ;( I'm not having a 3rd surgery I'll just live with the pain.
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Avatar_m_tn
I don’t think I’d like you have to have half my pain, you have your own to deal with right now. But thanks for the thought. You have the actual notes from your surgery; did you have any trouble getting them? Sounds like you had a lot of procedures done. Mine was nothing compared to that, I just had a PLIF at L4/5 that just involved a laminectomy and a fusion with autograft, screws and rods, pretty straight forward

I’ve only had a 1 level cervical fusion at C6/7 back in 2005. When my recovery was so bad, I saw a couple other surgeons and found out that my C4/5 and possibly C3/4 should have been done too. C4/5 is what is causing most of my pain, and I’ve known about it for along time. I just keep fooling myself into thinking that it might get better, but it never does. The pain is always there, meds help to take the edge off, but I’m not taking a lot of medication. In the past few years I’ve learned to tolerate a lot more pain than I used to. I get bad spells usually when I do too much, if I take it easy for a couple days I can get back to the point where I can function again. I know I can’t continue to live like this, and even though I’ve already had neck surgery, having another, kind of worries me. And it doesn’t help that I’m one of these guys that has to be carried into a Hospital on a stretcher, before I get help. Maybe I’ll go see the Doctor next week, I don’t know.

Thank you for all your concern. I appreciate it. You have your own pain issues to deal with; glad you felt better and it’s good that you’re walking more again. I know I’ve probably told you this before, but there are a lot of people out there that have had really good results from back surgeries, I know several, myself included, but they don’t post on boards like these. There able to get on with their lives. The majority of people that post on these boards have not had good results from their surgeries, and their looking for help and answers, just like me. Not just here, but all over the internet, and a person reading a lot of these posts would get the impression that these surgeries have a 99% failure rate, and that is simply not the case. What I’m trying to tell you is that, you’re going to be okay, I know you will.

Take Care

K


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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks jw2, I have a tens unit on its way. I don't start physical therapy until my back begins to fuse. As of my 7 week post op appt last week, it hadn't begun yet.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks again kalvin, I'll just take it one day at a time. I hate to see ppl suffer...good folks like urself!! *hugs* glad u take good care of urself. I'll chat with u again another day, have a great weekend:)
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Avatar_f_tn
I have no more percocets and my tens unit isn't here yet like I expected so I left a msg to get them renewed. Was really hoping for a non-narcotic way to treat my pain. Guess I'm just goin to have to be patient and use my percocets until I get my tens unit. How are u doing kalvin?  Hope all is well!!:)
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Avatar_m_tn
Hope you got your new script,  maybe your tens will come tomorrow, I could have sent you mine, I never use it any more. Have you been feeling okay, are you still having  alot of pain?

I'm doing okay, I can't complain, well I guess I could, but nobody wants to hear it anyway.

Take Care

K
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Avatar_f_tn
I'll hear it if u want to vent lol. Ima complain just a wee bit myself now that I have no more pain meds and can feel the pain more. Actually, its more of a question...my paraspinal muscles, ligaments, soft tissue around my fusion site, above it, beside it really ache and hurt along with that popping pain. I am just wondering when it will start to go away, how long it takes for those to heal after a fusion surgery...I'm braving a 4 hour round trip drive on wed to take my nephew to the airport. I hve my pillow, donut seat thingy, tylenol, ibprophen, and essential oils to get me thru the long drive. Wish me luck lol:)  have a good nite all
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Avatar_m_tn
How long has it been since you had surgery 8-9 weeks? You know, they have to do pretty significant paraspinal muscle and soft tissue dissection in order to get at your spine; at least they do with a PLIF. I’m not exactly sure what type of posterior approach they used on you. But that’s one of the reason why its hurts so much and in addition the muscles are all out of shape now, but its more important that you begin to fuse, and then in a couple weeks when you go to P.T you can work on getting the muscles back in shape. You're on the down stretch now, you should begin to feel better soon. When I started P.T. I still had quite a bit of pain, but it got better.

Have a safe trip and stop and get out a couple times if have to. Were you able to get your meds yet? I have a question; did your Doctor say it was okay to take ibuprofen? With both my fusions, I was told not to take ibuprofen or any other nsaids, until I was fused. Supposedly they can effect bone growth. Maybe that’s changed; I don’t know, I just thought I’d better let you know. Anyway, take care and have a safe trip.

K

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Avatar_f_tn
Omg...u may be right kalvin. I may very well be taking medicine I SHOULDN'T take!! Whoops!!  I'll cease taking them lol. I'm now 9 weeks out. Dr went in thru my back in a 6 in incision. I thought I was going to have a "non-invasive procedure". Alittle 1 inch incision here and there. Instead I awoke with this long *** bandage covering a long, narly incision in what I've learned was an "open back invasive procedure". I am not fusing yet. I have a 13 week post op check up comming up next month. If I'm not fusing, I'm going to ask for sum sort of bone stimulator as I have to go back to work by june 22nd. How long did it take u to begin fusing? I can't even do physical therapy cuz I'm not fusing yet. Anyway, have a blessed night:)
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Avatar_f_tn
Oh forgot to add that I don't have my percocets yet. I've left msgs with my dr's office on Monday and today letting them know I need them refilled. They can take a few days to respond.
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Avatar_f_tn
Whew, made out on my 4 hr trip much better than I thought back wise. I'm now paying for all that sitting in my legs. The nerve pain is back in them today. Was worth it to get my nephew on the plane to his dad tho!! So it was a great day:)
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Avatar_m_tn
I don't remember exactly when I started fusing, I think it was around 12 weeks, because I started P.T shortly there after. But I do know that I was completely fused at 7 months, and 3 months for my neck, but vertebra up there are a lot smaller. For a lumbar fusion it can take anywhere from 6 months to a year. I'm pretty sure you'll find out that you've started at your next Doctor's appointment. They have really good fusion rates for single levels. Your surgery was probably to complicated for a minimally invasive procedure, too bad because the recovery on those is supposed to be a lot easier.  

Glad you had a good trip. I remember, before I had my back done, driving use to be so hard. Especially long distances, I don't miss those days.

Take Care

K
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