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Multiple spinal fusions (4) & instrumentations with complicatio...
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Multiple spinal fusions (4) & instrumentations with complications


  I am 49 yr. old.  I had my first laminectomy & spinal fusion in 1977.  I was off work for approximately four months and returned to work.  In June of 1980 underwent another laminectomy and spinal fusion for another ruptured disc.  After I was discharged from the hospital I started experiencing fainting spells. I had never fainted before in my life until after the surgery in June 1980.  Anytime I would move my head forward I would pass out, sometimes my vision would be blurred and sometimes I would lose control over my legs.  One morning I got up and when I went to stand up I passed out and lacerated my head.  Right before I passed out I would have this terrible pounding and pain in my lower back.  I was sent to the hospital by ambulance and was my forehead was sutured.  I was admitted and and the doctors ran head CT scans and all kinds of blood work.  When I asked if this could be related to my back surgery because of the pounding I had in my back before I passed out I was told "get your back off your mind, it has nothing to do with your back."  Well I was discharged and sent home and for another three months I couldn't do anything because I kept passing out with forward movements of my head.  Finally I was readmitted tot he hospital and a myelogram was done and I was told that I had a pseudomeingeocle cyst that needed repairing.  I am no dummy, I use to be a medical transcriptionist.  What they were saying is that my dura had been nicked and I was leaking spinal fluid into a pocket and with forward movements I would pass out.  I was in the hospital about 10 days an the night before I went home I had a blood clot in my lung.  I went back to work in 19082 and did very well with occasional back pain and leg pain, but nothing I couldn't tolerate.  In 1993 I rear ended in a car accident and I began having severe pain immediately.  After about four weeks I had a myelogram and I had another ruptured disc. In June of 1993 I had a laminectomy with no improvement.  By November 1993 I was in excruciating pain.  It was the most horrible pain I had ever endured.  I couldn't ever walk.  I was put back in the hospital and spinal fusion was done in December 1993.  I had a visiting nurse that came to the house.  My fist postop visit to the doctor, the doctor removed the staples, and my husband asked the doctor, doesn't her back look awfully red, his reply was no it was suppose to look that way.  The very next morning the visiting nurse came to the house and told my husband I had to see the doctor right away, that I had an infection.  Went to the doctor, by that time, I was in so much pain I couldn't see straight, was put in the hospital and my wound was incised and drained, a catheter was put in my chest, I had a staph infection.  I was treated at home for three months on IV antibiotics.  In June of 1994 I was put in the hospital as an outpatient and a suture was removed from my back.  After about six months, again I started experiencing incapacitating back pain.  I had an MRI and myelogram and was told that I had a cyst in my spine which was behind the spinal fusions which was going to have to be removed and I needed to have metal rods and screws put it.  It took me a year before I could bring myself to have this done.  In October 1996  I had the spinal fusion with instrumentation.  My neurosurgeon doesn't believe in pain medication or physical therapy.  Finally several months ago I went to see an orthopedic surgeon who recommended physical therapy.  Physical therapy made me worse, then he suggested going to a Pain Clinic.  Last month I went to the Pain Clinic.  He thought I had inflammation of the sacroiliac joints.  I had bilateral steroiod injections (2) during the second injection (a week apart) the injection was very painful, I had a terrible burning searing pain down my right buttock and right leg.  My third visit to the Pain Clinic he suggested an epidural injection.  I really didn't want this since the last injection was so painful, but at this point I will try anything to get rid of the pain.  The first epidural injection wasn't painful at all.  I went this past Wednesday for my second epidural and it didn't hurt when the doctor inserted the needled, but when he went to inject the medicine I screamed it was so painful, again I had the burning searing pain down the right buttock and right leg, he waited a few seconds for it to pass and then started injecting the medicine again, and again it was so painful with the burning searing pain, with that he stopped the procedure. I was given oxycontin for pain relief and Skeletin for muscle relaxers.  Since the injection I have had horrible pain in my right low back, in my right buttock and right leg to the knee.  It actually hurts to touch.  I called my doctor Friday and he increased the oxycontin to four tablets a day instead of two.  Yesterday I started experiencing a pounding pain in my right buttock.  I can't sleep, can hardly walk and am getting very depressed.  The only time I ever had this pounding pain was when my dura was nicked.  It is the same pain, but instead of being in the low back it is in the right buttock.  Is there a chance that the dura might have a small leak from the injections???  I know I sound paranoid, but I am really concerned about this increasing pain.  It feels exactly like I have been badly bruised inside.    Sorry this is so long, but I wanted you to know my history.  Thank you
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Please see answer to your posting of 12/26/98.
Thanks.





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