Posted By frank on July 08, 1999 at 09:49:43
I am 42 and had 3 level surgical spinal fusion with bak with the anterior approach on 8/22/98. The fused areas were L3-L4, L4-L5and L5-S1. Prior to surgery an MRI was done on 7/15/98 Impression: 1)Left sided Interforaminal Disc Herniations at L3-4 and L4-5. This was most severe at L3-4 with nerve root compression. Simialr changes were noted at L4-5. 2) Bilateral Lateral recess stenosis at L4-5 secondary to hypertrophic facets. This was worse on the left. 3) Disc degeneration from L2 to S1. An x-ray on 1/20/98 also noted R sacroiliac arthtitis. I am now 10 months post op and continue to experience Lt. leg pain anterior, to the knee and numbness in the lt. foot. At times I also experience lt. leg siatic (sciatic) pain and occasional rt. leg pain. x-rays show some possible bone fusion at L5-S1 and L4-L5. I had a second spinal fusion scheduled 6/99,posterior approach with pins and rods, due to intolerable pain but cancelled when slight improvement was noted. From your experience what is the general outcome of 3 level fusion and is a second surgery often needed? Also what is the average time frame for fusion with 3 levels? As long as the pain is not intolerable I am willing to wait without more surgery if there is a chance the fusion will occur over time. I have been working since 3 weeks post op and don't want to go through another surgery if possible. If the spine is unstable at this time am I doing any further damage by not having a second surgery? I walk daily after work and try to keep active until the pain becomes too much. I currently take Neutontin 400mg.tid, Indomethacin 50mg. tid and Duragesic 50mcg/hr path. Thank you in advance for and information you can provide. Frank
Posted By denise on July 24, 1999 at 23:50:23
please, anyone that has a any surgeries, scar tissue, leg pain, muscle spasms, etc. please look into receiving myofacia release therapy. I had 2 fusions and then a 3rd surgery to remove the hardware which was pressing on nerves leading to my leg. Since 1993, this is the only thing that has helped me.I swear by it. Pain meds made me feel like a zomby and I didn't want to go through life feeling like that so I sought alternative routes. Water therapy helped somewhat, and so does chiropractic treatments, but I think the myofacia has contributed the most to my sanity and well being.
Good luck to all
Posted By frank on July 26, 1999 at 12:17:04
Denise, What exactly did you have done during your myofacia release therapy? I dread the possibility of a second surgery and would be interested in hearing exactly what was done. Also at what levels were your two fusions done, how long ago and why did you have the second fusion? I also would love to get off pain medicine and get on with my life. I'm 11 months post op now and would love to get some insight into what may lie ahead. I appreciate any information you can give me. Thanks!
Posted By denise on July 26, 1999 at 22:57:59
I had my first fusion in 1993 because of spondylolisthesis(sp?) . The fusion was done at L4,L5, and S1. In 94 I needed a second fusion because the first one failed, xrays showed it didn't take. Then after that surgery I still had such bad leg pain going down the left side and my hips felt like they were welded together. Tests showed that one of the screws used in the second surgery was pinching nerves on the left side. So 3rd surgery was to remove the hardware. Still pain and tightness continued. After depression, medications that made me feel like a zombie, Doctors telling me it was all in my head, my surgeon yelled at me that I wasn't getting better, more medications,,,,, I finally found a doctor that didn't have an ego and took an interest in me. He sent me to a physical therapist that does myofacia therapy. It is like a massage, but in the beginning it can be quite painful. Believe me in the end its the best pain to endure because of the relief you get from it. What they do is release the tightness of the facia (which we have throughout our entire body surrounding all muscles and nerves and scar tissue. When this facia is tight, it fights all stretching, bogs down more on scar tissue, makes pain more intense.
I also did water therapy in a heated pool, wearing a float vest and doing cross country skiing motions and stretches, and riding bike motions. I worked up to an hour each session. Also saw a chiropractor (who does the Palmer method) . Now I just see therapist once a week and chiropractor once a week. I wear a tens unit over my sacirilliac joints as I still can get stiff but soooo much better than it had been.
I hope this helps, I'll keep checking with you, give me your email address so we can talk that way.
This all started in 1991 and now I am 45 years old. Going to school (technical college) parttime and hoping to get a life soon. It use to hurt when people would say , it must be nice staying home all day, but I would give anything to switch places with them. Staying home hurting gets old real fast!!Right?
Take care and we will talk again.
Posted By denise on July 27, 1999 at 21:01:30
Just to let you know that is not all I have been through. Before coming to the conclusion that myofacia therapy and chiropractor was the answer for me I tried many other options besides. I've gone to pain management program sponsered by our clinic, several series of botox injections, cortisone injections, several pain medications, it seems the medications just cover up the pain but not reduce it.
I needed to live without the cost and weird feelings you get with medications.
hope this helps
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