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The Chronic Pain Couch User Group
Back surgery gone bad
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This is a great site for anyone suffering from Chronic Pain or has a Family member or Friend who suffers. A place where you can tell your story, find others with similar conditions or pain, help someone in need, read up on the latest Chronic Pain treatments or simply sit for a while. Chronic Pain as we all know can be debilitating and relentless. It is not prejudice in any way, shape, or form. It can strike without warning and stay for life. The Chronic Pain Couch is a place designed for your comfort, and please note.. You don't have to suffer from chronic Pain to be a part of this community, we offer a variety of other topics as well. I truly hope that you will come and join us. And remember, there is never a need to worry whether or not your post has been read, a member or myself (Molly) are generally available to read and respond to all posts that come our way...... We are always here for you. Together We CAN Make A Difference in each others lives and how we manage day to day in coping with our relentless pain. Warmest regards, Mollyrae, founder of The Chronic Pain Couch.

Founded by Mollyrae on September 22, 2009
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Back surgery gone bad

In march of this year I had back surgery,L5-S1 fusion,L2-3,L3-4,L4-5, discectomies.The Dr. said 6 to 8 weeks I would return to work,Here it is the end of Sept. the pain and weekness in my legs is worse than it was before.On my last visit he said all he cares about is my back if it feels better than he has done his job.I thought that my legs and feet should be a concern,if I can`t stand or walk my back feeling better does not meen anything.
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5 Comments
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535089_tn?1400677119
Hi deg:

My, I'm surprised that your Doctor said that...Your legs as far as I'm concerned is a part of the healing. Leg pain often is the result of back problems. In my opinion, if you're not happy with his care then seek a second opinion. Not all Doctor are good ones. I have had some pretty bad Docs and have found out now after acquiring a new Doctor that my care I had was lousy.

You really should get a second opinion. How is everything else? How's your mood? Sometimes depression sets in after surgery and that can actually cause added pain too.
I had a bout of depression and after I got that under control, I was actually somewhat better. Not all the pain was under control but a good part and I felt better about myself.

I hope that you find your answers. I am always here for you......Hang in there friend!!

Warmest regards,
Mollyrae
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997349_tn?1288351331
I had back surgery 07/09/09 and wound up using a walker instead of the cane I walked into surgery with. We found out two weeks after surgery that my rt. hip was bone on bone. Funny, it never bothered me till after back surgery. The Dr. said it was probably the straw that broke the camel's back...e.g. my body caught up with the arthritis and the surgery to back was another stressor to body..who knows.....??? I had the same surgery except for the fusion It was l3-4 and l4-5......

I hope you are feeling better. I think surgery does a lot to the body and probably more then the Dr's know...plus we are all different. I will say that I am feeling better each day with less severe pain. However I am so unstable and cannot walk without my friend Mr. walker!!!

Dee
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669888_tn?1254792113
I am so sorry to hear about that. I know that I had the same surgery in July of 06 and I was fortunate to have gotten relief from that particular bone on bone pain. However, I still had enough pain and problems to get a neurostimulator implanted in July of 08. I think it is sad how doctors can so easily dismiss you with that attitude. It is hard to take the energy and time and what not to get a doc that cares enough to try. I know that as chronic pain patients we are challenging and there is not always an answer but I have often left the doctors office feeling that had my feelings been at least validated, I would be better off.
I wish you the best. I know that doesn't help. :(
Heather
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669888_tn?1254792113
Also, I had a ton of pain and depression after my spinal fusion. It was really really bad. My neuro surgeon that did the surgery, did not care about my pain. He was like your doctor and saying if the pain was better, or different. He felt he had done his job and was not a pain doctor. He said he had fixed what he said was wrong and so on like your doc. But, I did find a lot more sympathy from a new pcp that I had back then. Of course, he only cared for so long and then as most people with chronic pain, experience, we become a burden. But, try checking with a different doc, which I am sure you have but, anyhow I was just thinking.
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962438_tn?1254446538
I had a spinal fusion of the L5-S1 in June. After 5 years of increasing pain in my low back and rear end I just could not take it anymore...then I fell twice within 2 weeks on the ice...of course flat on my back. A discogram (OUCH) with CT Scan showed that the L5 disc was completely fractured all the way through and leaking any fluids that I had left. A second opinion had the same result.

The recovery has not been pleasant and now I have a loose screw and a possible fracture in the fusion. Not good news...I had a CT Scan but have not heard the results as yet.

The best  part is that the pain that I had before the surgery is gone...so I consider the surgery successful even though the recovery has been awful.

I had an appointment on Sept 8 (I have to drive almost 600  miles so it takes two days as I cant ride in a car that long) and the dr. did spend time with me....because of the pain prior to my appointment I had an epidural steroid injection that the dr "accidentally" put directly in my sciatic nerve...big time screw up...now I have pain where I have NEVER had pain before...all the way down my left leg...When he gave me that shot I almost shot off the table...I literally screamed and felt the med go in all the way down my left leg...after about 6 days I could not even put any weight on the left leg...the surgeon put me on neurontin and it has since started to improve greatly.

After my six week checkup I was to start physical therapy...in the water only. Well, the PT did not follow direct doctors orders and I ended up in bed for about 3 days after the first visit. When we started with pool therapy only things got better. After about two weeks of that she had me back at the office and after the 2nd day I ended up flat on my back again. Now I do the therapy on my own...in the pool. I have started with 2 pound weights and do a lot of walking up and down the river walk. I had to stop going after the failed epidural injection because it took literally over a week for the hole to heal.

One mistake I made was that I was out of paid time off and I went back to work after 2 months. If I would have had more time I would have taken it...it was awful. I ended up with some more paid time because of an anniversary date so worked part of the days in the office and the rest of the time at home from my chair on an ice pack. When I had my appointment on Sept 8 the doctor said I could not work more than 4 hours a day for two weeks. During that two weeks I used up my PTO then I got laid off. Nice...now I am on unemployment and making the required job contacts but sort of hoping that I don't get an offer for awhile so my back can heal further.

The nurse who I have been dealing with has seemed to stop caring if I feel good or not...When my ankles swelled from the neurontin the information sheet told me to contact the prescribing doctor...when I called her she did not even consult with the doctor she just told me to stop taking it...well why would she do that when the neurontin is actually working...a day off my feet and lots of banana's and raisins and the swelling was gone. So much for her input without even discussing it with the doctor.

It seems like they treat me like they have done their job...the surgery...the rest is my problem not theirs. Even though I have a loose screw which will require more surgery in a few months. I don't think that I will be going back there to have that done. Even though I liked the surgeon and feel like he did a good job with the removal of the disc, which he told my husband was totally destroyed and would only continue to get worse and I was bone on  bone in some places. It is the followup after the first 2 visits when I started to be treated like they are done with me...they are not but the doctor that I saw at first who told me to get a second opinion is now gone from Rapid City but there may be another doctor at that clinic who will be willing to take that screw out when the time comes. It will never "tighten" up...it will only become looser as time goes on.

I took a trip over the cat about 5 weeks after the surgery and ended up in the ER because my muscles spasmed so bad that I could not even move and of course it was a weekend. When I called the surgeons office on Monday they would not change my medication even though I was in so much pain that I could barely move. They gave me some valium and a shot of morphine and sent me  h ome to bed so when I still could barely move on Monday I went to my personal Nurse Practitioner that I use as a regular doctor. I don't know what I would have done without her. She has kept my pain under control far more than the surgeon has and when I told them at my first followup checkup that I had my meds changed they seemed pissed that I had seen my personal practitioner. After that they refused to refill any of the meds that I was on until they put me on the neurontin. They did not give a rat's butt that I was in pain...just mad because I sought relief elsewhere. Now I only go to the Practitioner so that all my pain meds are prescribed by the same person and I want to be careful about that because I don't want anyone from insurance saying I am doctor shopping or drug seeking, which happens.

Personally, I am happy with the surgery itself as that pain I had before is gone but the surgery has caused an entirely new pain problem. Hopefully it will go away and one day in the near future I will feel like a normal person then.

n comparison, I have congenital hip disease and had my left hip fixed (not replaced..reconstructed) at Mayo in Rochester over 10 years ago. That is part of the reason my back went to heck...one fixed hip and one bad hip caused strain on my low back and caused degenerative disc disease. But they treated my like a queen and still after 10 years the doctor still checks on me once a year to make sure that my hip is functioning well and how my right hip is...he knows that some day I will have to have that one reconstructed too...I keep telling him I would rather have a baby every day for a year than go through that again...this back surgery has been a walk in the park compared to that hip reconstruction...wow...I am sort of wishing that I would have gone to Mayo for this surgery but the Dr. that did the surgery came highly recommended and is well respected for this kind of surgery...I guess hindsight is always 20/20.

So, everyone, I feel your pain and these message boards help to console, to vent, to help others and to just talk.

Thanks all...  
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