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Screw fragments anybody? "exploding discs"?

   I don't know where to begin with this. So, I'll start with the first back surgery. I'm currently 33 and have had a disectomy & fusion. The first was in March 2002 when I was 27 & done by an Orthapaedic Surgeon(big mistake). I first herniated my L4&L5 in Oct. 97 while doing "squats". Never do this exercise my back-pain brethren. I then herniated the L5 & S1 about a year later. My doctor (while on a pathetic HMO) kept telling me that I still got around and for several years I just took pills & bit my lip while chasing & wrestling inmates for the FLA Dept. of Corrections for almost 10 years. This "doctor" wrote in his notes that my herniations were "remarkable" & that he hadn't seen such a large herniation prior. But said to hang in there(the HMO pays these MD's to avoid costly surgeries at the end of the year). After 4 more years with foot drop, numbness, dragging my right foot if I didn't concentrate on my foot. Two series of Epidural Steroids & pain meds & trying to be "Superman". I went to the Ortho Surgeon in Jan. 02' and he did another series of E. Steroids and they didn't work. He offered a "simple procedure" to relieve the pain and compression. I had the surgery 3-2002. When I woke the right side of my right leg was dead. No feelings or nothing. The Surgeon entered & told me that my two herniations had "calcified" to the point that they had impinged the nerve severely & he had to pull the nerve root away from the "stone - like" formations the discs had become and chisel the discs away from the nerve root. He said he couldn't get all of it because if he'd pulled more of the root I would have lost my leg. Where's a Nuerosurgeon when you need one? Well, I was out of work for almost 6 weeks from a 2-3 week recovery surgery. My right leg was as if it was being engulfed by fire for a about 10 days after & I had about 20% strength within this leg. He did another emergency E.S. injection & did nothing. I went on in misery with Perc's and others for awhile. Went back to work & had to conceal all of this from those individuals I watch at work. I finally went to a Nuero in Nov. 02 & he wanted to finish the removal of the calcified remains. I decided I was too young for this and took pills & wrestled around for almost 4 more years. Feb. 2006 I had the two-level fusion with titanium rods & pedicule screws. I was their for 7 days. The day after surgery I had a strange squeezing feeling around my waist & then everything from my waist down went completely numb. I mean " everything". This was scary & they seemed to not believe me at first until the RN super came in and did the needle test on me & said We have a problem here. Emergeny CT scan ensued. The surgeon came in later and thought the pain had alot to do with it. But, two days later they told me they had complications and had to pick out fragments inside for quite awhile. They seemed very spooked & very evasive. This hadn't happened there before. I finally got up three days later and it was very very hard. My right leg was about at 20% strength and my left about 40%. I was a very physical person before this and had alot of muscle mass. My upper-body strength save me. I left with a walker, **** chair & a reacher. I used the walker for 6 weeks after surgery before I could walk on both of my legs alone. Every day was a challenge to get up sit on the bed, put the brace on & use my upper body to get me up & down. This is no exaggeration folks as I have many witnesses who couldn't believe what had happened. I had one year to return to my job and be 100%. This never happened. I had to resign. After 4.5 months I was finally able to go to PT. This got me to where I could tie my shoes. They were really nice & told me if anything bothered me to stop. I couldn't reach down to pick up the cones & fell over a couple of times. They hadn't seen someone my age like this and made light of the situation & they were two pretty girls also. Which helped some, lol! I finished PT in Oct.06 & thought that it seemed to be getting better . I even thought I might be able to go back to the prison. Nov. rolled around and all the old stuff came back & the pain level in the back,legs,knees, burning feet inceased greatly & it was crappy. I had good insurance with the state & began to think that I was becoming a disabled individual. I tried to see where I was at in Jan. 07 & tried to do some things that would be required of me & I laid on my living room floor for several hours until my gf got there. I knew I couldn't go back to my job and I resigned. My right leg even a year out from the fusion didn't work right. It would drag, give out in simple activities and if I got on my knees to clean around the house I couldn't get back up. I did all that PT told me religously and it never came back. I've taken everything from Darvocet to Dilaudid & even Phentnyl 100mcg patch once which really do work. I now take Norco 10/325 Percocet 10/325 & quit Oxycontin 20mg because they stopped making generics for this. Even to this day I feel embarassed or feel guilty for taking this stuff but I know alot of you can relate. I had another MRI done yesterday at UVA and the Surgeon first said that " There's nothing I would be worried about right now with it, but I saw fragments inside". Then he asked me if I would submit to a CT Mylogram. I was told that he is very conservative professor & doesn't do this much. I have all the classic pains from this - down both legs,both knees. my heels burn , outsides of both my feet have stabbing type pains, I have a new pain that shoots down the crack of my butt and is very intense. Both sides of my butt have pinching & stabbing pains. The fusion area has the same pain as pre-surgery and creates so much fatigue in my legs which I have done exercises, walks,etc.. and it just gets worse. This has gone on for over 11 years since I was 21 and maybe the newer "Nanotechnology" can help. Does anybody know about the fragments & can they remove all of it& what kind of damage can this cause around the spinal cord? Thanks & God bless you all in your painful journey.
1 Responses
611964 tn?1223771320
Hi,

For your epidurals did they use Depo-Medrol??  I have just recently found out that these can cause arachnoiditsis.  Mylogram's are another cause.  I am freaking, as I have the same symptoms as you, and although you have many more back issues than me, I had 2 caudal epidurals, and got worse.  Someone told me about this.  What kind did you have, and what kind of steroid did they use?  Research it. Its scary.  All the Dr's use it, and they put it in when you have back surgery.  Its the cause of failed back surgery.  Let me know your thoughts.  sweetpotatoe57
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