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Failed Back Sugery Syndrome
An_251318 posted:
2011 L5S1 discetomy
2012 Lumbar Spin Fusion
FYI. i have had had physical therapy,ESI, trigger point injections....norco 10/325, percocet 7.5.
I am still in the very same pain as when it started.

Meds dont help any more and IM OUT OF OPTIONS
What do I do?
painloopy responded:
A lot of us in this community are in the same place as you. It is so stressful after going through so many "fixes" only to still be in pain. Have you considered a spinal stimulator implant? It will not get rid of pain entirely. According to my doctor majority of people get 50% more pain relief than with pain meds alone. I have one and it has made a significant difference. It isn't 50% more relief for me. I still take meds but if I didn't have the stimulator implant I would be taking much more. Doctors implant a trial one for a week to see how it works for you but in my case it was really hard to tell until it was fully implanted and the pain from getting it done subsided.
The other thing I found was to continue with physical therapy forever instead of just temporarily. I do pool physical therapy 2-3 times a week religiously and been doing it for 6 years now. If I don't do it - my pain level gets much worse. It helps to give me more core strength so my hips and lower back can support the problem areas in my spine better. Without it - there is more pressure on your musculoskeletal system to support the stress on your back. What is ESI?
I hope this gives you some ideas.
bj1208 responded:
Hi and welcome to the support group -

I had a single fusion (Anterior Lumbar L5-S1) done on 2/25/08. I was doing very well for the first 3 months then all of a sudden my pains came back worse than before the surgery.

As like you, I have been thru all you have mentioned plus a lot more and have had several pain specialists (past and current one) state: Failed Back Surgery Syndrome - which even though this terminology is not an accurate "SYNDROME" - it just means that all parts of the back surgery were not 100% - I fused 100% but I have severe chronic pains and nerve damage in both legs. so even though my fusion was a success (only guarantee is to stabilize the spine) the other parts were not 100% meaning the entire fusion was not 100%.

As with any back surgery there is no guarantee it will reduce or eliminate back pains - spine surgery basically is to stabilize the spine.

There are some other options that may help - one is SPINCAL CORD STIMULATOR IMPLANT - the insert wire leads into the pain areas whereas it sends a "false signal" to the brain saying: "there is no pain". there have been several members who do have this and have stated their pains have reduced up to 35-40% and their intake of pain meds have been reduced. this is done on a "TRIAL" basis for up to a week and if it does benefit you the permanent is implanted. you can GOOGLE: SPINAL CORD STIMULATOR IMPLANT and also the "PROS AND CONS" of it. Do as much research as you can.

The other is: PAIN PUMP IMPLANT -this is done with leads directly implanted into the sacral part of the spine where the pains are - they do a "COCKTAIL" mixture of pain meds (til they get the right combo for you) on a "TRIAL" basis then if it does benefit you they implant the permanent one. there is a "hockey puck" they implant on the lower part of the belly and depending on how much pain meds are being directed into the pain site (it's all computerized on a set schedule etc) and you go in about every 2-3 months and have this hockey puck filled with pain med cocktail mixture. this will drastically reduce your intake of oral pain meds which is good as you won't have so many pain meds going thru kidneys or bladder as the main pain med cocktail is implanted directly into the pain site - avoiding the kidney/bladders.

Sorry for the long response - but wanted to let you know there are still options out there. best thing to do is see either a ORTHOPEDIC SPINE SPECIALIST or NEUROSURGEON SPINE SPECIALIST - have current MRI done and go from there. You should be seeing a Pain Management Specialist such as a PHYSIATRIST PAIN MANAGEMENT SPECIALIST

PHYSIATRIST Pain Specialists go deeper into pain management control based on patients needs. they will be able to help evaluate you and suggest a Spine Specialist for you to see regarding the implants.ask tons of questions and make sure you are comfortable with the docs.

I hope this helps. the members here on this support board are great and we all have been thru hell and back with our spine problems.

Please keep us posted what you find out~~
~~ Click on my name or picture and read my story ~~

Take care ~~ God Bless ~~

~~ Joy ~~

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