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mainebestlife posted:
I've had low back pain for 5 years now- 1 surgery 2 years ago but still have back pain. I am waiting for new MRI results in regards to a 2nd surgery. The pain clinic diagnosed me with Failed Back syndrome- its such an illusive diagnosis. This has been life changing for me. It helps to read other people's advice on managing pain and comments on this board and know that I'm not alone. Thanks everyone.
davedsel responded:
Hello and welcome!

I am glad this community has been helpful for you. One of our regulars - Joy - is having computer problems now but she also has failed back surgery. While I have never had nor probably never will have spinal surgery, I have been managing moderate to severe chronic back pain for over 35 years.

We do understand and we are listening.
Click on my username or avatar picture to read my story.


mainebestlife replied to davedsel's response:
Thank you Dave for your reply- after reading your profile I feel lucky. You have suffered for a very long time with pain. I have been looking for a support group online and this seems to be great with comments and tips for managing pain. I did attend a formal pain management support group at the pain clinic and found it helped to know I am not alone in it - but online is better for me now. I find I am getting chronic fatigue from being in pain more and more now and makes it harder to get out and do things.
trs1960 responded:
I hate that label. Back surgeries have a low rate of pain relief. If you use pain relief as a metric most back surgeries have about a 50/50 chance of reducing or eliminating pain. A second back surgery has less than 1 in 10 chance of pain reduction.

As we've discussed here, back pain is a complex issue and just as the McGill Pain Scale eventually got reduced to what we now know as "0-10"

My biggest heartburn with the term is that it was coined by Medtronics to sell their pain pumps. You can't sell something expensive to fix a success!

Over the years the label has stuck to back surgeries that have not satisfactorily reduced pain.

So in some respects the term is correct, I just have a problem with labeling myself with a term whose first word is "failed."

It has negative connotations designed with product sales in mind. That being said, a lot of us here have been through multiple back surgeries and suffer from lack of successful pain mitigation. By definition I guess that is failure.

bj1208 responded:
Hey - I BE HERE!!!! Finally - I can either use my computer (laptop crashed and burned so desktop it is) or my phone - so I'm back in business.

Hey Main - I had Anterior Lumbar Fusion L5-S1 on 2/08 and my pains are worse now than before surgery - and as Tim (TRS 1960) said - Failed Back Surgery Syndrome is not really a syndrome - but a terminology doctors use as patients still have pains after a surgery.

read this article - it's from one of the websites I trust the most -

the best advise I can give you is to make sure you get several opinions on your back from both Orthopedic Spine Specialist and Neurosurgeon Spine Specialist - have MRI AND CT Scans done - also request X-rays with Flex and Extensions done - this will show if there are any underlying problems that do not show up on MRI's or CT Scans

Also - be sure you are seeing the right kind of pain management specialist - I see a PHYSIATRIST pain specialist -

they go deeper into pain management control by using numerous treatment options where most regular pain clinics won't.

You can click on my name or pic and read my story. My update right now is I will be seeing a 2nd opinion spine specialist on the 20th for my L4-5 disc as another spine specialist wants to do a fusion on it. the disc moves and crunches on my disc below and it sticks out of alignment of the other discs so something does need to be done.

Anyway - please ask any questions you may have - most of us have been there and done it! LOL take care
~~ Click on my name or picture and read my story ~~

Take care ~~ God Bless ~~

~~ Joy ~~
davedsel replied to bj1208's response:
Great to see a post from you, Joy!! Welcome back, you were missed.
Click on my username or avatar picture to read my story.


mainebestlife replied to bj1208's response:
Hi Joy, thanks for the links on FBSS. its just frustrating to deal with a diagnosis that doesn't really pinpoint what is exactly wrong with you. I know it must be nerve damage from the surgery or even nerve damage from all the steroid injections. I take one day at a time and do what I can. I just find myself on an emotional - anxiety rollercoaster depending on how bad the back pain is. I find these group pages help.

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