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Need help and questions answered after surgery
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felipe_zx9r posted:
Hi everyone, my name is Felipe and its a pleasure to meet you all. I had a really bad car accident 2 years ago and went through the hole ordeal. Physical therapy, injections, more injections, surgery number one and 4 months ago had l4/l5 spinal fusion. I do have to say that before the surgery I had real bad headache all the time and my left leg was giving me shooting pain and tingling. So after the surgery my left leg almost never hurts and the headaches are almost all gone. So I WAS pretty happy with the results and my back was feeling really good. Well I got cleared at the 3 months mark to return to work and start therapy. I work at a call center and work in a seated position for 10hrs a day. This started to cause me back pain where I had the surgery and also behind my stomach. This pain is getting worse and sometimes I feel like I'm back at the 2 month post op. The Dr also said I should be exercising on a stationary bike and or walking with minor stretching. Well this is all good when you don't have back pain so when I'm off work after 10 hrs I go to the gym for about 45min and do walking and stretching and it hurts but I push through the pain seeing that the Dr said I need to rebuild the muscles in my back. What do you guys think? Before they let me go back to working seated I was feeling awesome, was only taking 1 -2 percocet's 10/325 a day. Then I noticed when I starting exercising and going back to work I'm back up at 4 or even 5 cause I wake up in pain in the middle of the night. Has anyone had this problem? The Dr last time said its normal, I don't see anything normal in going from almost no pain to pain again. Im really frustrated and I actually love my job but I've had to call out a couple times because I can't sit and endure the stabbing. When I try to walk I can't stand up straight as it hurts behind my stomach and in my back. Sorry for the rant just wanted you guys to have the half the story.

Thank you for any help you guys can share
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davedsel2 responded:
Hello and welcome.

I am sorry you are in so much pain and fully understand.

Pain is never "normal" and always has a cause. I think it may be time to see at least one more different doctor. It is best to consult with spine specialists such as spinal orthopedic surgeons or spinal neurosurgeons when dealing with issues such as yours (and most of ours here). The spinal specialist will review your latest MRI or CT scan and may want a new one. They will then develop and recommend an effective treatment plan for you.

After you have seen the spinal specialist, the next step would be a pain management specialist that is a physiatrist. These doctors go deeper and offer a wide variety of treatment. Here is a link to an article on SpineUniverse.com that explains what this specialist is and does: http://www.spineuniverse.com/treatments/what-physiatrist

Keep doing your research. Here are links to good websites that have information about spinal problems and solutions:

WebMD Back Pain Health Center: http://www.webmd.com/back-pain/default.htm

SpineUniverse: http://www.spineuniverse.com

Spine-Health: http://www.spine-health.com

Keep moving as much as possible. Keep a positive attitude.

Please keep us updated and let us know how you are doing. Come any time to ask questions or just to vent.

I pray you can find answers and relief soon.
Please click on my username or avatar picture to read my story.

Blessings,

-Dave
 
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bj1208 responded:
Hi and welcome to the support group -

Dave, as always, has given you great info -

I just wanted to let you know I had my first fusion (L5-S1) done 2/08. For the first 3 months I was doing great - pains were diminishing and thus not taking as much pain meds as I had before hand. After the 3rd month post op my pains came back worst than before the surgery and have been at that level ever since.

I have been from one doc to another (spine specialist, pain specialist, PT, Chiropractors) with no answers - just being labeled Failed Back Surgery Syndrome because the surgery did not take care of the pains.

One Chiropractor I saw stopped me in mid-story when I said after 3 months pains came back - he said he has seen a lot of patients that have said same. For some reason with fusions the pains may come back worst than before. He seemed to think it was scar tissue causing it. But not having 100% accurate diagnose is hard to swallow.

I saw a surgeon last summer and he seemed to believe that my disc above my fusion was causing the pains as there were indications there that were overlooked, i.e., mild bulge, mild response on discogram and showing signs of degenerative disc disease.

It may be a good idea for you to get several opinions of your surgery and post op care - most surgeons I have seen basically state recovery should be between 4 mts and a year to allow time for the fusion to take, bone to start regrowing and any nerves (legs) to regenerate.

You can always start with your current surgeon - have him show you the x-rays (I just had 2nd fusion done in Dec) and am still providing x-rays (every 6 weeks) so the surgeon can follow the fusion and bone growth. This was same with my first fusion - I was 8 months post op before I was released.

Hope this helps - keep us posted~~
~~ Click on my name or picture and read my story ~~
~~ Joy ~~
 
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felipe_zx9r replied to davedsel2's response:
Thank you Dave for the info will check it out. Still learning to use this site.
 
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felipe_zx9r replied to bj1208's response:
Thank you very much for your time and story Will keep you guys updated
 
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maistral replied to felipe_zx9r's response:
If you are still working is there any way that you can not sit for so long? Perhaps you can stand for some calls or get up and walk around between calls or at least every half hour or so, Sitting tends to shorten your muscles and this muscle tension causes pain. If you can put a small stool or something under your feet while sitting, this will also help.

Also the 45 minutes of exercise may be too much, especially as you are pushing through the pain. Perhaps time yourself to see how long you can exercise before the pain comes,and then do less than that for a week or so and very gradually build it up. The latest neuroscience findings on pain show that the brain plays a great part in determining how much pain you feel, and that if you push through pain the threshold for pain tolerance is reduced (I'm not saying it's all in your head, just that the brain determines when something is 'dangerous' based on past experience.) When I initially had my chronic pain I could only walk for a 90 seconds on land before the pain got so bad I had to stop. On the advice of my hydrotherapist I cut walking time for to 45 seconds, did that for a week and then gradually built the time up again by increasing it by 10% a week. It took a long time but now I can walk as far as I want without pain.

Another thing you might want to try is hydrotherapy. It's much easier than exercising on land because the buoyancy of the water reduces your body weight and the resistance of the water increases muscle strength, You do need to do it with a therapist initially so they can show you what to do and make sure you don;t overdo it. You not only need to strengthen your back muscles, but also the core muscles in your abdomen, since they take much of the strain off your back. I found it to be the best thing in getting strong again.

Finally, although you seem to be bearing up extraordinarily well considering what you are going through, you are probably quite (or very) stressed, Stress causes, or worsens pain so if you could reduce stress by meditating or using another stress reduction technique, it would be helpful. An easy way of meditating is Dr. Herbert Benson's Relaxation Response. Basically you sit comfortably, close your eyes and each time you breathe out say 'one'. If thoughts come up don't get entangled with them, just say to yourself 'Oh well' and return to focusing on your breathing. Do this for ten to twenty minutes twice a day, and your stress will decrease. Also try and do something you love each day because that will also help relieve your stress.

And do everything you can to get a good nights sleep.

Good luck.

Anyway, good luck.
 
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bj1208 replied to maistral's response:
Most managers/supervisors will SAY they will allow you to stand/walk/sit etc., and will even go out of their way to order foot stools or better chairs to sit in.

However, me being a Manager of Accounting before becoming 100% disabled, I can tell you that upper management does not see it this way - even knowing the full details they tend to look at it as dollars being wasted as they see too many day-to-day episodes and feel it's goofing off.

I even brought a medical report from my doctor and also surgeon (as I was having surgery in couple months). It was a battle of wits - there was nothing I could do when I was let go as I was a contract employee for a very, very large wireless company.

Even playing cards right can and sometimes does cause conflicts.
~~ Click on my name or picture and read my story ~~
~~ Joy ~~


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Try water therapy
I also have had surgery for L5S1,protruding disc for sciatic pain. Everything was fine for a year. Then the pain came back and the doctor ... More
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