Re: fusion w/appliance

"engzor" <engzor68@xxxxxxxxx> wrote in message
Jan 14th 2005 I had a two level fusion at l3 l4 and l4 l5. PLIF with
appliance. The diagnosis was degenerative disk disease. My back pain
started in 1991, my back would "go out" and the pain would be horriable
and then it would subside. Tried chiropractic care and lots of
ibuprofen! I guess I am writing here for support as anyone who has
suffered with chronic back pain knows that no one knows your pain like
you do. So Dec 2005 rolls around and I am to the point of not being
able to stand or sit without pain. After the surgery and recovery
period of 5 months, my neuro did not have me do any physical therapy.
Ok, so now I must say that my back has not "gone out" but yet I am
wondering if the appliance is cusing the pain I have? I would love to
hear from anyone who may have had or has a similar experience.


Is it wrong for me to ask for more pain medicine?

I have the same issues, pretty much the same scenario. Ever increasing pain
since the mid 80's. DDD, etc.
3 failed discectomies sp? Finally a fusion with rods screws, plates, wires,
spreaders et. in 1997. L1-L5 360 (almost died from infection)
The fusion absolutely stabilized my spine, I stand much more straight now,
even though I have a pretty good case of scoliosis, that they tried to
correct some.
BUT, the surgery did just about nothing for my pain, except maybe to
increase it, due to all the hardware placement.
It was real tough to deal with the hardware at first, but now I seem to be
able to deal with it a little better.
It feels like my lumbar is in a vise all the time, never letting go. If I
knew that the surgery wasn't going to reduce my pain, I never would
have done it! The doctors throw out success rates that they want you to
believe, but from I have read, and from personal experience,
I don't think fusion is a very good method to deal with back pain. I'm sure
you spine will be more stabile now, so it won't kick out on you,
but to expect some huge pain relief is not reasonable.

I'm surprised they didn't send you to PT, as they sent PT to my house, a few
days after I was released! They sent a nice young girl, who wanted
me to do leg raises in bed! I politely declined..well, maybe not so
The second time she came, she asked me to try harder, and I showed her where
my wound's had entirely ripped open, showing the ribs and all.
She turned white, almost fainted, and ran out of the house, and I never saw
her again!!
I can't imagine how they expect you to do PT, when you can't even get out of
bed to go the bathroom!

It's possible that your hardware could be causing some of your pain, if your
fused now, they could take it out.
It is definitely not wrong for you to ask for whatever pain medicine you
require to keep you pain at a reasonable level.
I'm now on a Duragesic fentanyl patch (75ugrams), with a couple of percs a
day for BT. It cuts my pain, but not enough that I am able to
do very much. I try to get some time on the treadmill every day, but it
usually just caused me more pain.
If you have pain, tell your doc about it, or he will never just offer you
pain meds, you really need to lay it on the line, and tell them'
that you just can't deal with the quality of life that you have right now.
If your doc is reasonable, he will listen to you!
Sorry for the long post, but you sounded a lot like me.