14 spinal fusions in 21 years... does the pain ever go away?
After breaking my neck in a car accident 10 years after my first neck surgery, which was a total success, I've continued to be operated on as my back has had numerous changes. After a failed C1- C2 fusion, which had to be redone with a halo (which should have been used the first time), things continued to get worse. 5 neck surgeries in all, 4 shoulder arthroscopic surgeries, & they even removed my funny bone in my left arm!, then my lower back & started to take on the weight of the work from my neck. 6 years later I was fused twice in one year L5-S1, which didn't fuse. 12 years later I had emergency surgery for Cauda Equina Syndrome to prevent paralysis from the waist down. I had L1-S1 fused complete with more rods using the Robotic technique. It was successful & I haven't need a cane for the first time in many years. Although I'm always in pain. I'm quite active, I keep my weight down, although if I overdo it, I suffer for days. Now I'm dealing with both arms going numb from the neck down & at times it takes hours for them feel normal. My Neurosurgeon wants me now to have Nerve Conduction Studies in both arms.... I'm so baffled, as I've seen the MRI results & it's obvious that the only vertebrae I have left unfused in my neck (C4-C-5) has moved forward 1/4 of an inch. I'll go through the tests, as I don't want to ever have to go through another surgery, but I don't understand what could be causing the numbness.... So now that I've bored you with all the gorey details, I just don't understand why I'm in still in pain. My pain DR says it's scar tissue & so much trauma to my spine & I get that, although I don't want to live on medications that don't work anymore for the rest of my life. If anyone here has been through anything similar & could throw something out there, I'd really appreciate it. This all started when I was 36 & in the prime of my life. Now I'm 59 & this is really getting old....Thanks for listening.