lower back fusion problems
Hi. I am wondering if anyone is or was in the same boat as I am. I had a disc removed back in 1998 and I had a fusion done in 2001 (near the L4 L5 area, lowest part of back). I was fine for a couple years but have been experiencing pain since. I can't stand more than 10 minutes, exercise is no longer in my agenda along with many other activities I used to enjoy. It's wearing on me mentally as well as physically. I went an seen a spine specialist and he suggested I get the hardware removed but it's a 50/50 chance it's fused. If it's fused, they remove the hardware, another 50/50 chance that I'll feel better. If it's not fused, they sew me back up and I'm back to square one. He pretty much stated that there is nothing more that can be done. I've had all the shots imaginable and nothing works. NOTHING.. I've been in physical therapy, nothing. Chiropractors refuse to work with me because of the hardware, I can get partial therapy from chiropractors but they can't focus on where the hardware is. I refuse to take pain medication because it totally messes up my digestive system, thought process, everything. I miss a lot of work due to the pain and my boss is becoming furious with me because of it. This pain causes a tremendous amount of personal stress and job related stress. I''ve been reading a lot of comments (horror stories) on here and I really don't want to have the hardware removed and go through another surgery. People like us with chronic back pain, seems like there is no hope, well the majority of us. Has anyone been through what I have and if you have what did you do to try to get better? Thank you.