Introduction, post fusion Neuropathic pain.. where do I go now?
I'm 38 years old and my ordeal with back pain/spine problems began about 2 years ago.
Before all of this, I was relatively active with a normal BMI and no medical problems to speak of.
It all started with a dull lower back pain on and off for a few years when I would have to fly for work.
About two years ago, the pain spread to my leg and I felt pins and needles that didn't go away.
Diagnosis, a herniated L5S1, most likely the result of DDD.
Over the past 2 years I have gone through:
1. Pre-Surgical Epidural Injections (3 rounds)
2.. L5S1 MicroDiscectomy - Failed and resulted in my disc completely collapsing.
3. Physical therapy and post surgical epidural injections (2 rounds)
4. L5S1 Fusion (8 months later) with complications requiring a repeat surgery shortly after my original surgery due to an oversight on the surgeon's part.
5. One round of epidural injections and 2 rounds of oral steroids (no improvement)
6. No PT- Surgeon said it won't really help post surgically because I had hardware to hold everything together and because I was fused by 8 weeks.
My recovery has been slow and I continued to have pain in my back and radiculopathy in my legs for a few months.
About 6 months later, my left side felt much better, but my right side has been the same or worse.
My hardware caused mechanical pain and I had it taken out about 8 weeks ago, in the hope it would resolve the neuropathic pain as well.
The surgery resolved my mechanical pain and the neuropathic pain in my leg(s) improved for about 3-4 weeks. However, at about 6 weeks, I began quickly sliding in the wrong direction.
Over the last couple of weeks, my pain level on the right leg has gone up 3 fold.
The intense burning/tingling in both my right lower back and leg has changed in character as well. In addition to the burning, I now feel tingling on the top of my right foot, big toe and my inside right shin.
When I stand the pain is tolerable, when I sit.. the pain starts in about 5 minutes and then increases in intensity to about an 8 at about 30 minutes.
Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure my surgeon has given up on me.
I haven't seen my surgeon since pre-op for my hardware removal surgery. I wasnt seen during hospital rounds, instead, a prescription for painkillers was dropped off at the nurses station.
I did have a follow-up visit with their PA at about 6 weeks and didn't get any answers there.
I've been taking Neurontin, Oxycontin, and a muscle relaxant. They only seem to knock the pain down for 4 hours or so and are definitely losing their effectiveness.
My condition is deteriorating and I have no support network at home. After 4 surgeries in 2 years, my wife doesn't want to even discuss this issue any longer.
I'm the sole provider for our family (2+1 baby) and I'm terrified I won't be able to work if this keeps getting worse.
Any suggestions/input or advice would be really appreciated.
I'm in a pretty dark and lonely place right now.