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spinal decompression with spinal fusion

Started by 1487527028@facebook on 08/04/2012 1:43am

I had a spinal decompression with a spinal fusion in January of 2009. I had the surgery because I had sciatica pain than hurt so bad to the point to where I could not push my nursing cart any longer. I found myself standing on one leg at times just to get relief. Since the surgery, I cannot sleep because my legs go numb on one side and then I have to turn to the other side, and this continues all night long. The only relief I get is when I stand up, I can't even sit for very long. I am so tired of taking opioids because now I am dealing with severe constipation. I am on percocet 10/325 4 times a day, fentanyl patches, and lyrica (which doesn't seem to help at all). I have asked my pain doctor if having my hardware taken out would help, and he seems to think no. I have tried several back strengthening exercises which have not helped either. I am a full time nurse, and I did a lot of research before having this surgery, but now I feel that it was the wrong choice, and now I am going to have to live in pain for the rest of my life. Any suggestions that anyone has for me would be greatly appreciated. I am 42 years old. Thanks P.S I had this surgery due to having degenerative disc disease, bulging discs, severe spinal stenosis and the sciatica pain.

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5 Responses


Hi Gina,
Your letter could have been written by me. I had spinal fusion in 2008 due to DDD. Since then the pain has not gotten any better. I then had cortisone injections and I recently tried the RFL9radio-frequency lesioning or burning of te nerves) treatment which was also ineffective. Recently I tried the prolotherapy also. The first session seemed to offer some relief. However, since the second one I have developed more problems. While sleeping my right arm goes so numb and loses so much circulation, like it has fallen asleep for too long. It acts up several times during the day as well. I also am waking up in extreme pain every morning at around 2am. The pain goes from hip to hip with increased pain in the middle of my back. The doctor does not think that it is related. I have had a very difficult time trying to get the r[right meds. The oxicontin and percs worked for a long time but not any more. So my doc at the pain clinic has been trying several different ons. I am currently taking Cymbalta 1 a day , oxicodone 3 a day and Methadone 4 a day. Now he is taking me off of that and putting me on a longer lasting time released capsule called Exalgo which is a synthetic Morphine. Pain Clinic Doc says there is nothing more he can do for me. I don't know where to turn.


Have you had a recent MRI? If not, I think that you probably should so the md check for issues above or below the level of your previous fusion. Also, flexion and extension X-rays of your lumbar spine to make sure you don't have a slip. And don't ask a pain doctor if removing your hardware is going to help your pain, ask a surgeon. They may be better able to judge if the hardware is the source of your pain.


Gina before your surgery were you a habitual smoker?


I am going to shedule an appointment with an ortho surgeon, since the one who did my surgery has since moved on. I have been doing research that seems to suggest thet the hardware could be our problem. I am having a ct scan today to check on my hardware to be sure nothing is loose and screws are all in place. Had one a year ago though and everything was fine. I am curious about your meds. I am struggling with pain clinic finding meds to control my pain. In the last 3 months they have changed them at each visit. The med nurse has her thoughts and the doctor has his.
I am now taking Exalga 32mg once a day, a synthetic morphine whic doc says is the strongest thing out there. Not so sure.
also oxicodone 10 mg 1 tab 4 times a day. Which seems very low to me but they don't seem to want to increase it.
and Cymbalts 60 mg.
I feel like I need more break through pain meds cus the long acting is never quite enough. But I always wonder why the dosages are so low compared to others I see.