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Posted in: Back pain.

Decompression made my SI pain worse

Started by christen89 on 05/18/2014 1:42pm

Hello -

I'm new to the forum, and am a 45 yr female. History: I was in a high impact auto accident in 2005, fractured pelvis, fracture S1, sacrum, inferior/superior pubic ramus, broken left hip, fractured right hip. I was hit on the left side, however my right suffered as well to a lesser extent. All injuries were treated conservatively with a corset. I was on my way to the store to get milk, and didn't come home for 5 weeks. I went on to heal, return to work, etc. but wasn't able to sleep on my left side since. I could deal with that, because I still had my right side.

In Sept. 2012, I was having a normal day, until suddenly, as I was driving, my left hip & thigh were stabbing so bad, I was in tears & had to pull over. That day was the beginning to the end ... I started seeing a Neurosurgeon for my spine problems (severe nerve compression @ L5/S1, herniated L4/5, bulging L3/4, bone spurs, stenosis). At my pre-op appt, he asked, When was the last time you saw an orthopedic? Did you know your sacrum is cracked?, That's chronic, Your SI Joints are worn? That's chronic. I could tell something was up ....but as he was preparing for a fusion, he called me the day prior to surgery, to caution me that both decompression or fusion would make my sacrum & sacroiliac joint pain worse. Initially, he felt that a fusion would less impact my sacral problems. My guess would be the absence of a laminectomy? Thus, I was referred to an orthopedic spine surgeon at UCSF. He disagreed with the neurosurgeon, that a decompression of L5 would remedy my problems, and could not see any other problems with my pelvis. I subsequently had the decompression Oct 2013.

Less than 4 weeks after my back surgery, I had SI Joint injections done (procedure excruciating). My pain did improve; however, at that point I didn't know what pains were coming from where .. my back? my pelvis? I did feel good for a while. Two months ago, my sacral & SI pain came back with a vengeance. I am in 3 x pain than I was before the back surgery. Mmmmm ... The Neurosurgeon was right!! Being Naive to all of this, I went ahead with the surgery despite the cautionary warning & difference of opinion. At this point, I had been seeing specialist after specialist to no avail. I felt like I had no fight left. I had been dismissed by 2 other orthopedic surgeons in my area. My Primary told me that I can't give up, and to work with my insurance to find someone that specialized in both areas.

I decided not to be discouraged anymore, and be proactive. Thus, I found a wonderful orthopedic surgeon in San Francisco, CA. Again, I found myself going to the City (2 hrs away) for help. He reviewed my films with me, and defined my SI problem & unresolved issues with my back. The L5 level still has problems, despite the decompression. He said that so many spine surgeons do decompression's, and it doesn't resolve the patients problems. He assured that he can help me & I will be able to work again. I left his office sobbing with tears of joy, but at the same time, tears for how many times I was dismissed. This my life we are talking about!! I see him again on 5/28/14 to go over my options. When he told me I have options, I was beside myself. I go from being dismissed to having options? Wow!

I suffer with debilitating pain every day. I have problems sitting, standing, walking, laying down. What can I do? NADA! My sacrum aches, prickly; both sides of my SI hurt. I cannot lay on either side, I've been sleeping on my back for 1.5 yrs. The last coupla months it's been even more difficult to sleep. I have been using stacked pillows under my knees since all of this started, but now, I have to position pillows under each thigh, and reduce the contact of my sacrum from touching my mattress. Getting into bed is a total production to the point, that I require assistance to go to bed. I have hip pain, groin pain pubic pain, achy bladder, urinary retention/urgency, pain at my urethra, random sensations inside my intimate parts, burning from vaginal to rectum, buttocks, thighs (front/back), knees, calves, ankles, feet toes. If I don't take my full dose of Lyrica, I feel like I'm frying from the pelvis down to my toes. My sacrum pops all the time, and my SI joint pops every time I lift my legs to get dressed. Usually clothing that has leg holes.

I need an outlet to vent, gather advice, support, etc. Thank you for reading my story.

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