Cervical and lumbar fusion patient w/post op symptoms needs advice
Hello everyone. New to the board, this is my first post. I've been reading some of the threads and I just want to encourage everyone who is dealing with failed surgeries and/or undiagnosed or uncontrolled pain. Hang in there and don't lose hope. I know it's hard, I'm going through it to. It's got to get better, right?
I'm a 54 yr old female. I suffered pretty severe radiculopathy and various forms of pain associated with spinal problems for most of my life. Diagnosed with herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, mild scoliosis in 2012. Tried all of the conservative treatments without much luck, saw a neurosurgeon and two weeks later I I had c5-c7 fusion w/instrumentation and l-4-l5 fusion w/instrumentation, diskectomies, laminectomies, all on the same day in 2013. I could probably get real carried away with the background details but that would take forever to digest and I'm really needing some help here. the reason I'm here is that I've developed new symptoms and the symptoms I've always had have become worse. My second opinion Dr says I have failed back surgery. He said ( in 2013 ) that the discs above and below the repairs ones are now herniated. Last month new cervical scans show stenosis has worsened and I have bone spurs in my neck. We haven't done recent lumbar or thoracic scans yet.
New symptoms: Both arms go numb with that feeling that you get when you whack your funny bone. Extreme scary pain. I can't shake it off, . It has to run it's course. I have deep needle prick pain in my hands. Not pins and needles but a feeling like something sharp is embedded in my palms and it just sears through me. It moves around but is usually one needle prick at a time, not the pins and needles you get with other types of pain. My legs feel weak. I have pain in my knees. I have pain in my toes and my big toes on both feet are numb. Sometimes my feet swell and I can't get my shoes on. I had hip pain before and it's always been a serious problem and that has not changed for the better - it's worse. i sleep in 2 hour increments. I can hardly bear to sleep with my partner as the weight of two bodies in the bed cause a pull on me and makes my spine feel like it will snap. I have headaches. I hear crunching in my neck. I am fatigued, no stamina, I cannot push through this pain. I was on Methadone and Oxycodone but with the recent CDC ruling on how much pain medication your GP can prescribe I've been bumped down to at least half of that, no Methadone. She did give me Oxycontin but has twice decreased the mgs. I am going to start going to a pain clinic later this month.
My question is regarding the new symptoms. My doctor seemed to be pretty concerned about my latest scans. I'm seeing my second opinion Dr later this month. Since it's been three years and some months since my surgeries is removing the hardware no longer an option? Are my symptoms consistent with something severe enough that I could eventually lose use of my hands or legs? I realize that if you haven't seen my reports you can't say, I'm just wondering if this is how a situation like that starts. I can't do much without medication and now that it's been so drastically reduced I'm doing less than before. I'm depressed. I'm worried. I miss my old life. I have a 13 year old daughter with autism and she needs me. Regretfully, we don't do the fun things we used to. I did manage to take her camping last week. We were at the lake for three days. She brought a friend with her and I had a friend with me to help out. I spent more time in the camper, laying down on ice packs than being outside with the kids. I've spent four days in bed recovering. It's no way to parent.
Thanks for listening. I hope that all of us find our way through this. It's tough!