SpineUniverse Community Advice
Get help and share your story with others who know what you're going through.
Please register or log in to join the discussions!

Upper spinal problems after failed lumbar surgery

Started by JEB45 on 01/10/2011 7:45am

Since my lumbar surgery in March my lower back has returned to the same state it was in before if not worse. Now I am having problems in my upper back between my shoulder blades and have started losing mobility in my right arm, this has been going on for a few months now, it started out with just numbness on the outside of my right hand and the the two fingers my little one and the ring finger but the pain has been increasing daily, now I can't use my computer for more than 20 minutes at a time and there is no getting comfortable to sleep ect... I am still on pain meds for my lower back and they don't have any effect on it either. Has anyone else experienced these symptoms?? This is driving me crazy, I have scheduled an appointment with the surgeon who did my first surgery but he can't see me for another week....

Do you find this discussion helpful?
1

7 Responses

Like/Dislike
0

thanks for the info, had the cervical mri done today. They gave me the films I should see if I can get them on a disc also. This right arm pain is killing me and I am so tired of taking the pain meds. In March it was two herniated discs, they just trimmed off the discs and some of the bone there was no fusion. I felt great right after waking up from surgery. Had a rather nasty fall in June and it all started over again....

Like/Dislike
1

I feel your frustration mine started 5yrs ago with a simple laminectomy which turned into another which led 2 a failed fusion of my l4 l5 s1. i now suffer from pain between my shoulder blades as well, with a fusion of any level each conjoining level becomes weakened. i have had every injection opiate electro therapy known 2 my Dr.. i woke up yesterday with a new nerve pain in my left leg inner thigh area totally new , i have stenosis ,sciatica damage and bulging disc at level c5 ... in a nut shell stop the operations at all cost if possible i never envisioned my quality of life 2 b so poor at age 41... some doctors do not fully explain you will never b the same and as a patient in pain you only hear what will take the pain away my heart goes out 2 u and your family as it has taken a toll on mine... look 4 noninvasive procedures for pain relief ;)

Like/Dislike
0

you are so right , it has really taken a toll on my family life, we just had our 20th wedding anniversary and I was unable to celebrate in anyway, I give full credit to my family for putting up with me thats for sure. Its nice to know there are others out there who share their stories it really helps more than you know :)

Like/Dislike
0

Hi Jeb
I have had I don't know how many surgerys, epidurals, Nerves burned away. 4 fusions in my neck in 2 different surgerys, 2 fusions in my lower back from the front and back, and had a deer broadside me on my harley 6 months ago, Luckily I didn't go down at 50 MPH but he messed up my left leg with torn tendons in the knee and ankle which I still havent had fixed. All in the last 3 1/2 yrs. I finally opted for the Pain Pump and it is making all the difference in the world for me. Its not adjusted all the way where it needs to be yet though, They have to move it up slowly, The Surgery only takes about 30-45 min, The recovery at home the first week was the only problem, You loose some spinal fluid in the procedure ( common ) so you get really intense headaches when your upright, as soon as you lay down they dissappear, Those are almost gone as everytime they adjust the dose on the pump the low pressure goes down farther, Its a God send for me even though its not where it needs to be yet, As far as the stimulator, I have some friends who opted for one of those and it made them " Itch like Crazy" and they have all had them taken out. The stimulator didnt really help the pain. Everytime they adjust the pump the less narcotics I have to take, Hope that helps
It really was a God send for me, doing more now than in yrs, But its periodic, they still have a little ways to go on the adjustment but it is getting there.
JJ

Like/Dislike
0

Hi, I am a 32 single mother of 2 young boys. I injured my spine while out to sea on Active Duty with the Navy in 1999. Over the years the pain increased to the point of constant pain, sciatica, numbness down both legs, inability to walk at times or sleep (all the time). - tried everything, and I mean everything. Nothing worked so I had Spine Fusion Surgery with instrumentation at the L5-S1 area in September 2009. Like yours, it was a failed Spine Surgery. Didn't help at all and in fact I am now worse off. In addition to the horrible pain I have developed horrible pain in my shoulder blade ares, like you, and I thought I'd google it to see the connection between the two areas. That's how I found your post...
.until just now I have never come across anyone who was suffering with the same condition with the same pain. It is kind of a relief to know I am not alone but feel for you at the same time.
I am curious why you would consult the same surgeon that performed the original surgery.....i can't imagine going back to my surgeon after the surgery he performed was a failure.....I realize it probably wasn't caused by him but I think I will give a different surgeon a chance. You know??
I am not having pain in my right arm....shooting pain at times, similar to what I feel in my legs. Have you experienced that at all? Are you getting ready for another surgery or trying something else??

I tried the Spinal Cord Stimulator a few months ago and had positive results with that. I am waiting until my fiance comes home to have it placed permanatly to help me with the lower backk/leg pain. Have you tried this yet??

Hope to hear from you soon

Nikki

Like/Dislike
1

Hi Jeb. I very much agree with 'inpainallthetime". Try to avoid surgery at all costs! I will be blount with you, unlike your surgeon, who was simply out to sell you a surgery. The spine is very fragile, as im sure you are discovering. Once a surgery is performed, it takes many many months to fully recover. It is essential for anyone who has had any procedure to strengthen the nearby muscles to support the weakened area. I cannot tell from your post what is your original problematic area?
What your experiencing now is very common. Many times, surgeries are at the beginning successful. We then rush back to our lives not even thinking that we are not really the same from a spinal standpoint. This behaviour unfortunately leads us to develop other spinal conditions. The reason: our spines have been weakened bye the surgery/surgeries. And once it has been weakened, unless cared for properly, it will breakdown again at another level. Sound familiar?
You dont know how angry i get thinking about how these spinal surgeons sell you the illusion of: this is the fastest way to get back out there doing what you love to do! Did that guy say that to you too?
Forgive me for my brief rant. Back to your situation, try to understand and accept the fact that you are now a different person(spinally). You must do whatever you can to strengthen and loosen and stretch your spine. Maybe something even so simple as a traction table(inversion) can help you.
I just came across your situation today. I hope that you have found some relief now. Just hang in there, and please realize that there might be a non-surgical procedure or exercise which will work for you. Take care and good luck.

Like/Dislike
0

I'm shocked at how many people like myself with the same issues that I am having exist on this site. I have DDD and have 5 surgeries since 2008. My first was a Laminectomy and Discectomy then I had a 3 tier fusion s1, L3 L4 L5..Then they had to go back in because I didn't fuse and my hardware was getting loose. Then they went in and full fused all of my lumbar which I still got worse with.. And then my last surgery was a interior posterior with BMP ...And tragically I got WORSE now I am having the worst pain in between my shoulder blades and its worse on the right side..I also have a herniated disc at C3 that they found last year but I have to have another MRI on Monday to determine if there is a problem in the thoracic which is causing all of my pain in between my shoulders it kills me when I raise my right arm I am also having issues in both my hands which they did say that I have carpel tunnel in both hands but I think there is more to it and it has to do with my spine and neck. What were some of your diagnosis about the pain in between your shoulder blades..Because I have researched and it is a lot less common for the thoracic lumber's discs to herniate. I go to the pain clinic and I have a ton of confidence in my Dr. for the first time but as for my surgeons I believe they did me more harm then good. I at least have found a sympathetic doctor that has believed me and treated my pain accordingly but even with being on heavy pain meds I still hurt a lot and it has really been killing me between my shoulder blades actually under my right shoulder blade... Did any of you get a finding on your pain there and what did they say I would appreciate any info you can give me and I also wonder if any of you ended up with arthritis in your upper backs? Thanks a lot in advance for any info you can pass on and its nice to know there are others out there like me that are having these same weird post fusion issues of having the muscles in the upper back hurt so much at least I know I'm not crazy...It really hurts a lot... But I feel better knowing I'm not alone.. The hardest thing is staying positive after all of these back issues I have had I was only 35 when this all started and I lost my career and everything..I have faith that my pain clinic doctor will get to the bottom of this issue he actually seems to care..But until it gets figured out it sucks for lack of a better word...I just want to know what is causing it and I just hope the MRI doesn't leave me with more questions then answers I guess I will just have to wait and see but my Doctor said don't be shocked if the MRI doesn't show anything in the thoracic it is a lot rarer for them to go. I'm %100 sure that something is causing it I just want to know what and if there is a way to make it stop.. Physical therapy sure doesn't help it makes it way worse... Anyway I'm glad I found this site and I look forward to hearing what you all have to say....

SHOW MAIN MENU
SHOW SUB MENU
Cancel
Delete