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Chronic fatigue post lumbar fusion

Started by mattn73 on 02/02/2011 2:27pm

I had a lumbar fusion five years ago and still cannot be up and around for longer than three hours. I get one hour of good stamina. If you met me for the first time in that hour you wouldn't think in a million years I owned a walker and four canes. I need to sit, stand, lie down and move around in hour two and if I don't I will be totally out of commission after three hours, needing a nap of an hour or so. The fatigue is so severe that I can barely lift my arms or even speak. The doctors have no idea what to do and are simply labeling it a nondescript nervous system disorder. I don't want to treat it, I want it gone. Can anyone out there help?

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@Philly,
Hang in there and hold on to hope,that is all we have .I was wondering if the C6/7 cervical fusion worked?I have been in such horrible pain,especially after i got rear ended,but they can't do my neck until my back is done '

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@Philly,
Hang in there and hold on to hope,that is all we have .I was wondering if the C6/7 cervical fusion worked?I have been in such horrible pain,especially after i got rear ended,but they can't do my neck until my back is done '

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@Philly,
Hang in there and hold on to hope,that is all we have .I was wondering if the C6/7 cervical fusion worked?I have been in such horrible pain,especially after i got rear ended,but they can't do my neck until my back is done '

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@Philly,
Hang in there and hold on to hope,that is all we have .I was wondering if the C6/7 cervical fusion worked?I have been in such horrible pain,especially after i got rear ended,but they can't do my neck until my back is done '

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@ Nancy

I had to think for awhile before answering your question about the cervical fusion. I didn't just want to give an emphatic yes. The real answer is yes and no. The surgery was successful and my pain decreased. I do not believe I have any nerve trouble at C6-C7. The caveat is that the C6-C7 disc was messed up due to spinal accessory nerve paralysis (SAN), an injury that was sustained as a college wrestler. The SAN paralysis caused the scapulae to wing, which resulted in a damaged shoulder and herniated C6-C7 disc. I have had both the shoulder and the disc repaired, but I still get pain due to the fact that the SAN is still paralyzed. There is of course no fix for that. However, my paralysis is not as bad as it could be.

Sorry for the long answer. The bottom line is that the fusion was successful and the whole procedure was relatively quick and pain free. The recovery was also very easy. I remember about a week or two of bad pain, and then I was pretty much able to resume normal life. I wanted to share the SAN injury thing to highlight how important it is to get a proper diagnosis. I had both my right shoulder repaired and my C6-C7 disc fused before a competent neurologist diagnosed the SAN paralysis. So, make sure the herniated disc is really the cause of your problem before you go getting it repaired. To be honest, I don't know how much of my pain was caused by the herniated disc, and how much was just a result of the right rhomboids tiring and spasming. I still would have had to have the shoulder surgery, and probably the disc fused as well. Going into the fusion though, I thought everything would be totally fixed. It wasn't because I did not have a proper diagnosis. Ha, I guess that sitation is pretty similar to my current one with the lumbar. I had better heed my own advice.

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this is for "all of you" like myself , having serious chronic low back pain *even after surgery . i had a laminectomy L-4-5 / S-1 fusion / with hardware in oct. 2001 , and hardware removed oct. 2003 . the level of serious chronic pain remains the same today as in the beginning . a pain-free day would be so nice . as you all know , it seriously changes one's daily routine just to get thru the day . anyone who hasn't gone thru this doesn't understand . i have talked with a number of doctors over the years to get an answer as to what is really causing this degree of back pain ? wasn't it said the surgery was supposed to fix it ? i read so often of poor post-op results of lumbar low back surgery for so many . i would say the success rate of back fusion is quite small . for any back surgery , always get a *2nd. opinion , always .
by the way , a radiologist dr. once told me a *Mylogram test is much better in detail than an MRI . so i had one done . i have tried physical therapy , stretches , prolotherapy , acupuncture , pool therapy , pain management , and of course limited painkillers by doctor that keep the chronic pain down to a #4 level at best . nothing has ever worked well . it hurts to walk , sit , lay down / for very long . a good deep sleep is rare . but at the end of the day , i think ... "if i can see the sunrise daily , yesterday wasn't so bad". i hope you can find an answer to your back pain . from one who truly knows what its like .

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Nurse Nancy
I just wanted to let you know I will be praying for you for your Surgery. I sure hope it helps you get completely out of pain, you will be on my mind alot until we can hear how you are doing. I really really hope you are able to get the relief you deserve. Please let us know how your doing.
Joey

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I had L4-L5 fusion surgery coupled with decompression three years ago, and I am glad I did it. I am 76 now and I am able to walk without much pain two to three miles at a stretch. Prior to my fusion surgery, I cluld barely walk two blocks.

The recovery process although slow is still progressing. I do have fatigue once per day when I hust lie down and take a nap. I found multivitamins and vitamin c help reduce the fatique. I don't take painkillers of any kind. When fatigue sets in, I lie down and moan a bit. that is what I did 14 years ago when I had to take ABVD Chemotherapy once in two weeks for 8 months. I have recovered fully from my Hodgkins lymphoma.

I believe that life is a blessing and that happiness is a choice. Please keep up your spirits and develop new avenues of interest. I plan to master my Spanish in two years, and I have started on my new novel, You Never Know and I hope to finish the MS in a year. I wish you the best.

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I'm a few years late to the party and wonder where all the posters are at now?

I had a major motorbike crash September last year and broke my back in a few places, smashed a load of ribs, punctured lungs, broken sternum etc. I'm now 11 months down the road, off all the medication and back in a new job but after 3 months of working the fatigue is really getting to me. At first I was working 5 days a week but after 6 weeks I had to take a few weeks off and went down to working 3 days. I'm still totally exhausted every week and end up spending about 3-4 days a week on the sofa recovering from work. At the same time as working I'm putting a fair amount of effort into exercise but that seems to make the fatigue far worse. I don't want to give up on the exercise as that seems the route to real wellness but somehow I need to be able to do my job to pay the bills at the same time.

My suspicion is that 7 months of hardcore NSAIDs has done a fair amount of damage - I can see a repeating pattern of stomach problems along with major fatigue. I stopped taking those 3 months ago but I seem to be stuck in a cycle of having odd days where I feel normal energy levels and the rest I feel like death warmed up.

I guess I'm being impatient and have too high expectations but I'd love to have some clues as to how long this is going to continue and what might be the cause.

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I hate to hear all you guys have been going threw, but on the other side, am glad to hear there is others like me, also,
after my back fusion i lead a normal life after a year or two,
with my neck fussion, i have no energy, to get, dressed, fix coffee, lunches, supper and pick up house is like moving mountains, and that takes all day to get done, with doing one then resting , then anouther, then resting etc,
weekends when husband is off, i enjoy the time with him, but takes me a day or two to get over it, so dont plan anything on mon or tues if can help
it,
the depression is bad, i knew it would be, after what went threw with back surg,
does this get better with time,

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bambi1010 I was wondering how old you are and how you are feeling after over a year since your post. I am a 38 yr old female with arthritis all throughout my spine degenerative disc disease some nerve damage in cervical spine. I had a lateral L-4 L-5 lumbar bone graft fusion with posterior rod and pedicle screw fixation in March 2017. I have been going through the same things everyone else has. I know it hasn't been as long since my surgery however I googled chronic fatigue s/p spinal fusion to see if how I was feeling was normal and to see how long it might last. Needless to say after reading this I'm more than a little upset seeing as how it doesn't sound like it will ever stop but feeling relieved at the same time that it's not just me or something I am doing wrong. Along with good days where you feel like the "old" you. Like one day You do everything you want and feel great! At some point I hit a wall though then get really tired freezing cold and just NEED to lay down and when i do I pass out cold. The next day I'm swollen pretty much all over sometimes just seem a little puffy other times I can't hardly fasten my jeans and it looks like I have a double chin and spent 2 days crying. Does anyone else have that happen? I have tried on my "good" days not to over do it thinking maybe that's why I feel so bad doesn't seem to make a difference except maybe a little less swelling. Anything I bring up to PA he always says "It's normal" or it has nothing to do with my spinal problems. I eat pretty healthy take multi vitamins if I don't have fresh fruit on hand I take vitamin c I also exercise regularly. I am not depressed most of the time I have my days of course due to how bad I can feel sometimes but not everyday. They have put me on anti depressants before ad i understand chronic pain can cause depression and depression can make chronic pain worse but they make me nervous and jittery and I just feel worse. But I really want to if anyone else has the generalized swelling that I experience.

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