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twinsplus1 11-20-2009 10:15 AM

New Member 1 cervical fusion, 1 lumbar fusion,emergency discectomy
Hi! I'm Robyn, I'm 39 and live in Maryland. I have 3 delightful yet sometimes devilish children, a wonderful supportive husband and 3 goofy boxers. I've had back and neck pain basically since high-school. It escalated as the years went on. Finally over the period of a 3 month time frame, the pain in my lumbar was way more often then not. Suddenly, while at the beach on vacation over the July 4th holiday, I stepped out of bed and had a incredible pain in my lumbar region that took my breath away. I waited a few minutes, took some ibuprophen and did my scheduled 2 mile walk. I popped the motrin like candy that week and just figured it would go away. By the end of the week, I woke one morning and realized my big toe and a portion of my foot were numb. I didn't really think much of that. By the end of the day it was numb up to my knee and again, I just let that go. I have a high pain tolerance and as mother's often do, I put myself on the back burner. Within days I started to realize I was tripping a LOT and that my left foot wasn't really working. I still let it go thinking it would get better. Finally I decided I should maybe see a chiropractor (which I had NEVER done before). I called and explained the loss of the use of my foot and made the appointment. Over the course of 4 appointments I mentioned everytime that I really wasn't walking normally and the pain in my legs and lower back was worsening. She stopped working on my back but continued my with my neck. Finally the next time she asked me to walk and she immediately sent me for an mri. The next day she said she couldn't touch my back anymore and that I needed to see a neurosurgeon. She continued working on my neck which was feeling worse with every session not better. I called the neuro and my appt wasn't for 4 mo. so I explained that the chiro believed I needed to be seen immediately so they asked me to send over my MRI report. Within the hour they called me back and I had an appt. the next day, a Tue. When the Neuro saw my MRI he was alarmed because apparently, a LARGE disc fragment had broken off and slid down my spinal canal and was pressing on nerves. The surgery was set for 2 days later, in August. I stopped seeing the Chiro because of my worsening neck pain. An MRI showed that I needed a cervical fusion for that, I had that done that Oct. My lumbar continued to be a pain issue and I then had an epidural injection. It lasted 7 days. I had a second injection (that resulted in an immediate sever spinal headache and major drop in blood pressure, then an emergency blood patch). That injection lasted 5 days. Finally, I had a lumbar fusion with instrumentation in May. My pain hasn't gone away and I'm extremely frustrated. I had 2 rhizotomy's, one on each side in the past month. I am actually in more pain now then ever. I can't explain how frustrated I am with this entire thing!

adomas 11-21-2009 12:57 PM

Sorry to hear it. The reality is that the spinal surgery is unsuccessful for about of one third of persons. A few decades ago the surgery was as a panacea in treating herniation related problems. At present this surgical treatment is applied more and more rarely. Because I am not a neurologist I can give you only some advices. At first it is important to do a bio-mechanical examination of your muscle system. This will help to choose which exercises could be beneficial in your case. For example if a muscle is shortened by a spasm, its stretching would give a good result. On the other hand, it is important to strengthen the weak muscles. As a short relieve therapy might be spinal traction with appropriate device (do a search in the internet and you will found some information on it). Walking is preferred and sitting position should be avoided for a long period.


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