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debbei
11-16-2011, 09:17 PM
Hi,

A few weeks ago I had my 3 year checkup. I still measure the same, it looks as is I'm fused properly, and the vertebrae above and below look good. My only problem is my periodic muscle spasms that I get on my left side, between my shoulder blade and spine. It happened to be bothering me that day, and he poked around with his fingers; boy did that feel GOOD (not!). Dr. N believes that it is probably caused by a screw that iritates a muscle, which then causes the muscle to go into spasms. I told him how motrin, tylenol and (when needed) muscle relaxants help. He suggested that I get a cortisone/lidocane injection in that specific area. By the time I walked out of there, I was spasming like I haven't in a LONG time. I think it's because of the needle poking around in there and moving so he could get the whole area. I had to find a drugstore and pop 2 motrin immediately! By the time we walked about a mile and a half to Little Italy for lunch and had a drink in front of me, it felt much better. It seemed to take about 5 days to totally get over it, and then all of a sudden--WHAM! I feel great! Now I'm not sure if it's because of the injection, or if I just THINK it's because of the injection, LOL. He said if it works it can be for a few months, or even longer. I don't think I'd consider anything more drastic like removing the screw. At least at this point.

the night of the injection I couldn't sleep. I'm very sensitive to some medications and I think the cortisone gave me insomnia. I looked around the internet and some other people said the same thing.

Dr. N did stress to keep exercising and to try to keep my core strong to preserve the vertebrae below the fusion. So I keep doing my zumba.

Overall, I think my back feels much stronger than even a year ago. I can do more physically without having to baby myself. I can carry armfulls of groceries into the house without worrying, can carry laundry up and down without feeling it's too much for me. So I go back in one year. If I want another injection, he said I could go back, or find a pain dr. locally here in NJ. I said to him, 'No one touches my back but you--as long as youre practicing!'

titaniumed
11-16-2011, 10:23 PM
Debbe

Have you tried Blue stuff? I used to use this product before my surgeries and its worth EVERY penny.....

http://bluestuff.com/painrelief_superbluestuffotc

Buy it online, and dont give them your phone #, they are a pain as they keep calling all the time. E-mails are easily deleted.

I didnt know we were supposed to do a 3 year? LOL
Ed

JenniferG
11-17-2011, 02:33 AM
That's great news Debbei! So glad to hear that you're doing well. Long may that injection last and you can be free of the spasms as well.

jrnyc
11-17-2011, 03:20 AM
i am so glad your surgery was successful....
i just wanted to say that i have gotten all kinds of injections...and for muscle spasms the only ones
that helped me were the botox shots...every 3 months...i still get them from my NYC pain doc...
the first time i got them, they kicked in so fast i was shocked! botox freezes muscles pretty fast!
the news anchors on TV who have faces that don't move or show emotion can testify to that!

not every pain doctor uses it...the stuff is expensive...
but it is covered by insurance for medical use...
my insurance has always paid for it...
if you have a pain doctor, he/she might discuss if it would be good for your situation...

jess

ADMoul
11-21-2011, 09:46 PM
Hi Debbe--Great to hear from you and that things are good at 3 years out. You were my role model and such a support for me in those stressful pre-op weeks.
Anyway, just a comment on steroid shots since I've had my share. It takes some time for them to "kick in" but they made a tremendous difference for me. I had the same experience with being sort of hyper and wired for a day or two afterwards and it was hard to sleep. If it does come down to the point where you decide to have the screw removed, my experience with that was very easy. In fact we went out to dinner (at my Dr.'s suggestion) the evening after I had the screw removal surgery. I didn't have muscle spasms from it--just kind of a pinch-y, achey pain that has gotten much better since the screw is gone.
Your post also reminded to me get it back in gear with exercise. I was doing so well for a while and then the weather got ugly and life got incredibly busy and all that good stretching and PT stuff has fallen by the wayside. Sigh...gotta' get back at it.
Hope the spasms settle down for you.

kennedy
11-22-2011, 02:08 AM
Debbe that is great

rohrer01
11-22-2011, 07:48 AM
Hi,

A few weeks ago I had my 3 year checkup. I still measure the same, it looks as is I'm fused properly, and the vertebrae above and below look good. My only problem is my periodic muscle spasms that I get on my left side, between my shoulder blade and spine. It happened to be bothering me that day, and he poked around with his fingers; boy did that feel GOOD (not!). Dr. N believes that it is probably caused by a screw that iritates a muscle, which then causes the muscle to go into spasms. I told him how motrin, tylenol and (when needed) muscle relaxants help. He suggested that I get a cortisone/lidocane injection in that specific area. By the time I walked out of there, I was spasming like I haven't in a LONG time. I think it's because of the needle poking around in there and moving so he could get the whole area. I had to find a drugstore and pop 2 motrin immediately! By the time we walked about a mile and a half to Little Italy for lunch and had a drink in front of me, it felt much better. It seemed to take about 5 days to totally get over it, and then all of a sudden--WHAM! I feel great! Now I'm not sure if it's because of the injection, or if I just THINK it's because of the injection, LOL. He said if it works it can be for a few months, or even longer. I don't think I'd consider anything more drastic like removing the screw. At least at this point.

the night of the injection I couldn't sleep. I'm very sensitive to some medications and I think the cortisone gave me insomnia. I looked around the internet and some other people said the same thing.

Dr. N did stress to keep exercising and to try to keep my core strong to preserve the vertebrae below the fusion. So I keep doing my zumba.

Overall, I think my back feels much stronger than even a year ago. I can do more physically without having to baby myself. I can carry armfulls of groceries into the house without worrying, can carry laundry up and down without feeling it's too much for me. So I go back in one year. If I want another injection, he said I could go back, or find a pain dr. locally here in NJ. I said to him, 'No one touches my back but you--as long as youre practicing!'

Hello, I'm glad to hear that you are doing so well. It's great and encouraging for those of us who haven't had surgery, yet. On the experience of the injection, what he gave you was called a trigger point injection. I get them every three months. Right after the injection, I feel great because the lidocaine numbs the area. When that wears off, I am sore for about a week from the bruising, but then I feel much better. Mine only lasts about a month, then I have to wait two more months with spasms before I can get it again. They can't give steroids too often. The point of the injection is to kind of "shred" the muscle that is spasming. This creates blood flow to the area and stops the spasm. The steroid is used to keep inflamation down. The lidocaine is used, obviously to make the injection not painful, or less painful. They can get the same effect if they dry needle the area, as it is the trauma to the muscle that releases the spasm, but it doesn't last as long. If they are just doing one area, you are doing well. I had at least seven if not more areas done, with multiple injections at each site. Because I had so much lidocaine, I had a reaction to it and my left leg went numb and my face, too. It was weird and scared the doctor. He tried to send me to the ER, but I didn't want to go. So he made me stay until the office closed instead and monitored me for a while before sending me home. Boy am I glad I had hubby along that day to drive! It affected my mental state as well. BUT, like I said, if you are only needing one area done, you won't have this problem. I've never had a problem with injected cortisone, just the oral prednisone. Anyway, the point of sharing this experience was just to let you know what they do that for and things to watch for if you need multiple sites done in the future. I'm so glad it worked for you. It really helps my muscle spasm, too. Again, it's nice to hear that you are back to your normal routines.

debbei
02-07-2012, 08:13 PM
I was doing fantastic until about 3 weeks ago. I think the injection wore off and I had spasms worse than ever. I had a sharp knife-stabbing pain in the back (in that spot) and spasms wrapped around to the front of my ribs. I would feel a sharp pain in the back, and then a second later, a hard TUG in the front of my ribs, day and night. 3 mornings in a row the spasms wrapped around ALL of my ribs and the muscles were so tight that I could hardly breathe. I'd jump in the shower and the hot water would help it relax, but I could hardly even GET myself to the shower. I've been on muscle relaxants, extra-duty anti-inflamatories, hot showers and heating pads for 2 weeks. I have an appt with the surgeon on Thursday. I am so upset. It's not as bad since my primary prescribed RX strength naprosyn, 2x a day, I don't need the relaxants. But I can't live on drugs forever. Boo-hoo I even stopped my zumba. Hopefully it's temporary.

Pooka1
02-07-2012, 08:28 PM
Debbe,

Sorry to hear this. How strange for it to happen so far down the road post-op. Did Dr. N say anything about that??

Will you consider having the screw removed? How can they show if that is the cause?

Hang in there.

JenniferG
02-08-2012, 03:22 AM
Very sorry to hear this. Sounds excruciating. Let us know what your surgeon says is causing it and what can be done for it...hopefully it can be put right quickly. Hope you're back at Zumba very soon, Debbei.

Singer
02-08-2012, 07:10 AM
Wow, Debbe, sorry to hear this. As you said, hopefully it's temporary. I wonder if the zumba is too jarring.....? Just a thought.

rohrer01
02-08-2012, 08:04 AM
I'm sorry to hear that you are hurting again. From personal experience, I've never had the shots last more than six weeks. So if you got more than six weeks out of it, you're doing pretty well. I just had ten areas done on Monday. I feel MUCH better except sometimes the pain tends to move and my ribs hurt all day yesterday. I hope you can get your shot(s) ASAP. I think it's totally worth it! Feel better soon!

Rohrer01

golfnut
02-08-2012, 05:00 PM
Debbe,
I'm sorry to hear this. I hope that you get some answers on Thursday and that you can get relief (and get back to Zumba, too).

mabeckoff
02-08-2012, 05:14 PM
Hope you get some help soon

titaniumed
02-08-2012, 06:54 PM
Debbe

I cant believe it....sounds like a soft tissue injury. Remember when that happened to me? It was 9 level pain for 2 weeks, then suddenly quit. I cant imagine a non-union at 3 1/2 years post. I think we are good in that department.

Time to take it easy....could it have happened doing the zumba stuff...sounds like quite a workout to me. I tried a workout with my ex once years ago and it almost killed me. he he

Hang in there, it will get better.
Ed

Doodles
02-08-2012, 08:56 PM
Debbe--
Oh, no! You've been doing so well and I hope this is just a very short temporary set-back. I know what you mean about zumba--it's now my favorite exercise of all. I do try to not get too jumpy with it but sometimes you do just get swept away by the music!! Take it easy and I'm sure you'll be back soon. Janet

debbei
02-08-2012, 09:27 PM
Thanks everyone for the responses. We'll see what happens tomorrow. Ed, I agree, I don't think (hopefully) that it's a non-union; Dr. said the fusion looked good in November. It's just this irritated area of flesh underneath my shoulderblade that drives me insane. If the answer is shots every 6 weeks, maybe I'll do that. Otherwise, I guess I'll have to consider having the screw removed. Last time Dr. N said that we'd have to have MRI's, etc., to make sure this is the problem. Not sure if he meant other tests as well.

The naprosyn 2x a day is doing pretty good but the last few hours I start to feel it. Nothing like the sharp stabbing pain last week, but I know it's there.

I'll fill you guys in tomorrow night.

debbei
02-09-2012, 03:42 PM
For some reason I had a HORRIBLE night last night. Not sure what triggered it. So I was dragging on maybe 5 hrs of sleep when we went in for my appointment today. Dr. still thinks that a screw is irritating that area. They marked the spot on my back with a (high-tech, LOL) paperclip before an x-ray. Everything looks good and normal (no non-union, no shifting, etc.) The problem is around T9 or T10. Dr. said that to remove the screw wouldn't be that easy because they'd have to cut the rod above and below, and .....whatever else he said I can't remember. He suggested getting another injection, which this time took effect IMMEDIATELY! Knock on wood, so far so good. Hopefully this time it will last a while. If I keep having the problem, he recommends doing the injection along with a floroscope (anyone have that??)

He's writing me a letter to get out of some travel that I will have to do in April to the mid-west for an extended period (for work.) If this happens I get pretty incapacitated, and I'd be all alone out there.

So that's about it--fingers crossed. And I must say again, I am so happy that I have Dr. N for my doctor. He was definitely the best choice for me, and he's really going above and beyond for me (without giving details.) Thanks for all of your replies.

titaniumed
02-09-2012, 08:10 PM
I had a Spinal Tap in 2002 for a CT scan and they had me lay on a flouroscope. Its a hard table with the monitor up at the head. You can see your whole spine while laying on this machine and yes, while moving, which is pretty neat. The Docs can see where they are inserting the needle or stud. Its a good tool.

Surgeons use flouroscopy when doing scoli surgeries. C arms and O arms. Its nice to see where you are going....

Glad to hear you ended up getting some relief.
Ed

jrnyc
02-09-2012, 09:24 PM
yup...all the time....
pain management docs use a fluroscope for doing injections....
sometimes i watch...except i can see how bad my spine looks...
so then i stop watching...

glad Neuwirth is good for you, Deb...

jess

LindaRacine
02-09-2012, 11:14 PM
Dr. said that to remove the screw wouldn't be that easy because they'd have to cut the rod above and below,

Any idea of what implants they used?

scooter950
02-12-2012, 11:18 AM
Hi Deb, I am hoping this second injection will relieve your pain- I pray you won't need to remove the screw, and I'm glad Dr N wrote a work excuse for travel- ugh! I sympathize with you! It's so difficult travelling and trying to sleep without memory foam, plus having to be professional and work? no thank you... I will pray that this second injection is the charm- God bless! Jamie in TX

debbei
02-13-2012, 02:32 PM
Any idea of what implants they used?

Hi Linda,

I have my operative report--it says Legacy Stainless Steel Instrumentation.

Legacy--to me when I hear legacy I think 'old.' Is this old technology? My surgery was Oct 2008.

debbei
02-13-2012, 02:37 PM
Hi Deb, I am hoping this second injection will relieve your pain- I pray you won't need to remove the screw, and I'm glad Dr N wrote a work excuse for travel- ugh! I sympathize with you! It's so difficult travelling and trying to sleep without memory foam, plus having to be professional and work? no thank you... I will pray that this second injection is the charm- God bless! Jamie in TX

This injection seemed to work right away. I babied myself for another day then started doing more around the house. Yesterday for the first time I tried Zumba, but very very easy. It's not the bouncing that bothered me but all the arm movements. I modified as necessary. I was a little sore when I came home but then after a hot shower and a short rest on memory foam, I felt fine. Hopefully this will continue to improve.

My next challenge--wearing a BRA! haha I did zumba wearing a camisole with built in shelf. That's ANOTHER reason I wasn't so jumpy. LOL

debbei
02-19-2012, 07:13 PM
I'm feeling so much better. Not quite my old self, but much much better. I'm doing things this week I wouldn't even have considered last week. Nothing exceptional, just regular stuff. I hope the goodness sticks forever!! Fingers and toes all crossed.

mabeckoff
02-20-2012, 11:46 AM
I am glad to hear that your injections helped you. Mine did as well. Lets hope that they continue to help