Thank you ladies for your input. I have had a couple of semi-loud pops (audible to others in my livingroom) and they hurt, but they did not put me on my knees with pain. Gayle, I was somewhat relieved to read that you had two series of x-rays AND the nuclear medicine scan and nothing was visibly wrong. Again, it's not that I want there to be a problem, but I DO want a clue where to look for a solution. Evelyn, I have wondered about the possiblility of an infection, but is it possible to be 16 months post-op and not be seriously ill? I'm asking because I truly do not know. I was told by my surgeon and his PA that the place I am describing is where a series of muscles come together or cross and they could possibly be rubbing across the top of a screw head. I thought that was a plausable answer until the pain began to spead down toward T-10 and lower. It's a very slow progression but it is definitely changing. I've dealt with a fair amount of nerve pain before my first surgery and this just does not feel nervy. Yes, "nervy" is a medical term.

A couple of weeks ago I had to take some time off work when I spent 36 hours in the heart hospital when I thought I was having a heart attack. It turns out my heart is in fantastic shape but my blood pressure is high, so now I'm on blood pressure meds. That little vaca coupled with a sick kid and a sick me means I have very little vacation and sick leave left so I'm constantly worried about needing extended leave. I know there are options to solve this dilemna, but I manage to worry anyway. I wonder why I have high blood pressure? Hmmm.....

Again, I sincerely appreciate everyone on the forum. You are a kind and generous lot and always so supportive. I will update with any new info.