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Thread: Pain management

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Wales, UK
    Posts
    28

    Question Pain management

    Hi,

    I had my scoliosis corrected nine months ago. I now have titanium rods and screws in my spine, they also fused the middle part of my spine.

    I used to get some pain in my right shoulder before the operation and thankfully it has now gone. But I have swapped the little bit of pain I used be in for constant pain in my left shoulder and all down my spine. I have been given strong painkillers from my doctor but they don't seem to help at all.

    Can anyone suggest anything I can do to manage the pain in my back to make it less severe?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Pa
    Posts
    123
    I have dealt with major muscle spasms ever since my surgery in 98. I have tried muscle relaxers, pain meds. The BIG thing that finally took the pain totally away is a TENS unit. I swear by it. Also, ice packs work very well for me.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    1,291

    pain post op

    I found that scar tissue can cause pain. I got excellent relief from: physical therapy, Pilates and myofascial release. I am now essentially pain free.
    Karen
    Original scoliosis surgery 1956 T-4 to L-2 ~100 degree thoracic (triple)curves at age 14. NO hardware-lost correction.
    Anterior/posterior revision T-4 to Sacrum in 2002, age 60, by Dr. Boachie-Adjei @Hospital for Special Surgery, NY = 50% correction

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Dallas, Texas
    Posts
    82

    Pain and doctors

    Read an article in the paper on patient assertiveness about their pain management.this is written by a doctor about doctors. She states that surgeons may know a great deal about cutting, rrepairing and sewing up, but they are not experts on pain control. She states that patients need to be proactive and insist on the help they need. Every peerson with prolonged or chronic pain shoud become educated about the huge range o medication, therapies and remedies available to treat pain. the patient in cronic pain must insist on seeing a specialt on pain management. here is the name of the book.

    Living with chronic pain
    (healthy living books 15.95)
    Dr. Jennifer P. Schneider

    Kathleens rose
    Surgery February 8, 05
    6 weeks out.
    Plano Texas.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Wales, UK
    Posts
    28
    Thank you for your reply. The pain in my back seems to be getting worse. I am struggling to walk, sit or stand for very long and I am going to see my family doctor again next week because the painkillers they have prescribed aren't helping me at all. I am hoping that I will be able to get a referal back to see my surgeon again (as I can't contact him directly).

    Laura

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Houston, Texas now live in Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    543
    Hi Laura,

    April 9th I will be a year post op. I too have trouble with walking, sitting, and standing for any length of time. Yesterday I went and did some Easter shopping, I was out for about 3 hours. I walk with a cane to help support myself to stay in an upright position instead of stooping over. As the time went on my walking became alot harder and slower. When I go to a store for groceries my whole weight is on the shopping cart. I saw my surgeon last Friday and I am waiting to hear about what we are going to do now. He was going out of town this week so I won't hear anything until after Easter. My saggital balance (front and back curve) is off some where. They will need to perform an osteotomtry. That's where they take a wedge of spine out to correct the balance. Listening to him talk, this was apparently considered during my first surgery but beings as my surgery was so long, and had alot done they wanted to wait and see if I really needed it. My balance is only off a little but when you're fused to the sacrum you don't tolerate it very well. Needless to say, the rest of yesterday was spent in a recliner. It's gotten to where even my hip joints start hurting. Also found out Friday, that when he went in to do the fusion, part of my spine looked like it was fusing to itself. Also they found one more vertrebra on one side that didn't show up on any x-rays or MRI's. So they had to recheck everything and readjust their plans. I went to physical theraphy at 6 or 7 months post op and it really helped with all the tightness and pulling sensation that I had. My anterior incision was very tight. I couldn't raise my right arm very high at all. I was in the pool 2 times a week, and getting myofasical release and stretching exercises once a week. I also used the gel ice packs, they helped alot. Have you been given any stretching exercises to do yet? I hope you find some information here that helps.
    Theresa

    April 8 & 12, 2004 - Anterior/Posterior surgery 15 hours & 7 hours
    Thorasic - 79 degree down to 22
    Lumbar - 44 degree down to 18
    Fused T2 to sacrum
    June 2, 2005 - Pedicle subtraction osteotomy @L3 7 hours
    MAY 21, 2007 - Pedicle subtraction osteotomy @ L2, extended the fusion to S2 and added pelvic instrumentation 9 hours

    FUSED T2 - SACRUM 2

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Wales, UK
    Posts
    28
    Thank you for sharing your experience with me. It's nice to know that someone else has experinced some of the problems that I am at the moment. Although I wouldn't wish the pain I'm in on anyone not even my worst enemy!

    Laura

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    upstate ny
    Posts
    4

    Back "Seizing up" - 25 years post-Harrington Rod

    Hi - I had Harrington Rod surgery in NYC with Hugo Keim at Columbia about 25 years ago. I had little to NO pain until about a year ago. This is the weird thing - my back actually "freezes or seizes up" - I'll be sitting and when I go to get up, I can't straighten out my back. This can also happen when bending up or down - always when there's pressure on my lower back. My fusion (I think) goes to L4.
    Has anyone else experienced this? I'm now 43 and pretty active. I find walking helps - any suggestions?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Wales, UK
    Posts
    28

    Been to see surgeon

    I went to see my surgeon today. I had to make an emergency appointment because I was in so much pain. It's really affecting my daily life. I've had to give up work this week because I can't stand up for more than a couple of hours.

    Anyway the surgeon said that the pain I'm in is more than likely caused by the metalwork in my back and that I'm probably going to have to have them removed. Which means more surgery . I've got to go back to the hospital next week for x-rays and a CT scan. I hope it all works out this time.

    Does anyone know what the surgery would involve? What is the recovery period like?
    Last edited by laurad; 04-27-2005 at 12:31 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    913
    I had surgery for my scoliosis in '97, and it took me two years to not feel the hardware AS much and to "heal" from it. I did have to have a second operation after a year and a half to take out some hooks in the upper right side b/c it would give great pain and paralyze my arm/shoulder, wich was a very quick surgery(about an hour) and recovery was a month. Doctors told me that it was a usual procedure and it happened to a lot of patients. For pain, I used icing, swimming, walking, stretching and LIGHT weight lifting after at least a few years for that though. It takes time after the surgery for the spine to heal and also for it to get used to the hardware and fight against the curve that WANTS to come back, especially if the surgery is done later in life(had mine at 26) and not in the teen years. Taking rest periods lying down is VERY important, and also when I did go shopping for not more than two hours at a time after a year of the surgery, I would put a cooling pad that you stick to your back to compensate for the pain in my lumbar area.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    913
    I have one question, what is a myofascial release?
    Last edited by sweetness514; 04-27-2005 at 05:57 PM.

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