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Thread: So Far, So Good!

  1. #16
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Houston, Texas now live in Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    543
    Hi Turtle, If you do a search on threads that I started, you'll find one that says "Just had surgery". There's a lot in there that might help you. I work in an elementary school library. The meds that I take daily are prozac and trazadone for depression and aniexty. For pain I take hydrocodone 4 time a day and Robaxin 3 times a day. I function well with taking them. I still have pain, but I'm able to do things. I have more pain now than before the surgery, but we think it might be caused from the psoas muscle possibly being to short which in turn pulls my torso forward. I would still do the surgery again, sometimes in cases like mine where there was never any bracing or corrective measures done it takes a while to iron out the kinks. Theresa
    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

  2. #17
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Houston, Texas now live in Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    543
    Hi All, Had a dr appointment on Dec 16th with a spine rehab doctor. She basically said that I have arthritis all over my spine and I have facet anthropoty which is basically arthritis of the facet joints. Right now I have been cleared to start taking ibruprofen for the pain and inflammation along with my other meds. I go back to her the middle of January to see how things are going. I might have to have facet joint injections. I also see a pain management doctor Jan 11th to see about my pain from my thoracotomy incision. My doctor said they are doing some good nerve blocks that seem to help this. The ibruprofen has taken some of the edge off of the lumbar pain. I will update again after the Jan 11th appointment. Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!!
    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

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    25
    Hi Theresa!
    I had facet joint injections and found them to be very painful. They didn't work for me but that doesn't mean they won't work for you. Like you, I have chronic pain, mostly due to many failed surgeries and the deformities from having congenital scoli. When you go to the pain doc he will tell you about lots of different needle therapies they can try on you and tell you which he thinks is best. I would be interested to hear what he recomends and which he thinks will work the best. Good Luck and I really hope everything goes well.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Houston, Texas now live in Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    543
    Hi Froggybee,

    I'v heard that the facet joint injections and no fun! But if it has a chance of working then I'll do it. The surgeon really isn't sure that the pain is from the facet joints, because if I'm fused, then the joints can't move, thus I should have no pain from them. He was able to look over my fusion when I had the osteotomy done this past June and he said it was all solid. He's still leaning towards a muscle, scar tissue or such. The pain from the thoracotomy site is as he calles it "a different animal". I see a pain spec. on Jan 11th for that. My doc said that this other doctor has been having good results with injections or some type of block for this pain. I hope something works soon!
    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

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    25
    I've had lots of other types of shots and injections, though none of them have worked. I understand what you are going through, the pain is so bad you are desperate to find anything, no matter how painful, to reduce the level or amount of pain you are in. I have had these block type shots, I forget the detail though. I have heard about other blocks type shots too, and again, I forget the details. The last time I went to the pain doc I asked about what shots he could do to help me and told me about some but I've decided to put it off for now. Next time I go I will aks if he can increase my meds to help me. I am on narcotics, and I hate the fact that I am on them, but it is the only thing that helps control my pain, even though I am still in a great deal of it. I hope that the appt goes well and he is able to help you. Have you ever tried alternative pain management? My Mom wanted me to and I did so she would stop bothering me about it. It didn't work for me but there are so many things they can do that are non invasive.

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    1,291

    Lightbulb For Theresa-pain

    Theresa:
    it was a good 2 years before I was essentially pain free. Some things which helped: Aleve, strong massage ie myofascial release, Tens machine, Icy Hot linament, warm showers, Pilates and walking.
    My shoulder blade drove me crazy for a long time. I also found things itched/ached while my nerves were "waking up".

    The WORST thing is dwelling and focusing on every pain that comes up. Remember our spines were crooked for a long time and the body will object to being "un-coiled" for a long time after straightening.
    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

  7. #22
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Houston, Texas now live in Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    543
    Hi Karen, I am now 21 months post op. This pain (in the lumbar area) feels like the same pain and in the same area as I had before the surgery. The only difference is, that now it is constant. I have had very strong massages, trigger point massages, I have lidoderm patches, Capsicum cream, anti-inflammatories, a TENS unit that I wore every day at a level between 40 to 50, Hydrocodone, and muscle relaxers. They have also upped my depression and aniexty meds. I walk a mile to a mile and a half, I work in an elementary school library so I am constantly changing my position (sitting and walking) and so far nothing really helps. The anti-inflammatories, hydrocodone, and muscle relaxers do help but I don't want to be taking them all the time. At one of my checkups my doctor did say that my body was fighting the corrections. He is still leaning towards it possibly being a to tight or to short psoas muscle. It wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't constant pain in the same area all the time. I still have alot of the other feelings (itching, tightness, weird twinges) but they don't really bother me, I know they'll go away.
    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

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    1,291

    Smile For Theresa-pain

    Theresa: You had a MASSIVE correction-more than my 50% at 60 years old .

    Are you working with a pain management specialist? The reason I ask is I got better help from Neurontin for the nerve pain than with narcs. I came off narcs after 3 months but was definitely not pain free--. Going up/down with hydrocodone can cause you to go in/out of withdrawal and get into a cycle of depression/anxiety causing the use of even MORE medication. A GOOD pain doctor should prevent these traps. It's a dangerous cycle to go Up/down with uppers/downers. A rational ordered approach is best. If you stay on antianxiety meds (Xanax/valium)for a long time you can have seizures if not tapered off. Even ant-depressants need tapering.

    Quote Originally Posted by Theresa
    Hydrocodone, and muscle relaxers. They have also upped my depression and aniexty meds. The anti-inflammatories, hydrocodone, and muscle relaxers do help but I don't want to be taking them all the time. At one of my checkups my doctor did say that my body was fighting the corrections. He is still leaning towards it possibly being a to tight or to short psoas muscle.
    I did get help from a GOOD physical therapist and Pilates with a private instructor. Walking helped but was not enough. TENS on my EARS per my pain doctor was excellent for depression/withdrawal as well as aching all over.

    Theresa, you just might need more time if your surgeon sees fit.

    I heard a news interview, just recently, with the "Central Park jogger" who had a very long recovery after being left for dead. She continues to get better after many years.

    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

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    25
    I think it is interesting that you got more help from the Nuerontin than the narcotics. I am on both right now. My parents wanted me to go on generic Neurontin and I said yes because it cost less and it is supposed to be the same stuff. I found more relief with the brand name than the generic but I don't want to tell my parents. The pharmacist has said that he has never had someone say the brand name was better but I think it is. It is more potent. Lately I have been having lots of nerve pain and so when I see my pain doc the next time I guess I will talk to him about it. I have a question, since you found more help from the Neurontin, is most of your pain nerve related or muscle or bone? Mine is all three so I am on lots of stuff. Muscle relaxer, Neurontin (I forget how to spell it), and narcotics-both base and break through.

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    1,291

    Question Arthritis Theresa

    Theresa:

    If the rehab doctor said you have arthritis all over your spine and you are fused T-2 to sacrum those arthritic joints, on those fused areas, cannot move. Joint pain with arthritis is aggravated with movement. The fusion should give relief in those particular areas unless you have a different type of arthritis call rheumatoid arthritis which affects many different joints in the body. There are excellent, specific meds for that which has allowed people to get out of wheelchairs for rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disorder. Ask her why they would hurt if those joints are immobilized.
    Just curious.
    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

  11. #26
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Houston, Texas now live in Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    543
    Karen, I see the pain management spec on Jan 11th about the thoracotomy pain. I have just started seeing the spine rehab doctor. My surgeon said the same thing about the arthritis. He said, in theory if I'm fused solid, which it looks like I am, there shouldn't be any movement in the spine to cause pain from the arthritis. Then he continued to say, but that is all theory and they really don't know where the pain is coming from. You said that rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder, my primary doctor has been checking my blood lately, because I keep running low on my white count, usually 3 to 4 something. She said that a low white count is usually because of an autoimmune disorder, I wonder if I have the beginning of rheumatoid arthritis? I haven't been sick for a while, only one sinus infection in the last 2 years, so she is starting to say that maybe the low white count is normal for me.
    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

  12. #27
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Houston, Texas now live in Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    543
    Well I saw the pain management spec. on Jan. 11th. I thought it was just going to be for a consult, but it wasn't. My surgeon had called him the day before and told him all about me and everything that we have tried. The pain management Dr. said I have intercoastal neuralgia from the thoracotomy incision. I was given 6 trigger point injections into my thoracotomy scar and was told to go home and rest for the day. That day everything was numb from the medication. The next day I didn't have any of the usually pain in that area, just alot of tenderness from the injections. This was all done on Wednesday. Today, Sunday, it feels like it might be wearing off some. He said it could last up to 4 weeks. If it doesn't, they can inject Botox which should last for 3 to 6 months. He also said he could do the same thing in my lumbar area that is still hurting. I go back Feb 8th, I'll post again after the apppointment.
    Last edited by Theresa; 01-16-2006 at 01:12 PM.
    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

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Houston TX
    Posts
    288

    Pain issues

    Maybe this should be a different thread now.

    I had facet injections one time with just local anesthesia. It was extremely painful and I never wanted to have it done again. Later, I did have it done, but only because I got general anesthesia. I didn't feel a thing.

  14. #29
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Houston, Texas now live in Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    543
    Well here we go with therapy again. Three time a week for a month. They are going to try and stretch my psoas muscle and analyze my gait and see what they can do with that. The trigger point injections are slowly wearing off. I see the pain management doctor again on Feb. 8th. Maybe this time we will go with Botox since this didn't last that long. It sure was nice while it lasted. I can't wait for the weather to decide whether it wants to be winter or spring here. Every couple of days lately the weather changes and I feel like I was hit with a truck. Just so achy and sore all over. I only feel like that when the front is coming through.
    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

  15. #30
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Houston, Texas now live in Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    543
    Went back to the pain management doctor yesterday. Since my injections started wearing off within the first few days he said it was not worth the risk of puncturing my lung with doing more injections and not getting longer results. He also said a nerve block is at the bottom of the list of things to try becasuse of so much scar tissue. He started me on a new nerve medicine called Lyrica. I take one at night for three nights then one every twelve hours. He also said that my pain is nerve pain, muscle pain, and mechanical pain. I did feel better this morning until after lunch today. I didn't realize that what a lot of what I was feeling was from my nerves. I still had pain this morning, but it was only pain and kind of localized if you know what I mean. The overall burning, stinging sensation was gone. It's back now, but it's also time to take the medicine again. He said that when the incisions are done and nerves are cut the nerves usually reconnect correctly. I'm one of the lucky ones where they reconnect crossed or twisted. Hopefully the gait analysis and retraining will help with the mechanical pain which in turn I hope also helps with the muscle pain.
    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

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