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Thread: Back Pain-had surgery 30 years ago

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    North Carolina
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    8

    Question Back Pain-had surgery 30 years ago

    I wasn't sure where to post this. Hope I get some replies here.

    I had scoliosis surgery when I was 13 and they put in a harrington rod. I have not had many problems over the years. I had two children naturally and only had back pain with my daughter which I think had to do with how she was positioned inside of me.

    Now I am 43 and since last Thursday, I wake up to incredible pain in my lower back area-near my butt bone but kind of to the left as well. I get up and go about my day and usually within half an hour, it goes away. Today however it is still hurting and I have been out of bed for 4 hours now!

    Does anyone have any thoughts as to what could have brought on this sudden pain? I haven't injured myself or done anything different recently.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Texas
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    61
    Trese

    I posted on this site a while back with the same problem. I had surgery close to 30 years ago, fused and Harrington rods placed and then removed long ago. Had a pretty painless life until August of last year. Felt similar pain you feel, lower back toward butt and slightly to the left. Now, 5 months later it is moved a bit more to the left, toward my hip but still in the lower back.

    Went to orthopedic doc for another problem and asked him why the sudden pain in lower left back and after an MRI he could not state a source for the pain for certain. He did say that it may be nerves being crushed in my upper and lower left corners of my fusion. He said nothing about me having bursitis or anything else.

    Do you plan to go to your doctor to see what this new pain is?

    1975 Clear hard plastic body cast worn
    1976 Operated for high grade Spondylolisthesis; lumbar fused from L2-Sacrum and Harrington rods inserted
    1976 Wore regular type body cast and in bed rest for 1 year
    1977 Rods removed
    2006 Diagnosed with Flat back syndrome with sagittal imbalance
    2008 Scheduled for wide pedicle subtraction osteotomy, sooner if pain increases


    My email is ahlan_warda@yahoo.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    North Carolina
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    Well, unfortuantely we just lost our insurance last month. Murphy's law, huh?? So, unless the pain is totally unbearable I will have to wait.

    I have had such an uneventful life as far as my back all these years. No pains, no problems.

    I came here to see if others have had similar issues. Maybe there is something I can take over the counter or some exercises I can do? I have about 50 extra pounds and I KNOW that is bad for my back. Maybe this is my wake up call to lose the extra weight.
    Trese
    Scoliosis Surgery 1976

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Houston TX
    Posts
    288
    Hi Trese.

    I have a thought about your pain. Of course, I am not a doctor, but since you asked. . .

    Since the pain came on suddenly, it is likely to be a muscle pain. From my experience, the degeneration that requires surgical intervention is a slow process and is a chronic problem. So that's good news.

    Don't focus on losing weight first or making drastic changes quickly. Start with some stretching of your hamstrings and back. You can find examples of lower body stretches at: http://exercise.about.com/cs/flexibi.../blstretch.htm

    If you can find someone to give you a massage on occasion, that can also be part of your regular routine.

    As I write this I realize that I haven't been doing so well with stretching lately. I guess I should take my own advice.

    Take care and good luck.

    p

  5. #5
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    Sep 2006
    Location
    North Carolina
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    Thanks for the advice, pnuttro! It is still bothering me. I have noticed that when I stretch a little it relieves the pain. I am also taking Aspirin Extra Strength for back pain. It seems to dull the ache. Time will tell if this is a chronic thing or temporary.
    Trese
    Scoliosis Surgery 1976

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    11

    pain

    Hi there,
    I am just recently discovered this forum. But I have a somewhat similar past and recently a similar pain. I had scoliosis corrective surgery in 1979 at the age of 12, harrington rod in position. I am 40 now.
    Anyway my problems have only started slowly in the last few years. But I did have a similar pain. After being exrayed and examined my ortho person decided it was all muscular and sent me to PT. I had an MRI to rule out a blood flow problem to the hip and to get a better view of the hip. the pain was in my lower back, closer to the butt and more to the left. It was very painful and it took quite a while for me to be convinced it was only muscular. I basically had a 'pain in the butt'. the PT used warm compresses, massage (getting a butt massage was embarrassing let alone painful) and some targetted stretches. With lots of stretching exercises for the ? periformis muscle I was doing much better but it took time to get past it. Now it is inflamed again this time extending past the butt through the outside of the thigh and ending above the knee. I was supposed to do the stretches three times a day, 3 sets each stretch holding for 15 to 20 seconds each. I was never that good to get around to them 3 times a day but they definitely helped.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    North Carolina
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    Yes, I have certainly noticed that it helps to stretch my legs and lower back. It is still bothering me but MOSTLY at night and early morning. I can do most anything during the day. I mowed the grass today!!! But once I lie down for awhile, it flares up again. I am taking two 650 mg Arthritis pain pills before bed every night. I am probably only masking the pain. But this is what I will have to do until I have insurance again!!
    Trese
    Scoliosis Surgery 1976

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    4

    Probably you need more fusion

    My son's Orthopedic talked about 30 years problem when we first took the surgery. Basically, he meant if my son took the surgery (fusion from top to L4) after 30 years, some people will experience pain in lumbar area, which could mean that area needs to be fusee too. Probably you should see a doctor and ask about it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    1,757
    Quote Originally Posted by Trese
    Yes, I have certainly noticed that it helps to stretch my legs and lower back. It is still bothering me but MOSTLY at night and early morning. I can do most anything during the day. I mowed the grass today!!! But once I lie down for awhile, it flares up again. I am taking two 650 mg Arthritis pain pills before bed every night. (
    Trese, what is the main ingredient in your arthritis pills? You can possibly piggyback OTC (i.e., ibuprofen on top of acetaminophen - or vice versa) with them. I'm not a doctor - but it's worth checking out (and no .. I'm not advocating a "home test" without asking someone!).

    Most definitely, tight hamstrings with pull on your lumbar area. If your fusion allows, work on stretching them ... nice and easy - but regularly ;-).

    Regards.
    Pam
    Fusion is NOT the end of the world.
    AIDS Walk Houston 2008 5K @ 33 days post op!


    41, dx'd JIS & Boston braced @ 10
    Pre-op 53, Post-op < 20
    Fused 2/5/08, T4-L1 ... Darrell S. Hanson, Houston


    VIEW MY X-RAYS
    EMAIL ME

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    43
    Hi,

    I was about to write a message today about the pain I am in then I saw your message and I have the same pain I think. I am fused and had my surgery 13 years ago about 4 years ago I started to get a pain in my lower back while lying down extending and into my hip but when I was up and moving around it was fine. Unfortunately lately it has gotten much worse and pains me now when sitting aswell. I have been to a surgeon last week and he done a few tests and said that my right hip and left hip dont move the same. The left hip is restricted and this is causing the pain. I cant remember what he called it but am going back next week after he has examined the xrays. Hopefully he can do something.

    Has anyone else on the forum had this???

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    near the North Pole City in Alaska
    Posts
    19

    Red face Back Pain -had surgery 40yrs. ago- what helps

    Hi!Living up here sometimes I feel I am living in a undeveloped country.We have to fly to the lower 48(that is the way we explain it)to see a good doctor and if we have any problems before our next appointment to bad because the hospitals don't know what you are talking about and think you are nuts.Because this pain I am having is getting worse and I wish when I see the doctor in Seattle,Wa. on Jan.9th Icould ask him to put me in the hospital and do the surgery now.(vent,vent)Does anyone know if they can opperate on your complete back or if they have to do parts at a time. I have degeneration of the cervical spine,curved at the top of my Harrington rods,my original curve of 43* is 40*with the rods,and my lumbar is degenerated also. If someone can let me know how they have delt with there back after having Harrington rods put in many years ago. I just need to know where I am going. Please Pray for me I live up here and my friends +family live in lower 48, I feel as if no one here understands what Iam going through(even my Pastor is acting strange)I feel so isolated. Thank You for Listening. Alma in Alaska

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    1,291
    Alma:
    I was looking for a revision surgeon for my brother-in-law who lives in the Seattle area. There is only one and the wait is long plus he will not see anyone without a referral from the primary doc. Linda Racine, the moderator suggested surgeons in California have lots of experience with previously fused adults.
    Here is a forum which is devoted to our type of problem:

    http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group...ioFlatbackers/

    I personally feel going to Seattle may not get you the best results. Maybe things have changed since.
    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

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    5

    Pain

    I had fusion and Harrington rods in 1967. Now 54, and with a 39 degree curvature, I am experiencing great pain. I have found a doc I like a lot and do pt every now and then. I do take some meds, for pain and inflammation. They seem to help but I cannot imagine going another 40 years like this! Was hoping to learn something new.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    near the North Pole City in Alaska
    Posts
    19

    Smile Pain-Debra

    Welcome Debra,I am kind of new also. I had Harrington Rods and Fusion in 1965 when I was 15yrs. What they are finding out is that the rods have held our spine so ridged the rest of our spine is degenerateing. When we had to have our surgery done the Harrington rods were all that was available at that time. So now we are having to fix the degeneration. Back then we were the leaders in the research which is helping so many young people now.If you keep comming back to this forum and read all the posts you can learn alot and begin to understand what is going on with our spine. The best way to learn what you need is to ask specific questions and some one will try to answer. Some times you may need to ask it a couple of times. I am still asking alot of questions.there are a few of us older people here watch their names and read the profiles and then if you feel confortable you can write a private message to them. This is just the besics but I hope it helps .Hope to talk again.Alma in Alaska

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Euharlee, Georgia
    Posts
    449
    I had the same problem, although I had insurance so I was able to go to the doctor. For relief, try a heating pad. I just got one that you put in the microwave and it hold the heat for a couple of hours. I exercise at a therapy pool. They keep the water at 90 degrees so it feels gooooood! I have been going for a year now and have lost about 5 pounds, however I have lost several inches. It has also dropped my cholestrol down to 153. It is the best way to exercise with putting strain on your back. Some days, all I do is walk in chest high water for 20 minutes for my exercise.
    T12- L5 fusion 1975 - Rochester, NY
    2002 removal of bottom of rod and extra fusion
    3/1/11 C5-C6 disc replacement
    Daughter - T7 - L3 fusion 2004

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