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Thread: Back pain :(

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008

    Unhappy Back pain :(

    Hi Everyone, (Sorry this maybe kinda long...)

    I'm needing some advice on what I'm experiencing with my back. I had rods fused in my back in 1999 due to scoliosis. I don't know the curve bc it's been so long ago, but I'm thinking it was right at that stage where I needed surgery before it got any worse, maybe 40 or 50 degrees... Everything was fine after that. I never had any problems with my back except for the occasional pain in back. It's been 10 years since I had it done and I am in SO much pain now. It started out my back would hurt in the mornings after I got up from sleeping... So, I thought maybe it was the bed we had. Of course my husband says, it's not the bed. Which irritates me, bc he's not the one living with pain everyday! Anyway, I took up a p/t job in May as a bartender for extra money, along with my full time office job I was working. I started having really bad burning sensations in my upper back after I'd get off of my bartending job. It got so bad that in June I had to go to the ER bc of the pain. They gave me percocet and Valium and Ibuprofen. So, that lessen the pain quite a bit. I had made an appointment with my Spine doctor, the one that did the surgery on me. He took X-rays on my back and told me that everything looked normal and good. Then he said, you know you should have a check up every year and was kinda amused, I guess... I said, Really...Oh, I didn't know that... I was in high school when I had my first one and neither one of my parents said anything about having to go to a check up every yr.... So, I called them up and scolded them... lol So, he told me to do Physical Therapy. I did that for about 2 months till it pretty much broke me bc it cost SO much to go each time, even w/ insurance! It helped a little but now the pain is everywhere it seems in my back. One moment it will be in the middle of my back and it will feel really tight and stiff, then it will hurt my lower back. Now it's hurting in my tailbone and hip area and in the middle of my back. I also noticed that my hands go numb too... don't know if that has anything to do with my back or if maybe I'm having some sort of Carpal Tunnel, which I had when I was pregant 5 yrs ago. I went to my regular family doctor and he put me on Gabapentin(Neurontin) and Baclofen. I've been on it for a 2 wks but it's not helping much right now, but he said it'll take some time before it starts working like it should. I made another appt with my Spine doctor in the middle of January, I don't really know what he's gonna say besides, we're going to have to take out the rods, which he said in my last appt, but I want to try everything there is before I have to go through a another surgery. I'm still at my bartending job, but I only work 1or 2 nights a wk... but I'm thinking I may just quit since I'm having so much trouble. It's kinda ironic that I started the bartending job to make extra money, but here I am spending all that money plus more $$ on all my doctor visits... Here I am typing away and I forgot my question... I guess it would be if anyone else has had these problems? Do you think by working at the p/t job it would cause so much problems for my back since I only work 1 or 2 nights a wk?

    Thanks for listening and for anyone that replies!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Geneseo, NY

    aches in upper back

    It makes my upper back really ache when I slightly bend forward for working at the kitchen counter, or carrying even light weight objects in front of me. This has gradually worsened over the years, and now my husband does most of the cooking. It may be the position you stand in for bar tending that is irritating your back.
    1966 fusion in Buffalo of 11 thoracic vertebrae, with Harrington rod

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Ottawa, Canada
    Hi Sarah (from one Sarah to another)

    Have you been tested for fibromyalgia? It's a condition that can lead to aches all over the body (apparently there are certain trigger points though) as well as numbness and fatigue. The fact that your pain seems to be all over the place, and not all that predictable, makes it sound a lot like fibromyalgia. I don't have it myself, but maybe someone else who knows more about it will chime in. Hope you get some relief - it sounds so unpleasant.

    - Sarah
    - 39 years old
    - At age 14, curve progressed from 45 degrees to 62 degrees in two months.
    - Surgery in 1990 at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) with Dr. Letts. Fused T5 to L2. Corrected to about 30 degrees.
    - Harrington rod
    - Herniated disc - L5/S1 - January 2008. Summer 2009 - close to making a full recovery.
    - New mommy as of February 2011
    - Second child - September 2013
    - Staying relatively painfree through physio exercises!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Euharlee, Georgia
    I would have your spine doctor (one who specializes in adult scoliosis) take an xray to see if it is a bone or hadware problem. My fusion kept growing on its own and I couldn't walk anymore. They had to remove some of my extra fusion away from the nerves in order for me to get relief. They removed the bottom hook on my rod and had quite a hard time. You probably have extra bone growth around your rod by now and that would make it difficult to remove. The best thing to do is see a doctor that specializes in adult scoliosis.
    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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Northern California

    Problems above and below long fusions are not uncommon. You might want to check out "junctional kyphosis."

    If you can, I'd recommend seeing a scoliosis specialist who has a lot of experience treating patients with prior scoliosis fusions. Your specialist telling you that nothing is wrong is not a sign that he's the right specialist for you now. There is something wrong, or you wouldn't have all the pain.

    Like Julie, I have a lot of upper back pain if I work in the kitchen for any length of time.

    Good luck!


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Thanks everyone!!! I did notice when I worked Friday night, when I would bend over it was stretching my lower back. So, that night and Saturday my lower back and tailbone was really hurting. I've decided to quit there bc it's just not worth all the pain I put myself through. I'm also looking into Fibromyalgia, and wondering if I could have that. I go back to my Spine Specialist in January and I'm hoping he'll look further in to my X-Rays and everything. I'm going to see if maybe he could refer me to some kind of Pain Specialist or neurologist around where I live bc I live an hour away from Louisville, Ky, where my doctor is. I also feel there's something not right, otherwise why would I be hurting like I am. Right now, my hands and lower arms are hurting, it kinda feels like it's in my joints or muscles or something. Oh My, I had my husband give me a back massage last night.... I swear he doesn't know how to give one!! LOL I told him that he has to rub really hard otherwise it's not doing anything for me... So he did and afterwards he told me he was never going to do that again bc IT hurt his arms and wrists.... blah, blah, blah... lol What would we ever do w/o our husbands...

    Hoping everyone has a great day!!


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