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Thread: 18 years post-op and having issues:

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    4

    18 years post-op and having issues:

    Hello everyone this is the 1st time that I have posted. I had harrington and luque rods inserted with fusion from T5-L2 in 1991 for a 65 degree curve that was only corrected 20%. I have felt pretty lucky until the past couple months regarding back pain. I have been used to suffering neck pain with severe muscle spasms since 1997 with 3 whiplash injuries, plus discovering that I have a Chiari-1 malformation about 4 years ago. So the lower back is new for me. It is difficult to sleep through the night as the pain wakes me up, no position is comfortable. I am an ER nurse that works 3 12 hour shifts that seems to really aggravate it too. I have been recommended to a Neurosurgeon at Tampa General Dr. Juan URibe by one our neurosurgeon's PA's. Just wondering if anyone has any input, I still have the hard ware in place and I am wondering if this is increasing my degeneration below the fusion and would appreciate any input.

    Thanks,

    Lori (scroliosisgirl)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    101
    Hi Lori,

    Our backgrounds are really similar - I was fused from T5 to L2 with a Harrington rod in 1990. The differences are that I have been having lower back pain for years, neck pain only recently and you have the opposite.

    About the lower back pain: It can be one of many things. For me, I've now herniated my L5/S1 twice - once in 1999 and once about a year and a half ago. The first time, a physiotherapist was able to do the diagnosis because my symptoms were so classic - it was really clear where the pain was and I had radiating pain going down my right leg (bad sciatica) and I'd been lifting heavy things for my job right before it happened. This last time, wasn't as straightforward - the pain would be in my back, then my hip, then my ankle. I can't remember doing anything specific before it happened. I was sent for a CT scan and it came back that it was a herniated L5/S1 - it just seems to have been pressing on different nerves this time. For what it's worth, I asked and was told I don't have any more degeneration below the rod than others my age who don't have scoliosis - and I've been playing lots of high impact sports since I had my surgery. So you may not have degeneration.

    Both times, physiotherapy, walking and then when I was doing better bike riding (stationary at first, then outside again) have gotten rid of my pain and gotten me functional again. I was given more core strengthening exercises this time around and I do them religiously - I've improved a lot in the past year.

    If I were you I would:
    1. Try to get some imaging done to pinpoint the problem (i.e. is it disc degeneration or a herniated disc or arthritis or something else).
    2. Look into physiotherapy if you have time.
    3. Find ways to reduce lifting and bending at your job (I can only imagine how much you have to do as an ER nurse!).

    Hope you get some answers and keep us updated - good luck!

    - Sarah
    Last edited by SIsForSarah; 08-12-2009 at 03:49 PM.
    - 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!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    4

    Thanks Sarah!

    Sarah-
    Hey thanks for responding! I too have a herniation at T5-S1 and have been thinking that it must be being compressed now. I faxed my info to this Dr. in Tampa General today from 3/09. But I am thinking I need to get some new films because things have changed so much. Usually when my mind is preccupied I can forget about the pain, but last night at the beach I could not stop thinking about it. Today at work I was constantly aware of it too. It so sucks, but I guess I should feel lucky that I have made it this long without problems.

    Take Care!

    Lori

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