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Thread: 3 year checkup report

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    1,956

    3 year checkup report

    Hi,

    A few weeks ago I had my 3 year checkup. I still measure the same, it looks as is I'm fused properly, and the vertebrae above and below look good. My only problem is my periodic muscle spasms that I get on my left side, between my shoulder blade and spine. It happened to be bothering me that day, and he poked around with his fingers; boy did that feel GOOD (not!). Dr. N believes that it is probably caused by a screw that iritates a muscle, which then causes the muscle to go into spasms. I told him how motrin, tylenol and (when needed) muscle relaxants help. He suggested that I get a cortisone/lidocane injection in that specific area. By the time I walked out of there, I was spasming like I haven't in a LONG time. I think it's because of the needle poking around in there and moving so he could get the whole area. I had to find a drugstore and pop 2 motrin immediately! By the time we walked about a mile and a half to Little Italy for lunch and had a drink in front of me, it felt much better. It seemed to take about 5 days to totally get over it, and then all of a sudden--WHAM! I feel great! Now I'm not sure if it's because of the injection, or if I just THINK it's because of the injection, LOL. He said if it works it can be for a few months, or even longer. I don't think I'd consider anything more drastic like removing the screw. At least at this point.

    the night of the injection I couldn't sleep. I'm very sensitive to some medications and I think the cortisone gave me insomnia. I looked around the internet and some other people said the same thing.

    Dr. N did stress to keep exercising and to try to keep my core strong to preserve the vertebrae below the fusion. So I keep doing my zumba.

    Overall, I think my back feels much stronger than even a year ago. I can do more physically without having to baby myself. I can carry armfulls of groceries into the house without worrying, can carry laundry up and down without feeling it's too much for me. So I go back in one year. If I want another injection, he said I could go back, or find a pain dr. locally here in NJ. I said to him, 'No one touches my back but you--as long as youre practicing!'
    __________________________________________
    Debbe - 50 yrs old

    Milwalkee Brace 1976 - 79
    Told by Dr. my curve would never progress

    Surgery 10/15/08 in NYC by Dr. Michael Neuwirth
    Pre-Surgury Thorasic: 66 degrees
    Pre-Surgery Lumbar: 66 degrees

    Post-Surgery Thorasic: 34 degrees
    Post-Surgery Lumbar: 22 degrees

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    4,361
    Debbe

    Have you tried “Blue stuff?” I used to use this product before my surgeries and its worth EVERY penny.....

    http://bluestuff.com/painrelief_superbluestuffotc

    Buy it online, and don’t give them your phone #, they are a pain as they keep calling all the time. E-mails are easily deleted.

    I didn’t know we were supposed to do a 3 year? LOL
    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 62, the new 63...
    Pre surgery curves T70,L70
    ALIF/PSA T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    3,263
    That's great news Debbei! So glad to hear that you're doing well. Long may that injection last and you can be free of the spasms as well.
    Surgery March 3, 2009 at almost 58, now 63.
    Dr. Askin, Brisbane, Australia
    T4-Pelvis, Posterior only
    Osteotomies and Laminectomies
    Was 68 degrees, now 22 and pain free

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    3,729
    i am so glad your surgery was successful....
    i just wanted to say that i have gotten all kinds of injections...and for muscle spasms the only ones
    that helped me were the botox shots...every 3 months...i still get them from my NYC pain doc...
    the first time i got them, they kicked in so fast i was shocked! botox freezes muscles pretty fast!
    the news anchors on TV who have faces that don't move or show emotion can testify to that!

    not every pain doctor uses it...the stuff is expensive...
    but it is covered by insurance for medical use...
    my insurance has always paid for it...
    if you have a pain doctor, he/she might discuss if it would be good for your situation...

    jess

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    York, PA
    Posts
    332
    Hi Debbe--Great to hear from you and that things are good at 3 years out. You were my role model and such a support for me in those stressful pre-op weeks.
    Anyway, just a comment on steroid shots since I've had my share. It takes some time for them to "kick in" but they made a tremendous difference for me. I had the same experience with being sort of hyper and wired for a day or two afterwards and it was hard to sleep. If it does come down to the point where you decide to have the screw removed, my experience with that was very easy. In fact we went out to dinner (at my Dr.'s suggestion) the evening after I had the screw removal surgery. I didn't have muscle spasms from it--just kind of a pinch-y, achey pain that has gotten much better since the screw is gone.
    Your post also reminded to me get it back in gear with exercise. I was doing so well for a while and then the weather got ugly and life got incredibly busy and all that good stretching and PT stuff has fallen by the wayside. Sigh...gotta' get back at it.
    Hope the spasms settle down for you.


    Anne in PA
    Age 58
    Diagnosed at age 14, untreated, no problem until age 50
    T4 to sacrum fusion
    63 thoracic now 35, 92 lumbar now 53
    Dr. Baron Lonner, 2/2/10
    Am pain-free, balanced, happy & an inch taller !

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Ukiah CA
    Posts
    891
    Debbe that is great
    Kara
    25
    Brace 4-15-05-5-25-06
    Posterior Spinal Fusion 3-10-10
    T4-L2
    Before 50T
    After 20T

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    2,748
    Quote Originally Posted by debbei View Post
    Hi,

    A few weeks ago I had my 3 year checkup. I still measure the same, it looks as is I'm fused properly, and the vertebrae above and below look good. My only problem is my periodic muscle spasms that I get on my left side, between my shoulder blade and spine. It happened to be bothering me that day, and he poked around with his fingers; boy did that feel GOOD (not!). Dr. N believes that it is probably caused by a screw that iritates a muscle, which then causes the muscle to go into spasms. I told him how motrin, tylenol and (when needed) muscle relaxants help. He suggested that I get a cortisone/lidocane injection in that specific area. By the time I walked out of there, I was spasming like I haven't in a LONG time. I think it's because of the needle poking around in there and moving so he could get the whole area. I had to find a drugstore and pop 2 motrin immediately! By the time we walked about a mile and a half to Little Italy for lunch and had a drink in front of me, it felt much better. It seemed to take about 5 days to totally get over it, and then all of a sudden--WHAM! I feel great! Now I'm not sure if it's because of the injection, or if I just THINK it's because of the injection, LOL. He said if it works it can be for a few months, or even longer. I don't think I'd consider anything more drastic like removing the screw. At least at this point.

    the night of the injection I couldn't sleep. I'm very sensitive to some medications and I think the cortisone gave me insomnia. I looked around the internet and some other people said the same thing.

    Dr. N did stress to keep exercising and to try to keep my core strong to preserve the vertebrae below the fusion. So I keep doing my zumba.

    Overall, I think my back feels much stronger than even a year ago. I can do more physically without having to baby myself. I can carry armfulls of groceries into the house without worrying, can carry laundry up and down without feeling it's too much for me. So I go back in one year. If I want another injection, he said I could go back, or find a pain dr. locally here in NJ. I said to him, 'No one touches my back but you--as long as youre practicing!'
    Hello, I'm glad to hear that you are doing so well. It's great and encouraging for those of us who haven't had surgery, yet. On the experience of the injection, what he gave you was called a trigger point injection. I get them every three months. Right after the injection, I feel great because the lidocaine numbs the area. When that wears off, I am sore for about a week from the bruising, but then I feel much better. Mine only lasts about a month, then I have to wait two more months with spasms before I can get it again. They can't give steroids too often. The point of the injection is to kind of "shred" the muscle that is spasming. This creates blood flow to the area and stops the spasm. The steroid is used to keep inflamation down. The lidocaine is used, obviously to make the injection not painful, or less painful. They can get the same effect if they dry needle the area, as it is the trauma to the muscle that releases the spasm, but it doesn't last as long. If they are just doing one area, you are doing well. I had at least seven if not more areas done, with multiple injections at each site. Because I had so much lidocaine, I had a reaction to it and my left leg went numb and my face, too. It was weird and scared the doctor. He tried to send me to the ER, but I didn't want to go. So he made me stay until the office closed instead and monitored me for a while before sending me home. Boy am I glad I had hubby along that day to drive! It affected my mental state as well. BUT, like I said, if you are only needing one area done, you won't have this problem. I've never had a problem with injected cortisone, just the oral prednisone. Anyway, the point of sharing this experience was just to let you know what they do that for and things to watch for if you need multiple sites done in the future. I'm so glad it worked for you. It really helps my muscle spasm, too. Again, it's nice to hear that you are back to your normal routines.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    1,956
    I was doing fantastic until about 3 weeks ago. I think the injection wore off and I had spasms worse than ever. I had a sharp knife-stabbing pain in the back (in that spot) and spasms wrapped around to the front of my ribs. I would feel a sharp pain in the back, and then a second later, a hard TUG in the front of my ribs, day and night. 3 mornings in a row the spasms wrapped around ALL of my ribs and the muscles were so tight that I could hardly breathe. I'd jump in the shower and the hot water would help it relax, but I could hardly even GET myself to the shower. I've been on muscle relaxants, extra-duty anti-inflamatories, hot showers and heating pads for 2 weeks. I have an appt with the surgeon on Thursday. I am so upset. It's not as bad since my primary prescribed RX strength naprosyn, 2x a day, I don't need the relaxants. But I can't live on drugs forever. Boo-hoo I even stopped my zumba. Hopefully it's temporary.
    __________________________________________
    Debbe - 50 yrs old

    Milwalkee Brace 1976 - 79
    Told by Dr. my curve would never progress

    Surgery 10/15/08 in NYC by Dr. Michael Neuwirth
    Pre-Surgury Thorasic: 66 degrees
    Pre-Surgery Lumbar: 66 degrees

    Post-Surgery Thorasic: 34 degrees
    Post-Surgery Lumbar: 22 degrees

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    9,297
    Debbe,

    Sorry to hear this. How strange for it to happen so far down the road post-op. Did Dr. N say anything about that??

    Will you consider having the screw removed? How can they show if that is the cause?

    Hang in there.
    Sharon, mother of identical twin girls with scoliosis

    No island of sanity.

    Question: What do you call alternative medicine that works?
    Answer: Medicine


    "We are all African."

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    3,263
    Very sorry to hear this. Sounds excruciating. Let us know what your surgeon says is causing it and what can be done for it...hopefully it can be put right quickly. Hope you're back at Zumba very soon, Debbei.
    Surgery March 3, 2009 at almost 58, now 63.
    Dr. Askin, Brisbane, Australia
    T4-Pelvis, Posterior only
    Osteotomies and Laminectomies
    Was 68 degrees, now 22 and pain free

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    near Philadelphia
    Posts
    1,260
    Wow, Debbe, sorry to hear this. As you said, hopefully it's temporary. I wonder if the zumba is too jarring.....? Just a thought.
    Chris
    A/P fusion on June 19, 2007 at age 52; T10-L5
    Pre-op thoracolumbar curve: 70 degrees
    Post-op curve: 12 degrees
    Dr. Boachie-adjei, HSS, New York

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    2,748
    I'm sorry to hear that you are hurting again. From personal experience, I've never had the shots last more than six weeks. So if you got more than six weeks out of it, you're doing pretty well. I just had ten areas done on Monday. I feel MUCH better except sometimes the pain tends to move and my ribs hurt all day yesterday. I hope you can get your shot(s) ASAP. I think it's totally worth it! Feel better soon!

    Rohrer01

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Waterloo, IL
    Posts
    1,712
    Debbe,
    I'm sorry to hear this. I hope that you get some answers on Thursday and that you can get relief (and get back to Zumba, too).
    Karen

    Surgery-Jan. 5, 2011-Dr. Lenke
    Fusion T-4-sacrum-2 cages/5 osteotomies
    70 degree thoracolumbar corrected to 25
    Rib Hump-GONE!
    Age-60 at the time of surgery
    Now 66
    Avid Golfer & Tap Dancer
    Retired Kdgn. Teacher

    See photobucket link for:
    Video of my 1st Day of Golf Post-Op-3/02/12-Bradenton, FL
    Before and After Picture of back 1/7/11
    tap dancing picture at 10 mos. post op 11/11/11-I'm the one on the right.
    http://s1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pottoff2/

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Southern CA
    Posts
    2,262
    Hope you get some help soon
    Melissa

    Fused from C2 - sacrum 7/2011

    December 8, 2014 - Another Broken Rod Surgery

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    4,361
    Debbe

    I cant believe it....sounds like a soft tissue injury. Remember when that happened to me? It was 9 level pain for 2 weeks, then suddenly quit. I cant imagine a non-union at 3 1/2 years post. I think we are good in that department.

    Time to take it easy....could it have happened doing the zumba stuff...sounds like quite a workout to me. I tried a workout with my ex once years ago and it almost killed me. he he

    Hang in there, it will get better.
    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 62, the new 63...
    Pre surgery curves T70,L70
    ALIF/PSA T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

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