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My Story:
I had taken a couple of bad falls off of horses when I was very young and had landed on the small of my back. Luckily I didn't do any damage,at least not visible in X-ray. I was very active in my younger adult years - my hubby and I were Assistant Martial Arts instructors so we were in great shape and I had minor back pains but they would go away with workouts or with tylenol or ibuprofen.

I stopped going to karate in 2/06 and one day in 5/06 I stopped by the grocery store - I bent down to get a bag of sugar and my back snapped - I blew a disc - at this time my hubby was working in Idaho (Union) and I was getting ready to move back to KC from Colorado - so with back pains I moved our household back to KC.

Since then I had gone thru numerous epidural shots, steroid injections, facet joint injections, pain shots TENS Unit, Spinal Cord Stimulator Trial Implant (Failed), 6 different physical therapy treatments, 8 pain management treatment clinics; 3 neurosurgeon spine specialist, 4 orthopedic spine specialist - I had surgery on 2/25/08 - Anterior Lumbar Fusion L5-S1 - I fused 100% by the 6th week post op but by the 3rd month post op my pain levels went sky high and have been that way since. They could not do anything for my chronic low back pains or my nerve damage in both legs. I am seeing a PHYSIATRIST Pain Management clinic and they are doing very well with working with me on my pain meds. Also, this last February my pains doubled so my pm doc sent me to an orthopedic spine specialist and they found out I have 3 more bulging discs - the surgeon said NO to surgery as it would add to my pains and not make it better having to remove my hardware and do a multi-level fusion.

My PHYSIATRIST Pain Doc asked why it took so long to do surgery as he pointed out my disc not only blew but it splintered with most of the disc pressing on the left side S1 nerve root and a small piece pressing on the right S1 nerve root. Degenerative Disc Disease set in because of the severity of damage.


My options now are either oral pain meds the rest of my life or possibly having the pain pump implant done. I will be asking my pm doc to refer me to another spine specialist as I do want to see if something else is going on with my back -

11/2011 referred to Neuro Spine Specialist for candidate of pain pump implant. He has different Spinal Cord Stimulator Implant (in 11/2008 had Medrontics with leads done on trial and failed) - he uses ones that have a flat panel and they are requesting thru my insurance for approval the MRI of Thorasic spine (where implant will be) so hopefully by end of 2011 or beginning 2012 may have this done. His patients have 50-85% reduction in pain! So am looking forward to seeing if this does help.

2012 - I've decided to not have the SCS done as the doctor is more concerned with the nerve damage pains in my legs versus the pains in my back. I take Gabapentin for the nerve damage and the med controls it very well. So why mess with that? I would rather have something control the pains of my entire back.

so I've had just about everything done to my back - hope this helps some new members with questions - we are a strong support group and we consider ourselves a family.

12/13 - Back has been hurting real bad last few months. Surgery is in store so had another fusion, L4-5 done on 12/4/13 with a plate, screws and 2 rods (connecting to L5-S1 fusion). Have had nothing but pains and problems walking since surgery. Surgeon is not happy as to my recovery going backwards. Will have to see what else is in store for me. Not happy camper right now.

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Yep 23rd!!
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Posted by bj1208

For more information, visit the Duke Health Spine Center