I Have A Failed Back




I have had five surgeries to my lower back at L5-S1... The first operation was considered non-invasive, but it was a significantly difficult recovery involving 3-4 months of laying on my back 50 minutes an hour!  The procedure was deemed a faliure after 3 months and significant pain returned. I then underwent a second operation that involved taking my guts out ,placed on a table and attempting to place titanium cages and bone grafts...... this procedure also proved unsuccessful.... I am not certain the reason, other than the problem area for me is a a critical junction of the trunk and pelvis...A joint that is under constant stress no matter what you are doing(including sitting, standing, walking, bending, stooping, laying down, *******, showering, walking a dog, .......everything!)

The third operation was an intrusive, lengthy procedure where  hardware was placed (pedicle and screws drilled into the vertabae) . A difficult painful recovery of 5 months of minimal activity ensued... a small amount of pain symptomology improved for about 6 months after the recovery... But shortly after the 6th month, I began to experience pain again more intense and more spread out across both sides of my back.. By this time, I was too far into it to stop, meaning that I had undergone all these steps to correct my back, I felt that THERE HAD TO BE A SOLUTION, AND I WAS DETERMINED TO FIND A SURGICAL  option that would actually work and leave me reasonably pain free... So I continued, and had Radio Frequency Ablation procedures.... six of them!

I had Steroidal injections ....seven of them, I have had two Spinal Stimulators implanted to alleviate pain.... but a solution has evaded me and my Doctors.  I am now disabled and in constant pain... and a Narcotic pain medication addict. Fentanyl(100 times stronger than morphine) and Vicodin.

I strongly urge anyone considering back surgery to  really consider whether they can get relief by any other means!
Clanman Clanman
46-50, M
8 Responses Feb 11, 2010

I am so very sorry you are going through so very much, my heart goes out to you. I really know the pain and how inside way down there, where no body see's, you feel like a monster. My pain is over the top also. Please keep on smiling others stories help me, hope for you also. Good Luck

I'm so sorry to hear of your ordeal. I too have a blown disk at the L-5/S-1. I've also had surgery, an open diskectomy. It helped a little but as time goes on it's getting worse.<br />
The surgeon told me that the next surgery would be fusion so I guess I know what I'm in for.<br />
The pain meds never have helped so I've been self medicating with Vodka, LOL!<br />
Now the Vodka is causing pre diabetic symptoms so I'll have to stop that very soon or I'll end up with failed kidneys and diabetes.<br />
All I know is that I'll just live with the pain because I refuse to get hooked on the pain meds.<br />
My Doc tried to get me a spinal stimulator but Liberty Mutual is fighting me every step of the way.<br />
The last time they wanted me to get on a plane and travel to some rehab center, how the hell can I fly???<br />
I can't even last 20min driving let alone getting on a plane.<br />
<br />
I'll keep you in my prayers and hopefully soon they'll come up with something other than the butchery they call back surgery...

oh my lord , my husband has the same back problem hes had a diskectomny i know i mispelled it sorry , workers comp has fought him for the spinal stimulator for almost 6 years . he went to doctor after doctor they mostly treat him like hes faking it they cant see his pain, one doctor she was really good and kind she did a test putting needles in his leg mussels and proving he was in pain 100% of the time hes been proscribed pill after pill , nothing had worked hes been on almost all of the pain meds you could take ,so when he says he dont want the meds they dont work he gets the looks like <br />
sure your hurt, hes been threw pure h ell dealing with workers comp. no one understands his pain like yours. its just heart breaking to see him in such pain like you . he just cant do lot of anything<br />
just the normal things that newly married couples are suposed to do , just normal things walking<br />
showering . i think hes dyling a little every day . donald and i had only been married one year<br />
when he slipped his disk its really need a roller coaster ride hes had the block root shots 2 of them and one dammaged his left leg he cant feel any feeling in that leg to his big toe the doctor had nerve to fuss at him for not taking the vailum andshes the one that hit his nerve . you are in my prayers he drinks for the pain sipping all day he says aleast he knows the side effects of drinking<br />
then gettiing hooked on pain meds , his current doctor doesnt understand why he drinks so he cant be honest to him about his drinking to numb his pain , so whats worse doctors making him a pill head from all the aditive pain meds , you cant win for losing . people just dont understand his pain they cant see it so for the doctors becalse he wont take the drugs they push on him hes faking it so now he just takes th pills and puts them in the trash . i feel your pain .i am so very sorry the pain your in .his doctors wanted to do the cage thing to him but we didnt do it . we have seen some real quacks that works for w/c , the first doctor thought he had siasiaca where pain shoots down your legs and back so he made him do thearpy then the nurse working with him broke his ribs , then the doctor told him he would put a butterfly band aid on his back and he would be back to work driving his 18 wheeler . thank god we found another doctor or he would be in a wheel chair. i really dont think the doctors know much i really dont , we have had doctors say name your drug , i dont know if they were testing him . the block root shots the 2 one now he has dammage to his leg and nerve it goes numb and he falls , i follow him around like a puppy i dont want him to fall , thank god we have a man next door thats a emt ,he told me if he falls he can help me pick him up . then we have wonderful family members that have prayed for him telling him leave it to god and things will be good as new . we both are christans but when someones in pain 24/7 its hard . but i have reasured him i will always be there to take care of him what ever he needs . hes told me if i was any other lady i would have lefted him . i told him i may be only 5 foot tall but iam not going any where but he hind him to watch our for him , i try to make him smile i know its hard on a man losing his career of 30 some years . i really do feel both of your pain . i just dont understand why such a great man donald has to be in so much pain , sorry i got a little winded . my heart goes out to you . Karla

Clanman. My Lord. What an ordeal. All those surgeries and still in so much pain. I feel for you. I really do. I've heard so much about back surgeries not succeeding, that i wont take the chance on them. I'm in a wheelchair and I've been told I need two hip surgeries, two knee surgeries and a lower back surgery for spondelosis. I'm staying put in the wheelchair. If I actually had all those surgeries, i'd be in my 80's or 90's. Of course I want to walk again. I even have dreams of walking but, not this way. I'm environmentally sensitive and metal sensitive and can't deal with even titanium which is supposed to be safe. I know an e.i. who got a lot worse after using titanium. <br />
<br />
I understand constant pain and how it changes ones entire life. I also have chronic intestinal pain and this is unbearable. Sometimes surgery can be an answer and perhaps it may be for my colon but it's all a risk. Then at some point it's do or die. Do we as humans really know the answers? I try as much as I can with a prayer life and friends who also believe in this and it's helped me in so many areas of my life that I think surely there's got to be some answers for me even if it's outside the medical community. I've also used many holistic treatments to no avail. So, all I can do is offer you my understanding and pray for you. It sounds like such a hard road you've been down. And that you can still smile is amazing and shows your spirit velvetflow

Thanks Kev!

Thank you all for your sympathy... I am doing my best to keep a smile on my face and be a pleasantperson when I can interact with everyone.<br />
<br />
Thank you EP friends!<br />
<br />
Clanman--- Scottish, not KKK!

I'm sorry to hear of your pain but this is not the first time a person explained surgical failure and the tryal of non recovery I'm sorrry for you

I am so sad to read of your ordeal... my God! I have another friend who suffered botched or whatever surgeries, and has ended up essentially disabled. Such a cruel situation.<br />
<br />
Since my car accident, I have dealt with lower back muscle spasms, which eventually go away, but leave me sick and sweating... I can't imagine having to deal with that sort of pain constantly.