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Back Problems Message Board


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I am seeing a different surgeon because my insurance at work changed and he wasn't covered. This is the first MRI post surgery. I had xrays before this. One at one month, three months and six months post surgery. I was told my hardware was stable and I was fusing. I brought up concern to the surgeon who did the surgery at six months post op. I was experiencing a lot of pain. He told me all was well and keep my one year appointment. I did receive relieve by having the surgery as my nerves were being crushed but the hip and lower back pain was still there. Before surgery I could barely walk because my nerve pain in my calves. So at least that is better. I did smoke before and after my surgery. The surgeon in seeing now told me he would not help me if I continued to smoke. I am now on Chantix and stopped.
Thank you so much. I know I had the slippage before surgery. I guess he stabilized it and left it at that grade two? I had severe stenosis. I didn't sleep well last night. Electric shocks continually running up my back. I used my little store bought electric pulse thing. Maybe I should not use it?? I have to go to work as I have missed so many days. I want to put in notice but I need my insurance. I work with my husband so he helps me as much as possible. I've lost two family members in a month and my stress is high. I do wonder what other tests will be ordered. From what I read surgery is not recommended for someone with arachnoiditis. My worst pain is my right "hip" area. I have to use my cane because stairs kill me. I can't drive for long because the pain, so I don't drive unless I have to. I just turned 41 and I can't imagine living another thirty years like this. I'm praying that I can get some kind of relief. I feel pretty hopeless right now.
I forgot to mention that the X-Ray also mentions osteoarthritis in the SI joints. This could cause the "hip" pain but I think more likely is that it is coming from the instability of L5-S1. I have had a similar issue and am fused from L3 to S1 so I know exactly what you are describing. After the pain down the leg cleared up after the fusion healed, I developed what I thought was hip pain when walking...but, it was due to issues with the SI joints and various muscles that were not firing properly.

I think you first need to get the lack of fusion worked out and then see what you are left with.

Usually more surgery is not recommended if you do have arachnoiditis, but it all depends. If the Grade II spondylolisthesis is stable, it may not be an issue that needs to be addressed.

You are dealing with so much right now. I found that if I just took it one day at a time I could deal with issues. When looking ahead, it all seems insurmountable, but if you just focus on making today the best you can, you will get through it. This is the worst part of it, when you are just waiting...waiting on appointments, waiting on test results, etc. I felt like my life was led in one month increments while leading up to my last surgery.

Try not to overthink things. Your issues are very complex and you may have to see a number of specialists before you find the one who can help you.
Hi Anj, I'm gmak and I have adhesive Arachnoiditis. I didn't know I had it but i went to a new NS also because I had such severe debilitating pain. He ordered an MRI with and without contrast and told me the one with contrast was the important one where he could see my tethered cord and arach better. Though I had other problems like disc protrusions and stenosis and a small spondylolisthesis he recommended no surgery because I had very advanced arach. Later, I had another MRI of my sacral spine with contrast and we found I have a Tarlov cyst which is not uncommon with Arachnoiditis and the NS may want to check your sacral spine with an MRI with contrast in S1-2 because of the possible perineural cyst on thecal sac the radiologist saw. CT's are not invasive to the spine but many times the dr will order a CT/ myelogram and I would avoid a myelogram because it does require a lumbar puncture and dye is injected into the spinal fluid and gets on the cauda equina nerves. While surgery is not recommended usually with arach there are NS's that believe major causes of pain, instability and nerve compression that can be fixed surgically should be fixed to try to reduce the pain and disability such as an unfused fusion, slippages greater than grade 1, neural foraminal stenosis etc but if i had to have surgery now I would insist that my dura or thecal sac wouldn't be cut because my spinal nerves are clumped and adhered to my dura peripherally. I agree that SI joint pain is so intense and may be the cause of hip pain and while I can no longer have any sort of epidural injection now with adhesive Arachnoiditis I do get my SI joint injected with steroidal medicine by trigger point injection and it completely relieves my SI joint pain for 6 months. If you have any questions I am happy to try to answer them. I hope that you don't have Arachnoiditis. I truly understand severe pain everyday and I'm so very sorry you are hurting so badly and hope that you find a NS that knows arach and a dr willing to help relieve your pain. I didn't know for many years that I had it and worked suffering for decades not knowing what was wrong with me and missed so much work and had to lay down the second I got home and flat on the couch all weekend making me feel so inadequate but after I was diagnosed i found I wasn't inadequate but in fact just like you I was very strong almost heroic even to fight so hard to be normal with such a profound spinal cord injury. Finally the dr's did put me on medication to help reduce some of the pain. We are here for you, hang in there and please let us know any updates and what the dr says and God bless you. I forgot to say that many people I know that have arach get pain relief and some stengthening benefit from walking in the water and aqua therapy but have told me that they avoid swimming pn their tummies especially those with previous fusions and back surgeries and I found that when floating in the ocean it was the first time I was completely pain free and go now whenever I'm strong enough to make it to the beach!
[QUOTE=teteri66;5414258]There is linear scarring within the L5-S1 thecal sac, with peripheral
displacement of the nerve roots at this level. Loculated adhesions are
also present at the S1 level , possibly associated with an intrathecal
CSF loculation, versus perineural cysts at the right S1 level. This
results in mild mass effect of the traversing lower right-sided sacral
nerve roots.

I take this to mean that there is scar tissue pressing on the sacral nerve roots on the right side at the S1 level that may be one of two things...a perineural cyst or it might be CSF (cerebral spinal fluid) that has leaked out of the canal and formed little pockets or chambers in the intrathecal space...but definitely ask the doctor![/QUOTE]

I sure hope he is in a good mood, because I'm writing my list. I really appreciate the help with what to ask. It's my right side that's the worst but it gets painful on the left side as well. I can feel like a squishy area on my right "hip" lower back where the pain is. I stopped trying to use my heating pad on my lower back because I think it was making me worse. I "slept" (awake every couple hours to adjust) with a pillow under my lower back and it seemed to help some. I didn't have the electric pulse running up my back last night but the cramps in my thighs and calves about drove me nuts. I ended up taking two flexerils just to fall asleep the first time. I wonder if I should be looking into a PM doctor? I guess that's another question to add.
The SI Joint injections really helped my "hip" pain but wore off. I had my follow up today. He put me on Neurotin and I go for another round of shots on Friday. Diagnosis today is failed back surgical syndrome. Pfft. I don't even know what to say about that. I've been so exhausted. I've been working extra hard because my hubby and I work together and he does the heavy lifting, but his kidney pain is bad. So I been lifting. The PM doctor was not thrilled. Hubby will need a transplant before long...sure hope work gives me strong helper. I also hope this Neurotin works for the weird electrical waves that travel up my back and my leg pain. Fingers crossed. Hope everyone is doing well as can be.





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