Pain from Failed Spinal Fusion

Ok this is a first for me as in a Blog, so please bare with me!

I’ve had 7 major back ops, have been on massive doses of OxyContin/Oxynorm and Oralmorph ect for 18yrs but now affecting mental state, can anyone help me?

The pain in back, down the leg is at it’s worst. It all started 18yrs ago when I had a prolapsed disc op which went wrong. this was followed by a metal Fusion and plastic fibre discs to L3/4/5.

After tens machine and a dorsal column stimulater which did not work, they decided to fit me with a Synchromed Pump in the stomach and a catheter in the back dripping Dia-Morphine into the Spinal Chord itself.

Anyway, this worked for 4yrs till the battery in the machine went and to my dismay (at the time) was told they they can’t take it out as it’s too dangerous it's never been taken out of someone living!

They then put me on massive dosses of Morphine and 15 other drugs to take on a daily basis.

So here I am with extreme pain still and mentally affected by all this medication which is not helping much on the pain side. Every Dr/Specialist I’ve seen recently does not want to touch me as they DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO NOW!!

All they keep saying is that I should carry on taking the pills as this is the best option, surely not? There must be someone out there can help me as I’m at my wits end and Extremely Depressed and walking around like a Zombie ( according to my wife and kids).

In the last 2months now, they have put in a New Medtronic Synchromed Pump, this time filled with half anaesthetic and Dia Morphine. However, I am left with no feeling in certain parts of the body which I can tell you, is no fun!

The pain level has dropped from a pain score of 10 to an 8 which I quess is good. I feel the brain only calculates and concerntrates on the pain Now forgetting what it was like😥

I will follow with an update in due course, but if there is anyone who can help me with my pain, PLEASE DO GET IN TOUCH xxxx

11 Replies

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  • Thats a lot of surgery on your back and far too much medication over many years. You say that the medication doesn't help much? If that's the case maybe you could try reducing some of your meds slowly to see if there's much change in your pain levels. Also have you tried conservative treatments such such as acupuncture which can help with spinal pain for a alot of people. Maybe worth a try? I find it helps me to listen to my body as in if I'm sitting and the pain gets too bad I have to walk or stand untill that gets too much then sit or lay down etc when needed. Im always on the move but that's the only way to stop my pain from getting too bad. Do you find that your tens machine helps? I give you my full sympathy as we all know how exhausting chronic pain is on this site so your definitely in the right place.

  • Thanks for your comments. I was taken off the pills in hospital over a 2 week period at the same as have the new pump put in. The pump was great for about 2 months, however, the pain started to come back again. Don't get me wrong, they are trying to up the medication in the box every couple of weeks and have many things they can do to cut my pain down, however, they will only up the outgoing of medication by 10% every month which is a Very slow process.

    I have tried Most alternative medication over the many years, to no avail 😥

  • Can you describe your pain, exactly where, type of pain (burning, stinging, dull, electric, etc), when and what makes it worse or better. Have you been checked for arachnoiditis? Also you may want to try medical cannibas.

  • The pain is across the base of my back and shooting pain down both legs with no feeling in my left leg from the knee down, the only way of describing my pain is like having a tooth out with the nerve exposed and breathing in cold air.

    As soon as I start to walk/ bend down or sit in a certain position the pain gets worse! I've tried medical cannibas however it didn't agree with me.

  • Hi. I have chronic pain in my back and shoulders. I take Zomorph and others and oral morph. I know what you're saying and it's so bloody hard to cope with. My brain has Def been affected and my words often don't come out how they should. And also a total lack of memory! Have you ever tried reiki. Yes I am a practitioner but I go for treatment too. I can generally get an amazing difference in pain. The next day is amazing but because of lack of funds I can't go much at all. If you try it it really does help. But people overcharge!

  • Agree 100% about the numb Brain and loss of shorter my memory 😥

    In reply to Reika, unfortunately it was not successful with me, however, I have been on a course the last 3 weeks called "Mindfulness" which teaches you how to block some of the pain out!

    Can't say weither it's working or not yet as its very early days of an 8 week course and the best is that it's run by the NHS. You might have to go on a waiting list though or stay tuned and I'll let you know at the end if it works.........

  • How funny, I'm just on the 7th week of Mindfullness, helps a bit!

  • Hi that awful what your going through, I have a prolapsed disk at L5-S1 it hurts like hell doesn't it!

    Where abouts are you in the UK? If your near me I'll put you in touch with Physical Therapist, I think they can help you. Also this is what I'm doing as part of my program;

    gradedmotorimagery.com

    Have a look at it, this really does help I have a hypersensitive CNS too, which is separate to the disk prolapse, following the above program has really helped bring that down. I suggest you look into it, I am very similar drugs don't work for me on the whole, in fact they made me very ill in the past.

    I think you need to seek help with your mental health as well, the fact that you are upset will make your pain even worse so you need to deal with that too, I am getting help with that eventually too, it all feeds into your pain.

    Give this approach a try, but you need to do something that will actual help, drugs just mask pain they don't fix anything you need to try & fix the best you can. Also try reading this book;

    amazon.co.uk/You-Are-Placeb...

  • I am sorry I cant help you but my thoughts are with you when you read about someone in your condition I feel lucky you sound as if you have no life at all and must be massively affecting family life I hope you have a good network of support with you family and friends the only thing I can think of is writing too one of these tv programs that do health issues I don't know how you would feel about that but they seem too get too right people for a lot of people with different illness take care ........T

  • Wow love you have had it rough thinking of you if you ever need a friend message me sometimes you feel better offloading lolxx

  • I am sorry to hear you are like this. I have sciatic agony, started on right side years ago, eased off over time, now its started up on the left side. My late father also suffered agony for years with same thing but never had a back operation and neither have I, I have read their success rate is not very good. I dont know what to suggest to you., I feel that maybe they did to many ops on you and took it to far. but then again I aint a doctor so just guessing. have found naproxine is helping me with pain, also could try medication places. with medications after a while your body becomes resistant to them and it stops working, as your own bodies resources for dealing with pain stands to one side to let the pain killers take over. its great for a while but after a while they stop working. your loss of feeling could be from the morphine, I am on this for a short time to help me with my sciatic pain, it does not touch it, but I have found it drops my appetite which has helped me to lose weight though. wonder if alternative therapy will help. There are ways of closing off pain in your brain through training. I saw my Dad do this years ago when he was in agony, as he was in the army he was taught certain things like dealing with pain without any medications, he said it was a strong willpower thing to fight it. You could try that but clearly i have not managed to do this yet myself but have tried.

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