Practical Pain Management Community Advice

Still in major pain after 2 back and 2 neck fusions.

From: Miss Nancy - 7 years 13 weeks ago

I was hoping to get someones input or speak so someone who may have a similar experience. I have had a tri level fusion in lower back L3-S1 one of my screws broke and had to have a second surgery to fix this. Then I had a neck fusion and 2 years later I ended up with another fusion due to the stress from the other fusion. I am still in a lot of pain and still have to take a lot of pain med's to keep me out of pain. Has anyone had these type of fusions and have you had to continue to have surgeries after your fusions. Also I have been on the pain meds for 5 years now. This was all due to a motor cycle accident i had 5 years ago. Please email me your experiences and if you may take an affective pain med that works better than percocet 10/325. I have also had the shots and they do not help at all. My email is Also Physical Therapy has always made it worse.

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Hi Miss Nancy, sorry to hear the problems your encountering. I was involved in a car accident in 1979 and fractured my adontiod ( the bone you break when you hang yourself). it wasn't discovered right away. it actually took a second accident five years later to find it. i also played baseball for three months with it broken. anyways, i had it fused through the back of my neck ( C1 and C2) with a bone from my hip with a wire attached. 1 1/2 years later, it was determined the fusion didn't take on the top, plus my wire broke therefore i had a second operation to repair. it. i lived with moderate pain for about 12 years until i injured my back. i was employed as a forest fire fighter which was probably a bad choice for my condition. i went to chiropractors massage therapists, acupuncture for the next 10 years taking over the counter meds. nothing really helped. in 2006-7, i had enough of thepain in my right shoulder, down my arm and lower back that i went to see my family doctor concerning this. he sent me for a cat scan. when he read the results, he looked at me and said what happened. you neck is a mess. soon after i had cervical spine operation through the front where they fused my C3- C6 with a bone from my other hip and added a plate with screws. 3 1/2 months later it was determined l a had loose screw so they had to go back in and fix it. once inside they realized the fusion was solid and they just removed the plate. from these two surgeries i now have nerve damage on the side of my neck where i can't eat, speak, swallow sleep properly. the pain in my shoulder and arm is gone but my back hurts like hell. my specialist after reviewing my MRI will not operate becasue he does not see any suucccess in removing my pain.

so yes i've had 4 neck surgeries plus 2 bone grafts. i not comparing my pain to yours but i feel for you. i am now taking 3- 4 40mgs of oxycontin/day plus Tylenol 3's. it relieves some pain but never 100%. i see a chiropractor which does help.

if you want to chat further let me know

i hope you feel better soon


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Herbal tech -ginger roots, heat it in the stove. Smash it with a hammer or any hard object to make it into a poultice. Make sure its hot enough but not to cause any burns. Wrap it in a seran wrap so that it does not stick to your skin. apply oil on the affected area (any oil, even cooking oil will do. the purpose is to lower down temperature) and pack the ginger poultice on cervical and/or lumbar area with a tape or bandage and wear it over night. Make sure that the heat is tolerable and would not burn the skin. (This technique is a lot more superior than the interferential therapy).

wet cupping technique - (materials cupping glass - 2 votive candle glass for the neck, 2 medium size drinking glass.) Stick a small size cotton ball on the inside bottom of the votive candle glass; use a medium size cotton ball on the inside bottom of the bigger glasses. Use a small amount of lotion to stick the cotton balls into the glasses. For the lower back, approximate the position about 2 inches lateral to the lumbar spine, at the level of the circular depression (sciatic notch). With a lancet or a sterilized pin, make a small cut on the skin enough to make a small bleed. Now get the 2 glasses with cotton balls and lit it with a lighter. With a flame inside the glass apply the same carefully on top of the sciatic notch over the small bleed making sure that the glass is pressed gently allowing no air or gap so it will create a vacuum that will extinguish the fire inside the glass causing it to stick to the area like a suction taking with it a small amount of flesh with some blood in it. Do the same with the 2nd glass on the opposite side and keep it for 20 minutes and/or until they fall off. If not, to take them off, do not pull off, just press gently at the side of the glass and they will easily disengage. Clean the skin with wipes very gently and if there is caked blood use the universal precaution. If the skin appears reddish and sensitive to touch apply a small amount of toothpaste on the area (or anything with menthol in it). In the cervical area, the location is about 2 inches laterally at the level of the protruding bone when you slightly bend your head and neck which is C-7 (cervical 7).

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Miss Nancy,
The only advice I have to offer is something that has helped me quite a bit. I, too, have had multiple neck surgeries to repair cervical disk, and a lower back surgery for the lumbar area. I take opiate medications and medication for nerve conduction and depression. Even though I take very large amounts of all of these, it still feels as if I am eating candy, as it applies to their effectiveness. They actually help more than it seems as if they do, because I would not function at all without them. But the point I am making, is they do NOT take my pain away, nor will they ever be able to unless a way to increase my dosage dramatically without causing respiratory depression is found. The thing that does take my pain away is the epidural injections I receive, along with the radiofrequency and other injections which burned the nerve endings so they no longer send pain signals to the brain. These injections are the ONLY thing that keep me able to function at all.
Please talk to your primary care doctor, pain doctor, or anesthesiologist, and see if they feel one, or all, of these epidural injections could help alleviate some, or all, of your pain. Without having my, as needed, injections, my pain would be intolerable. Because I am able to have them, I can have some semblance of a life.

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0 reports 70% of back operations are NOT successful and leave the patient with considerable pain.

Much of that is due to inflammation, pinched nerves, etc.

I suggest you try Reunion AI ... a topical pain reliever so you don't metabolize any meds into your system.

Many Chiros are using Reunion AI and several of the Reviews are posted with their names.

I realize you posted this several years ago, but perhaps recent readers can benefit.

Good Luck!

Karl Douglass, Pres.
Pure Biomed, LLC