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Severe Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Even After Surgeries

Good Evening, I am 32 years old and I was diagnosed with Severe Spinal Stenosis of the lumbar spine in 2005 at which time I was 19 it started at L4-5 and they set me up with P/T 3xs a week, antiinflammatory meds, muscle relaxers, apply heat, ice and rest because I was far too young for surgery and/or opiates. I have worked as a CNA since 1999 because I became a mom at a very young age and wanted to start my nursing programs to better our lives. But, after about 7 months of no improvement they decided to start a tins unit at home and use while up moving around and weight restriction of no more than 10lbs for 6 more months. Fast forward some after several years of PT every other day, weigh restrictions, rest, tins unit, meds, nerve blocks  epidural injections, pain management team, ice,heat, muscle rub, soaking in baths, you name it I done it all. My husband felt worthless because he couldn't take it away and I was ready to just give up I felt helpless not being able to go out an enjoy daily life with my child, had to cut my work hours down, dropped out of my nursing classes, ended up losing control of my bowel an bladder still no help from doctors and hospitals until I made an appointment with our local sports doc I took in my MRI films an reports by this time in 08 I am walking with a cane an some days not moving at all, he said I am sending you straight to a neurosurgeon and within the week I traveled 4 hours one way met this neurosurgeon and he said we need to perform emergency surgery but I promise you'll be able to walk again and feel 100% better as scared as I was I felt like this was my light the end of this long tunnel so I had the surgery 8-10 hours later I was heading home. Let's say within 3 months I was right back to where I started and after more P/T, meds, heat, ice etc... Another surgery! Now, I am on pain meds and they just don't seem to work I do everything I need to because I can now no longer have the total disc replacement I so badly need because their is way too much scar tissue formed around my lumbar spine L1-2 L3-4 L5-S1-2 and it would be 50/50 chance of walking or being paralyzed. Has anyone out there been through anything like this I feel alone an worthless as ever! 


  • hvillshhvills Suzhou, ChinaPosts: 991
    What were the two surgeries you had..??
    Harry - 65 year old male...
    PLIF L4-L5-S1 due to disc degeneration... May 23, 2013
    PLIF L5-S1 due to failed fusion and broken screw... Jan 19, 2015
    Microdiscectomy, decompression L3-L4 due to herniated disc... Jan 19, 2015
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,212
    hello fallinapartat32 !

    you mentioned seeing pain management prior to your surgery.
    have you thought about pain management again?
    it is not unusual for a surgeon to refer patient back to pain management for continued high pain level post op.

    pm doctor may help take the edge off your pain and continue to monitor your spine...and also continue to keep your other doctors in the loop.

    please click on link for helpful information!
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

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  • MrNyleMrNyle Posts: 88
    edited 02/07/2017 - 11:46 PM
    So are you able to control your bladder now?  I'm around your age and my doctors told me that if I lose control of my bladder then I will have to have an emergency surgery :(
  •  I can certainly relate to some of what you've experienced, although I was a bit older at the onset of my back problems. After having a fusion, I ended up with scar tissue at L4-S1 which made corrective surgery not an option anymore. I also have multilevel stenosis in the thoracic and lumbar spine and suspect it's also in the cervical. No total loss of bladder or bowels, but I do have urgency bladder incontinence. It's so hard to go through all this when you're a young mom in the prime of your life. Spinal injections may be of some help to give you relief for a few months or radio frequency ablation. Artificial discs are out of the question for me because of all the spinal arthritis; people with one affected disc have a chance of a better outcome.

     Please don't be too hard on yourself..I know you are the best mom and wife you can be and you are doing everything you can to feel better. I've had to learn to adapt and do things differently, as well as asking for help when I need it. It sounds like you have a very supportive husband and family, and this surely makes a big difference. Another option out there when you can't have surgery is a pain pump or spinal cord stimulator. The good thing about it is that you get to have a trial first to see if it would benefit you. Of course, it doesn't help everybody and each case is different. I have a pump and SCS today and hope to have more better days than bad. Take care and best of luck to you. 
    Ol' Spiney..Micro-D L4-L5, TLIF L4-S1 -post op central HNP L4-S1,stenosis, retrolisthesis, EF, facet arthropathy, lumbar& cervical DDD. FBSS- Medtronic pain pump & SCS
  • Falling Apart 32,

    Your story frightens me because we share so much similarities. I'm around your age and currently in nursing school. About 3 months ago, I hurt my back and since then it has been a whirlwind of pain, anxiety, fear and depression. I can't imagine, actually, I can imagine how you must feel because I feel so much of it. My life revolves around my pain, my limitations. I get so sick of using my back as an excuse that I'm sure people around me are tired of it, but if they just could feel for one sec what I feel now, they probably would understand. I live in constant fear that I won't be able to walk again... that i'll never be the same again. I have about 6 months of nursing school left and have contemplated dropping out because of the pain, weakness and the embarrassment, but I've held on (not sure for how much longer). When I meet new people, and they see the way I walk, I'm so ashamed to tell them i'm in nursing school because how can someone who can barely walk be a nurse? *tears* 

    My apologies for going on about my hardship. I just want you to know you're not alone and I pray for some relief for all of us who are suffering. 

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