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Lower back pain and swelling after surgery

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My wife had surgery on her back a year ago on the lower spinal area, they realeased a trapped nerve. She is still in pain and sometimes can't walk? She has seen a doctor dozens of times and the pain clinic and given strong types of tablets I.e morphine?. She also has a tens machine, nothing seems to work and everyone she has seen has more or less said she has to live with it. I'm really worried about her as she had to look after my two kids whilst I'm at work, is there anything else we can do? She is really struggling and I'm close to quitting my job to help her, she is that bad.
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replied August 24th, 2010
Extremely eHealthy
hi GFUNK
have the doctors done any testing lately. have they done an mri or ct scan? what kind of surgery did she have? was it a discectomy or a fusion? about 10% of surgical patients develop scar tissue and experience pain after surgery. did the dr say anything about that? did the dr. mention a pain killing electronic device called the spinal cord stimulator. please give us as much info as you can so we can make some suggestions.....pete
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replied August 24th, 2010
When I get home from work I will get all the info I can get and repost, many thanks for your reply! I will reply back this evening.
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replied August 25th, 2010
hi pete , sorry for delay,
my wife had a partial-disectomy a year ago, shes had an epidural block last december, it only worked for one month, she had an mri and showed the op was successful but showed scar tissue slightly pushing on the nerve. but it was not enough to operate again? shes been using a tens machine for 8 weeks but does not help much only short-term, she has been prescribed morphine 10mg every 12 hours, duloxetine 20mg working up to 60mgs in the next month, but it has caused migranes , sickness and insomnia. she was on anti-depression tablets but have been told the duloxetine have these in it. the doctor has never mentioned the spinal cord stimulator, the only thing he has recommended is the tablets and pain clinic which do the epidural block, the doctor has also recommended inner core exercises, but there is no way she can do these as it causes to much discomfort. thats about it i think, for someone of my wifes age which is 33 and is not overweight is a real problem that we want sorted out. it has taken an effect on her life and mine as it intrevenes with work , and her doing school runs, and the local council refuse to help her with disability support i.e a disability badge so she can get closer to the school and wherever she needs to go, even if it is temporary, we feel hard -done by! as she is genuinly in my eyes disabled at the moment. thanks for reading and listening to me moan .i do appreciate your help.
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replied August 25th, 2010
Extremely eHealthy
hi gfunk
i too have scar tissue. it forms when the surgeon cuts you and the scar tissue developes as part of the healing process.
exercise should be tried to try and loosen it up. if your wife has trouble with land physical therapy i would ask your dr about getting a prescription for aqua physical therapy. the buoyancy of the water makes you almost weightless when you stand in 3.5 ft of water. it allows you to move better. now i dont mean water aerobics. the aqua therapy is done by a licenced physical therapist. she will have the patient walk in the water plus do strenthening and stretching. its the only exercise i can do also.
the trouble with scar tissue is you are in danger of getting more of it every time they operate.
if water therapy doesnt help then get two opinions from surgeons who specialize on the spine. if you can go to the dr with her and take notes. a second set of ears is really helpful. its hard for your wife to think straight about all this stuff.
it sounds like steroid injections dont do the job for her. i would stop them.
as far as meds not many really do the job. the narcotics give depression and side effects. she can certainly try more or different drugs but all they will do is reduce the pain just a bit. try to find the one that has the least side effects.
her situation can be fixed so dont get down. i think eventually she will be much better....keep us posted and best of luck.....pete
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replied August 25th, 2010
Extremely eHealthy
oh ....i forgot to mention that the electronic stimulator is only considered when all surgical options have been exhausted.`
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