anyone have spine fusion surgery

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by lbuchanan3, Apr 7, 2007.

  1. lbuchanan3

    lbuchanan3 New Member

    Hi all,

    I really need some input. I have both Fibromyalgia, and Arthritis of the spine. I also have a compressed C5-6 disc that has been pinching a nerve on both my right and left side with radiating pain down both arms.

    I also have been positively diagnosed with Carpal tunnel in both hands. I recently went through a round of 3 epidural shots in my neck and lower back. I still have numbness in both hands, particularly when I am holding up a phone or type or write for more than about 15 minutes and when I wake up in the morning. The nerve pain is also coming back in both hands only two months since having the shots so my pain doctor told me I needed to talk to a surgeon. My neck and back had no response to the epidural shots, and I had only about a 20% reduction in the pain in my hands, but that was something for me, at least it has allowed me to turn my doorknob to get in the house and to cut my own steaks the past few months.

    I am so unsure how much of the pain is from the nerves in my neck, vs Fibro, Have any of you had this procedure done and if so what was the result. Did it help.

    Oh by the way, I have also had a neurologist tell me that they would not recommend carpal tunnel surgery because he felt that with Fibro and Diabetes that the nerve pain I had may be more involved than what a carpal tunnel surgery would solve. Now I am even more unsure about neck surgery and what to do. Should I put it off? Should I go for it and see what happens?

    I really would appreciate anyone responding to this that had Fibro at the time of a neck or back fusion, good and bad results are both welcome.

    I also have severe arthritis throughout my spine with lots of bone spurs, and a herniated disc in my lumbar as well. So I will be consulting on at least two surgeries. My neck first then probably later my lumbar disc as I also have problems with my hips and legs from the one lower in my back.

    Thanks for any and all input,
    Linda B
  2. lbuchanan3

    lbuchanan3 New Member

    Did you have Fibro at the time of the surgery or did that come up later in your life? I appreciate your comments and hope for that kind of outcome myself but I am concerned that with the Fibro the muscles will keep me from having a good outcome. I am hoping to get comments from someone who had Fibro at the time of the fusion surgery.

    My husband had a C5-6 surgery in November and like you he experienced immediate relief, but he did have a long problem dealing with the hip they took bone from and is skeptical that I would be able to walk after with the problems I already have in both hips. He also only had some minor numbness in his right hand prior to surgery, but because he is a heart patient and has heavy duty check ups twice a year they found his disc problem right away before he had experienced any pain. I on the other hand have been complaining to my doctors about numb hands for probably 10 years now and have been going through severe pain issues for the past 3 years and only found out about my back about 6 months ago.

    But thanks again for your input, it gives me hope. I haven't been able to work since 2004 and would love to get enough pain relief to be able to work again someday.

    Linda B.
  3. lbuchanan3

    lbuchanan3 New Member

    Thanks for the comments. I wish you well on your surgery.

    Yes I had a conduction study done, but the Neurologist I saw was pretty much a quack. He told me that I only had carpal tunnel, no other nerve issues. That kept my primary care physician from giving me a back x-ray for 13 months til I finally refused to take a medication that my dermatologist wanted me to take until I had a back x-ray. She kept saying it was just my Fibromyalgia and the pain would be taken care of by muscle relaxers and my biofeedback exercises and some tender point massage.

    When she did the x-ray it was readily apparent that all of my neck vertebrae had spurs and that I had a problem at c5-6. Yes the MRI I had done afterward was what confirmed the pinched nerves on both the right and left of that vertebra and showed the bone spurring throughout the rest of my spine. I have a herniated disc in my lumbar that has only recently in the past few months started having the pain issues down my legs. I do beleive that some of the numbness in my hands is carpal tunnel, at least the thumb, index and middle finger, but I get numbness in all five fingers, palm and outer hand area up to my wrist and severe mobility issues in my thumbs on both hands with pain that makes me gasp at times.

    My pain doctor is the one that sent me to the surgeon, he does not believe that surgery will do a lot for me but does believe that without it I will get worse. He said he was not sure the surgeon would do anything for me though because of the extent of the arthritis in my back. He said I may have to wait for the pain to completely immobilize me because he said that with arthritis sometimes the spine is made more unstable by fusions and will cause more complications later, Have you ever heard of that?
  4. Lumare41

    Lumare41 New Member

    I also had spondylothesis.I had spinal surgery in Sept.I had to wear a customized brace for 5months which made me look like the michelon tire guy.I had a grade 2 slip and also had to have the L5 disc removed.I also had an illiectomy the larege bones on the base of your spine sorta like the back hip bones, had overgrown and developed hairline fractures from the slip. I had 4 rods and eight screws./they also could not put in a metal cage between the disc so just packed it with the bone from the illiectomy. I am supposed to be wearing a step down brace but ins. will only pay half.My half would be 600 dollars.I still have pain and walk with a cane.My pain upset cuz my neursurgeon sent me home with percocet!! I have been on 0.5 of norco for 5 years and he won't up it.

    I want to change pain docs but am afraid.I also have all the disc in my neck and back are bulging.Had a disc fusion of c4c5 2years ago.and severe athritis in my neck. any suggestions on how to aproach my pain doc? with the surgery pain it's just not working.He say's your managing fine even though I tell him I'm not.

    If you need surgery to stabilize your spine I would seriosly
    consider it I'd rather be walking with a cane then in a wheelchair.Good luck and god bless
  5. MoM2TKO

    MoM2TKO New Member

    I had a discectomy and fusion done at c5-6 and 6-7 with nerve impingment done 7 months ago, and I do have fibro(was diagnosed in 2005). I have a neurosurgeon who did the surgery and came through it with great results for about the first 3-4 months. I must tell you honestly the pain is nowhere what it was before, but I am having neck pain, and severe headaches. The numbness down my arm and in my hand has never left, the surgeon said it may take up to 2 yrs. or never heal.

    I would do it again for sure and will probably have to because I have degeneration and spurs etc. other places on my spine. I understand how nervous you are about your decision, having had to make it myself recently, and if you have anymore questions ask any time. Good luck, and I hope you feel as good as you can!!

  6. swehling

    swehling New Member

    When I first learned I had a herniated disc 10 years ago, I was terified of spine fuse. Still am! I talked to several people who had had it done and they said they would never have let the dr. do the surgery had they known that several years down the line it would become a nightmare. You can't take this type of surgery back! You will never have the same use again. I had a lamenactomy and now have degenerative bone and disc, but if a dr. said they wanted to fuse me --no way!! I had radiofrequency done 3 weeks ago and it seems to have helped (this proceedure is not permanent and has realativly low risk). I also has a back brace made, for times I really need extra support from stress. Personally, I would do everything I could to avoid spinal fusion. Do as much research as you can before having this done.
  7. texasmaia

    texasmaia New Member

    Just had C4 to C7 grafted and that good ol titanium rod placed. I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

    I'd been going in for my lower back all last summer. When they finally decided to do the MRI, (which shows 2 herniated discs down low) I requested an MRI of my neck also. I'd had pain there for years. My doc said sure.

    MRI showed I had no disc material left, the bone was sitting on my spinal cord and I needed surgery immediately, or I risked severing the cord with a bump or quick movement. YIKES!!!! What would I have done if I hadn't requested that????

    My family doc, (he's the one who dxd the FMS) was in tears when he told me. I've had him for about three years now. He said he was sooooo sorry, that he had thought the pain was fibro pain.

    Heck it wasn't his fault, the three docs before him that told me it was caused from sleeping on my stomach were the ones at fault.

    Anyway.....I am doing much better. I also have carpal tunnel and have found it to be much less irritating since the surgery. The wrist braces help if it gets bad.

    I also don't have the lower back pain as severe since then. Am putting that surgery off awhile, for financial reasons.

    Hope you find some relief.

  8. twitcher

    twitcher New Member

    I had a fusion of c-5/6. This is what triggered the fibro.....or whatever it is that I have.