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Frustrated, Confused, CT results. Very long sorry...

Started by backhurtsinthisarea on 08/29/2010 2:29pm


Here is my situation, please feel free to weigh in, all replies pro, con, (even the ones saying I'm an idiot :-))

I have had low back problems for a long long time, However, my chief complaint was that needles, burning type pain in the meaty part of the thigh, buttocks, and side of leg. I have been on lidoderm, norco, cream's, tens units, etc. A few years ago I tried a SCS and the trial went well so I went ahead with it. Fast forward a few months and the leads come lose and poke through my skin and I go in for immediate surgery to re anchor them (by a different Dr.) the new Dr. who did it said the first Dr. erred in the way he anchored it and even the location of the actual SCS unit and he moved that.

Now fast forward a year, back pain gets to be around the 7-8 range in the 10 pain scale and because the back pain is so bad it makes the leg pain hurt so much more that the SCS isn't really helping. Pain Dr. says he can't help me anymore and washes his hands clean. Now I have scars in the center of my back and lower back and the center of the back is where I hurt so badly, as well as the lower back. I start going to a general Dr. who gets me on some better pain meds which help, but we all know that the pain is just bad and that just dulls it for a few hours. I think that I am getting a ton of pain from all the scar tissue, but also from something wrong in that area of my back where there have been now 2 sets of anchor surgeries.

CT Results. Lumbar Spine without Contrast
Transitional S1 anatomy with mild disc degeneration at L5 S1 but no herniation or impingement

Subtle annular bulging L3-L4 and L4-L5 with no significant bony canal stenosis or descending impingement.

Mild facet degeneration L5-S1 with inferior foraminal narrowing but no exiting impingement identified.

CT Thoracic Spine without contrast

Mild multilevel disc degeneration most prominent T6-7 and T7-8 without bony canal compromise within the thoracic spine

No compression deformity within the thoracic spine with dorsal column stimulator leads extending to the level of T8 appear intact.

The questions I have.
1) Why can't I get anyone to take this thing out of me? I see plenty of research and patients who say that SCS's stop working or other pain makes it so bad that it is no longer effective. Been to 3 Dr's who say the leads are still intact (through an x ray they were saying this) (more recently at CT scan the radiologist said they were intact

2) While I'm in the Midwest, where can I go or send my films and records to and have someone say either I'm not bad enough or that something can be done.

3) IYHO am I supposed to be in this kind of pain? I have CT's from 2 years ago and previously there was nothing but things with L5-S1 so all the other ones are new.

Opinions, advice, anything please.

Thanks so much.

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3 Responses


I'm sorry your in such pain!! I'm no doctor so my response comes with my own experience and no professional training. Ur neck mri's look pretty darn good!! And the only area that I can see on your lumbar mri that has any issue is the l5/s1 with inferior foraminal narrowing but it doesn't cause any nerve impingement which is good news. Best thing to have next is an emg study to determine if their is any acute or choronic l5/s1 radiculopathies. I know what its like to have leg pain. Drs want to be able to correlate a patients pain with a particular path to the vertebra that is causing problems. Such as where on ur legs produces pain that correlates with a certain root nerve compression. I would request to have an emg study done. Keep me posted, take care


I meant to say thoracic, NOT cervical lol


Thanks for the reply.

So here is my update.
Had SCS removed (not doing any good in there) very painful to have done, had to be awake the whole time, could hear the removing of the anchors and feel the intense pressure for them.

Have some On-Q ball attached to me now which has antibiotics and lidocaine for the scar area, but the pain is intense (5 hours post op)

Next plan is for PP trial and if the trial goes ok go ahead with that, if it doesn't go ok, no idea what to do next. I also have 0 script coverage so PP may not be the way to go as what good is it if I can't afford to pay for the medicine to go inside it.