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Started by Birdnerd on 04/19/2019 8:01pm

I had harrington rod surgery done in 1981. At that time my two bottom vertebrae were not fused. Fast forward to 2009 and I had surgery to fuse the two vertebraie due to pain from degenerative disk disease. The pain before the 2009 surgery was nothing compared to the pain I am in, now. I've been taking Norco and Tizinidine for many years. I have undergone physical therapy. I have also undergone probably 2 dozen spinal injectons. The last two injections that were done last month involved burning of the nerves in my back. It was done on both sides of my spine. I have severe osteoarthritis in my spine, hips, knees and neck. On top of the opiod and muscle relaxant, I am now also taking Advil every 4 hours. I use a heating pad, and sleep with a heating blanket. Because of the severity of my pain I am seeing a therapist. When I went to my therapist's office last week I was in so much pain that I was crying and telling her that I can't take it any more. I have depression/anxiety. My therapist told me that I need to go and see another spinal doctor/surgeon. I've done everything that my pain specialist has told me to do these past few years. But, I don't feel any better after having gone through the injections, therapy, etc. I am much worse off now than before I started seeing my pain specialist. I was told many years ago by my then surgeon that I had flatback syndrome and would need to undergo a revision surgery. But, before that was done I had to undergo the physical therapy, first; which I did. After undergoing the pt, I went back to my surgeon who told me that I did not need the surgery as I have arthritis. I felt like i've been betrayed.I was in shock and walked out of his office in tears. I had high hopes of leading a normal life, again, going back to work, etc. My question is this. Does one have to have flattback syndrome in order to have the rod removed? What else can be done for my pain? What do you think the new spine surgeon will tell me? I know many people who've had their rods removed and had the revision done. They are no longer on opioids or narcotics. Some are iust taking tylenol; if even that. I feel as if i'm living in a prison of pain. The only time that i'm not in pain is when i'm asleep.

Thank you for taking the time to read my story. Any advice, feedback or help would be greatly appreciated at this time, especially from anyone who has, or is in the same situation, right now.

Thank you,


Bent but not broken.

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Hi Birdnerd — if I were you, I would definitely go see another spine doctor! So many new recommendations are available and you have so much pain and so many questions — it sounds like you need a second opinion!! There are articles on this site about second opinions which may be helpful. Best wishes! Let us know how you’re doing!


Thank you very much for your input, Bonnie. I am going to be doing just that. I went to my pcp and am being referred to a new pain specialist, for a second opinion. It's something that should have been done, sooner. I apologize for the longwinded post. I'm just frustrated at the moment. The pain doctor's office called me yesterday about making an appointment. But, unfortunately I was already at another doctor, and missed their voicemail. I tried to call the office back as soon as I got home, to no avail. I will try again, on monday. My family and friends are very hopeful that i'll finally get my rod removed. A lot of people are praying for me. Yes, I do have a lot of questions. lol But, that is what friends are for. I will keep everyone abreast as things happen. Have a great day, and Happy Mother's Day to all of you moms out there. <3


Hi, Birdnerd —if you still can’t reach the new pain management doctor, try going to their office to discuss your appointment with the front desk directly!! Can’t hurt!! I’m glad you are seeking a second opinion — if this isn’t helpful, don’t stop there, try another until you find the best and right one! Best wishes!