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Forum Name: Spinal problems and back pain

Question: Chronic Lower Back Pain


 Jofama - Wed Jan 02, 2008 6:19 pm

I had a L5_S1 Lower Lumbar Spinal Fusion four years ago. The fusion healed well, but I continue to have sharp chronic lower back pain. A C.T. scan done on October 26,2007 showed a Lower Left L-5 Lamina Fracture. The written report stated it was an old stress fracture. I discussed this today with the Surgeon who performed the Spinal Fusion.He said that there was no need for any surgery on the fractured Lamina. He also said that there appeared to be some new bone growth in that area around the Lamina. He said that the cause of my pain was probably Arthritis. My question is how can the fractured Lamina be no cause for concern ?. I have tried various medications for pain control, including Tramadol, Percoset, Vicodin. None of these worked . I started taking 30 mg. per day of Methodone three weeks ago. Only in the past 6 days have I felt some relief for the pain.
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Thu Feb 14, 2008 1:23 pm

User avatar Hello Jofama,

Generally, the spine is held together so strongly by the ligaments and muscles that a small fracture does not need surgical repair. It will often heal just fine on its own, although it can cause pain.

Unfortunately, back injuries tend to result in chronic back pain, even if surgery is done. Arthritis does set in and can be difficult to treat. Physical therapy may be of some benefit. If you begin to have shooting pains down your legs this may be a sign of a nerve compression that may need other treatment so you should see your doctor again.

One other thing you may want to look into is leg length discrepancies. This is probably more common than we think. Even a small difference in leg lengths can cause on going back pain. Some relief can be felt by using a shoe lift to correct the differences in length.

Best wishes.

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