A (unique) medical condition - need advice
sdyck at interserv.com
sdyck at interserv.com
Sun Sep 15 15:18:47 EST 1996
I'm looking for clues on where to go next with my longstanding medical condition(s) including some based on immune system
problems. I would very much appreciate any advise on where I might find academic or clinical help.
I'm a 54 year old female with a congenital malformation of the lumbosacral spine. Physical therapy began at age 5. Degenerative disc
disease first noted at age 14. Physical therapy and hospitalizations off and on entire life. First surgery 1973 - double internal fixation
fusion L4 thru sacrum, placement of 3 facet screws and 3 bone grafts from right iliac crest. Second surgery 1979 - laminectomy abd
partial discectomy L3-4.Two other disc spaces explored through lamina windows and removal of hemangioma from spinal cord. Brief
paralysis followed surgery. Pain control attempted with tender point injections, epidural steroids, TENS unit, and acupuncture. Unable
to sit up at right angle since 1979. Gradually over the past 10 years condition has deteriorated. Instability above previous surgery
sites. Very significant arthritis, spinal stenosis (mild), due to central disc herniation, hypertrophied ligament and bone spur.
Arachnoiditis diagnosed by myelography at which time a blood patch was also done. Severe neurogenic claudication necessitates a
scooter for ambulation except for short distances. Severe muscle fibrosis of the hips. Gradual change in sensation and orientation of
legs and feet when sitting, standing or walking for any length of time. Left fibula and heel broken in January of 1996 because of this
problem - unaware foot was turned under while wlaking. CT's and MRI's reveal questionable nerve root compromise in 3 levels.
(Metal from previous surgery makes definitive diagnosis difficult.) There is pathology noted on diagnostic tests and x-rays from L2 thru
the sacrum. Other medical conditions: Allergy problems - atopy, eczema, and mild asthma. Have been receiving immunotherapy
injections for over 22 years and have been advised to continue for rest of my life. Especially a problem with mold which produces an
autoimmune-like response including low grade fever, swollen glands, etc.
The only drug therapy which has given relief from back and leg pain was use of NSAIDS. Very mild limited use resulted in intestinal
bleeding. A colonoscopy revealed chronic nonspecific inflammatory bowel disease. (Lesions in ileum and colon.) Also mild
diverticulosis and IBS. Have been advised to not take any NSAIDS. Use of any possibly addicting medication for pain is not a
Most successful therapy to date for pain control is once a week full body message for relaxation and maintenance of general health
and well being. The LMT also is trained in deep friction message for muscle fibrosis of the hips. Most of the nodules are located at
muscle attachments directly on bone and are also entraping the sciatic nerve on both sides. This therapy gives some increased
mobility for up to 48 hours after treatment. 10 mg of Elavil is taken at bedtime which has helped sleep.
Orthopedic surgeon feels all he can offer is global (anterior and posterior) fusion to decompress the spinal cord and correct instability.
Because of previous extensive surgery, arachnoiditis, past history of respiratory arrest with general anesthesia, asthma, etc., and not
a clearcut indication of improvement would occur, this is presently not an option for me ...but may be in the future.
1) Is there any other surgery (less invasive) that could be done to offer some pain relief and slow down deterioration?
2) Is there any homeopathic treatments proven in the past to be of help in this setting?
3) Are there any studies ongoing with failed backs such as mine? If so, could my participation help others in the future, if not myself?
4) Could I have another undiagnosed disease process (collagen disease, lupus-like syndrome???) going on which is causing some of
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sdyck at intersev.com
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