1047946 tn?1332608029

Feels like vertebrates are rubbing together....

I posted this in the back pain community but was advised to post here also.

First off I'll give a little background on my back injury and on going issues. I would appreciate any input on my situation. I tend to make my posts a bit lengthy at times so thanks for listening!
While in the Marine Corps serving in Iraq during Operation Phantom Fury in Fallujah is where I initially injured my back. We were clearing houses from the roof down. I was lead man and dropped down to another roof.(all the houses and buildings are pretty much connected). A grenade landed near me. Luckily I had time to grab it and throw it to keep my platoon and I from getting killed or wounded. While this happened I slipped off the edge of the roof and fell 15 feet or so to the ground. I was able to get up and keep moving but I noticed a shooting pain down my right leg. I finished off the last few months of my tour before letting anyone know about the pain I had as it was bearable most of the time. When I returned to the states I had a mri and it showed a herniated disc at the L5-S1 level. I had shooting pain down my leg and also had foot drop that developed about 4 months after the initial incident. I had a lumbar laminectomy (sp) towards the end of 2005. My foot drop went away and I was pain free for about a year. For the last few years I have had returning pain to my butt or hip area. It has not gone further down than that. My most recent mri was this past April. My mri results showed scar tissue hitting my sciatic nerve, spinal stenosis, 2 bulging discs, and was told I had quite a bit of arthritis in my back. I have recently been feeling a new sort of pain. The easiest way to explain it is that it feel like 2 of my vertebrates are rubbing or crushing together. It is painful and also very odd feeling. I was just wondering if anyone has ever felt this feeling and if you have found anything out about it. I have a appointment with the pain clinic where I will be seeing a neurosurgeon so I want to be able to be a little bit ahead of the game by doing my research before hand. When I had my surgery they did not do a fusion. They just cut the disc off that was protruding out. That is what makes me think it may actually be the vertebrates rubbing together. When I put pressure on the area where I had the surgery the pain does elevate a bit. If this does turn out to be the problem I wonder if another surgery to where they fuse the vertebrates together would help. I know they now have artificial discs and also wonder if this could be a option. I know I will find out a lot more once I see the neurosurgeon but I feel some of the best advice comes from someone that has been there. Also, do you recommend anything to help with my back problems? I have had the injections, accupuncture, pt, use heat and cold, a tens unit, exercise and stretching.
Thanks for listening and if you can advise me with any questions to ask at my appointment I would appreciate it. Also, any ideas on the crushing, pressure, or rubbing pain I am feeling?
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1093638 tn?1257955788
I have the same sensation you are talking about. I had a discectomy L4-L5 in 1992 after an injury at work. I am a nurse. At times I feel my spine "scrubbing" together. Like a grinding feeling. I did go back and read my OR report and there was no fusion performed during my surgery. So I have lost 2 inches in height and I know there is nothing in place of the disc they took out. I am on a methadone regimen and have been for years. 10 mg 2-3 times a day but it is a pain in the butt to keep Drs even thought I have never had a bad UA and have taken them as prescribed. If you happen to find out what is going on please let me know and I'll do the same. Good Luck!

Helpful - 0
874521 tn?1424116797
was methadone able to remain therapeutic all those years or do you need to keep increasing?
and do you also have neuropathy?
Helpful - 0
547368 tn?1440541785
Welcome to the Pain Management Forum. You have asked some very good questions.

I'd like to first thank you for defending our freedom and risking your life and limb for all of us.  We owe a huge debt of gratitude to you and all our soldiers. I'm glad you are home.

I have not had spinal surgery. I would however assume that the rugging feeling you are experiencing is coming from your suspicion that at least two structures are rubbing together. An MRI will provide you with the correct answers.

In my opinion I would avoid additional surgeries if at all possible. The more the spine is manipulated and or repaired the more apt you are to have on-going pain and activity issues. Most good surgeons will agree with my statement.

The treatments you listed can be effective in reducing pain and inflammation. We all respond differently to these procedures. TENS Units acupuncture, steroidal injections and physical therapy was a good starting place but apparently not effective in your case. Have they suggested a nerve block or ablation? That has been beneficial for some ppl.

Finally if all else fails and a surgeon agrees, consider spine surgery. Investigate the success rate of the surgeon, seek a second opinion and educate yourself on the pros and cons of the procedure. Don't go into it blindly. Education is your best tool in the decision process.  

Please keep in touch and let us know how you are doing. We will look forward to your next post. Hopefully one of our members will have more suggestions and information to share with you.

Best of luck and take care,
Helpful - 0
1047946 tn?1332608029
Jehemnes.......Thanks for the reply. I have a appointment with a pain management clinic sometime here soon. Not sure the exact date yet as they are in the process of setting it up. I will let you know what I find out. I haven't lost any height but this sensation just started a somewhat recently. From doing research it seems as the best option if surgery is recommended would be the artificial disc. I'm going to use surgery as a last resort though. I will keep you informed!

Tuck.......First off, I'm so sorry for what your father, you, and your family are going through. You will all be in my prayers!
Thank you so much for all of the great information and the warm welcome to the community! I am going to wait and see what the pain clinic and neurosurgeon say before I even think about surgery. I just don't want to wait too long as I did in the past for surgery as that ended up causing me more problems. I will ask about the nerve block or ablation. Thanks again and I hope everything turns out well for your father.
Thank you so much for caring enough to give advice to a total stranger!
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
First of all Thank Your For Serving for us. You are a hero. I am so sorry you are suffering with this pain. I know what it is like because I have had 7 surgeries on my back and neck. Most likely they will want to fuse that area.  They usually try the first time to go in and clean out the rupture and get the nerve back in place. It sounds like you have instability especially if you have any leg or hip pain. About 1 year of relief sounds about right. I too have the stenosis and that will give you a good amount of leg pain and possibly foot pain down the road.  The arthritis is most likely above and below the surgery site, it often develops after surgery as well as scar tissue.  Try to keep healthy. If you smoke DON'T, it prevents you from healing and can affect the sedation used during surgery.  The healing process after a fusion especially the lumbar region is tough one. I did pretty well, and had a few rough months with a walker. Pain for a few months but they said it would be much worse and longer than it was.  It can be a 6 month recovery.  So the crushing or pain when you touch that area is in-stability.  They may want to do the surgery right away so be prepared.  Be very cautious while waiting for that appointment.  Again preparing for surgery is key.  Eat well, protein, good carbs, no soda.  There is a book, probably many books "Preparing for Surgery" or do more research on the internet. Don't focus so much on what the problem is focus more on how to prepare. And be positive. Take care and good luck.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
First, thank you so much for your service.  I hope you are finding some relief.  I fell about 12 years ago from a high ladder. I got up, but was really shaken.  Eight years of spinal injections hasn't helped.  Had an MRI that indicated that besides degenerative disc disease, I have a slanted vertebrae rubbing against another. Things got worse after seeing a chiropractor, whose assistant jerked a belt around my waist, a technique he invented to straighten out the spine.  Met with a spine surgeon, who wanted to fuse my lower spine together, entering in through the abdomen, replacing the discs, then finishing with minimally evasive surgery on the back where they hold it all in place with screws.  I am seeing a pain management doctor who is suggesting burning the nerves (radio frequency ablation).  I'm going to try that next.  Hope it works.  Hope you have found some relief.  If you try the nerve burning procedure, please let us know how it works.  Teacher in Pain
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