*****FROM ABC NEWS MEDICAL UNIT*****
Hi lampasas1006 and thank you for your question. Here is an answer from Christopher Chisholm, M.D., Medical Director, Comprehensive Pain Management Specialists, La Jolla, CA:
Your situation is not unlike many Americans who have had surgical intervention in the past only to have continued problems with their spine. You could be describing failed back syndrome and it is very complex. In deciding what to do next it is important to determine where your pain is originating from. Many patients have spinal abnormalities but have no symptoms so having a diagnosis of spondylolithesis, or a slippage in your spine, may not necessarily be the actual underlying cause of your symptoms. Once a reasonable cause has been determined then a course of action can be planned. For example, if it has been determined that the deterioration and degeneration of the neighboring segments in your spine is the cause of your symptoms then you may be a candidate for a stabilization procedure like you have described or even perhaps an artificial disc replacement. However, if your symptoms are not due to this then a stabilization procedure is unlikely to help and management of your pain symptoms would be the most reasonable course of action. This could include utilizing a pain pump or perhaps a spinal cord stimulator to treat the underlying chronic pain syndrome which has developed. Making these determinations is never easy. I would encourage you to obtain the opinions of two surgeons who specialize in complex spine disorders as well as a board certified pain specialist. At Scripps in La Jolla we have providers with specialized training to deal with these types of problems but it is important to find a provider with which you feel most comfortable with prior to proceeding with any intervention.
Christopher Chisholm MD
Comprehensive Pain Management Specialists
La Jolla, CA