Severe Spinal Stenosis Prognosis — Scope | Disability forum
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Severe Spinal Stenosis Prognosis

Davewm1 Community member Posts: 8 Listener
I wonder if anyone can give me some advice?

In 2018 I had a Laminectomy Operation to relieve pressure on my lower back, L3/4 and 5. The operation was, initially a success but after about 5/6 months the pain returned. The consultant arranged for another MRI Scan which showed that scar tissue had formed around the operation site.

I was then diagnosed with Chronic Heart Disease and underwent a Triple Bypass and Mitral Valve Repair. (I’ve also now been diagnosed with Heart Failure)

When I next saw the back Consultant he said there was no point in further back surgery as more new scar tissue would form each time and with the diagnosis of Heart Problems it wouldn’t be wise to undertake further back surgery. He arranged for me on two separate occasions over 6 months to have Facet Joint Injections. Unfortunately they didn’t work.

I was then told that the Pain/Spinal MDT had discussed my case and suggested that I be referred to the Pain Clinic to discuss the possibility of Neuromodulation. (Spinal Cord Stimulation).

 I saw A doctor who went through the procedure of Neuromodulation with me. He gave me a very fulsome explanation as to what the procedure entailed and how it was performed. As I was still waiting for my Heart Surgery he said this would be left on file to be discussed at a later date. 

I saw the Pain Consultant in 2019 who said I would NOT benefit from Neuromodulation!

In March 2021 I was hospitalised after collapsing at home and was diagnosed with Heart Failure. Obviously this very upsetting episode somewhat diverted my attention away from my Spinal problems. However I’m now learning to live with that and so I asked the GP to re-refer me to the Pain Clinic as my back pain was worsening and getting very debilitating.

In December 2021 I was seen by a different Pain Consultant, who had been drafted in from St Bart’s to help with the waiting lists. This was a very positive appointment and the doctor was very sympathetic to my multiple problems. He then talked to me about Neuromodulation and said I would need another MRI Scan to decide on future potential treatment. (He explained that although it was a course of action he would have potentially recommended (had I have been under his direct care) the decision as to what action would be taken would be left to the Ipswich Team).

In March this year I had an MRI Scan and was given a copy of the report a short time afterwards. The report stated that I had Severe Spinal Stenosis which was worse that before the Laminectomy. I then waited for the follow up appointment which took place with original Consultant in May 2022.

 Although as previously detailed I had already had 2 x (unsuccessful) Nerve Root Block procedures the Consultant offered the same procedure again. I was also prescribed Pregabalin for pain relief. No mention was made with regard to the original discussions of the potential use of Neuromodulation?

 I had to stop the Pregabalin due to side effects. 6weeks ago I had 6 Facet Joint Injections which unfortunately have once again failed.

I went for a follow up appointment and the Consultant prescribed Buprenorphine Patches. So far the only effect has been to make me feel nauseous with no help on pain relief.

I’ve now decided to get a second opinion from a Private Spine Consultant as the Pain Consultant said there was no more help they could offer.

A friend with very similar problems has found some relief from Cannabis Patches prescribed by his doctor - has anyone had experience of this. 

I’m also conscious and very worried about the future has I now have very limited mobility.

Does anyone know if there are Disability Benefits available for someone passed retirement age?

Any help would be gratefully appreciated.

Kind regards 



  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Community member Posts: 15,879 Disability Gamechanger
    edited September 2023
    Hi @Davewm1 - you really have been through such a lot, & I'm sorry you're still suffering with pain. It must be frustrating that neuromodulation has been discussed, but as ever, Drs will have varying opinions as to what may help with such pain. It's also a shame that you were unable to tolerate pregabalin due to its side effects (something I find helps with my neuropathic pain). We're all different, & what works for one, may not for another, unfortunately. I do hope you get some answers from the private Spine Consultant. When will you get to see them?
    i have been using cannabidiol (CBD) oil for 4 years, & have found it helpful (it's high in CBD content, but only contains a trace of THC; less than 0.2% to be legal in the UK). I did try CBD patches, but went back to the oil as I found it more effective. The only caveat is that CBD is broken down by the same liver enzymes that break down over 90% of prescribed meds, so you should discuss this with your pharmacist/GP prior to taking this. I wonder if this is something that may be an option to discuss with your Spine Consultant, depending on the medication you may take (including any of the over the counter ones).
    I don't know if you've had a look at this post about chronic pain:
    I mention this because it's found that often more than one modality seems to be helpful, altho what they may be is often a case of 'trial & error!'
    As far as disability benefits go, there's only Attendance Allowance if over state pension age: which may passport to other financial help as you will read.
    I hope you'll kindly let us all know how you get on with your Spine Consultant.

  • Davewm1
    Davewm1 Community member Posts: 8 Listener
    Hi Chiarieds.

    I’ve just come back from the appointment with the Spine Consultant. Unfortunately it’s as I suspected there’s nothing can be offered with regards to any further Spine operations due to my Heart Problems.

    He said in his opinion he would not advise the Spinal Cord Stimulation as, although it may help with the leg pain it wouldn’t have any effect on my back pain.

    I’m now due to see the Pain Management Consultant on Thursday and I’ll discuss with him if the Patch dosage needs increasing and I’ll also ask about Cannabis based treatments.

    Thanks for your reply to me it’s a comfort to know that people are willing to engage with you and offer advice.

    Once again thanks
    kind regards 

  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Community member Posts: 15,879 Disability Gamechanger
    You're most welcome. Hopefully you may still get somewhere on Thursday then, & hope to hear from you again after that.


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