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Thread: Imaginary Itching

  1. #1
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    Unhappy Imaginary Itching

    Oh my gosh this is driving me crazy!
    I am two months post op and i have this annoying itching beneath my skin, inbetween my shoulder blades. I feel like a crazy person because the thing is, is that it is numb there... so I shouldn't be feeling the itch at all. I still have nerve pain there too, so is it just that I am crazy or is my skin healing underneath or what?!? OMG. I can't itch it either because the scar is there and if I like, rub it, it helps for two seconds and then itches worse!

    Agh!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Imaginary Itching

    Jamie I had this problem I normally colored to keep my mind off it
    Kara
    22 years old
    Spinal Fusion March 10 2010
    Foot Surgery November 25 2014

  3. #3
    tonibunny's Avatar
    tonibunny is offline T Sr: Admin, Big Sister and Da Police!
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    Default Re: Imaginary Itching

    Hi Jamie,

    I'm afraid that this a normal (and usually good!) sign that you are healing. This itching is caused by various nerves coming back "online". It is SO madly annoying though - loads of us will sympathise with you! It usually does get better with time though some numb / slightly itchy bits may remain.

    Try not to scratch - using ice is a much safer way to try to kill the itch a bit. Don't hold any ice directly onto your skin though, make sure it is wrapped in a cloth first. If the itching really does get unbearable, see your GP about it as you may be able to get lidocaine patches which are huge stickers that contain a local anaesthetic.

    *hugs*

    Toni xx
    37 years old, diagnosed with infantile idiopathic scoliosis at 6 months old with curves of 62(T) and 40(L) degrees. Casting and Milwaukee braces until surgery at 10 - ant release/pos fusion T1-T12, halo traction. Post op cast and then TLSO. Further surgery at 18 (ant release/pos fusion extended to L3 to include lumbar curve, costoplasty) and 25 (another costoplasty). Fusion extended to L4 at 33 (XLIF with 4 pedicle screws and two short rods). Pre-op curves: 76(T) and 70(L). Post-op curves: 45(T) and 35(L). Diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome aged 34; scoliosis almost certainly due to this rather than being idiopathic.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Imaginary Itching

    Quote Originally Posted by tonibunny View Post
    Hi Jamie,

    I'm afraid that this a normal (and usually good!) sign that you are healing. This itching is caused by various nerves coming back "online". It is SO madly annoying though - loads of us will sympathise with you! It usually does get better with time though some numb / slightly itchy bits may remain.

    Try not to scratch - using ice is a much safer way to try to kill the itch a bit. Don't hold any ice directly onto your skin though, make sure it is wrapped in a cloth first. If the itching really does get unbearable, see your GP about it as you may be able to get lidocaine patches which are huge stickers that contain a local anaesthetic.

    *hugs*

    Toni xx
    If an area is already numb would the Lidocaine patches do anything?
    When I was given them for the pain around my screws they did nothing and I presumed it was because the area is already numb.

    For the itching I found that rubbing that cooling gel you can buy soothed it a little.
    Thoracic 72 degrees, lumber 30 degrees-fused aged 44, T2-L4, posterior fusion with costoplasty (8 ribs were chopped) on 3/11/10 under the care of Mr Ahmed at North Staffs Hospital. Now nice and straight

  5. #5
    tonibunny's Avatar
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    Default Re: Imaginary Itching

    It depends how deep the reconnecting nerves lie, Sarah. Lidocaine does only really help with nerve pain near the surface, it's true. I think it's worth trying stuff though - and if cooling gel helps with itching then lidocaine patches ought to.
    37 years old, diagnosed with infantile idiopathic scoliosis at 6 months old with curves of 62(T) and 40(L) degrees. Casting and Milwaukee braces until surgery at 10 - ant release/pos fusion T1-T12, halo traction. Post op cast and then TLSO. Further surgery at 18 (ant release/pos fusion extended to L3 to include lumbar curve, costoplasty) and 25 (another costoplasty). Fusion extended to L4 at 33 (XLIF with 4 pedicle screws and two short rods). Pre-op curves: 76(T) and 70(L). Post-op curves: 45(T) and 35(L). Diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome aged 34; scoliosis almost certainly due to this rather than being idiopathic.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Imaginary Itching

    Quote Originally Posted by tonibunny View Post
    It depends how deep the reconnecting nerves lie, Sarah. Lidocaine does only really help with nerve pain near the surface, it's true. I think it's worth trying stuff though - and if cooling gel helps with itching then lidocaine patches ought to.
    Most of my itching was on my scar and that's where I felt some relief when the cooling gel was rubbed on-by someone else though
    Thoracic 72 degrees, lumber 30 degrees-fused aged 44, T2-L4, posterior fusion with costoplasty (8 ribs were chopped) on 3/11/10 under the care of Mr Ahmed at North Staffs Hospital. Now nice and straight

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Imaginary Itching

    Seriously you guys rock so much! ! I wouldn't make it without all of you I will call my doctor about the itching, and see if they recommend the patches, and it is good to know that I put up with the itch for some good reason... so is this something everyone experiences with the surgery?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Imaginary Itching

    Hi,

    I remember that. It came with a nasty rash too. Felt like my skin was crawling-it does go away though.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Imaginary Itching

    I think nearly everyone does experience this itching to some degree, yes! You could try some cooling gel as Sarah suggests, as that is easy to get hold of - ask for Deep Freeze or similar at your local pharmacist. If that works well then Licdocine (brand name Versatis) patches should work too; you can cut them to fit where you need, and they last for several hours so you don't need to faff about reapplying them. The downside is that they can only be got on prescription and are expensive so your GP may be reluctant to prescribe them.
    37 years old, diagnosed with infantile idiopathic scoliosis at 6 months old with curves of 62(T) and 40(L) degrees. Casting and Milwaukee braces until surgery at 10 - ant release/pos fusion T1-T12, halo traction. Post op cast and then TLSO. Further surgery at 18 (ant release/pos fusion extended to L3 to include lumbar curve, costoplasty) and 25 (another costoplasty). Fusion extended to L4 at 33 (XLIF with 4 pedicle screws and two short rods). Pre-op curves: 76(T) and 70(L). Post-op curves: 45(T) and 35(L). Diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome aged 34; scoliosis almost certainly due to this rather than being idiopathic.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Imaginary Itching

    Our lovey pharmacist gave me a handful of the Licodaine patches!
    I took the prescription in and said I was reluctant to use them because I'd tried the Licodaine cream and it didn't work so he grabbed a handful of the patches and gave them to me-think he had a bit of a soft spot for me
    Thoracic 72 degrees, lumber 30 degrees-fused aged 44, T2-L4, posterior fusion with costoplasty (8 ribs were chopped) on 3/11/10 under the care of Mr Ahmed at North Staffs Hospital. Now nice and straight

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Imaginary Itching

    Gosh you were very lucky Sarah! They cost the NHS about 70 a box a few years back so I could only get them through my Pain Clinic's recommendation to my GP.
    37 years old, diagnosed with infantile idiopathic scoliosis at 6 months old with curves of 62(T) and 40(L) degrees. Casting and Milwaukee braces until surgery at 10 - ant release/pos fusion T1-T12, halo traction. Post op cast and then TLSO. Further surgery at 18 (ant release/pos fusion extended to L3 to include lumbar curve, costoplasty) and 25 (another costoplasty). Fusion extended to L4 at 33 (XLIF with 4 pedicle screws and two short rods). Pre-op curves: 76(T) and 70(L). Post-op curves: 45(T) and 35(L). Diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome aged 34; scoliosis almost certainly due to this rather than being idiopathic.

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