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Ilioinguinal nerve injury after bone graft harvest
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Ilioinguinal nerve injury after bone graft harvest

I had a bone tumor in the trochanter of my proximal femur removed last week on 12/28, and a bone graft taken from my iliac crest. I woke up in recovery with searing pain in my groin area and my hip flexor muscle and abdominal muscles on that side no longer work well. Apparently the retractors damaged my ilioinguinal nerve ... how long will this take to recover? I can only walk with a cane if I keep my trunk flexed, I cannot extend my hip, and I am limping badly. I need to get back to work but it is a standing, pushing/pulling sort of job that is currently impossible. Please advise! I seem to have traded one agonizing pain for another.
Thank you.
3 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_m_tn
I have sympathy for you.  I had fiberous dysplasia cyst on the femur neck with a bone graft from the iliac crest.  While the right femur was repaired, someone, don't know who was responsible, let me lay to long on my left side under anethesia.  I too ended up with a left sided nerve damage to the femoral nerve region (keep in mind that this was the non operative side).  

I was permanently disabled by this.  You would do well to seek a physician who knows another physician capable of conducting what is called a SSEP.  This test is the ONLY way to determine the extent of deeper nerve damage.  A Doctor with specialization in Physiatrist--Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation is who you want to see.  Keep in mind that he/she will want to do an EMG test but again only a SSEP will truly determine deeper nerve damage.  By the way.  You probably saw a Orthopedic Oncologist.  By any chance did the surgeons' last name begin with Dr Wirg...?
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you for your hard won advice! I am so sorry that you have gone through such trauma, and that the pain and disability continues to so terribly impact your life.
I did have my surgery with an orthopedic oncologist, although not the one you mention, and I believe the surgeon did a good job but it would have been the surgical resident who was too-vigorously wielding the retractor that caused the damage. Apparently the nerve was overstretched by the retractor as it and the abdominal muscles were pulled  out of the way to expose the iliac crest properly. I am frightened that this will become a permanent situation.
I am still hoping that there is a chance my nerve can recover on its own ... has anyone had the experience of transient nerve damage?
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Avatar_m_tn
I went through 17 physicians and specialties searching for a diagnosis but only got shrugs.  Once the SSEP test determined the specific location and damage extent it was to late to have any repairs done.  Regardless, the physicians that were doing nerve repairs began exiting the speciality because successful repairs were not likely.  This has to due a lack of knowledge of how nerves work.  Lately, Army surgeons have had some success based on new technologies.  

Although I don't know your situation, it would be best to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.  I was fortunate to have had policies to cover my multiple incomes but obtaining the payouts was excruciating, lengthy, and gave me knowledge of the legal system that I really didn't care to know.

  
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