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6 months after disk surgery
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6 months after disk surgery

53 yr. old male. Aug. 17, 1999 - surgery for bulging disk 5-6 - I have been complaining of numbness in left leg and buttocks since after surgery - did another MRI in Dec. - said I had an inflammed nerve - numbness & pain getting worse - trouble sleeping - working (I sit all day at a computer) Doc. wants to do another MRI & nerve tests. Took anit-inflammatory med. 6-5-4-3-2-1 pills a day - bad reaction - Dont' know what to do. HELP!
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear Paul F. Melia:

Post surgical inflammation is not uncommon.  However, it should not be getting worse so far out from the surgery.  How is your rehab going?  What does the rehab and PT say about your worsening condition.  They are the ones who know you the best.  I would check with them about what is going on.  Usually surgery on inflammation doesn't improve the situation that much because part of the inflammation is the healing process itself.  If your neurosurgeon doesn't give you an explanation of the problem or you feel uncomfortable with him/her I would seek a second opinion.  Give your neurosurgeon time to think about the case and see what it discussed.

But, I would place more confidence with your rehab team at this point.

Sincerely,

CCF Neuro MD
28 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
After my surgery I was left with right leg numbness and pain.  Too make a long story short MRI was fine two times. I then had a xray with me bending and it showed that there was still problems and that I would need a back fusion in future.  Do a flexion xray to rule out this being your problem also.
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I had disc surgery of the c5-6 back in August,  I was doing fine until i was in an accident.  My car was struck from the rear.  Now when i sleep on my left side, my right arm goes numb.  and i have pain at the base of my scull sometimes. is it possible that the nerves are pinched?  Also when i work, my fingers go numb and i have to shake the feeling back into them.  Is this normal after having surgery?
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I recently got the results from my MRI.  It said that I have a mild protrusion between C4-5 and a mild to moderate protrusion between C5-6.  My question is what is a protrusion?  Is it the same as a slipped disk?  I can't seem to discern the difference.  Sincerely, Kay Leitenberger
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I am a 78 year old woman who has been diagnosed with spinal stenosis.  I have
taken several oral medications and have
had steroid injections in spine.  Nothing
ha helped.  I can only walk or stand for
a very short time before the Pain in my lower back becomes VERY SEVERE.  My legs
get numb and I have difficulty walking/
about 25 feet is about my limit.  When
Isit or lay the pain stops immediately
Have NO pain at all when  am sitting or
laying down.  Doctors are going to decide
on surgery next week.  Does it sound like it would help me?  Am Itoo old to
undergo surgery?   Thank you
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear June:

If you are active, in good health, then surgery might benefit you.  You are still young so if they agree that surgery will help with the problem, and there are no chronic illness reasons for you not to undergo surgery, do it.

Sincerely,

CCF Neuro MD
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Avatar_n_tn
I had surgery a week ago..anterior cervical diskectomy with fusion c5-6 c6-7
The pain was all the way across my back and front chest down thru the axilla, wrist and fingers...after the surgery i still have the pain but not to the level i had before but its still present at all times. The numbness has gone but i find it numb if i stretch out my arm sideways....please can you tell me if i am going to be left with this pain for good?
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear Paul,
I would have to agree with norat.  I had a lamanectomy done at L4, L5 and S1 in 1995..  Pain continued after surgery,  but subsided after about 8 months.   Pain came back worse than ever last year and  dr. did a flexion x-ray to look for instability of the spine.  The x-ray suggests severe degenerative arthritis and disc disease.  I am undergoing a multi level fusion in March.  Just bring it up about the x-ray to your dr.  This may be what they need to do to further diagnose a problem.  I don't think the MRI showed this when i had it done.  only the xray

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Avatar_n_tn
Dear Paul..

Get another opinion.  I had anterior disketomy and fusion sept 97, the extreme pain (from a piece of disc breaking off and laying on nerve) was gone, but i had pain in calves of legs
and arms, wrists, hands, shoulders and neck.  It turns out that
i not only had one herniation but 3 other ones that either the
doctor was not clear about or the pain made me brain dead.  Anyway only one fusion was done and now another doctor has told
me the plate is loose-and it didn't heal correctly..bottom line
trust the way you feel...and why why are you working sitting down at computer all day??  I also have lumbar isthmic spondylo with back and leg symptoms. Find another doctor quickly.  
The anti inflamatories didn't help me either-gave me stomach problems.
Does anyone know the risks associated with going back in for
more surgery on c5-6 and additional surgery on c3-4,4-5 and 6-7???
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Avatar_n_tn
i live in scotland and underwent two operations in 1985-86,for a ruptured disk. Since then i have went from bad to worse, i cannot walk any distance at all i am in a wheelchair and  often bedbound .I had two myelograms one before my first operation and one before my second operation.every doctor or professor i have seen cannot give a name for my condition. I am in constant pain and my lifestyle is of constant care and medication. I have recently read an article on adhesive arachnoiditis which seems to qualify my symptoms very well, but no british doctors seem to want to listen to me . i would be most grateful for any information on myodil and it's apparent connection to adhesive arachnoiditis and indeed what is adhesive arachnoiditis.
                                              patricia gray
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Avatar_n_tn
I was involved in a car accident in August 1999. MRI in September 1999 showed large herniation at C5-C6 compressing the cervical cord. I followed up with physical therapy , medication and steroids. I have weakness in my left arm and am generally in pain by 2:00 in the afternoon. I am 35, an attorney and work, for the most part, sitting down at a desk. I take muscle relaxants and pain killers daily, and I have recently started acupuncture. I had another MRI which showed no changes from the last MRI. My neurosurgeon is recommending an anterior cervical discectomy. My questions are: What is the anticipated recovery time? What can I expect immediately after surgery? Will I be able to go back to engaging in sports, i.e. tennis, rollerblading etc. What is the future prognosis? What is the course of physical therapy? Is it considered a dangerous surgery? I am really nervous and would appreciate your answers to the above questions.
Thank you very much.
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Avatar_n_tn
My problems started back in 1993 with a cerv herniation on one level 4-5 and within a year C5-6 herniated. I have an Orion plate to hold the two levels in place. I found out a short time later that C3-4 was herniated. I have constant pain down my left arm and between my shoulder blades. I started having severe pain in my lumbar region from L2-3 thur L5-s1. I have pain constantly down from my left buttocks to behind my left knee. It's getting harder to lift my leg to walk a long distance. My job is sitting in front of a computer and for such a simple task the pain has become almost umbearable. I can't hardly walk straight up when I get up from my chair. My doctor says that I have degenerative disc disease with arthritis from my cerv down to my lumbar. My question is how much of this do I have to take before I am unable to work and end up on disability. I have all the documentation from my doctor in writting, but I don't know where to start when I become disabled.
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Avatar_n_tn
recently i underwent surgery on l/4 l/5 before surgery i could hardly walk.pain all the way down to my toes.my question is how is my worklife to be affected once soreness is gone
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear Mr. Petty:

I cannot tell you.  I don't know your history, nor do I know anything concerning your surgery.  I would ask your neurosurgeon and rehab team the question.  Since they know more about your medical history, they should be able to give you a better prognosis.

CCF Neuro MD
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Avatar_n_tn
I am a 40 yr. old male, very healthy with the exception of my back. One year ago I underwent a two level disc fusion, L4/5 S1 to repair damage from an on the job injury that happened in 1991. I have not been able to go back to work because of the severe pain that almost knocks me to my knees. My Dr. says to give more time, a full year after the fusion, there is no bone growth, no fusion has taken place, none! Well time is what I don't have. My long term disability insurance carrier from work has told me in no uncertain terms that they are no longer going to pay me, "You should be back on the job by now" is what they say. I am in worse condition now than before any of my surgeries with no explination as to why. My Dr. wants me to give it 4 more months and if I am not better by then, he wants to install plates to see if that will work. Does anyone else out there have any idea why I'm still in so much pain one year after surgery? My Dr. sure doesn't. Before I agreed to this surgery, I was told by my Dr. that I would be able to go back to work in about 12 weeks and that the fusion would continue for about a year and a half. I can not understand why nothing is happening. Please help me if you cna, I do not want to undergo another surgery with little or no chance of success.
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear Bob:

I am sorry to hear about the outcome of your surgery.  If the bone hasn't fused, there is little you can do.  Another surgery is likely the only remedy.  There is a technique of using a glue, usually only for people who can't undergo surgery and have a vertebral fracture of degeneration.  You might find out about this, it may help.  I would seek a second opinion from another neurosurgeon to see what options you have.  

Sincerely,

CCF Neuro MD
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear Doctor, I am presently being treated and evaluated for lumbar surgery due to HNP's @ levels L4-5 and L5-S1. I have extreme nerve effacement @ 4-5 level on left lateral side. My 1st opinion was for an AMD with partial lami. Since then I have done alot of research and am hearing that this procedure leaves you with a very unstable spine. Would you please give me your thoughts on this? Also, the pain management DR states in her notes that I have an antalgic gait and both write that I have positive Spurling @ 45 degrees. I can't find info on either of these. Can you please help? Thank You, Patrick
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear Doctor, I had a lumbar fusion three months ago at L5-S1 and on my recent xray my doctor said it appeared one of the screws was loose. How does this affect the fusion and will it have to be fixed?
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Avatar_n_tn
I am a 55 yr old woman, I fell in 1995 at work- from a standing
position to on a concrete floor.  Three hours later I could hardly walk.  I went to my family dr the next morning and was put
off from work for two weeks.  I went back to work after the two
weeks and suffered from pain continuously. I kept going to my
doctor and finally he told me I had arthritis.  He put me on arthrotec with helped some but did not correct all the pain.
I finally cornered his nurse as to what kind of arthritis I had
shouldn't we know this so we can actually treat this accurately?
A blood test was done and I was told I had rheumatoid arthritis.
I then asked to be sent to a rheumatologist.  This took a period
of two years.  I went to the rheumatologist and he told me I did
not have rheumatoid arthritis.  He ordered an MRI, bone scan,
etc, and it was found that I had a herniated disc that was blocking my spinal canal.  I had a laminectomy with lumbar
decompression of L4-L5 area.  This took place in Oct 1998.  The
neurosurgeon retired soon after that.  I started having pain in
the back of both of my legs, which continued until today, when
I did any kind of physical activity.  About one month ago I
began noticing some kind of movement around where I had surgery
and then this started waking me at nite.  In the past week and
a half I have pain across the area where I had surgery and also
notice some soreness there.  I have since my back surgery changed
family doctors who kept me on the arthrotec - but, I have never
gotten an answer as to why I am still having all of this pain
except that I have arthritis.  I went back to the same rhematologist that helped me before and he told me that I have
a failed surgery on my back - that I need to go to a neuro surgeon again.  He also measured my legs, of which my left leg
is 1/2 inch smaller around than my right leg.  He also said that
I needed an MRI with contrast in order to see what was needed to
see.  I called my family dr today, only to be told by the secretary that the MRI with contrast would do no good.  I am an
x-ray technologist, of which due to this fall at work I have not
been able to work, I have lost all of my education and so forth
and all I have been given is no answers.  I was also told
yesterday by the rheumatologist that I was disabled.  I am very
upset and would like your opinion.  I am sorry but I am very
disturbed with the doctors that I have seen - the rheumatologist
seems to be the only one that may know what he is talking about.
Please help.  Please try to explain what I may be in for in the
future, if that is possible.  Thanks for your help.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I am a 55 yr old woman, I fell in 1995 at work- from a standing
position to on a concrete floor.  Three hours later I could hardly walk.  I went to my family dr the next morning and was put
off from work for two weeks.  I went back to work after the two
weeks and suffered from pain continuously. I kept going to my
doctor and finally he told me I had arthritis.  He put me on arthrotec with helped some but did not correct all the pain.
I finally cornered his nurse as to what kind of arthritis I had
shouldn't we know this so we can actually treat this accurately?
A blood test was done and I was told I had rheumatoid arthritis.
I then asked to be sent to a rheumatologist.  This took a period
of two years.  I went to the rheumatologist and he told me I did
not have rheumatoid arthritis.  He ordered an MRI, bone scan,
etc, and it was found that I had a herniated disc that was blocking my spinal canal.  I had a laminectomy with lumbar
decompression of L4-L5 area.  This took place in Oct 1998.  The
neurosurgeon retired soon after that.  I started having pain in
the back of both of my legs, which continued until today, when
I did any kind of physical activity.  About one month ago I
began noticing some kind of movement around where I had surgery
and then this started waking me at nite.  In the past week and
a half I have pain across the area where I had surgery and also
notice some soreness there.  I have since my back surgery changed
family doctors who kept me on the arthrotec - but, I have never
gotten an answer as to why I am still having all of this pain
except that I have arthritis.  I went back to the same rhematologist that helped me before and he told me that I have
a failed surgery on my back - that I need to go to a neuro surgeon again.  He also measured my legs, of which my left leg
is 1/2 inch smaller around than my right leg.  He also said that
I needed an MRI with contrast in order to see what was needed to
see.  I called my family dr today, only to be told by the secretary that the MRI with contrast would do no good.  I am an
x-ray technologist, of which due to this fall at work I have not
been able to work, I have lost all of my education and so forth
and all I have been given is no answers.  I was also told
yesterday by the rheumatologist that I was disabled.  I am very
upset and would like your opinion.  I am sorry but I am very
disturbed with the doctors that I have seen - the rheumatologist
seems to be the only one that may know what he is talking about.
Please help.  Please try to explain what I may be in for in the
future, if that is possible.  Thanks for your help.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I am a 55 yr old woman, I fell in 1995 at work- from a standing
position to on a concrete floor.  Three hours later I could hardly walk.  I went to my family dr the next morning and was put
off from work for two weeks.  I went back to work after the two
weeks and suffered from pain continuously. I kept going to my
doctor and finally he told me I had arthritis.  He put me on arthrotec with helped some but did not correct all the pain.
I finally cornered his nurse as to what kind of arthritis I had
shouldn't we know this so we can actually treat this accurately?
A blood test was done and I was told I had rheumatoid arthritis.
I then asked to be sent to a rheumatologist.  This took a period
of two years.  I went to the rheumatologist and he told me I did
not have rheumatoid arthritis.  He ordered an MRI, bone scan,
etc, and it was found that I had a herniated disc that was blocking my spinal canal.  I had a laminectomy with lumbar
decompression of L4-L5 area.  This took place in Oct 1998.  The
neurosurgeon retired soon after that.  I started having pain in
the back of both of my legs, which continued until today, when
I did any kind of physical activity.  About one month ago I
began noticing some kind of movement around where I had surgery
and then this started waking me at nite.  In the past week and
a half I have pain across the area where I had surgery and also
notice some soreness there.  I have since my back surgery changed
family doctors who kept me on the arthrotec - but, I have never
gotten an answer as to why I am still having all of this pain
except that I have arthritis.  I went back to the same rhematologist that helped me before and he told me that I have
a failed surgery on my back - that I need to go to a neuro surgeon again.  He also measured my legs, of which my left leg
is 1/2 inch smaller around than my right leg.  He also said that
I needed an MRI with contrast in order to see what was needed to
see.  I called my family dr today, only to be told by the secretary that the MRI with contrast would do no good.  I am an
x-ray technologist, of which due to this fall at work I have not
been able to work, I have lost all of my education and so forth
and all I have been given is no answers.  I was also told
yesterday by the rheumatologist that I was disabled.  I am very
upset and would like your opinion.  I am sorry but I am very
disturbed with the doctors that I have seen - the rheumatologist
seems to be the only one that may know what he is talking about.
Please help.  Please try to explain what I may be in for in the
future, if that is possible.  Thanks for your help.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I am a 55 yr old woman, I fell in 1995 at work- from a standing
position to on a concrete floor.  Three hours later I could hardly walk.  I went to my family dr the next morning and was put
off from work for two weeks.  I went back to work after the two
weeks and suffered from pain continuously. I kept going to my
doctor and finally he told me I had arthritis.  He put me on arthrotec with helped some but did not correct all the pain.
I finally cornered his nurse as to what kind of arthritis I had
shouldn't we know this so we can actually treat this accurately?
A blood test was done and I was told I had rheumatoid arthritis.
I then asked to be sent to a rheumatologist.  This took a period
of two years.  I went to the rheumatologist and he told me I did
not have rheumatoid arthritis.  He ordered an MRI, bone scan,
etc, and it was found that I had a herniated disc that was blocking my spinal canal.  I had a laminectomy with lumbar
decompression of L4-L5 area.  This took place in Oct 1998.  The
neurosurgeon retired soon after that.  I started having pain in
the back of both of my legs, which continued until today, when
I did any kind of physical activity.  About one month ago I
began noticing some kind of movement around where I had surgery
and then this started waking me at nite.  In the past week and
a half I have pain across the area where I had surgery and also
notice some soreness there.  I have since my back surgery changed
family doctors who kept me on the arthrotec - but, I have never
gotten an answer as to why I am still having all of this pain
except that I have arthritis.  I went back to the same rhematologist that helped me before and he told me that I have
a failed surgery on my back - that I need to go to a neuro surgeon again.  He also measured my legs, of which my left leg
is 1/2 inch smaller around than my right leg.  He also said that
I needed an MRI with contrast in order to see what was needed to
see.  I called my family dr today, only to be told by the secretary that the MRI with contrast would do no good.  I am an
x-ray technologist, of which due to this fall at work I have not
been able to work, I have lost all of my education and so forth
and all I have been given is no answers.  I was also told
yesterday by the rheumatologist that I was disabled.  I am very
upset and would like your opinion.  I am sorry but I am very
disturbed with the doctors that I have seen - the rheumatologist
seems to be the only one that may know what he is talking about.
Please help.  Please try to explain what I may be in for in the
future, if that is possible.  Thanks for your help.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
This is the process for disability in most cases.Get the phone number to social security out of the phone book.Call them they will tell you what to do.Sometimes doctors don't like to admit there limitations.Then see a lawyer that handles S.S.I. to get your day in court before a judge.Spinal surgery has no guarantees some people do great some people get worse and sometimes constant pain makes you make bad decisions.And the fact is ain't nothing to if ain't you.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have just gone thru an Anterior Cervical Diskectomy one week ago.  I am doing pretty good so far.  The pain in my left arm that went all the way down to numbing my fingers is completely gone....Neck pain is just post-op right now.....nothing compared to what I was going thru...A little paranoid about moving my neck around.  I had a cadaver Bone and Plate put in....Feel like the "TIN MAN"...I know I'm babying my neck, just a little "freaked"  The hardest part of my recovery so far was the swallowing was really really rough for almost 3 solid days because of all the movement during surgery.  Hope this all goes forward the way its been going!
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear Daine,
I hope all is going well for you and your healing!
I am up for Epidual Steriod Injections for C567
I have been living with the burning, numbness, stiff neck
and laying flat on the floor to reduce pain for over 4 years.
have you had the injections?
Do you know anything about them?
Are they risky?
You can email me at ***@****
ps...My friend had your surgery and it took VERY well!
that was 15 years ago!  Best of luck to you!
Margie
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Avatar_n_tn
I am a 30 year old male who has been suffering for 2 1/2 years with undiagnosed medical problem. To date I have had a spinal MRI, Brain MRI with contrast and EEG. The only noted problem the neurologist could find on exam was hyperreflexia in knee tendon reflex. My symptoms include problems with sense of balance, not sweating normally under inactivity but sweat normal after exercise, I have a tendency to melt down in direct sunlight. when hot my body seem to internalize the heat inward. Other symptoms are states of mental confusion and inability to concentrate for only short periods of time. These symptoms seem to wax and wane throughout the day but are present to some degree all the time. The symptoms tend to get worse when I stand for long periods of time(at work)when physical motion is at a minimum. Also since I had this illness I have not had one headache in 2 1/2 years which I find weird, not that I was a chronic headache suffer or anything. Another symptom concerns my bowel function which seems to be infrequency and the lack of muscle in the bowel to fully constrict to releive waste. I would like to hear from you about what other tests should be administered to help correctly diagnose my problem. Thanks, concerned patient
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Avatar_n_tn
I am a 30 year old male who has been suffering for 2 1/2 years with undiagnosed medical problem. To date I have had a spinal MRI, Brain MRI with contrast and EEG. The only noted problem the neurologist could find on exam was hyperreflexia in knee tendon reflex. My symptoms include problems with sense of balance, not sweating normally under inactivity but sweat normal after exercise, I have a tendency to melt down in direct sunlight. when hot my body seem to internalize the heat inward. Other symptoms are states of mental confusion and inability to concentrate for only short periods of time. These symptoms seem to wax and wane throughout the day but are present to some degree all the time. The symptoms tend to get worse when I stand for long periods of time(at work)when physical motion is at a minimum. Also since I had this illness I have not had one headache in 2 1/2 years which I find weird, not that I was a chronic headache suffer or anything. Another symptom concerns my bowel function which seems to be infrequency and the lack of muscle in the bowel to fully constrict to releive waste. I would like to hear from you about what other tests should be administered to help correctly diagnose my problem. Thanks, concerned patient
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear Doc.,
I had my third back surgery in July 1999, this time it was fusion with small cages between the L4-5 with a support rod on the left side. The first operation was in 1991 same area, but a discetomy, the second was 1996 lamenectomy. Each time my legs have been become numb in a larger area. I have problems squating (I am not fat), and I sometimes loose my footing while walking fast and I stumble. Any type of prolonged driving and my legs and butt go numb. Sleepng is a nightmare and I take paxel and vicodin to help. I have no back aches until I stoop or sweep or something with a slight bend for about 10 minutes. My current doctor says I am not MMI and he doesn't think I ever will be. I wonder if I will loose complete use of my legs?

Brian heilmann
***@****
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