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Decompressive lumbar laminectomy of L5 with L5-S1 BAK cage fusion and S4 pedicle screw fixation
My 55 year old husband injured his back at work as a nurse on an Alzheimer's unit on Jan. 9, 2008.  He continued working through the pain until 1/28/08 when he crawled home on his hands and knees.  Five days later, I took him to the ER for an exam and MRI.  He got in to see a very well respected neurosurgeon on Feb. 21 (due to a mixup at the comp. doctor's office who, by the way, declared this not work related but totally genetic as a pars defect showed up on the MRI).  The neurosurgeon operated 2 days later.  For the first 5 weeks postop, my husband felt good.  His left leg was still a little "buzzy" feeling but was coming along.  Week 6 was a different story!  His leg became increasingly number each day and his left foot was beginning to flop outward.  He is now 3 1/2 mos. post surgury and is in constant pain, his left foot is not under his control most of the time and his left leg is quite numb.  He did not do anything during those postop weeks to cause any of these problems.  He is very careful.  He cannot, however, step over a rug if it is not totally flat nor can he walk in the yard without great difficulty.  An EMG done on his left leg 5 weeks ago showed moderate L peroneal neuropathy, active denervation in the L gluteus medius muscle suggesting a proximal L5 lumbar nerve root abnormality.  He had to go back to work because we lost our insurance and because the nursing home denied workmans comp. so we were behind on bills.  He is miserable and does not want the rest of his life to be this way.  Please Help.


This discussion is related to Surgical Risks L5-S1 Herniated Disk.
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I had a similar surgery in 1999, complete with back cage and screws. When I got home I was in a body cast (removable for sleeping) for 3 months and could not drive. I felt pretty good like your husband, until about 8 weeks post-op. Getting pain medicine was impossible from the surgeon, who states I should be feeling good. Finally had to go to my family physician for meds. After 6 months I was still in pain, but I had to return to work for the insurance. I was miserable until in 2001 I underwent another surgery to remove some of the screws (about 12), as the x-ray showed one or two may be sitting on a nerve. This was also a failure. My whole life changed--I could no longer join my husband golfing, which is his passion, no longer swim, which was mine. Cooking, housework, even work became too much and I stopped work. I have a pain management doctor, who tells me this is the way life is going to be--just keeping the pain a bay and trying to get thru each day as best I can. I wish I had never had that surgery. Sorry this isn't better news for you. I have applied for disability, was turned down, and am reapplying. I feel bad even replying to you, but I want you to know there is life after surgery, just a different one - at least for me.
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724810 tn?1230952189
Hi, i also had bak cage implant, i had drop foot. Foot is still not the same, i can move it again, but its tingly numb.. sciatic pain, lets see that was on april 1st, 2000..   Everyday is a challenge, i have been denied social sec disability twice, i was so broke, no one too help. I went back to operating heavy equipment. Child support, and cost of living, i lost everything, i even went to college but i was never good at books.  so I only know heavy equipment, back hoes, loaders, skid steers, rollers, sheepsfoot ect ect ect.  So i not only have the jarring, i have more pain. But i have to say the surgery was a good choice.  DONT GET ME wrong i hurt daily, hell im shoveling snow for cash now.  I make good  money 6 or 7 months a year but I earn that cash physically, alot of tears. ive been hurting lately and  I have not been on meds for over 7 years, i just deal with it, but im really hurting aqs of late 8-(   so i did a google tonight on bak cage  i had it on l5-s1  if anyone has advice on what meds, i should ask and who should i go to a pain clinic.  Im not saying i need pills daily, but somedays i cry litterally fricken cant move, but go on with my day because i have no choice..  I was takin oxycotin 20 mg  like i said that was 7 years agao.   I need something just on those days i cant handle the pain, which isnt often but they do come, depends how i sleep and what i do for physical work that day.  anyone have advice, ive been out of the doctor scene,  I HATEW doctors im scared, only go in if its life or death, but my pain has been intolerable as of late.  Any1 with advice on what meds, you are on and what doctor to go to please send me a direct email to  david   at this email addresss.   ***@****        thanks and good luck to you, if you have a question i try and help im living with l5-s1   had no choice...... Respectively,  David from Green Bay, Wisconsin
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Does anyone have any info on Bak cage recalls for 1999.i will tell you I had a anterior fusion with pedicle  screws I haven't been right since. It took me from 1999 to 2005 to find a surgeon to even  look at my medical to tell me I didn't fuse. Ct scans mri showed that I had and I didn't then my upper cages were loose I have nerve damage and the surgeon told me it was a result of my bone graft. I lost all flexion mobility  very limited and cannot sit stand walk at long periods. I'm stuck one Dr told me the titanium cages cannot be removed due to blood vessels cling to the titanium and I could bleed too dead I was not informed of that prior to my fusion among other things. Wondering if there have been recalls on these so called Bak cages.
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