I had a L5-S1 fusion in January, had x-rays on 4-7, before follow-up visit with neurologist that did my surgery. I still have the low back pain and right leg/foot pain, tingling, and numbness, as bad maybe worse than before surgery. He used the x-rays to check fusion and hardware. I noticed the screw points in the S1 go all the way thru the bone and stick out the of the side. When I asked about this he said it was "normal, the way it is supposed to be". Is he right, is this normal? Doesn't sound right to me.
Another oddity of the visit... He said the fusion looked superb. I asked if I could come out of my back brace I've been wearing. He said NO, and ordered more xrays after justing telling me how solid it looks.
i had a 4level fussion. 3 levels in april 06' after surgery i told my dr. i had pain in my sacrum area and still my left leg and foot. he laugh and says feel like you just had surgery in your back. i didn't say a thing. after a couple of weeks after i was released from the hospital 14 day stay i might add. for my post op app to remove staples i told him the pain is still there, worst in my sarum area and burning in my left leg and outer half of my left foot and ankle. meanwhile he orders x-rays, next app he shows me the x-rays and brags about his work, how beautiful it all looked. i wanted answers why i'm still in pain. then he says it will take up to a year to heal. after 7 months im still in major pain, i let him know that this was not acceptable so he orders mri after 8 month he reviews mri at next app, and say "looks like you have another pinched nerve at l-5-s-1" we need to remove and fuse the last one. i said great!!! trys to get approval from ins company, would not authorize. now im really pissed !!!! after 8 more months go by in pain and a couple of appeals. i finally asked my dr. don't i have the right to have pins and rods removed? he said yes. then while your in there can't you fix the l-5 s-1, he says to me now why didn't i think of that. im sure you know what i was thinking at that time. so in sept 5 07' had surgery and another 6 days in hospital. came out same pain minus the burning pain on the side of my left leg. 8 month now after that surgery, orderd another typ of MRI on thur april 17 to see what els it could be. so in shot, HA! HA! im still no better then when i started, but pray for an answer so i can be pain free. hang in there, get answers no matter what.
Spinal fusion procedures would really take sometime to heal completely and stabilize solidly. You should discuss with your doctor and be clear with him regarding the time lines like "when do I expect to have this brace removed" or "up to when is this feeling of pain normal". In that way, you will be guided on the things to expect on a certain time frame.
I suggest you continue following up with your surgeon to monitor the fusion and report to him any new developments.
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