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L5 S1 Spinal fusion Pain Left leg pain after surgery
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L5 S1 Spinal fusion Pain Left leg pain after surgery

I had surgery 1 month ago and on my L5 S1. I have had very bad pain in my left leg since surgery and now thhey think that perhaps a screw is hitting on a nerve causing this pain. I go for a CAT scan tomorrow, and if this IS the problem, I AM NOT looking forward to another surgery. PLEASE help! I am taking 2 Tramodol, 1 soma, and 2 Oxycodone/APAP 10/325 every 4 hours. Even this does not take the pain away but takes the edge off some so that I can stand it.We tried another pain regimine with time released Oxycontin and they were a joke. I am really frustrated that I have so much pain when I went into this thinking once surgery was over, I would be pain-free after approx. 25 years.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi,

Thanks for posting.
I am really sorry to hear that you are in so much of pain after back surgery. Back surgery can result in a lot of pain which is often referred to as Failed back surgery syndrome. Technically speaking, if the pain persists even after 3 months of surgery, the surgery is considered to be a failure.
It is pertinent that you undergo a CT scan to find out the exact cause of pain. Most common causes are improper patient selection for surgery, technical errors during surgery and recurrent disc herniation after surgery.
Since you do not want to undergo another surgery, you can discuss medical management of pain and rehab therapy with your treating doctor.
Good luck!



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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you for replying.
I am not looking forward to another surgery if that is what needs to be done, but, I could never live with this pain, or the thought of having to be on these meds for any longer than I have to. I tried not taking them, and waiting until I absolutely could not stand the pain any longer, and that was a big mistake. I am hoping that the MRI tomorrow shows that something can be done. I will know next Tuesday.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi,

Thanks for writing back.
Yes it is advisable to wait for the MRI results to know exactly what is causing these symptoms and then decide on the future course of action.
Let us know the results and questions if you have any.

Good luck!
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Avatar_f_tn
Here it is Feb 21st almost the 22nd and I am still with the leg and foot pain. A CAT scan has been done and so far all of the results have showed nothing, not a nerve hiiting a screw,,, nerve hitting the cage,,,,On Meds Tram, Oxy, Tizanadine, and Neurontin. No matter how they are taken, there is still pain, shooting hot pain, very bad  muscle spasms, feet hurt after walking. knee gives out, never know when this is going to happen. Have to walk steps using both feet. VERY distessed at this point. Any answers as to what could be causing this? ANYTHING would help! Thanks Patricia
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Avatar_f_tn
I know how hard the pain of the back fusion is I had a fusion done in 2003, I to suffered terrrible pain dwn my right leg and had spasms um I was put on valum percaset oxycotin and some others but eventully i got steriod shot in my back that seemd to help i eventually found i take longer to heal and it is a very rough surgerie mine actually took 7 hrs. it probly took a a year or 2 for the pain to completly leave and i even had a baby after that. I hope your in physical therapy that is a must for recovery. Also i have permanant brusing at site of scews all is well today dont worry so much not good for healing and be very careful of pain meds. its going to take long than they say to heal or no one would want to get the surgerie. I hope this helps
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144586_tn?1284669764
There is a new protocol involving intradiscal injection of ozone-oxygen into the space between the vertabrae. It shrinks the tissue, relieving pressure on the nerve.

For a number of complicated reasons this procedure has been used in Europe, but not in the United States, with the exception of the State of Nevada.

Ask your physician about this.
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Avatar_n_tn
Sorry to hear you are still having pain after your spinal fusion. I have to say though, you are still relatively recent. I would give it more time.

I had my spinal fusion (S1-L4-L5) January 2004 and had similar symptoms with pain radiating down right leg, unable to sit or stand very long. My back didn't fuse for 2 years. It can take a long time. And even though it fused finally the pain was still there. I tried everything. I have had tests galore. The most recent tests show another herniated disc one level up. I will not have another surgery. What has made my life manageable and liveable was a good pain management clinic. I have been on MS Contin for 2 years now with percocet for break through pain. It has made all the difference in my life. I am not drugged out or anything like that and am able to get around to some degree. I will never be like I was before the back injury but I accept that and have learned to deal with it.

Every person is different and I think the key is finding what works for you.  
Good luck!

Daisy
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi Patricia. Sorry to hear about your continuing pain issues. Being a T-12 Para, and having dealt with pain for the past 10+ years, I have tried just about every med you can think of. My doctors tried me on everything, as did my neurologist. Nothing would work. I went to see a pain specialist, and they finally figured out a good med, and I have been relatively pain free since. Talk to you doctor or specialist about using Methadone. I have been on 10mg tabs 5 times a day since 2004, and it has worked great, with little side effects other than the occasional drowsiness. For any break through pain they have me using Hydrocodone (generic Vicodin), but I rarely use it. I have been on very high doses of Neurontin, was taking 2400mg 3 times a day, it did nothing. I have had great luck with Methadone to control my pain in my leg, quite severe pain. You may want to bring it up to your doctor. But be warned, it is considered a Class C drug, and some doctors are extremely leary and picky about using it. Since it is a Class C drug, you will also need a hard copy each month to get it refilled, meaning you will need to get a hand written script every month. Good Luck, I hope maybe this will help. Worked wonders for me.
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I had a L5-S1 fusion in 2004, did the cage and pulled bone from my hip to build it. 2 titanium rods and 6 screws. The surgery took 12 hours, I have an incision scar from my lower back to mid back. A neurosurgeon performed the operation after consulting about lower back pain and numbness in my left leg. I have no complaints about the surgeon that did the surgery, from follow up visits with other doctors and surgeons, they say he did a 1st class job. However I have permenant nerve damage in my left leg and foot, from the sciatic nerve being compressed from a ruptured disc  compressingg the nerve too long. I have not had the mobility and agility I had before the injury, nor did I expect too. I am writing about the ongoing & increasing back, leg, and chest pain I have been experiencing for the last 4 years. I have been on Gabentin, which does seem to quiet down the shooting nerve pain some, but not enough to help when I get a severe one. I have been on Vicodin-no help, Percocet which does give me some relief at 10/325 MG's. But I do not think most of these doctors understand what daily life is after this type of surgery, it is life altering. I have to stop and think about a situation with physical activity before I ensue! I have a job that requires some physical activity, even standing for 15 minutes sends me into agony. I do not beleive they are going to continue me on the pain meds due to addiction, but I cannot function without agonizaing pain without them. Anyone in the same situation with advise???
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I am 2 weeks out from surgery, fusion at L4-L5. My life is a living hell. I even postponed the surgery once, trying to find a doctor that would do a disc replacement. After driving 100's of miles and numerous phone calls and internet searches I had no luck. So I called the original surgeon crying begging to reschedule the surgery because I couldn't take the pain anymore. Now I am sitting in my chair in horrible pain, not just my back but shooting pains up and down both legs. So bad I am considering the emergency room. Needless to say I am worried that this was a big mistake. I tried all the alternative stuff like chiropractors, spinal shots, therapy.. you name it, it just continued to get worse. If any one else is considering a spinal fusion, DON'T! I could just kick myself for not being able to hold on long enough to get a disc replacement.  I just want to sit in this chair and cry.  I am also filing a formal complaint against the Doctor and hospital for the lack of care I received after surgery.  After I was brought down to my room I was not given anything for pain. The nurses never showed up to help me to the bathroom. If not for my sister-in-law, I would have wet myself. I waited five hours for them to get me 2 little oxycodone pills and I was in screaming pain. I waited 3 more hours for someone to finally remove my surgical IV, which was so huge it ate a hole in my hand and now I'm on antibiotics because it gave me phlebitis. When I was unable to eat lunch after surgery (it was at 7:30 am) They brought me the same tray of food for dinner. my sister-in-law also suggested that they give me a vallium to help calm me down and I waited hours for that. I think it was dark by then. Apparently the vallium made my blood pressure drop so low in the middle of the night that I almost died. They woke me up and my first reaction was surprise, to actually see a nurse at all. The whole experience was a nightmare. But it actually gets worse. They would not give me any pain medication to leave the hospital with. I was so mad, they treat dogs better than I was treated, and this is supposed to be one of the top Hospitals in the country. So please do your research first, and if you can stand the pain look into getting a disc replacement. And don't think that these doctors won't lie to you, because they will. They lied to me right to my face. I am hoping to get better but I am very worried. My doctor said I could go back to work after 2 weeks and 2 weeks later I can barely get out of my chair. I had to put my surgical socks back on just to ease the pain in my legs, not to mention that my back literally feels broken.  We really need to form as a group of citizens who deal with chronic pain, because unless you've been there, you have no idea what it's like. I am only 46 and I have been dealing with this and other issues for almost 7 years now and I still can't get the correct medicine to help with my pain. Good luck to everyone.
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Avatar_n_tn
Why is the medical community so wishy washy on this topic of pain meds? I understand that there are those who abuse them,but MAN when your hurting your hurting!
I had been in a car accident in 2004,a girl ran a stop sign hitting my car in the side.I totally saw her coming,so I tensed up.I was 8 wks pregnant at the time and a brand new believer in the Lord.I was way more concerned over my baby than my body so I never bothered with MRI's or X-rays(dangerous while pregnant)& I didn't want to go after anyone legally,just forgive.Well after the birth of my son via c-section in Feb.2005 I had more pain but a really bad numbness in my upper back.We thought it could've been from the c-section.
No     &      the pain just got worse, some days I couldn't even walk.I would be bent over but I wanted to keep having kids,so I had 2 more girls within 3 years & after the last c-section I had horrible pain in my abdomen right under my rib cage.It wouldn't go away.So I continued meds from the c-section.
I intially believed it was a hernia(i have had them before)& asked for a referall to a surgeon.I couldn't have surgery right after my c-section so I waited a few months.They didn't find anything when i finally did have the surgery!!!
Then as this was unfolding I started having pain down my left leg.
I found out I had a herniated disc, which I went into the chiropractor,physical therapy had numerous epidural shots & shock treatment)which now the disc is now resolved but I have so much pain in my lower&upper back&my hips kill me alot.
I've seen 2 surgeons.The first said no way would he do surgery on me.I don't need it.***BUT*** He would refer me to 6-7others who would.    ?????
Also after he said that there was nothing wrong with me   he pointed out that i have 2 completely black vertebres(meaning no fluid) spinal stenosis & my right legs S1 nerve is being rubbed(which by the way I'm not having to many issues(pain wise) with,like hardly at all).What the deal?
So I wanted to see the same surgeon who worked on my moms back for the 3rd surgery she had,&also my sisters neck.This is a huge issue in my family,ALL of my 7 siblings have major back problems!!This guy said he doesn't want to do anything because it would actually cause more pain than I'm having now.He wants to put a tens unit in my body.I'm not exactly excited of that idea.He also wants to do something with a nerve test.He said he couldn't see what was causing my pain.I know I'm having pain.....well because I hurt!!!
I now have 4 children and tons of stress because I'm basically a single parent.I need to have help from meds or I'm a piece of garbage to my kids. I don't smoke,drink or do any drugs.I just need help to live.Just because they say they can't see doesn't make it not there.I even wanted to stop the meds because I am a christian & honestly was worried as to the effects it was having on my walk with Jesus.
I couldn't believe the pain!!!! I ended up in the ER. I didn't know how bad my pain was,because the meds don't take all the pain away.
It's not funny.
I've only been on 5 325,& asked for a higher dose - was denied.That's ok though I know my Doctor doesn't want me a zombie for my kids sake.He knows our whole family issue as of right now & is just such an understanding guy.
I just don't know what I can do anymore,the meds are not working as well.I'm taking 10 a day now.I know if they decide to stop giving me the meds I'll have withdrawals.
NO THANK YOU
I had those when I stopped the pain meds.
You know God created these meds to help us who are in extreme pain.Not to abuse them...just use them for relief.Why doesn't our medical community see it?
We do need someone who has been in chronic pain,that hasn't had "proof" as to where the pains coming from and who is a well known Doctor or someone who is highly esteemed by the medical community to speak up for us "common folk".
Please someone respond to me,I have been trying to get the pain under control,done almost everything you can do.What do you think?Why is my back still hurting so badly?
Like right now my abdomen is like a stretching burning feeling&my spine hurts.I've already have had 4 pills since 8 this morning & it's a little after 2 now.
I'm in pain all the time,I don't want to be stuck on meds,but what are my options?Lay in bed,but not for to long or I hurt,don't sit to long or I'll hurt.Oh & do not stand or walk to much or I'll hurt.Someone has had to experienced this,I can't be the only one!!
Thanks!!

ALL4HIM
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello,
My name is suzanne. I have four children and am married to a wonderful man.I have been having these back problems for the past 10 yrs and my disc finally degenerated to the point of no return..and I was in bed all the time.. Three weeks ago I had a spinal fusion (TLIF) on my l5s1. My recovery has been for better words unpleasant, I have extreme leg pain in my right leg all the way down to my ankle and its concerning me, I don't want to go through surgery again. My surgeon has put me on steroids and this is the second round of them( I am also on pain meds as well), they are also concerned It could be a screw or something to that effect. To say the least I am very concerned and would love some feedback, Thanks, Suzanne
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Avatar_m_tn
Is There anyone out there who has benifitted from fusion sugery ????
Why would they do it???
Someone must have
Richard
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Avatar_m_tn
I am wondering if anyone has a similar problem (a problem shared is a problem halved), I have had problem with my back for over fifteen years which I have managed with exercises, and streatching , however now I have a lot of problems and pain in my calf  muscles, they feel tight and as if they keep getting torn , and are imposible to streatch .I have had an MRI on my back which shows lateral spinal stenosis at L4 L5 with disc degeneration , the doc say that this is causing the problem with my calfs, (and suggest decompression and spinal fusion ), it is hard for me to believe that the calf pain comes from my back , it feels more like achillees strain (sorry about the spelling) has anyone else had these symtoms (symptoms)???
Thanks for your time
Richard
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Avatar_f_tn
Might look into pain management anesthesiologist implant of spinal cord stimulator if not ruptured (danger in disc fluid release into spine protective layers) sources are ANS (Advanced Neuro Systems) stim from St Judes and Medtronics *** stim.
Good chance of less pain and less meds with trial options. Also, Medtronics is recruiting for a clinical trial is a note from recent TV  ads. Good luck. I understand that physical therapy, med management, and fusion or laminectomy are all standard operating procedures and should all also be considered by patients in consultation with their PhD.
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Avatar_f_tn
The nerves which transmit messages to the muscles in the legs run near and emerge from our lower vertebrae.  When these nerves become inflammed or impinged, pain and spasms often result.  Spinal surgeries often help in relieving pressure on spinal nerves.
I had a T12-L4 spinal fusion about 9 years ago and immediately felt relief.  I have also been dx with spinal stenosis/ degeneration of L4-L5 about 10 yrs ago.  I  had nerve pain and weaknees in my left leg immediately after the surgery.  Over the period of a few months this resolved.  
Sometimes I still experience spasms, numbness, tingling, and pain in my right leg; especially when I neglect exercising and the weather is extremely cold.  But overall I feel much better, did not take any medication since 1 month post surgery.  Life is much better without pain.  Just research your surgeon really well!  Good Luck!
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Avatar_n_tn
On December 15, 2009 I had a Gill Laminectomy and a L5 S1 posterior spine fusion for spondylolisthesis. This was due to unbearable pain down my right leg.  Well my right leg is pain free but, about 2 weeks ago I started feeling pain down my left leg.  This pain is very similar to the one I had experienced on my right leg.  I'm going to see my Dr at the end of February.  Has anyone had this experience?
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Hi All-
I had a Antier (stomach) interbody Spinal Fusion on Dec 1 -2010! L5/SI where fused with plating and screws! I am in the same boat it seems as every other poor soul! I had a door fall on my head at work. This will be 2nd surgery in one year! the first surgery I had was for my neck. ACDF c6/7. Now folks the pain was unbearble with th first.  Then one day it all stopped. Now it is like I never had it! Currently I am having horrible pain in my back, muscle spasms galore, pain down legs! I am taking Loratabs and Lyrica! The lyrica works wonders for nightime! Knocks me out! And throughout my recovery taking care of a 5 and 3 yr old!    My best advice to all is to stay positive! Its a living hell but what choice do we have! Pray Pray Pray! Take hot baths, get involved in something anything that will take your mind off the pain! For some reasonwe all have to go through this! We can do it together, keep writing I think support is the best thing we can do for eachother! Until you have walked a mile in the shoes of someone with chronic pain you just never know! I have found just taking it minute by minute day by day, my state of mind gets a little better!  It is a slow healing process! I am start warm water therapy and have been doing physical therapy! A lot of Surgeons are against it! But My Neurosurgeon just had Back surgery! Hes been having a hard go! And this is what hes doing! Get those muscles strong! If you can live through the pain you live through day to day! You can do this too!!!!! GOD BLESS YOU ALL
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Avatar_n_tn
I had L5 to S1 surgery with disc replacement and fusion on May 20, 2009.  You said your pain took 2 yrs. to go away?  I am still waiting for the swelling, numbness, and muscle spasms to quit.  I have had and MRI, a nerve study, and a CT scan with dye and nothing shows up.  Can I hope that in another year it could be gone?  Anyone else out there had theirs go away with time?
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I am 26 years and have had back and leg pain for years.  Every time I would go into my doctor and she would take X-rays and then tell me that I was constipated and send me home with Darvocet.  This went on for years until April of 2008 when an on call doctor said I was to young to be having this kind of pain and ordered an MRI.  It showed that I had a herniated disc at L5 S1.  I went and had two steroid injections that did nothing but put me down for two days afterward.  Then I did physical therapy for four months.  I had a discectomy in September 2008.  They took a quarter of the disc out.  I had immediate relief of the leg pain, it was amazing.  Then a month later I started having back pain all over again.  My doctor sent me to physical therapy confident it would help.  I was in physical therapy for four or five months and then they just sent me home with a tens unit.  The tens unit did nothing for me at home.  I continued to to see my chiropractor for the rest of 2009.  Then in November of 2009 my doctor said it might be a good idea to start adjusting my lower back.  My next visit I asked her to adjust my lower back.  The next day I was in so much pain that all I could do was cry.  I went to work and I had to crawl to where ever I wanted to go.  I called my chiropractor and she said that that wasn't normal and I shouldn't be in that much pain.  She was amazing in helping me get into my doctor right away the next morning.  My doctor gave me a shot of Toradol and sent me home with steroids and pain medication.  My chiropractor go me in to see the PA of the surgeon she works with.  She tried to examine me to her best with how much pain I was in.  She ordered a CAT scan and sent me home with muscle relaxers and pain meds and told me to take it easy until they could figure out what was going on.  The CAT scan showed something that wasn't good but she need to see a MRI so she could pin point what it was.  The MRI show the same disc as before was herniated again.  It was huge.  She then made me an appointment with the surgeon.  I was to see him on a Friday.  The previous Monday I called her and said that I was in so much pain that I couldn't walk, sit or lay down.  She consulted with him and they said that I would probably have surgery that following weekend and to keep his appointment.  He reviewed the MRI and said that I had severe disc disease and arthritis starting to form around my vertebra.  The disc was completely black from being dried out, and that a huge piece had broken off and was pretty much floating around in there and pushing on my nerves causing the leg pain.  He wanted to remove the disc and put a cage in and then do a fusion to stabilize everything.  I had surgery the following Monday.  Surgery was about 2 1/2 hours.  When I finally woke up I was in so much pain I couldn't handle it.  The nurses had to call him and change my medicine.  I didn't get out of bed until the next day.  I was in the hospital for 4 days and 3 nights.  When I got home I was still in so much pain.  I seen her the following Monday and she switched my meds from what she put me on the leave the hospital.  I was also put on Gabapentin and Baclofen.  The pain seemed to get better after that and I felt a lot better.  Then about 2 weeks after that the pain started to get really bad all over again.  If I was sitting on the couch I had to use the arm of the couch to get up, my knees felt like they were gonna give out and I got very depressed again.  My family doesn't understand and are pretty much sick of me talking about my pain.  I am sick of taking pills to feel better and I don't want my doctor to think that I am addicted to them, but they are the only thing that makes me feel better.  My muscle spasms are absolutely horrible.  I am 8 1/2 weeks out of surgery and wondering when the pain will end.  I don't know what else to do.  They say that everything looks okay, but I don't feel okay.  How do I go about making my doctor understand?  What things should I bring up?
Any ideas would be appreciated.
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I am asuming Watson is your last name and not the name of pill u take?Anyway I had a L4 L5 L5LS1 fusion 5 months ago.Trust me you will hurt for a really long time.When my surgeon told me up to 1 year to heal believe it.Did u have 2 level,lumbar thorasic, and who was your surgeon.My surgeon was out of U of Miami sylvester spine institute Dr.Wang and Dr. Greene.When I tell u having a good neuro surgeon matters, it is vital.Dont worry I was still in severe pain after 9 weeks so just give it time. My burning leg pain is finally going away and the lower back pain is getting better gradually.It takes a very long time to heal and I pray we all get better eventually.I didnt start to feel better until I got my brace off and started walking a lot.I mean I am walking up to 6 miles a day.Sometimes it is painful but I am still taking 8 30mg oxycodone ir's a day.I had been on pain meds for 10 years with severe leg and back pain.I dealt with it for that long before I had any kind of surgery.My first surgery was aminamilly invasive laser surgery down in Florida which I believe was the biggest mistake I ever made in my whole life.They are crooks them laser surgery dr.s (beware).Wish I would of just had the fusion instead but I didnt have until 7 months after laser surgery.So needless to say the past year has been a nightmare.Only this past week has the pain been really decreasing.My dr gave me neurontin and lyrica but hell with that junk I will just take what works (oxycodone).My doc put me on that oxycontin and i turned into an evil son of a *****.Listen I dont care how good it works for u.But do yourself one favor and that is stay away from oxycontin.All u wind up having to do is increase the dose every 6-12 months and it is horrible.Y ou have to take so much to get any relief.They started me out on 4 60mg oxycontin and 4 30mg oxycodone a day and I was still in severe pain and always felt like I needed more of the oxycontin.I know about 10 guys that died from that oxycontin also.I am an Iron worker so I have seen my share of guys getting hurt at work and having to take that oxycontin in enormous amounts.I had a friend that got prescribed 300 80mg oxycontin and 300 30mg oxycodone about 240 2mg dilaudid and 240 4mg dilaudid.Oh yeah he had lollipops for in beetween.Tell me you know anyone that could consume that much dope a day and function.This guy was a walking zombie.I saw his scripts so it was no joke.I was with him one day he lost the script for 300 80mg oxycontin.I mean he lost the paper script.You wanna talk about drama I thought he was gonna die he was hiperventalating and shaking soo bad I was scared for him.Anyway moral of story is give your surgery time.You need to have an xray and see if u have fused.Lots of walking,sauna,massage,swimming in pool and sitting in hot tub and you will be fine in about 10 months dont worry.I went through everything you are going through now.All the depressed feelings and trust me it gets better.Just hang in there.Bye for now...
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Avatar_n_tn
I had a L5/S1 fusion in 2007 following 18 months of severe back problems, which caused me problems with standing, sitting, lying etc. I was having pain in both legs and feet which gave me the sensation of severe electric shock on a mobile phone vibrate rythm.
I had the surgery and immediately felt relief in my legs. I still suffered some back pain for approximately 1 year particularly when sitting down but this did eventually dissipate. I improved so much that I was back training as much as I had before. I was running over 40 miles a week, swimming, cycling etc.
So I would say to those who are considering surgery to ensure that you choose a surgeon who is a spinal specialist and ask for the type of results they have achieved.
Good luck to all who go down this route and sympathies to all who have not been so successful.
Unfortunately for me after about a year of further training I was knocked off my bicycle by a car and am back to square one with no sign of relief.
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Avatar_n_tn
Ok! Now its been almost 6mths since ALIF of L/4 L/5 and S/1.  So a month out I called Neurosurgeons because of pain.  The physicans assistant set me up for physical therapy.  Ok went in opened minded.  This guy had my brace off, and had me strapped to a table, on my stomach and pushing up onto my hands.  At one point I heard a pop, went into extreme pain.  So they stopped that and I went to a different place and did warm water therapy.  3 mths later I am in extreme pain.  Worse than before surgery.  I alson have contracted horrible headaches.  And to top it off they decrease my pain meds.  So now all I do is lay around.  I have to carry my leg when I walk.  Its hell.  I have an MRI scheduled on Monday.  But I wonder if anyone has had any luck with ALIF of 2 levels.  Everywhere I look it says in black and white most are not successful because there is not enough stabilazition, back approach is needed also.  I have given this ordeal as much effort as I can.  But I just called neuro and said I am done with physical therapy.  The pain, weakness, numbness and burning after wards, NO they can take it and SHOVE it! Any suggestions would be great! Peace and Love
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My name is Mr.Sensi and I posted up top about my 2 level fusion.Well forget everything I said up top here.My back hurts 10 x as bad as before surgery.I was good for a few months.Thought all my pain was from healing.Well it wasnt the 2 level lumbar fusion I had in Miami was a disaster.I have severe left leg pain and cant sit at all.My feet fall asleep from just sitting in a chair and then when i stand up they hurt from pins and needles.I have bladder problems now which my surgeon swares wasnt from the fusion when all the other dr.'s I see tell me diffrent.Well fusion was a waste of 9 months of my time.I have pain just like before surgery and sometimes it is worse.Neuro surgeons are the devil.All they are looking after is their bottom line.This dr said before I had my surgery that oh u become like family if u have surgery here and all this other salesman junk.kinda reminded me of a car salesman.Well let me tell you after you have your surgery you are no longer valuable to them anymore and you will never hear from them again.Moral of story is it doesnt matter where u have the surgery it sometimes works and sometimes doesnt.But when they say they get 85% success rates and all the lies just let it go in one ear and out the other.Trust me from exspierence.There is no way they get an 85% success rate from this surgery..NO WAY.And I am really mad this dr would tell me this before the surgery.I told him from my research that with the kind of injury I had they would of gotten better results from going in from front and back to fuse me.He just went in from back and screwed everything together.Meaning they only got 5 screws in instead of 6 and they only got the spacer beetween my l4-l5 disc space and nothing beetween my l5-s1 space so it is still bone on bone there they just screwed it together.This is why I still have pain and wish I never did the fusion.Good Luck!!!!
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Hello,
       I had L5 S1 surgery in January of this year. Going into surgery I had severe lower back pain along with leg pain down both legs. Also numbness on and off in both hands.Sitting was one of the  things that also increase my pain level. After surgery my leg pain along with the numbness was completely gone. I just had some lower back pain which was tolerable. In May my leg pain returned along with the back pain. Some days the leg pain is so bad it feels like they are being crushed, the back pain is also getting worse. Sitting and walking also increases my pain.I have been on pain meds and nothing seems to help other than take the edge off. They have done a CT and an MRI to make sure my screws are in place and no scare tissue has formed. Everything looks good according to the readings. The doctors don't have a reason for my pain, they want to try steroid injections and therapy. All this was done before surgery and steroid injections are not a walk in the park!! Does anyone have any suggestions, I am about to loose my mind.
                                                                                            Thanks,
                                                                                             Diane Wood
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I had L5 S1 surgery in 2001. one month later i had tremendous burning pain in both legs, mostly calves, after surgery.. it is still there... i have almost killed myself over 10 times and i have lost my job, house, and everything else i had. i am just now getting my kids back... i am currently on Lyrica 1200 mg daily... it helps some.. the pain killers actually made me feel worse once my body adjusted to them. (i was on all of them),. i am currently unemployed and cannot get medicaid or social secutity (dont know why), but what kind of options do i have... i am completely broken and feel helpless..
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I just had a back fusion two weeks ago and feel great. I had S1/L5 done with a tear at L4 repaired. I have been up and walking and off of pain meds for over a week. I still have a little pain in my left leg, due to scar tissue from a past operation. The doc had to scrape the nerve for over two hours to get the scar tissue off of the nerve. My Doc was great from day one. As he said eveyone is different, so the healing time depends on the person. I'm 47 years old and wish I never waited 3 years to have it fixed.  

Good Luck to All!
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I had a l4-l5 fusion in November of 2009. In July 2010 i had a l3-l4 and a l5-s1 at the same time. Its been 5 mos. since my surgery and the pain about an inch below the incision feels like somebody is stabbing me with an ice pick. The Dr. started me on hydrocodone 10-500 for about three mos. the reduced the dosage down to 7.5-500, one every 6 hours.  I keep telling him that it is killing me and he always says to give it time. With surgeries like these only 8 mos apart, i think he should care a little bit more about my pain. I would greatly appreciate any ideas on this. Thank you very much.
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I had a l4-l5 fusion in November of 2009. In July 2010 i had a l3-l4 and a l5-s1 at the same time. Its been 5 mos. since my surgery and the pain about an inch below the incision feels like somebody is stabbing me with an ice pick. The Dr. started me on hydrocodone 10-500 for about three mos. the reduced the dosage down to 7.5-500, one every 6 hours.  I keep telling him that it is killing me and he always says to give it time. With surgeries like these only 8 mos apart, i think he should care a little bit more about my pain. I would greatly appreciate any ideas on this. Thank you very much.
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I had a 360 lumbar decompression and spinal fusion on L4-5 and L5-S1. I am 3 weeks post op as of today. The only problem I have had is pain in the left leg . The pain feels like its coming from the hip area and it comes and goes. I only take peracet 10mg/ Acetaminophen right before bed and 1 valium 10mg for muscle spasm before bed. Right after surgery I had horrible left leg pain where I could barley walk with the walker. I started walking a lot when I got home and this seems to help. I have had one really bad day yesterday and the Doc said to slow down a little. They took an x-ray of my hip and said it looks great. They did a wonderful job with the surgery and I never felt any pain from the 13cm incision on my stomach. The two 4 inch incisions on my back were also not to painful. My legs were the most painful part of all of this.
I don't regret getting the surgery done. It is a long recovery process for the fusion( I where a back brace when I am up and a bone generator for 4 hours a day to help with the fusion). If the left leg thing goes away with time this has been a very successful surgery. I can now sleep with out my spine and hips feeling like they are going to crush.
If you are going to have this surgery done buy two things- a raised toilet seat and a grabber to get anything you drop.
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I had fusion L4 L5 S1 in 2003 and over the years my leg pain is getting worse. The doctor that preformed my surgery ran one of the screws down right next to the nerve root that runs to my right leg.
This has always given me trouble and this winter it is getting worst. My left leg has always worked good but now I am getting  scar tissue around the nerves running down to my left leg. Now I am getting a lot of pain in that leg.
I did a MRI in January 2011 and sent it to the hospital in Seattle, the doctor called me and told me the screw can not be removed without damaging the nerve that the screw is next to.
I can not sleep at night and can hardly walk, stand, or sit. I'm always in pain.
I am allergic to most pain pills so that has left me with not many options.
I am not sure if this is a good as it gets or if there is some hope out there for me.  
I guess I should add my back has never fused so it does move some and at times it pops and my leg give out and I will hit the ground without warning this is always fun.
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I recently had a L5 and S1 fusion for it has been 5 weeks!  I had a pinched sciatic nerve in the left leg on a 10 pain scale ready to shoot myself. I have had 2 spine shots and taken numerous drugs and no relief!  After surgery 2 days later and going home my leg pain was gone and of course now in my lower back from incision. So far it has been a success and surprisingly after years with a chiropractor there should no longer be a need for it. I researched a Dr. Peter Mirkin of St Louis Missouri and he has done a great job!! I have traveled 130 miles to have this done. After researching Laser spine institute I am glad to make this decision. Would Laser spine Institute have done there procedure I would have had temporary relief for a short while. I would reccommend this Dr. Mirkin strongly if your tired or pain. Jim M.
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I had a successful L5-S1 fusion in 2004. Unfortunately I seemed to get worse. The pain became unbearable to the point where I was seriously considering suicide. I have constant burning in my legs. I have abdominal spasms that sometimes become unbearable. My buttock muscle are in constant spasm and I get severe charley horses. I am on all sorts of pain meds for years. I recently found out that one of my screws goes into the disc between L4-L5 and this masy be what is causing the pain. The vertabrae were never realigned and screwed together with the sliipage. I was told this can also pinch nerves and cause pain.
Like you, I can not sleep at night and can hardly walk, stand, or sit. I'm always in pain. Have you found out anymore about having the screw removed?

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I am 26 years old, I had a L5-S1 lamenctomy, it was a nightmare! I finally had a L4-L5 L-S1 fusion, they took a graph from my right hip (which is still achy but dull  now, and I hate the scar..) But I have beautiful little cage in my back.
At first the nerve pain did not go away, and now, I still shooting nerve pain but it is not as bad as it was before the surgery. I walk with a slight limp because of the nerve damage done to my right leg. My right foot is numb and very sensative to hot/cold. My back always seems to have to have this dull ache. My leg like I said still has some of the shooting nerve pain but not bad. I am not on Gabapentin anymore, it just doesn't work for some people, and I am part of that some people. I am on Norco 10/325 I only take half a pill and sometimes a whole pill, but I take tramadol most days, and leave Norco for when I really need it. I do need to take Soma every night before I go to bed, or I will lay there spasming. I am hopeful that phsyical therapy will help with this, I am also scheduled for trigger point injections. I also wear Lidocane patches on my lower back, which helps out most days. I do have bladder incontinence, it's hard to explain, but I have no clue when my bladder is full, which causes me to have small accidents, but again this is from the nerve damage and as the nerve grows back my bladder issues should resolve.
I talked to my NS, he stated at 6 months post-op I will know where I am at with the pain and movement. I am very confident in my surgeon and the fusion he did on me. I went from not being able to get out of bed, to walking a mile a day. I found a mile is limit. I can sit for about 3 hours straight now, then I rotate the rest of the day from sitting/laying/standing/walking. I know my life won't be normal anymore, but I am still hopeful, I know I will get off of the pain meds, and my back will go back to being relatively normal.
Fusions can work, not all are bad, you just have to remember, not all surgeons are the same, do your research. Not all back issues are the same. Ensure you fully understand what is wrong with your back and the course of action needed. If you are not in dibaliting pain do not get it done. Opt for injections, pain management, or even a disc replacement. Surgery should not be your first thought, nor your first action. For chronic pain it is important to get with a therapist or psychologist to help with the depression. I honestly hope this post will help someone, I am young, inshape, and most importantly I have a positive outlook and an amazing support system, with my family, friends, and a psychologist. There is life after a fusion you just have to adjust a few things.
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Hi, I had a 360 fusion of L4-L5 L5-S1 in August 2009.  Going into surgery I had no issues at all with my left leg.  In fact, my right leg was gong weak, and my left leg was the strongest.  Ever since the surgery I've had problems with my left leg and left foot.  My left foot is still completely numb and just recently it feels like my ankle and foot is tightening up so much that it's dying.  I can't explain it but it's in the left calf too.  I'm scared that I'm going to completely lose the use of that leg.  I'm waking up at night with charley horses from my toes up my outer calf.  I know my surgery was a success because my back pain is 1,000 times better than it was, but I'm so scared by what's going on with my leg.  They keep telling me they have no idea what's causing this.  Did you ever find out anything??
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I did a disectomy fusion of L4 and L5 on the 2 Nov 2011 it lasted for approx. 7 hrs it took 4 screws 2 rods to do the surgery it was very painful in the first few days after the surgery most things went well for the surgery but have been having some form of discomfort in my left foot especially ma left big toe which burns me real bad after standing I wonder if I am moving too early and am doing therapy like 5 times per week the therapy helps me a lot even though I get burning in my toe
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I did a disectomy fusion of L4 and L5 on the 2 Nov 2011 it lasted for approx. 7 hrs it took 4 screws 2 rods to do the surgery it was very painful in the first few days after the surgery most things went well for the surgery but have been having some form of discomfort in my left foot especially ma left big toe which burns me real bad after standing I wonder if I am moving too early and am doing therapy like 5 times per week the therapy helps me a lot even though I get burning in my toe
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My L5 had ruptured and I got the operation.. Everything was going well, the shooting pain down my right leg had just about stopped and I was able to sit comfortably.. I had a nap one afternoon and woke up and I could hardly walk.. Apparently another piece of the disc had come loose.. It's been 2 weeks after my second operation and I've sneezed.. Now I can hardly bend my back.. I don't know what to do.. I'm only 24.. What happens if the disc keeps rupturing??
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had l4 l5 s1 fusion on jan 16, left leg burning feeling after surgery back feeling very little pain went too therapy  in february after three weeks burning went away in my left leg.very little pain in my back seen the doctor in march he let me come out of the brace feel funny and presssor on my lower back but i am moving around doing good next day went too therapy got out of my truck took couple of steps my left leg gave out on me end of march i go see the  doctor again we are going turning me lose too work i work for steel mill 12 hours shifts i don`t  know i can handle it short term disability well stop and if i mist work i don`t get paid and i don`t have no choice but too work i got a family
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On June 25th 2007 I had PLIF with Laminectomy  at levels L4 L5 L5LS1 .My surgeon told me that there was a 50/50 chance of it helping my discs were ruptured and herniated before i even thought of having surgery done I did physical therapy ,steroid injections and pain meds.Well almost 6 years later im still in severe pain my lower back feels like its a huge bruise very tender to the touch it burns and is always tight.I have stabbing pains going into my bottom suffer from severe spasms of the hip and all the way down my legs to my toes along with sharp stabbing burning pain and pin n needle feeling especially when im standing or sitting it does not matter.At night the spasms and creepy crawlies (all i can do to describe this is as if i have lil bugs crawling around in my legs. So i have had numerous test done had NCST done showed nerve damage in both my legs.I have been on so many different meds I cant take methadone gets me really sick been on the Fentanyl Patch lyrica Cymbalta now im currently on MS-Contin  200 mg in morning 200 at night I also take Neurontin Baclofen n and a whopping .5 mg of Klonopin at night for my spasms . I tried after the surgery about 3 years to do more steroid shots and epidural done and in return i end up in the hospital for 5 days due to they did the injection in the scar tissue and the hole never closed and i got air in the base of my brain talk about more added pain and i tried 2 blood patches before i was even admitted to the hospital which they didn't help at all.So long story short after taking all this medicine every day IM STILL IN PAIN my back  & legs. Im seeing a new doctor in a week due to me moving 2 miles down the road which put me in another state LOL.The only thing with that is that they have to send me out to a specialist before they can play the medicine game again with me.My current doctor told me if i split your meds your on up between the people in the office here they all would be sleeping well im up and functioning as well as i can it does not make me tired and after taking 200 mg of morphine in the morning 3 hours later im in severe pain again. I just want to find some meds that will help a lot with the pain i know nothing will take it away but i waited 10 years before i had the surgery done and im still suffering im tired of complaining to my husband about how bad my back and legs hurt sleeping maybe 2 hours a night because of the pain and spasms and thank goodness i have a 18 year old and another almost 21 and they understand what im going through but NOBODY has a solution on what to do for me but test after test and increasing my meds that dont really work. I have not yet tried OxyContin i have tried soma which worked wonders on my spasms but no luck for anything for the nerve pain or the back pain or lack of sleep.I have trouble driving cant lift anything bending over or going side to side is almost impossible walking is supposed to be good for you not in my case if i step on uneven ground i get this sharp electric feeling in my leg and back .All i want is to be somewhat normal and be out of at least 75 % of my pain ! Anybody have any ideas or suggestions.Since i have bars screws and rods in my lower back of course i cant bend like a "normal" person.I also have spinal stenosis and degenerative disc disease among a few other things.The doc told me in 10 years after i had my surgery i would probably be all metal in my back lot of confidence he had but as he explained when you have the surgery done and the hardware as low as it can go in your back all the stress from it will start rupturing above everything which i do have another ruptured disc at L2 & L3 now.I would really think long and hard BEFORE you have anything done to your back if a doc tells you its 90 % effective go to a different surgeon because as with any surgery its a 50/50 that it will help make you worse or you will feel the same except you will be full of metal sitting in you stopping you from doing normal daily actives. So if anybody has suggestions on any meds that have helped you with similar surgery and nerve damage in the leg s and lack of sleep from the pain and spasms help me out and on top of it i will be 40 in 2 weeks so i have been dealing with this for a long while and they had no response when i asked them how this happened since i never had major injuries to the back in my life there answer wear and tear like im a car tire or something !!
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I had spinal fusion a year ago on the L4, L5, and S1 for spinal spondylolithesis over 50%. My major complaints were back pain and sciatica in my left leg. since surgery I still have lower back pain and now tightness in my calve muscles it feels like I cannot stretch them enough and sciatica in my right leg, pins and needle feelings in both feet. I am taking 1800mg gaipentin, 60mg cymbalta, and 2 muscle relaxers a day. The meds make me feel so tired and confused not to mention the weight gain.  I have a physical job and worry how long I will be able to continue doing it. I feel useless and lazy.
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Yes - me.  I had a l5 s1 fusion for spondylolisthesis in Oct 2010.  After Jan 2011 - I have been virtually pain free with sporatic bouts of left leg pain after hard physical activity.  About a month ago - my leg gave out from under me and since that time - I've been having the same leg pain I had since before my surgery.  And the nail on the toe next to my big toe has fallen off.  I was up to standing for 25 minutes before needing to sit down...not any more....5 minutes MAX.  Such a disappointment.  I feel your pain.  Back to the doctor.....thought that part of my life was over.  Guess not.  
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HELP PLEASE!!! I had a fusion L5 S1 in February 2009 and I am in more pain now than before my surgery. The night of my surgery I was up all night in extreme pain and crying like a baby. When my Dr. was told this the next morning he released me and did nothing to try to ease my pain. For 6 months I cried all the time because I was in horrible pain and had no idea how to ease it. My Dr. said my x-rays and MRI were fine, after that phone call I have not heard from him. I have had my family Dr. send me for more epidural/cortizone shots, I have tried numerous medications (neurotin, lyrica, narcotics, controlled, muscle relaxers and the list goes on). I have had my Dr. also send me for more opinions. Everything that has been done since my surgery is at my request, my Dr. does NOT recommend anything. I just feel I'm alone in this. Actually, I am alone in this. The Dr. that give's me the injections did a nerve test on me where he puts needles into my back and legs. He said it shows I have a nerve that is pinched. I tried the injections again and it didn't help. I finally talked my family Dr. into sending me to another neurologist. I had a test that included dye and a CT scan. My results were the fusion did not fuse , he said the screws were in the wrong place and one of the screws were loose, to me it looked like it was just hanging there but i'm not a professional. During this visit he said if he could operate and make me 50% better it would be worth it. I left and thought about everything he said and 2 months later I went back. During this visit he told me he would NOT operate and he can't say for sure this is the cause of my pain. Needless to say I left the visit crying like a baby because I thought finally someone was going to try to help me. My main problem is for the last 3, almost 4 years I have been trying to find the source of my pain and something that could ease it enough to live a normal life and I feel there is no one who believes me. I feel like I am in this alone. My fiance left because he said I never feel like doing anything, which he is right, if you are in pain like me you don't feel like doing anything. I am ill all the time, I don't want to talk to anyone, I am constantly hurting in my back, my right and left legs and feet, and I sometimes fall because my leg doesn't want to work. The smallest tasks cause me to be in horrible pain. I wake in the mornings and it begins. I can't even sleep all night, with the help of many meds. People just don't understand and many don't believe me. If anyone can help or give me any ideas of what to try next I would appreciate it. This is the first time I have asked for help from others beacuse I don't want to feel like I am whining and I know there are other people in worse shape than me but I am breaking down, I need help. I just want to be able to buy groceries or take my daughter to school without being miserable the rest of the day. I am a single mom and I have to do it all, if anyone can give me any ideas of how to do it with less pain I will appreciate it. Have a great week.
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Hi, I realise this is 6 months after your post, but I want to tell you, you are not alone in this.  I had L5/S1 fused two years ago, and am still visiting the physiotherapist every week, am constantly tired and battle with the extreme pain.  My spine has fused and fused hard - the cage and the screws are all in the right place.  The discs above and below are starting to tear but nothing can be done to take away the pain.
I too am a single mum of two kids - and getting up every day is a task, and even worse, I still look at my shoes and have to sum up the energy to find a way to put them on my feet.  I gave up all of the pain medications - they did nothing but made me nauseous, dizzy, and feel out of control.  I came off them slowly under the watchful eye of my GP but now I am off them I feel more in control of me - even though the pain persists.
I've had all the nerve tests, MRIs, CTs, a needle with dye put into my spine, all of them post surgery and it shows nothing.
All I can say to you is look at your child/children and remember why you keep going - for them.  I have had to accept that I will now live with pain for the rest of my life, that I will need a nap for a couple of hours most afternoons just to cope and that life will never be as it was prior to my accident.
The only thing I have found freedom in, is aqua aerobics.  It is old fashioned, but it gives me a great boost and I am free from the pain for 30 minutes.
Good luck and remember to stay strong.
Lisa
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Sorry to hear about your pain. In 1996 I had a fusion done on L5 S1 and probly the worst thing I have ever had done. They sent me back to work (construction) after 6 months, myself I thought it was to soon after surgery. Things seem to be so so for first year then went down from there. Tried all sorts of pain pills and no releif until after living in pain for six years after surgery, they tried methadone and within 1 hour I knew that we were onto something that worked. Started out at 5mg 4 times a day and now after 12 years methadone has only been increased to 40mg twice a day, still have back pain but I can manage it. Shame I had to retire from being an electrician for twenty years and go on disabilaty, But I had to do what I had to do.
RonInGrandRapids
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this scares me. I am about to do this and I am so nervous.i am 33 and drive a truck for a living. I hope that I am able to work afterwards. my doctor said 3mo to a year recover time... I don't know what to do.
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I'm 6 weeks out!   For the first time in 5 years my back doesn't hurt,  I can feel my legs and feet again.  Although it is still early in my recovery it's already made at least a 50% difference in my life.   My only pain now is my calves, dr said that's my nerves waking up after being compressed so long.  At 6 weeks I can walk without a walker or cane, I can take care of my daily needs and for the first time in years, I can sleep though the nights.  I'm  still healing and I don't know if I will fuse or not, I use a bone stimulator for 2 hours a day, still no bending lifting or twisting, but I'm getting better every day.    I was told it take 6-12 months to fully heal.....but my life has already improved!   So yes, there are those of us who actually do feel it made a positive difference, at least so far.
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If it worked for them then I doubt if they would be on this site. I have known two people that it did work for and were pain free.  I had L4 and L5 done 2 weeks ago, and so far it has gone ok.  I did it because for me I would have been a cripple the rest of my life, been in constant pain and unable to walk more than a block. So even if It reduce the pain by 75% and can walk again then it's a win for me. I am 63 and just wasn't ready to lie down and quit. I wished there were more choices, but I was certainly unable to find them. I wish you all the best.
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Charliem I so agree we need to do something about it. Would like to talk with you. ***@**** I have some ideas, starting with Hippa privacy act, making doctors have another form allowing patient's a list of other that have had the surgery. So we can call or email, the patient privacy act seems to be pertecting the doctor's and not us.
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Patricia I an greatful for this site, everyone (majority) has said the same thing, mri and cat scan with contract shows nothing. I feel very upset because doctors hear this and you would think they KNOW what the problem is.  But do not disclose that this could happen, before doing these surgery's, to many of us have the same problem.
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Dr the problem is they don't show what the problem is.  I have a similar situation.
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I had mine done in 2005 S-1, L-5, and they say they see nothing wrong.  cat scan w/contract, from my bone graft, buttocks, left leg. Is in pain most the time. I try to have a good attitude, but sometimes I just need to cry.
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I am only 4 months out from my surgery, yet the pain is horrible. I am on Neurontin, Robaxin, and hydrocodone. with all of those i still am in debilitating pain. I feel like my doctors are ignoring me when i tell them i am hurting so bad, worse than before my surgery. They say it is muscle pain and Physical Therapy will help. I do not feel like it is muscle pain. it is a stabbing pain that makes it hard to bend my back. After the surgery i could not move due to pain on the opposite side of the original pain shooting down my left leg and shin. This is why they put me on Neurontin. Any activity causes my back to feel locked up and after taking the muscle relaxers i am not able to do anything the rest of the day. I fear there is permanent damage to my back and the surgery was unsuccessful. I have asked for further test like an MRI, yet they feel everything is fine. I know it is not. How can i get better results with my doctors. they act like i am making up this pain.   Rosemary  
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I am almost 3 months out from my L5-S1 fusion.  When I first had the surgery I did really well with pain and mobility. They did a couple sessions of physical therapy with me and said I was doing great and didn't need it anymore.  I was sent home after 2 days.  Unfortunately, I had excessive drainage from a pinhole at the top of my incision (they had taken the drain out before I went home, with an output still of 30cc I might add)  I contacted the Dr's office several times with concerns about the drainage. Two weeks to the day after surgery I finally got the Dr to see me about this. (A 1 1/2hr drive)  The Dr and his PA expressed the incision site of fluid, with the Dr saying he didn't know if it was an infection or not because I was not showing any other symptoms.  Btw, never bothering to take a sample of the fluid the test it.  He sent me for blood work to check my white blood cell count. The next day the nurse called me and said the blood test was inconclusive and I needed to go get blood work done again. (This time at my local hospital) Again, did not take a sample of the drainage even though the Dr was here for surgery.  A week later I got in to see Dr at the local office. By this time I was expressing 1/4c of drainage out of my back twice a day. When he saw the drainage this time he said he needed to go back in and clean and flush the next day. Another 1 1/2 hr drive and surgery #2. Had that surgery done, and at that time the Dr finally took sample and sent for cultures. Cultures came back with a gram positive bacillis anaerobic bacteria (very serious, and life threatening). Infectious disease Dr started me on Vancomycin, one of the strongest antibiotics out there. Again was taken down to PT and was told I was good and didn't need it.  My JP drain was removed 30hrs before I was released from hospital. Spent 7 days in the hospital that time.  Started a regimen of vancomycin antibiotics at home through a picc line placed in my arm. Tweny-six hours after I was released I woke up from a nap in excruciating pain (couldn't even sit up in bed). I called 911 and was taken to local ER.  They did an MRI and found I had fluid around my spine.  I was shipped to Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA.  Along with the severe bacterial infection, I now had Bacterial Meningitis from my spinal membrane being damaged during the second surgery.  If I hadn't called 911 I wouldn't be here now writing this. I spent 9 days in the hospital and had 3 more surgeries that time.  The first surgery I had there the Dr had to remove the rods and screws from my back because they were contaminated from the infection.  Came home and was doing pretty good, except from the side effects of the vancomycin.  Last Friday I had my weekly blood work done and got a call saying they wanted me back in Pittsburgh.  My blood platelets were down to 23,000 (normal range is between 150,000 - 190,000), and my kidney function was way below normal.   I am feeling alot better now, but may possibility have permanent kidney damage. Only time will tell. Now I am having pain in my tailbone that radiates into my left buttock and my left leg. The neurologist told us that I may need to have the hardware put back in.  That would make surgery #6.  I feel like this is never going to end.  Quite honestly, I don't know if I can take any more of this....
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Avatar_n_tn
I had 2 discs removed and fusion at L4L5 and L5S1 almost a year ago.  At first my back felt so much better but my legs hurt so bad.  I got off the Morphine and Oxycodone faster than my Dr. thought I should have. He was right I had terrible withdrawals but had been on them for 5 years before surgery. About a month or so after getting off meds my lower back started to hurt again.  I had a CT scan and found out the fusion at L4/L5 did not take and my Dr. said if that was the case it would mean a 2nd surgery.  But I am scheduled for a breast reduction cause I am still tilted forward from the weight.  I DO feel much better but am back on Percocet 15 mgs. 3 times a day. I am able to do so much more than I could before the surgery. I made a huge mistake, I did not  quit smoking b4 the surgery and that is a MUST.  I HAVE to quit for 30 days before and after the next breast reduction surgery. So I won't go back to it.  I also have RA which can reduce the chances of fusion success so I am lucky that half of it fused. There is hope. I will do what my surgeon, a Neurologist who heads the hospital in the spine surgery unit.  Time to heal, it does take time.  Exercise is very important! Walk, walk, walk it will help the healing process and DON'T SMOKE. If you do, QUIT at least a month b4 surgery. I know it is hard, I am struggling now but the Plastic Surgeon for my next surgery will test me for nicotine b4 the surgery and if there is a trace, he won't do it.  Good luck to all, it takes time.  My legs did hurt for months after the fusion. So weird but it was like they ached so bad I had to keep stretching them. Thank God that went away.
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