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Post Op Nerve Damage?
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Post Op Nerve Damage?

I got a 9 vertebrae fusion last month to correct my scoliosis at age 48, and every since, the skin on my right breast, back, buttocks, thighs, all the way down to my knees hurts as if they are sun burned or on fire or something. I know that when I awakened from surgery, I was in a back brace and took it off, then pulled scabs off my nipples (and this after just having a great mammogram.) My surgeon's nurse said it is perfectly normal and is because blood is flowing to places it couldn't get to when I was face down for 12 hours, but that was on May 8th. Should I be concerned?
Tags: nerve damage, skin pain, post op, surgery, Skin, hurts, skin feels sunburned, skin hurts, skin feels like it's on fire
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Avatar_f_tn
I think you've got some postop neuropathy, which is most definitely to be expected in someone who underwent back surgery, and a particularly involved one, too.  You see, I fractured my back many years ago in a car accident, my spine was compressed and yanked to one side, and let me tell you, all the nerves ensuing from the crushed spine, which those nerves go all over the place, gosh they were extremely painful, I cannot begin to tell you how bad it was.  But you are fortunate.  You don't have that.  But it's to illustrate how the nerves can get a little irritated after an operation, where surgeons do their very best not to disturb what's already there, but because of the new alignment of your back, there's no way that the nerves won't get a little irritated.  So, what you have is an irritation of nerves or neuropathy.

Now, it just so happens that, like your neuropathy, I also have neuropathy in my feet, chemo-induced, and it sounds almost exactly like yours.  The burning description is an exact fit.  It's totally different from a spine that is broken or crushed or in danger.  Actually, the burning sensation should go away.  Mine took a year to get as good as it's going to get, but when you get it thru toxins (chemo), it is a miracle for it to go away at all.  But yours, it comes from your back being in a new position, which the surgeons did slowly and carefully, but even so, the change in position is going to make the nerves overly sensitive.

I really don't have much to say about the issue with your breast, other than a 12-hour surgery with you on your tummy, you can expect some sores to develop, which happened to you with your scabs.  I think your breast soreness could be either from the neuropathy OR could be you need to have your general doc have a look-see at it, to make sure it's not an infection.  Anytime there's a break in the skin and it's not kept clean and covered, it has a chance of getting rather inflammed.  But normally you would notice redness in that spot, pain, and also you would have a fever.

In addition, I think you SHOULD see your neurosurgeon/ortho docs in followup, if for no other reason than to perhaps get some sort of medication for the burning that neuropathy causes.  I know this, it hurts enough for me to take meds.  So, maybe they'll give you something.  In any case, seeing them will make double sure nothing is particularly wrong, but I do think it's neuropathy on account of how large an area it's covering.  Let us know how things go.  And I'm very happy to hear you got your back surgery, eventually you will feel so much better, not only physically, but mentally too!!!
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi,  I hope you are completely healed now since it has been a year.  I had a 12 hr back surgery in Mar 2013 and experiencing the very same except no breast issues. My back buttocks, thighs and hands are stinging, burning and so very sensitive. My hands bother me the most. So far they did a carpal tunnel release which did not help at all, Lyrica, Tylenol 3 and suggested I take Vit B as it heals nerves.  How are you today.  I hear it takes time and if so I can do that, but I'm afraid it will be with me always.  Are their any specialists you suggest?  Vaoneal
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