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Severe Pain After Back Surgery
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Severe Pain After Back Surgery

My stepfather had back surgery July 20th. After surgery his back was/has been starting to feel stronger, however, he is in severe pain in his righ hip and leg. To the point he can't do anything. He just got released from the hospital yesterday, Aug. 4th where they first said they needed to go back in, but when the doc came back from the weekend he said they did not need to. Something seems very wrong. He is now at home in a hospital bed, unable move, he has since stopped eating and drinking b/c of the amount of pain he is in. What do I do? I have no clue am an lost. His docs. office is not returning my phone calls now and I can't stand to see him like this. Please, what do I do?
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
Thanks for using the forum. I am happy to address your questions, and my answer will be based on the information you provided here. Please make sure you recognize that this forum is for educational purposes only, and it does not substitute for a formal office visit with a doctor.

Without the ability to examine and obtain a history, I can not tell you what the exact cause of the symptoms is. However I will try to provide you with some useful information.

I am sorry to hear about your stepfather’s pain postoperatively. There is a condition that may result post back surgeries called failed back surgery. It usually occurs in patients who do not have clinical or imaging evidence of nerve compression. Or it may be a result of the surgery not removing all of the herniated disc, postoperative inflammation/scarring, surgery at the wrong spinal level, muscle spasm or psychosocial issues. Treatment would include re-operation, chronic pain intervention, rehabilitation, and/or neuropathic medications.

It would be best to have your stepfather follow up with the surgeon to obtain an adequate diagnosis. If no improvement in the next few weeks, a repeat MRI of the lumbar spine would be appropriate. Also, he needs to be encouraged to eat and drink water. These are important in the healing process post-operation.

Thank you for this opportunity to answer your questions, I hope you find the information I have provided useful, good luck.
4 Comments
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Avatar_m_tn
Dear amyrob0218
I am sorry to hear ur step dad is in this much pain! When was the last time u spoke to that dr's office. maybe thay r not responding because they explained all they can. i would contact another dr. when possible. I hope he does well!
Steve M
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Avatar_f_tn
His doc's office was contacted today and instead of the actually dr. returning the call his assistant did. They just said that the pain management dr. would be calling. Later, the pain manager's nurse called and said that the dr. had already went home for the day and will be contacting us tomorrow. We've tried calling other doc's office to see if they would see him or for some sort of 2nd opinion, but they say it is too close to the surgery date and it would be a liability for them. Soooo, still lost, still in pain, it's just complete misery, for everyone. Hope tomorrow turns into a better day.
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Avatar_f_tn
So sorry to hear about your dad.  Unfortunately, I've had 3 previous surgeries of which 2 of them were 4 months apart due to an accident w/a dog on a staircase.  After the accident (fall on edge of stair riser), I was left in severe burning pain in the SI Joint area, an area that had not been previously affected by pain.  It's possible your dad has developed some sort of infection, but since it seems to be generally located only in the leg & hip area that may not be the case.  The Dr. who recently commented suggested some disc material could have been missed in a herniation case could also cause extreme pain I knew someone that happened to.    I ?, however, the response you are getting from his Dr.  People who are in extreme pain don't heal properly.  As far as not eating or drinking, when I'm in extreme pain, I'm also one to stop eating, but he really needs nourishment to heal also.  Why is the lst Dr. so hesitant to deal w/the pain issue which is now considered the "5th vital sign". & why is he so quick to push him into pain management.  I would believe his surgeon should be re-evaluating your Dad to make sure nothing has changed in his condition after leaving the hospital.  Also, I hate to tell you this because it's the last thing you want to hear, but laying in bed, loosing muscle tone, can also cause increased pain.  He really should try to do some walking everyday even if it's around the interior of your home.  Good Luck, Hon!
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