I had spinal fusion of the l2, l3, l4, l5 and s1 on June 13th, 2011. I am in constant pain now that ranges from a 6 to a 9. The pain that I have is in the lower right back, across the front of the right thigh area (up high in the hip area) spreads into the groin and then down the right leg to the knee cap. I also have what I refer to as "restless leg syndrome". This RLS as I call it comes on sometime shortly after I go to bed. My legs feel as if I have no control over them, have severe pain and I can't lay still. I will get up out of bed and go sit in my antigravity chair until I can no longer stay awake. This pain is horrendous. Can anyone explain to me what is going on?
What type of pain is it? Can you describe the quality of it? Is it stabbing, shooting, electrical, dull, constant? It almost sounds like you have a radiculopathy but I don't know what your pain is like. The dermatomal pattern suggest that is in a very specific region to think it may be related to a specific nerve root level. If you go and search dermatome patterns you will see what I am talking about. L5 encompases your hip and thigh and then your knee. If your S1 nerve is involved it can also involve the groin. The dermatomes can also overlap. The pain you feel can be anywhere from burning, tingling, shooting, stabbing, electrical type pain. It can be intermittent to constant from a dull ache to severe. I have a radiculopathy at my L5 and S1 on my left side and they are in the exact areas you describe except mine go all the way down to my feet into my toes. I never know when it will strike and the only meds that help are Lyrica.
You just had surgery so it is understandable that you are having these kinds of pains. What was your surgery for? If this is a new pain for you a call to your doctor needs to be made asap. You could have nerve damage being caused as we speak that will only get worse as time goes on. Nerve issues must be fixed as soon as possible.
My pain, in the hip/thigh area and the restless leg syndrome that I describe, can only be described as a very severe ache type pain which occassionally goes to a severe stabbing type pain. The worst pain is in the right testicle area. I saw the nuerosurgeons a few days ago and they were kind of stumped. They recognize the pain I am in but are not really sure what to do. They prescribed Nuerontin (SP?) and celebrex on top of the vicodin (I take 6-12 vicodin a day to manage the pain). I will be starting a very mild physical therapy today. The surgeons believe the pain is related to the nerves.
It seems the doctors felt like what I was describing. I guess they are giving you Neurontin in the hopes it will settle down. Did they say anything about doing any testing to see if a nerve root was being compressed? This is a new symptom correct? When this happens after surgery the first thing you want done is an EMG to find out if you have a nerve root compression somewhere, that might would need to get fixed really fast. If there is too much damage sometimes it is hard to get all the nerve functon back. Keep talking to your doctors. You are your own advocate. You should not have to live with a new pain like that that you did not have before the surgery. Shows that something is wrong. Now if you had it before it could be things just really waking up now that things are fixed. Still, an EMG would not hurt, or a MRI or CT exam to look at the soft tissue.
I feel for you. I broke my back L-1 burst fracture in an auto accident in 2003. I had surgery to put two rods and eight screws put in my back. After two years I was still in incredible pain so I had another surgery to remove the instrumentation in hopes of decreasing the pain. Well it's 11 years later and I have been in pain every day since then. I have tried everything from pain pills to physical therapy to steroid shots to chiropractic care and I'm still in pain. My pain is in my lower back but mostly in my groin, abdomen and down my legs. I also have the restless leg thing. I can't sleep at night. I can't even lay still. I just roll around in pain until I finally fall asleep out of complete exhaustion which usually means I only get about 2 hours of sleep at night if that. I was taking Vicodin also but decided to stop because of the side effects. I don't want to ruin my liver. I am now seeing a chiropractor but it doesn't help enough. I'm out of options. I don't know what to do but I know I can't live in this pain. Please share if you find an option that works for you.
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