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Severe Leg Pain after L5-S1 Spinal Surgery

On October 28, 2008, I had surgery which involved removing my L5 disc and putting in an artificial one along with 4 rods and 2 screws (keeping the device in place). My surgery was called a 'posterior and anterior surgery of the L5-S1 spine.' It has been several months now and from the begining of my surgery, my major complaint, was and still is, that my legs hurt and are sore all the time. Plus, the bottom of my feet burn and are literally very hard to walk on.

The pain is located on the back of both legs (hamstring area). It becomes so painful that it feels like I have 'stun guns' attached to them. My legs at this point feel like they want to buckle in at the knees. I met with my surgeon last Friday and he found it hard to believe that I would have any pains in my legs and does not know why this is happening. His advice is to stick with my pain specialist and then he wants to do an MRI of my upper back and a CAT scan to make sure no hardware is rubbing. I can surely say that when we looked at the xrays - nothing indicates any closenes.

I work with a pain specialist who has me on Nuerontin (sp?), Opana ER and also Percacets. I have been on these meds for several months as I was on pain medication prior to my surgery. Besides getting some releif for the Percacets, the others are not working.

Has anyone out there experienced such a case? If yes, are you still int he same condition? Has anything changed for you? What did you do? I feel at this point I should see a neurologist. What do you feel? I'm tired of hurting and not knowing why?

Thank you.

Maria K.
3 Responses
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Avatar universal
hi maria,
you should see a neurologist at the earliest. There is no point in increasing the suffering, especially after the surgery.

Do let us know what did he told you,
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Avatar universal
hello maria,
thanks for reply in a NOTE.
but i am allowed to answer your question only when you post it in this forum. Personal postings are not allowed to be answered.
Any questions or help, do ask me  here.
thanks and regards
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Avatar universal
Hi Maria,
I have and am still having similar pain after lumbar spine surgery. I had an "anterior/posterior interbody fusion in November 2005. Eleven weeks after my surgery I went to physical therapy and while doing my first calf stretch I felt a surge of pain in my back and it sounded like two rough rocks grinding together. That was the sound and feel of the disc above my fusion tearing.
As far as my leg pain goes, I had it before my surgery and after. My surgeon couldn't understand why that was until I had a post surgery MRI. The MRI showed one of the screws in my back was right up against a nerve. Fourteen months after my fusion I had another surgery to remove all of the hardware (screws and rods) plus a hemi-laminectomy and two more procedures which I can't remember the names of. The other procedures were done at the same time as my hardware removal and they were all about removing bone to give my nerves more room. The hardware removal abolished the stabbing leg pain but I still have the chronic dull aching pain. My pain management specialist says my present back and leg pain are due to my L4/L5 disc tear and he wants to burn my nerves but I won't allow that. I am hoping for an artificial disc on that level.
Sorry about the long comment and about your pain. I hope you get better...it's going on twelve years since my accident that caused all of my pain.
take care,
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