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Old 11-19-2012, 06:23 PM   #1
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Dont know where to turn.

I was having lumbar pain associated with leg pain,sore sore muscles. To the point where I can hardly move. I had L5 S1 fusion, Oct 10, this year. My legs felt better for a while. Now most of the surgical pain is gone, but my leg soreness is back really bad like before. Does anyone have an answer on what this could be. I've been tested for arthritis, auto immune disease. All that. I'm sorry, but I'm in tears this hurts so bad. My doc thinks I'm crazy, and I just want help figuring this out.

 
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Old 11-19-2012, 09:22 PM   #2
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Re: Dont know where to turn.

I had similar type pain in left leg October 2010, had discectomy in november 2010 and recently a disc replacement on same level L5-S1 because of reherniation of the disc... When I first injured disc had extreme left leg pain from knee down, only way to get relief was to curl up in fetal position...mine was from herniation pushing on the nerve causing the left leg pain...I would suggest a MRI ...I am not extremely knowledgeable of this just sharing my experience...there are others on this site who will probably give you more insight...I hope the best for you and hope you get better...

 
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Old 11-20-2012, 07:33 PM   #3
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Re: Dont know where to turn.

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I had similar type pain in left leg October 2010, had discectomy in november 2010 and recently a disc replacement on same level L5-S1 because of reherniation of the disc... When I first injured disc had extreme left leg pain from knee down, only way to get relief was to curl up in fetal position...mine was from herniation pushing on the nerve causing the left leg pain...I would suggest a MRI ...I am not extremely knowledgeable of this just sharing my experience...there are others on this site who will probably give you more insight...I hope the best for you and hope you get better...
I followed your posts. I appreciate you responding. It feels like it starts in my lower back, and goes into my hips then in all my leg muscles. Very painful. I'm thinking of seeing another specialist. Could it be a reaction to meds? But it didn't hurt again until 5 weeks post op? Maybe cause I was medicated? Any help.

 
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:16 AM   #4
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Re: Dont know where to turn.

SEE next post! Please.luck25, Oh, im so sorry that the horrible pain has returned. Is there any chance in your mind that after all the immobility from your ankle surgery, the recovery time, the waiting for a surgical date, the extreme pain that you had before surgery, then the fusion, that you are using muscles that you havent used in a long time & you are progressing too quickly? Over doing it? Also, could your potassium be low? Be careful with that though- blood tests needed before supplements..you could eat a banana daily. Third, you had 3 bulging discs. Do i remember right that you only had one level done? The other bulges could cause pain again. 4th, you had ankle surgery. You could be walking differently? Also, i wanted to say, luck, that all the PT, etc that you had pre-op doesnt count now. I had this after i had 4th lumbar surgery, really bad. Demerol & valium, bedrest (@ my parents b/c i couldnt walk to care for family) for the nerve pain & muscle spasms caused by the muscles severely spasming pulling on nerve down left leg & i had very severe nerve root irritation. The physical therapist, herself, planned & over saw my pt & i saw machines like a giant tens, that massaged muscles until they went flaccid, & 5 other modalities that i had never seen before. They, PT, pulled me out of it!! Truly, it was a miracle. One more thing. Please check your MRI for words like clumped nerves, spinal cord ends @ T1, epidural fibrosis/ scar tissue/adhesions/arachnoiditis. Do you remember a time after epi injs, discogram, surgery that you woke up to intense burning, numbness, headache like never before? Before surgery, you had several opinions. If these drs think your crazy go see one of the drs that you saw before. Luck, i know that you have had this a very long time & you must be terribly disappointed. Check with a spine only specialist that will start over with new MRI, PT, TENS, EMG/NCS, & you may have to see a pain dr to assess if you have become tolerant to your pain medicine. Are you taking lyrica or neurontin, a strong real, muscle relaxer? I have followed your progress since your surgery & am so sorry that this has happened. But, after surgery, it was not uncommon for myself & i think others too,
to have these problems. If it persists, go ahead & get a dr that cares about what you say! We as
humans only have one way to communicate our pain. That is with our mouth. The missing link may be a listening ear! IMHO. I hope that you will keep updating so that those of us that care about you & understand the pain will be here for you. Listening. Thank you, gmak

Last edited by gmak; 11-21-2012 at 05:34 AM. Reason: duplicate before editing

 
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:17 AM   #5
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Re: Dont know where to turn.

Hi luck25, Oh, im so sorry that the horrible pain has returned! Is there any chance in your mind that after all the immobility from your ankle surgery, the recovery time, the waiting for a surgical date, the extreme pain that you had before surgery, then the fusion, that you are using muscles that you havent used in a long time & you are progressing too quickly? Over doing it? Also, could your potassium be low? My dr told me to be careful with that though- blood tests needed before supplements..you could eat a banana daily. Third, you had 3 bulging discs. Do i remember right that you only had one level done? Could the other bulges cause pain again? 4th, you had ankle surgery. You could be walking differently? Also, i wanted to say, luck, that I had this happen to me after i had 4th lumbar surgery, really bad. Really strong pain medicine & muscle relaxers, bedrest (@ my parents b/c i couldnt walk to care for family) for the nerve pain & muscle spasms. B/c of spinal fluid leak i was immobile for 3 mths, this caused my muscles to severely spasm, pulling on nerve down left leg & i had very severe nerve root irritation. After MRI, EMG & nerve conduction studies i was sent to PT. I was in w/c @ this time. The physical therapist, herself, planned & over saw my pt & i saw machines like a giant tens, that massaged muscles until they went flaccid, & 5 other modalities that i had never seen before. They, PT, pulled me out of it!! Truly, it was a miracle. One more thing, please check your MRI for words like clumped nerves, epidural fibrosis/ scar tissue/adhesions/arachnoiditis. Do you remember a time after epi injs, discogram, surgery that you woke up to intense burning, numbness, nerve or back pain, headache like never before? Before surgery, you had several opinions. If these drs think your crazy, as you say, go see one of the drs that you saw before. Luck, i know that you have had this a very long time & you must be terribly disappointed. My neurosurgeon ordered this for me, if yours wont, then possibly check with a spine only specialist that will start over with new MRI, PT, TENS, EMG/NCS, & you may have to see a pain dr to assess if you have become tolerant to your pain medicine. Are you taking lyrica or neurontin & a strong muscle relaxer? I have followed your progress since your surgery & am so sorry that this has happened. But, after surgery, as i understood, this can happen & it did to me. If it persists, find a dr that cares about what you say! We as humans only have one way to communicate our pain. That is with our mouth. The missing link may be a
listening ear! IMHO. I hope that you will keep updating so that those of us that care about you & understand the pain will be here for you. Listening. Thank you, gmak
Ps. when i look @ back board i see numerous threads of this after lumbar fusion. 5, 6, 8 weeks post op. At least 6-8 of you had surg around same time, describe same problem.

Last edited by gmak; 11-23-2012 at 04:40 AM. Reason: reword& ps

 
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Old 11-21-2012, 05:09 PM   #6
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Re: Dont know where to turn.

Please describe the leg pain in more detail. Does it run down the back or front of leg? To the ankle? Does it hurt more when you put weight on it? What activities or positions make it feel better? Worse? Did you have this same pain before you had surgery? etc.

 
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Old 11-23-2012, 01:08 AM   #7
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Re: Dont know where to turn.

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Please describe the leg pain in more detail. Does it run down the back or front of leg? To the ankle? Does it hurt more when you put weight on it? What activities or positions make it feel better? Worse? Did you have this same pain before you had surgery? etc.
Yes I had the same pain before surgery. It starts in my low back and then my legs ache all the muscles ache like I have the flu, really bad. Any activity, walking,etc. Sets it off. Now its always there. Activity makes it worse.

 
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Old 11-26-2012, 06:19 PM   #8
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Re: Dont know where to turn.

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Originally Posted by luck25 View Post
Yes I had the same pain before surgery. It starts in my low back and then my legs ache all the muscles ache like I have the flu, really bad. Any activity, walking,etc. Sets it off. Now its always there. Activity makes it worse.
Hi luck, i havent seen you on the boards in a few days and was wondering if you are at all better? Also, have you ever looked at a dermatome map? There are several to look at when you look it up. It shows the nerve associated with every level of the vertebrae/spinal cord and nerve roots. It traces the nerve that for example, that goes to your inner thigh, outer thigh. Little toe & outside of foot is S1. So, you can trace where your pain is to the nerve root all down your leg to your toes. Thought this may help to differentiate if the pain you feel is @ the level where you had surgery/bulging discs as opposed to generalized aches assoc with a systemic illness. Does it feel like nerve pain? Burning, stinging, shooting, sharp, electric, gnawing? or a dull ache or deep ache like low back pain without nerve involement? Hope you get better. No news doesnt feel like good news, i hope im wrong and you are recovering now. Please keep updating, its ok if you say you still hurt. No one will think you are complaining here. Thank you, gmak

 
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Old 11-26-2012, 08:40 PM   #9
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Lightbulb Re: Dont know where to turn.

It could be stenious too, or just by chance you have PAD I had a 3level fusion and 4 yrs pass and my legs have gotton worse from the day of my surgery.I have so many things going on with my legs and back that I just cant even put it in writting. I sure hope my MRI will tell alittle more and that my Vascular Doc. can help me with my legs that may help relieve some of my pain. I guess a severe loss of blood flow to the legs can be very painful I am a walking mess. But I keep as active every day at least for a few hrs. Good luck to you and I hope to hear more from you.

 
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Old 11-26-2012, 10:32 PM   #10
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Re: Dont know where to turn.

Yea, I don't know. I appreciate all the posts. I don't know just seems like dull aches in my back and legs, to the point I can hardly walk without HURTING. It's madning. I've got nerve damage in my left leg. Not really bad, but some, from emg. I don't know if I've just overused my muscles or what. It just is always thr. Thank you.

 
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Old 11-26-2012, 11:33 PM   #11
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Re: Dont know where to turn.

Luck, The event i described after my last surgery, i had rt nerve root irritation, severe. But, it went away. I always lacked in exam with patchy numbness, hyperactive reflexes but i couldnt feel anything wrong. Your ankle hasnt even healed completely, nor your back for sure. It takes time. I know you want to return to work. PT helped me with that leg incident. Pt also helped me get built back up to go to work. I would go see ankle dr, go to primary for lab work, ask NS, ask PM I was once in a situ with pain, my gastro put me in hosp,6 drs concluded they couldnt help me & sent me to a physical medicine & rehab, physiatrist, dr. Half the practice is pain, half rehab. Specialize in helping to regain function, pain mgmtbut not like a pm/anes, & nerve, bone, muscle, tendons etc. Look up & make sure to check it isnt a pm/ anes claiming to be a physiatrist. He gave me back my life, normal as we could achieve. You might try reading about them. Still will pray. This will get better. It has to,imo. Thanks, gmak

Last edited by gmak; 11-26-2012 at 11:55 PM.

 
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Old 11-27-2012, 12:23 AM   #12
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Re: Dont know where to turn.

Luck, pm& r is where people go that dont get all the way better after conventional 6 week treatment. Surgery,joint replacements, failed surgeries, broken wrists, stroke etc. Like the place to turn to when you find yourself with everyone saying theres nothing wrong, but there is something wrong! Ive seen all kinds in my drs office. Wheelchairs to bursitis. Dr reminds me of old time drs that treated everything themselves, before all the specialists. Never give up on you,keep trying. No epidural proc's or you dont get help with pain. Like i had tennis elbow, trigger finger, achilles tendonitis,trapped nerve etc. He diagnosed it & treated it. So, dont give up! If when recovered or when time runs out @ NS, pm wants you to get inj of some sort, & if you still have pain (which i pray you dont), that is the place to go. Check it out. Imo. Trust yourself, you know when pain is stopping you. No one else. Thanks, gmak

Last edited by gmak; 11-27-2012 at 12:39 AM. Reason: wording

 
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:30 PM   #13
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Re: Dont know where to turn.

You are all so helpful. I appreciate it.

 
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Old 11-28-2012, 07:11 PM   #14
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Re: Dont know where to turn.

Hi Luck -- I had a similar post-fusion experience. My leg pain came back, exactly where it was pre-surgery, at just about six weeks post-op. From what I have read, the medication they gave me during surgery probably wore off at this point. Keep up the walking, without over-doing it. Short, frequent walks are the best. Recovering from a fusion is a journey.

I started taking neurontin, which has helped. I also had a post-surgery epidural, after getting clearance from the back surgeon. He opined that there was nothing to inject, but the epidural has helped considerably. I hope you continue healing; perhaps a PT can show you some stretches to help with your nerve pain?

 
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Old 12-02-2012, 10:28 PM   #15
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Re: Dont know where to turn.

Another night awake. Wondering what to do. The doc lowered my meds,trying to wean me off. From perc 10 to 7.5. Which I was hoping would be great. Because I hate,the meds, and was hoping to feel better. Not so as of yet, and the meds aren't working that well. Sorry to drag this on. Just things on my mind. Had to take some ms contin left over from surgery to get back to settle down. I hope that's not a sign. It's the only med that even really werks for that long. Only take meds at night usually. Try to deal during the day to be normal, but its tough. Peace

 
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