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Old 12-21-2003, 01:59 PM   #1
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eris619 HB User
S/P Lumbar Fusion and still in PAIN!!

I am 3 Months post op Lumbar Fusion L4-L5 L5-S1. Im not having the same pain that forced me to have the surgery but I am still having terrible pain all day and night. I take Vioxx, Lorcet when Im supposed to. It gets so bad through the lower back and both hips that I feel as if I will rip open. I cant lay on either side or my back at night without severe pain and spasm. Has this happened to anyone else? Did it ever get better for you? Im scared it will be like this forever. Im only 24. Please help... Thanks

 
Old 12-21-2003, 03:57 PM   #2
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Re: S/P Lumbar Fusion and still in PAIN!!

Eris619
I'm so sorry to hear you are in continued pain. I can relate, but I'm only 1 month post op for 360 fusion same levels as you. Did you have the 360 procedure?

I posted on another thread that I am now taking more meds than I was before surgery. Last week, he added oxycontin instead of starting to wean me off neurontin like he wanted to. I'm disappointed, and like you, worried this was the wrong decision to make. If your back is spasming, won't he give you any muscle relaxers? Do you think that is all your pain? I keep thinking the good thing is the pain I had before surgery is gone; this pain is right in the surgical area and no where else. Is your pain different than before? Have you started to fuse? Aren't fusion recoverers supposed to avoid Vioxx and other anti-inflammatories?

Please keep in touch. I'm still trying to be positive and patient and not think bad thoughts. It's the holidays, after all.

Keep in touch - I'm anxious to know your progress.

O'Girl

 
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Old 12-22-2003, 06:48 AM   #3
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shaukc HB User
Re: S/P Lumbar Fusion and still in PAIN!!

Good Morning O"Girl
I had my fusion a week before yours and i am having the same symptoms as you . The muscle pain is bad in the back .( sometimes the front starts hurting real bad too ) Was up until four thirty this morning with the back incision pain . Nothing eased it ! Pain meds or ice ! I start therapy today . I hope that helps it some . Got to go . Hope you are feeling better today . Shauna

 
Old 12-22-2003, 05:28 PM   #4
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Re: S/P Lumbar Fusion and still in PAIN!!

Shauckc-
I'm sorry you are still enduring pain. I think maybe I didn't make myself clear. My pain is not in the incision. Oh, if I bump it or occasionally I feel a little pinch or so. My pain is in the lower back and it's very sharp. Since I've been on the oxycontin, the sharpness has turned into aching and stiffness. And, I went through a week of leg pain and muscle spasms in the back before that.

Muscle spasms are the worst. Won't your doctor give you anything for that? How do your incisions look? They're not red or any indication of infection? Other than being ugly, mine are pretty well healed. They used staples in the back and the steri-strips in the front. The front is the ugliest incision I've ever seen. Now instead of one roll of fat on the right side, I have two. It's like a horizontal tummy tuck. Ugh!

O'Girl

 
Old 12-22-2003, 06:28 PM   #5
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eris619 HB User
Re: S/P Lumbar Fusion and still in PAIN!!

Thanks for your reply O'Girl.. My Doc says that the hardware looks"fine" but no fusion yet. He said go ahead and take the Vioxx and that it wont hurt anything. I havent had any physical therapy or anything like that. He says that he wasnt planning on it. It just seems like its going really really slowly. I cant seem to find anything to releive the pain. Im just very discouraged I guess. I used to be so active and happy. Now, I wish I never had the surgery. It isnt the same type of pain I had before but it is still in the lower back and raps around to both hips. I only had the Posterior fusion. Hope you are doing well. Hang in there.. Hey, did your Doc give you a list of exercises and stretches to do? Keep in touch. ERIS

 
Old 12-22-2003, 10:03 PM   #6
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shaukc HB User
Re: S/P Lumbar Fusion and still in PAIN!!

[QUOTE=oakleygirl]Shauckc-
I'm sorry you are still enduring pain. I think maybe I didn't make myself clear. My pain is not in the incision. Oh, if I bump it or occasionally I feel a little pinch or so. My pain is in the lower back and it's very sharp. Since I've been on the oxycontin, the sharpness has turned into aching and stiffness. And, I went through a week of leg pain and muscle spasms in the back before that.

Muscle spasms are the worst. Won't your doctor give you anything for that? How do your incisions look? They're not red or any indication of infection? Other than being ugly, mine are pretty well healed. They used staples in the back and the steri-strips in the front. The front is the ugliest incision I've ever seen. Now instead of one roll of fat on the right side, I have two. It's like a horizontal tummy tuck. Ugh!

O'Girl[/QUOTE]
My front incisions look ugly too - i have had two c-sections before and now i have another scar that looks just like the c-section one .It is about healed .I had staples in the front and back - The back lower part is not completely healed and the therapist today told me that it was very swollen back there . And now after therapy it is even more swollen . Hurts real bad to the touch . Here it is midnight and i am still fighting the pain . Did the pain meds and skelaxin and ice and heat and the pain is still very much here . I am begining to think that it in fact may be infected . Has to be something going on for the swelling all of the sudden to appear like this . Going to go try to lay back down . Hope your pain eases soon and i will put you in my prayers . Shauna

 
Old 12-23-2003, 05:49 AM   #7
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Re: S/P Lumbar Fusion and still in PAIN!!

eris,
I am concerned about your doc telling you the fusion isn't there yet you can take Vioxx. Every other doctor usually tells you no anti inflammatory until fusion is totally complete. Sometimes one year.
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Old 12-23-2003, 08:11 AM   #8
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hotptato HB User
Re: S/P Lumbar Fusion and still in PAIN!!

man o man, you guys are not making me feel very good here, i go in for my bone graph(fusion) jan 8th, going in from front and back. you here all the good stories, but its funny how when you here 1 bad story it delets all the good ones..lol... well i wish everyone good luck and speedy recovery.

 
Old 12-26-2003, 10:59 PM   #9
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Re: S/P Lumbar Fusion and still in PAIN!!

I had fusion Jan 2002. Best wishes to those of you going thru the pain and recovery now I really feel for you guys. Im still not sure the surgery helped me still in pain, but if someone were to ask me about having fusion my opinion is very low. Maybe Im a wimp but I gave birth to a 8-1/2 lb baby with no meds and would do that 10x before having fusion again. I believe that is the most painful thing ever. I was on Oxycontin plus Percocet every 4 hours (I was allowed 10 a day) for 1 month then my surgeon would not give me any more pain meds. Thank God for my family Dr.of 20 years. I a completly fused now, still in pain and I want to remove the hardware. Can anyone give me any info that?

 
Old 12-27-2003, 08:07 AM   #10
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Re: S/P Lumbar Fusion and still in PAIN!!

[COLOR=DarkGreen][B][CENTER]Good Morning Everyone,[/CENTER][/B][/COLOR]

[COLOR=Red][INDENT]I am very sorry to hear that you are all in so much pain and I can relate to it. I am 6 months post op of a two level fusion as some of you may already know. I have been a member of this board since July and many member's did help me with my recovery. I continued to stay on this boards and try and offer support in any way that I can. I have started a couple of thread's wishing member's well that were having upcoming surgery's. From the bottom of my heart I was praying that they would have a successful surgery and recovery as mine has not been at this point. I have seen success story's on these boards..... Yes, they do happen.... The reason why you do not see many of them is because once a person starts to feel better they go on with their life. Gosh they go out and live and do they things they couldn't do prior to their surgery. It would take someone with a lot of spare time to sit at their computer and answer this posts as I try and do. I only have this time because I cannot do much of anything else. Those who feel so much better are out their door. So remember their are success story's out their and our recovery's are long and difficult. I do know how hard it is to stay positive but sometimes it is very important to do so. I have tried not to give up hope. Some of you are still at a very early stage in your recovery. [/INDENT][/COLOR]

[COLOR=DarkGreen][B][CENTER]Eris, [/CENTER][/B][/COLOR]
[COLOR=Red][INDENT]Please research fusion recovery and anti-inflammatory's. O'girl has already stated about not taking Vioxx during fusion recovery. This is something you should become more familiar with and I really don't understand as to why your doctor would say that it is okay for you to take this medication. I have other medical problems and I need to take an anti-inflammatory and I cannot because of my fusion. Therefore I am having great difficulty in walking but my top priority is having a successful fusion. I would think that your doctor would prescribe muscle relaxants and maybe some nerve pain medication's but NOT anti-inflammatory's. [/INDENT][/COLOR]

[COLOR=DarkGreen][B][CENTER]O'Girl, [/CENTER][/B][/COLOR]
[COLOR=Red][INDENT]I am sorry that you are in so much pain. Has the oxycontin been helping your pain level's? I know first hand how hard it is to be taking more meds as I also keep getting increases. But I have learned to live with it for now. If this is what it takes until my body heals and my nerves and muscles calm down so be it. I have a family that needs me. If I didn't take my meds I wouldn't be able to handle my pain. We are all different and some of us just take longer to heal. I have another friend on these boards and she once said, "I may take me longer to heal, but when I heal, I heal better than other's." So maybe with that statement she just might have a more solid fusion after all. [/INDENT][/COLOR]

[COLOR=DarkGreen][B][CENTER]Shauna, [/CENTER][/B][/COLOR]
[COLOR=Red][INDENT]I haven't heard from you in quite some time. I am sorry that you are having these horrible muscle pain. My surgeon had prescribed me Robaxin for during the day and at night I take Zanaflex and it helps some. I think the Zanaflex is better than Robaxin, for me anyway. I am a little worried about your incision area. When did you last see your surgeon, and has he checked your incision area? If he hasn't checked it in the last week or so I would call the office and speak with his nurse not the receptionist. As for your therapy, remember not to let them push you to hard. If something hurts you tell them. Also ask them if they have worked with fusion patient's before. Has your surgeon referred you to this particular therapist? I hope that you are feeling better.[/INDENT][/COLOR]

[COLOR=DarkGreen][B][CENTER]WendyMae, [/CENTER][/B][/COLOR]
[COLOR=Red][INDENT]Welcome to the Healthboards for Back Problems. I am happy to hear that you are completely fused. That would mean that your surgery is considered a success by medical terms. After all a fusion is to stabilize the spine and to fuse together the disc space. I am sorry that you are still in pain. I hope that your pain levels are not high. Do you see a pain management doctor? I see both a neuro surgeon and a pain management doctor. My neuro surgeon had only giving me my pain medication's the first month after my surgery. He knew that I went to pain management which is in his same office and they would prescribe my medication's. My surgeon has already told me that in time he will remove the screw as I have pain in the tailbone area when sitting. He told me prior to my surgery that some women have this problem when having the levels L4, L5, S1 fused. I believe they are the most common levels that require a fusion. You may want to start a thread asking about hardware removal and you might get more of a response. I am sorry but I don't have much information to give you on the instrumentation removal. I believe that you would have to have a neuro or ortho surgeon perform this surgery. But have you contacted your surgeon and asked him about this? I have heard that the hardware can stay in for up to 15 years as long as you do not have any complication's. I wish you the best.[/INDENT][/COLOR]

[COLOR=DarkGreen][B][CENTER]Ltedeschi, [/CENTER][/B][/COLOR]
[COLOR=Red][INDENT]I agree about the anti-inflammatory's as you already read. I'm really concerned that one surgeon states that it is okay to take them. I think I have more research to do. I hope that you are feeling a little better.[/INDENT][/COLOR]

[COLOR=DarkGreen][B][CENTER]Hotptato, [/CENTER][/B][/COLOR]
[COLOR=Red][INDENT]I am very sorry that we are worrying you. Please keep in mind that everyone's recovery can vary. I have read on these message boards about other members stating that they were up and about in a couple of weeks. But their is no harm in being prepared that you may not be. This surgery is a major one to say the least. Please know that you will be in my prayer's for a successful recovery and yes I will start a new thread.[/INDENT][/COLOR]

[COLOR=DarkGreen][B][CENTER][SIZE=4] Have A Happy New Year [/SIZE][/COLOR][/CENTER][/B]

 
Old 12-27-2003, 12:00 PM   #11
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Rob61 HB User
Re: S/P Lumbar Fusion and still in PAIN!!

I'm new to the boards, I have had L4 L5 - L5 S1 Fusion instrmentation bone dowel surgery in April of 97 as a result i have nerve damage numbness in my left leg and cronic pain with meds so i feel for you. Sleep is just about impossible because of being comfortable, Ive tried several types of beds and found a waterbed to be the best. (mostly for the heat) As it turns out ive had doctors saying they don't want my case so im shuffled from dr to dr at this point i don't waste my time with them. At this time im trying Accupunture With little to no help. My pain is in the L4 L5 - L5 S1 region that radiates to to the hips groine down both legs to the feet and toes. Walking is a chore at times along with sitting and standing. At the time of my last CT (MRI is not possible the rods and screws don't allow good images) The levels that have been fused are once again herneated and bulging in addition to the L1 L2 - L2 L3

 
Old 12-27-2003, 08:54 PM   #12
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shaukc HB User
Re: S/P Lumbar Fusion and still in PAIN!!

Hello Tomorrow ! I called the dr about my swelling and pain Tuesday . He sent me to the hospital Er for test - got there at three and did not get out until 11 . It was horrible ! He was worried that i had a infection . They did blood work and xrays .Blood work and xrays came back ok . Hardware was still where it was suppose to be . They did not know why it was swelled so much . Thought that maybe a infection was starting . They called my dr and i have to go see him Monday . He told them to tell me to stop therapy . That therapy woman would not stop . I kept telling her that it hurt real bad and she just kept telling me to just breath .Then she had me doing some exercises where i twist at the waist ?? I still have no back pain - just incision pain and the horrible muscle pain .I am on skelaxin . It seems to help . I have been using heat since Tuesday and all the swelling is about gone . The middle incision on the back is still kinda red and has not healed all the way . It is hot to the touch too in that area . The front and rest of the back incisions have healed and look good . Hope your feeling better . Shauna

 
Old 12-29-2003, 07:09 AM   #13
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MarianJ HB User
Re: S/P Lumbar Fusion and still in PAIN!!

[COLOR=DarkGreen][B][CENTER]Good Morning Rob61,[/CENTER][/B]
[INDENT]Welcome to the Healthboards for Back Problems. I am so very sorry to hear of all your pain. What I don't understand is if you were fused, how did your disc's again herniated? I thought that once you had fused that you would have a solid bone and therefore the remaining disc could not herniate. Which in fact would mean that you had a Posterolateral Fusion as I did. I'm about 6 months post op and I have the nerve and muscle pain in both legs along with occasional numbness in one leg. I am praying that it is not permanent. I can relate to your problems with sleeping but I am surprised that you have found comfort with a waterbed. A friend of mine was just telling me the other day on how much he had missed his water bed. I had always thought they were so bad for the back. At least that is what I have read as their is absolutely know firmness to them. But I guess whatever works for you to give you some sleep is what is most important. I have been also seeing a podiatrist for my foot and toe pain as my neuro will not say whether or not it could be nerve damage. My podiatrist insists that my toe pain is coming from the nerves. I have also been diagnosed with archilles tendinitis in both feet since my fusion. I know suffer with pins & needles in both feet with burning and my surgeon thinks it is diabetes. NOT.... But I always get the tests just to satisfy him. Since we both had the same levels fused I have to ask you one question if you don't mind. Did you ever suffer with Edema in your legs and feet? I have been suffering with this since September and they have ran every test imaginable and have found nothing. But I also had Infuse with BMP. I have been waiting for the day that I can finally have an MRI but after reading your post I think I just lost hope in that test. I always new that the instrumentation would somehow make it harder to read the films but I never figured that it would make it impossible to read them. As for the level above your fusion bulging that is something that I have already prepared for. My surgeon did explain to me and I have researched that it is common for the level's above and below the fusion sustain injury as they have much more of a strain on them. Gosh, and you have two above your fusion. I can't even begin to imagine the pain that you must suffer. Since you did have your surgery in 1997 did you have any pain relief for a short time? My prayer's are with you.[/INDENT]
[B][CENTER] [SIZE=4]Have a Happy New Year [/SIZE] [/CENTER][/B][/COLOR]

 
Old 12-29-2003, 07:27 AM   #14
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MarianJ HB User
Re: S/P Lumbar Fusion and still in PAIN!!

[COLOR=DarkGreen][B][CENTER]Good Morning Shauna,[/CENTER][/B]
[INDENT]I am so sorry that you had to be in the ER for so long. I was also so worried that your that your incision area might be infected. Everytime I went for my follow up appointment's with my neuro surgeon he would always first check my incision area and so would my pain management doctor. It is better to be safe that sorry because I can only imagine the pain that you would endure if that area would get infected. Please keep me updated on how your appointment goes with your surgeon today.

After reading your post about your therapist I would consider finding a different therapist in the future. She should not have you twisting at ALL. I hope that you tell your surgeon this at your appointment today. I am thinking that she has not had experience with fusion patient's. I have read other post's where therapist's have done more harm than good to please be very careful. Unless a therapist is referred from your surgeon, you must interview them as if you are hiring them. Remember they are working for you.....I myself have not started therapy and I am not sure if I will. I did go once for my feet and to learn how to use my ten's unit. While I was there I had asked the therapist If she had worked with fusion patient's before because I knew it was only a matter of time before I would start therapy. She stated, "Oh, we had a few of those." That statement was enough to make up my mind to not go back. My surgeon had given me a brochure of a spinal rehabilitation center for therapy. Unfortunately they did not accept my health insurance. If I had the funding I would pay out of pocket but I don't. What I am trying to say it just check with your surgeon as I would think that he would refer you to a qualified therapist. Also their is the possibility that you are not ready for therapy yet. Some of us take much longer to heal. And after reading about your incision area I would give your body some more rest, but let's see what your doctor says. I hope that you feel better.[/INDENT]
[B][CENTER] [SIZE=4]Have a Happy New Year [/SIZE] [/CENTER][/B][/COLOR]

 
Old 12-29-2003, 02:30 PM   #15
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hixson388 HB User
Re: S/P Lumbar Fusion and still in PAIN!!

Hi eris619,
Sorry about your trouble.I had a 4 level fusion L2-5,double bone graph of hips, and hardwear. My surgery was 11-13-02,and so far after 9 months of aqutic and land pt I was finally told to build abundance. My doctor has give up on it.( I havent yet) As of now if I cough,hit a bump on the road,sit down get up, or like you lay down it quickly gives me a scream out pain.I just keep beleiveing that somewhere someone will have the news that it can be fixed.See my last doctors visit was left that in 2 yrs. I will be disabled. Well I have 2 girls 3 & 8,myself I'm 33.Way too young to go out right now.Sorry I cant tell you how to ease the pain or how to get sleep without sitting up,but I can say you are certainly not alone in the search for a cure and should I find some kind of light I will certainly pass it on. Hope is in the heart and unless they cut that out hope will keep us all going strong.Good Luck with yours who knows you maybe be lucky and recover in time.
hixson388

 
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