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Old 06-11-2005, 11:44 PM   #1
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Unhappy Skin Sensitivity in Feet after Back Fusion Surgery?

Ohhhh please help!

Hi all,

I had my two level fusion surgery on the L4-L5 and L5-S1 on May 2nd. The surgery was only supposed to take 3 to 4 hours and ended up taking 8 hours. When I woke up my chin was numb and my gums turned white, that is better now. My boobs were numb and my upper thighs were numb and on fire. The boobs are okay now lol. My upper thighs don't burn anymore and are mostly not numb, though there are a couple areas on the sides of my thighs that are still numb, I'm talking about the skin itself. My neuro can't seem to comprehend that .

Anyhow I dont' know if my new problem is related to the surgery or not but it's killin' me! About a week or so ago, my right foot on the right side has been hurting like crazy. It's the skin that like burns. For example when I put on my slippers, my skin sliding into the slipper makes it hurt really badly. Or in bed, the sheets touch my skin on my foot and it hurts horribly. Now it just seems to be spreading into a larger area of my foot and is now also in my left foot too! It's making it very difficult to walk now. It's so upsetting cuz of course I'm still in pain from the surgery itself in my back. I have congestion in my lungs and now the foot thing too.

Do any of you know if this can be caused by the surgery and my circulation being cut off for 8 hours like that. It's just now hurting though. My feet didnt' hurt after surgery untill just a week or so ago. Now after surgery my legs for about a month felt like your legs feel when you have the flu, really sore and achey. That's mostly gone now. Now I got this foot thing going on. My doctors aren't very impressive but I'm getting ready to contact one of them if this doesn't ease up soon and MAKE them do something and figure this out.

Can anyone help me?

I hope everyone is doing okay! Bionic, how are you??

Huggs,
Pammy

 
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Old 06-12-2005, 08:14 AM   #2
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MARY G HB User
Re: Skin Sensitivity in Feet after Back Fusion Surgery?

I do not know the reason for your symptom, but I do know that after lumbar fusion surgery, sometimes when the nerves are returning to their normal function, there is tingling. I would keep after this until the doc gives you an answer. His responsibility to you does not end when the surgery is completed. There is a post op period he is also responsible to maintain. Healing thoughts for you. Mary

 
Old 06-12-2005, 10:10 PM   #3
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Re: Skin Sensitivity in Feet after Back Fusion Surgery?

Thank you Mary.

Yes today in addition to the burning and sensitivity I have been also having tingling and shooting pains in my feet, mainly my right foot. When I bend forward just a little bit, it shoots all the way down my leg and into my foot.

This neuro is really tickin me off. I thought he was good, has 17 yrs in his field and came from New York. I figured he would know what he is doing. But he can't get the concept when I am talking about my skin and not the muscles or whatever. He has never mentioned physical therapy and when I asked when we would do an MRI to see if it's fusing, he said "oh we don't do that, we know if it's fusing if your pain goes away". Ugggg!!!! I'm sure I've read on here where you all have had follow up MRIs to tell if it's fusing or not. If I'm wrong let me know please anyone.

The timing of this is kinda strange too. Just over a week ago I saw my family doctor and he had me get up on the table and lay on my back, then he bent my knees all the way up to my chest and then kind of rocked my legs to where my knees where closer and further from my chest, you know, in a rocking motion. Should this have been done after having a two level fusion surgery????? About the timing, it's been about just over a week when this all started with my foot/feet. I'm wondering if he could have screwed me up by doing that????

Anyway I'm calling my neuro first thing in the morning and demand to see him, or I'll go to the emergency room and they can call him or another specialist in or something. I can't deal with it anymore, it's too much pain.

Thanks all!! Anymore input from anyone would be greatly appreciated!!!

Huggs,
Pammy

 
Old 06-13-2005, 08:38 AM   #4
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MARY G HB User
Re: Skin Sensitivity in Feet after Back Fusion Surgery?

My surgeon checked my fusion status by simple xrays. I have not had an MRI since I had my 2 level fusion...just my experience. Good luck in scoping out your problem!!! MAry

 
Old 06-13-2005, 08:56 AM   #5
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Re: Skin Sensitivity in Feet after Back Fusion Surgery?

Pammy -

If you check a Dermatome map, you'll see that the nerves for the levels you had surgery on extend to the foot. So I think it is a consequence of the nerves getting exposed and perhaps touched during surgery. It's the same for the burning on your thighs. I had a lami at L4/5 in December, and I still have a spot about the size of a silver dollar that burns on occasion, but I'll take that over the sciatic pain I used to have any day.

For the problem with the feet, hopefully, it will be temporary, but you might consider asking your doctor to prescribe something to help like Topomax. Good luck.

wb

 
Old 06-13-2005, 09:34 AM   #6
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Re: Skin Sensitivity in Feet after Back Fusion Surgery?

Hey Pammy, I had L3 to S1 fused about 2 weeks after you did and I too am having the burning sensation in both hips mainly. My surgery was 8+ hours also due to a lot of scar tissue due to my previous fusion. I too had the numb face after surgery, but mine also swelled like a balloon. They called it surgical edema. Its a month post op and I lost all my wiskers on my chin. My neuro said they will never grow back, it kinda looks like a bad burn.
I cant believe your not having x-rays to see if the fusion is taking place. I go in at the end of the month for my x-rays to see if the bone is growing.
As for as the burning sensation, walking and moving as much as you can should help, at least it does me. Hang in there and take it day by day and dont overdue it. Oh yeah, about your family doctor moving your legs towards your chest, it sounds like he is trying to stretch your hamstrings. Just dont let him rotate them from side to side yet, its way to early for that.
Good luck

 
Old 06-13-2005, 04:33 PM   #7
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Re: Skin Sensitivity in Feet after Back Fusion Surgery?

Just my two cents but sounds like in your legs and feet the burning may be Hyperpathia. I got it after my L5-s1 fusion also, it burned like crazy and over sensitive. I reported it to my NS and he told me that it was Hyperpathia and tried to put me on Neurontin. I could not tolerate the med and just put up with it and finally its almost gone it took about a month or so but it did go away. If you can I suggest taking 800mg Ibuprophen and eat plenty of bananas for the potasium and a multivitamin or vitamin B. I also have Cauda Equina syndrome from an earlier spinal cord injury to the same level a year ago which has left me numb in my saddle area and the skin on the back of my left leg all the way down to my left foot and it has been numb for the whole time and is not suppose to get better so says my NS. I also suffer from electric type shocks in my groin area and around left heel which at the moment sends me to the moon. Your NS will most likely prescribe Neurontin or Topomax or something of that nature if you can't tolerate it. So I understand what youre going through, the numb skin and shocks are no fun. It sounds hopeful that some of your feeling has come back in some areas so that is great just hang in there. Hope all gets better for you. Stephanie

 
Old 06-14-2005, 10:42 AM   #8
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Pammy2218 HB User
Re: Skin Sensitivity in Feet after Back Fusion Surgery?

Thank you everyone for your input!!!

I got in to see the neuro yesterday morning and he started to put me on neurotrin? but then he had me take off my shoes and felt around and since it was so painful to the touch on my feet, he called my family dr and told me to go to him. When I bend forward the pain shoots down my legs and into my feet though. So I dunno.

Saw the family dr yesterday too and he thinks it's either nerves or tendons in my feet that are the problem and he did cortizone w/ lidocane injections that about sent me through the roof!! He sent me to get xrays on my feet as well to make sure of no stress fractures (on both feet? I doubt it). I'll get the results of that later this afternoon.

If the xrays show nothing, I may call the neuro back and see if he will go ahead and prescribe the neurontin stuff maybe.

Still hurting a lot today and last night after the lidocane weared off grrr

Oh BTW the neuro did do xrays on my back but it only showed the hardware and stuff. I dunno, he just said we'd know if it's fuseing if my pain goes away. I've had increased pain in my lowest part of my back this last week or so too. The neuro ordered a Bone Stimulator? I haven't been called about it yet.

Thanks everyone!!!
Huggs,
Pammy

 
Old 06-14-2005, 06:02 PM   #9
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Re: Skin Sensitivity in Feet after Back Fusion Surgery?

Pammy: I feel your pain. I had my fusion in Sept 04 and my foot is still sensitive to the touch and burns and the electric-type shooting pains STILL zap me now and then. I find that only tylenol or ibruprofen works .... and I have noticed that cutting out the cola drinks helps tremendously. I also know that if I get hyper or anxious it seems to act up. I just hope it goes away someday. My doc put me through the neurontin and topamax hoops too. Topamax is evil.. I got deathly ill. Neurontin didn't phase me. No other suggestions. Sometimes heat, sometimes ice helps. Can't find anything consistent. Sometimes exercise helps, sometimes it aggravates it.
I have no help other than to tell you I'm with ya.

 
Old 06-14-2005, 08:07 PM   #10
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Re: Skin Sensitivity in Feet after Back Fusion Surgery?

Hi everyone,

I can't begin to tell you how relieved I am to discover that sensitivity in the feet is quite common post back surgery.

I had a 2 level artificial disc replacement done (L4/5 L5/S1) on 27th May and since then have been hardly able to walk due to sore feet!

Does anybody know how long it is likely to last please

 
Old 06-15-2005, 02:11 PM   #11
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gm74sm HB User
Re: Skin Sensitivity in Feet after Back Fusion Surgery?

My NS said it could be a few months to forever just depended on the nerves and their ability to heal. Lucliky mine did get alot better in a few months, now it is sore like a bruise would be but the burning is gone. SO sorry to hear some of yours still lingers on, I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy. Heres hoping it is quickly over.


Stephanie

 
Old 06-15-2005, 04:16 PM   #12
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okie pain HB User
Re: Skin Sensitivity in Feet after Back Fusion Surgery?

1 year after fusion still foot so senstive can not stand it doc says fusion did not take.oxycontin and cymbalta do ease the foot pain. hang in there

 
Old 06-16-2005, 05:57 AM   #13
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Re: Skin Sensitivity in Feet after Back Fusion Surgery?

i would be rather curious at this point as to why your surgery took so much longer than what you were told pre op.do you have the op notes from the surgery?if not, call the hospital where you had the surgery done and request ALL records from your surgery, including the op notes from the surgeon who did your surgery.I found out the hard way that not everything IS actually documented in those notes either.But this will give you the gist of what went on in your surgery.Do you know if there was someone who monitored your nerves (motor and sensory?) during the surgery.I don't know if they do that with your type of surgery or not but specifically request ALL op notes created by anyone who had a hand in your surgery.During my spinal cord surgery,the nerve that went to my legs was hit and lost.The shocking thing though was that there was absolutely no mention of this event in my NSs op notes.luckily the neurophysiatrist who was doing the monitoring during my surgery also made HIS op notes and it was in there.I needed the documentation for disability so having that event,which is among other things that were injured, was vital to prove all of the side effects from the lost nerve.You really need to find out all the details(or as much as is possible)of what went on in the OR.I would call the hosp and get this process started today.Just call and ask for the medical records dept,and then tell them you need your records.They will send out a release of information sheet that you just fill out and sign and send back to them.Most places are pretty quick about getting the info out to you.I have some come as soon as like three or four days,and others that took about a week.you should also call your surgeons office and do the same.it is good to have your own set of ALL of your medical records.you never know just what is in your files until you actually get a look inside.This also kind of gives you an overall feel as to what your docs think about your condition.Just some suggestions for you.I hope things get better for you soon.Marcia
__________________
3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

 
Old 08-12-2005, 02:47 PM   #14
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Re: Skin Sensitivity in Feet after Back Fusion Surgery?

Pammy2218,
I know what your suffering from because I have it too. It's called Neuropathy. It has different causes. I feel your GP should have caught it. Your symptoms are right on target. The burning of the feet and the leg problems. I doubt if you'll get over it. I haven't. I do take Neurontin for it and it helps. They can do an EMG test and I'm not sure if there's anymore tests for it. I wish you the best and hope you don't have to live with this. Good Luck
Billie

 
Old 08-13-2005, 06:32 AM   #15
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Re: Skin Sensitivity in Feet after Back Fusion Surgery?

Just an FYI but there are many types of pain syndromes that can develop after any surgery done on your spinal area.i developed two.RSD from sympathetic nervous system damage and central pain syndrome that was caused by damage to the thalamic tract inside the spinal cord.this may be what you are experiencing.Do a little research on these two syndromes and check the symptoms that you are currently having against the presenting symptoms of these conditions.It sounds to me, by what you have described that you either have central or RSD pain.i have exactly what you are experiencing every single day,24/7.it hurts like he**!These are both "nerve damage syndromes".You really need to get this properly Dxed so you can start appropriate treatment.Good luck and please keep us posted.Marcia
__________________
3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

 
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