[COLOR="Blue"][/COLOR]Hello everyone I had two level fusion 2 rods, 6 screws and spacers back in Nov 2006. Has anyone ever experienced severe numbness in foot and back of your leg from waistline through the back of your entire leg. Well it gets worst I also have this numbness on my left foot but it's not as severe it effects my two little toes and the outer portion of my foot. This is driving me crazy the electric shock feeling running through my right foot can be quite annoying when driving or even walking forget about sleep. I just had a c-scan on friday and go back to doc on wed. can't wait to see what he has to say. Does anyone have any advice or good questions to ask my doc about my situation if he doesn't give me a good explanation to why this is happening. My worry is I never had any problems with the right foot and leg at all before surgery i just had on and off numbness and leg pain and a hip issue in the right leg. I'm just scared it could possilbly be permenant nerve damage it hasn't changed since surgery in Nov 13,2006. My back is so so I can't walk longer than 30 mins. w/out pain,can't sit for long either and getting out of the bed is murder sometimes I wonder if I made the right choice having surgery. The depression can be overwhemling at times I have to literally force myself to get up and do something. At times I'm scared to go out alone in fear of falling and I'm alone it really sucks bigtime. One more ques does anyone think it's time for a second opinion and if so would that be a neurolgist?
Vicky I know exactly how you feel. I too had a level 2 fusion (Jan 07) and although it was not that long ago, I have severe leg and foot pain that is different then I had before surgery. I have a real hard time sleeping,I cant walk vey far without a real need to sit down right away, I cant stand for longer then 5 mins tops and I cant sit for too long as well. My pain differs abit from yours, most of the time its like fire, sometimes it aches, sometimes it feels as though someone is stabbing my leg. My foot swells often and the color changes from blue to red. At first the Dr. said it would get better with time and gave me steroids x2. It has not got any better. The pain has been there since I woke from surgery. I hope that it will soon get better or at least reduce in intensity without pain meds. I too fear permenant nerve damage. Anyway, I hope that you get relief soon. Good luck to you.
Vicky - I just wanted to say that I am sorry you are still having all this pain and it sounds like your doctor is investigating to see if he can determine what the problem is. Personally, I would wait until Wednesday to hear what the results of the tests are and then based upon that make the decision whether to seek another opinion or not.
Lifting you up in prayer that you will find an answer to your pain.
I'm sorry you're still having so much pain. I know the frustration of having pain after surgery that you didn't have before the surgery, although mine is nowhere near as severe as yours. Are you on anything for pain at this point? You're only a bit over 3 months post-op. It would be very reasonable to still be on pain meds. I'm 5 months post-op and take Vicodin twice a day. Every couple of weeks I stop for a day or two so I can tell what my pain level would be without the Vicodin. It quickly becomes clear that I still need it. I would be having a lot more pain walking around or sitting for very long if I didn't have some pain meds in me.
It sounds very much like nerve pain in your leg and toes. There are medications that can help with that, though you may still have pain even with meds. Nerves take a long time to heal! It can easily take a year or longer for nerves to settle down and stop hurting. During the surgery, lots of things are getting moved around and agitated, so it's not at all uncommon to have nerve pain that you didn't have before the surgery. Are you in PT yet? When I started PT at around 3 months post-op, my therapist helped me understand what was going on, what the different things were that I was experiencing. There are simple exercises you can do to help your nerves get back to normal, but a therapist needs to monitor your progress with those so you don't overdo it and take backwards steps. If you're not in PT yet, you might want to talk to your doctor about that on Wednesday. Ask him if he can refer you to someone who has experience with fusion patients. I asked mine for a rehab therapist because of what I'd read on the boards about other people's experiences. He immediately knew exactly who he wanted to send me to, and she's proven to be a gem! But my therapist told me that technically, there's no such thing as a rehab therapist, unless that just refers to where they work (a rehab center). My doctor understood what I wanted, though, and my PT, even though it's nothing intense, has made a huge difference.
I wish you had more support on a daily basis. It would help you so much to just have someone see what you're going through and just be there to cheer you on. The depression is quite common in those who have gone through something so major, and probably much more common in those whou are alone. A lot of folks here are on anti-depressants. That might be something to mention to your doctor, too. It's hard to go through all this! The pain can be very wearing, and the isolation can be emotionally devastating after a while. I really urge you to try to find some help with that, either from your surgeon or your family doctor.
As far as getting a second opinion, you probably won't find anyone who would give you an appt so soon after your surgery. The doctors don't like to step on each other's toes! They would consider you under someone else's care. If you don't get some satisfaction on Wednesday, you might try calling around to see if you could get another opinion, but I doubt you'd get anyone who would take you. But really, I don't think you're abnormal in your recovery. You're still very early on in this, and the things you describe are similar to what others have described.
So my biggest concerns for you would be:
Are you getting appropriate pain meds?
Would an anti-depressant be appropriate for you for a while?
Can you get some PT?
If you can get your pain to a more manageable level, it would be great if you could go to your local mall to walk. It would not only give you that much needed walking time, but you would be out of your house and seeing other people. You'd probably get to recognize the other mall walkers quickly and might even get to sit and chat during rest times. If you have a friend or two who would be willing to meet you to walk, so much the better.
Vickie, I hope you get some good answers at your appt. Please let us know. You hang in there! This was a huge surgery, and recovery takes a long time. Day by day is slow, but keep the big picture in view and look at your progress over weeks rather than just days. Take care!
Hi Vicki - I too know how you feel. I also had a 2 level fusion with spacers in Dec 06. I understand the frustration of having pain after the surgery that you did not have before. Emily has given alot of good suggestions. I had really bad hip pain for weeks. I was having a hard time getting out of bad and walking. The pain was horrible and constant. I was to the point were I was so down. I was just always in pain! It is no way to live. So I do understand what you are going through. I have seen my doctor since then. We have gotten pain meds adjusted, physical therapy changed, and I am resting more. I am really starting to feel so much better. My pain is alot better. Best thing to do is talk to your doctor. Tell him what you have told us. I just want you to know there is hope out there! Hope you find pain relief soon! Let us know what your doc says. Take care.
I really want to thank you all for the love sent my way. You don't know how much those words make me feel a little better about all this going on. I'm 39 and feel like 55 at this point. Well I have asked about PT and was told I'm not ready for that he feels he wants to see more bone growth before i start. Right now I'm taking Vicodin 5/500mg along with Neurontin 300mg 3x a day which I really feel neither are doing anything for me. I actually have to take one and half of the vicodin to have some kind of relief. My doc doesn't like to give out meds i don't get that if it is needed. Sometimes when I tell my doc things I feel he doesn't get were I'm coming from. I don't know how else to get him to understand my reality with this back thing it's not easy. I live alone therefore I have to do alot for myself and everything brings pain it's just unbearable at times. I tried the walking thing earlier on and got very discouraged because it just made me worst off and sore. I don't have a lot of friends here in charlotte so i try to make do. When I was in the hospital they put me on wellburtin for the smoking issue but he will not give me a new script for the depression. I will ask him again and see what happens. I'm on worker's comp this case has been going on forever since 2001. My current job has fired me while on fmla so i have nothing to go back to. I can't do the work that i use to do. All these things just weigh in pretty heavy on me. (EMILY) Thank you so much for all the detailed information you shared I really appreciate it. I will give an update on my appt. tomorrow.
Gosh, I can't imagine going through surgery and still being in pain like yours. Statistically it happens but when you are the one it just pulls you to the bottom of the pit.
Have you thought about asking your surgeon about a referral to a pain management specialist? They know about pain and could if indicated give stronger meds. There are other non-invasive non-drug ways to help cope with pain as well that they might could recommend.
[QUOTE=Vicky67;2825107]I really want to thank you all for the love sent my way. You don't know how much those words make me feel a little better about all this going on. I'm 39 and feel like 55 at this point. Well I have asked about PT and was told I'm not ready for that he feels he wants to see more bone growth before i start. Right now I'm taking Vicodin 5/500mg along with Neurontin 300mg 3x a day which I really feel neither are doing anything for me. I actually have to take one and half of the vicodin to have some kind of relief. My doc doesn't like to give out meds i don't get that if it is needed. Sometimes when I tell my doc things I feel he doesn't get were I'm coming from. I don't know how else to get him to understand my reality with this back thing it's not easy. I live alone therefore I have to do alot for myself and everything brings pain it's just unbearable at times. I tried the walking thing earlier on and got very discouraged because it just made me worst off and sore. I don't have a lot of friends here in charlotte so i try to make do. When I was in the hospital they put me on wellburtin for the smoking issue but he will not give me a new script for the depression. I will ask him again and see what happens. I'm on worker's comp this case has been going on forever since 2001. My current job has fired me while on fmla so i have nothing to go back to. I can't do the work that i use to do. All these things just weigh in pretty heavy on me. (EMILY) Thank you so much for all the detailed information you shared I really appreciate it. I will give an update on my appt. tomorrow.
Hi Vicky. Your symptoms are not unlike many of us. Before fusion..All my issues where on my right side, and would only travel to the left during severe flares. Post fusion, I woke up with an entire left numb side.. from my toes even to my face! My leg was dead.. you could have stuck a fork in me on my thigh.. and I would have only felt the pressure of it. BUT my right side.. fixed me right up! Pain was gone!!!
The doctor explained that he worked from that side mostly, but he also stated that he did not get near the nerve. I did not have severe compression as it was caught before my disc collapsed.
But here I am 10 months now post fusion, with still some residual numbness on the left of my outer thigh, calf--more on the outer part, and numb foot- but mostly first two toes. It's more annoying that anything. I endure the nerve pain that comes and goes, since I can not take Neurontin or Lyrica. I have been told now by two surgeons, that the numbness I have will be permanent.
Personally I dont think your meds are strong enough in my opinion. Post fusion the doc doubled my vicodin tabs from 5/500 to 10/500 and I am a tiny person. I am still taking those today, but I also take on average 1 per day, along with one skelaxin.
I honestly think you need to say exactly what you did to us to your doctor. Point blank say what you said.. that you dont think he understands you and what your needs are. Also tell him you live alone and thus have a bit more to do than the average person that has family support in the home. Ask him to send you to pain management if he is not comfortable in perscribing meds. Point blank tell him you are suffering and need his help!
If he doesnt send you to pain management...As for the depression, you can go to a regular GP to get meds for that, as it is considered a separate issue. That might be the best way to get around that issue.
Uh.. you are on FMLA and they fired you while "on it" and it was not exhausted? By standard, that is illegal and why FMLA was made law to protect from this. The only way they can legally do that is if your position was "essential" and then fmla would not apply to you anyway. Did they abolish your job? Umm, how long were you on fmla and you do know that fmla is done by calendar year from the first onset? It's cummulative. If I recall, FMLA allows 12 weeks per calendar year (but is cyclical). So if you were out say last October for 6 days and they counted all of that time toward FMLA leave.. then you would have basically 11 weeks available of FMLA leave through the next October. What exactly occurred and their stance for firing you? (Sorry, I was an HR Director, am curious and was always pro employee).
Are you on their health insurance, and if you can, take advantage of the COBRA insurance. I am still on COBRA from my divorce, because I dont have an employer that offers insurance and trying to get personal insurance with back issues is a joke! No one will touch any of us.
I hope your appointment goes well and that he surprises you and actually listens to you this time. Let us know how you are doing. Take care. Tammy
"believe in the beauty of your dreams"- E. Roosevelt
L5/S1 bulging @ 18, now 46; still there (but no pain)
Fusion at L4/L5 Apr -2006
Solidly Fused Nov-2006
A Success, but still improving!