This one is very strange.... I had spinal fusion in 2000, had six good years then...... big time pain again. I now have for some reason no cartlidge in my pelvis and since that they also found that a disc is very degenerated and they told me this is what I am dealt and my spine is just not stable and I will continue to lose disc in this manner. My surgeons' said no more surgeries and more or less good luck with your life with pain. I take pain meds, muscle relaxers and sleeping pills. Let's just say they 'buffer' my pain. Now here is the new problem (like I need more..) It started yesterday and it is not going away. It happens mainly when I am sitting and also when I 'try' to lay in bed. It's like an electrical current goes through my spine causing severe pain, causing me to jump with my top half of my body forward and makes me I guess you would say 'yell out' The whole episode only lasts maybe 5 seconds. (wow it just did it again !!) and then it goes away but the pain is HORRIBLE. I'm telling you it feels like someone put and electrical current in my spine and pushes a button for 5 sec to shock me. (just did it again, see it mainly happens when I sit) I can't wait to call my doctor tomorrow I NEED HELP !! Has this ever happened to anyone else??? I sure hope not but if you have any idea what the *ell this is please explain this to me. I tell you there is no break for the back pain sufferers of this world..........
Hi...what you are describing sounds to me like nerve compression of some sort, and the pain associated with this would be of a shooting nature. Sitting causes really high loads of pressure on your spine, and also lying flat could compress the area. You might find some relief with a pillow under your knees when you lie down and if possible sitting in a somewhat reclined position to take pressure off your lower back. I'm a PT and for something like this, aquatic therapy has helped some for those who can't do a whole lot on land bc it would cause them pain. Especially with you saying that surgery isn't really an option at the moment. BEST advice is check with your doctor, look into it more, and try some alternative routes pre-surgery...PT could do wonders!!
Thanks for responding Daisy... everything you mentioned sure makes sence. I thought some sort of nerve compression too. I naturally sleep with up to 6 pillows in various places to relieve pressure points. I have never been offered any type of pt this round I think it is mainly because of the pain in doing any type of repetitive action because of my pelvis problem and also the disc issue. You are very right to reccommend aquatic therepy because the only time I am painfree is when I am in my relatives hot tub. It helps very very much. A hot tub is apsolutely on my 'wish list'. Thanks again for the post and I am calling my doctor first thing in the morning......take-care
I was reading your post and wanted to say I’m experiencing something just like what you describe. I’m 6 weeks post – surgery. I had a fusion of L3-4. The approach was threw the stomach (ALIF) the doctor installed a cage and 2 screws. He also removed 2 discs. This is my second fusion. The first one was 20 years ago—L5-S1, no hardware. Now I’m getting a lot of inflammation in my Pelvic bone, which seem to lead to the electrical shock pains you describe. At first I thought they were muscle spasms but the muscles are not staying that tight afterwards. I get a jolt of pain for a few seconds and then it goes away. It happens when I’m lying down, usually after I have been sitting or walking for a short period of time. Every time I go for a short walk, which I see is the main method of therapy post-surgery, I get the shock in the lower back/pelvic area. I take Celbrex, which helps with the inflammation and 2 extra strength Tylenol, every 5 hours. That is the only medicine I’m on at the moment. I’m scheduled to see my surgeon for a follow-up on Wednesday. Hopefully I will get some answers as to what is going on?
Did you see your doctor today? I hope you get an answer to why this is happening and some relief soon.
Well I called my doctor today and he is out of town til next Weds. I don't want to start all over again with his assistant so I will wait til then. The advice I got on here really makes sense that it might be nerve compression, that would make a 'jolt' but in your case I would say your nerves are just getting use to going back to being normal since they were moved during your surgery. I do remember alot of nerve problems after my surgery during my recovery . Either way this 'jolting' is not fun at all . I get it every time I forget and sit straight or forget and cross my legs or the worse is when I am driving, the seat belt makes me too straight and causes many jolts when I am driving. I am hoping you 'jolting' is temporary and will with time go away ... actually I am hoping mine will go away tooo... sounds like we both have been through the wringer !!...take - care
I know that jolting pain you describe, and I would bet it's nerve related. As to if it's pinched or not.. that would need to be identified by your doctor.
FUSIONMAN- May I ask WHO put you on the celebrex and when did you begin taking this post fusion? The reason I ask is this. Anti inflammatories have been directly linked to failed fusions. Most surgeons will refrain from any anti-inflammatories as long as possible or until fusion is complete. (My doctor had to make an exception and put me on celebrex at week 12 I think it was because of some serious unexplained swelling I had. I am fully fused and was shown as fully fused at 7 months.)
I just wanted to post this incase you were not aware of the links to anti inflammatory issue or not.
And I would also like to point out that you are remarkable at only being on these medications at 6 weeks postop! That's incredible!!
"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!
Wow, I didnít know that anti-inflammatory pills were directly linked to failed fusions! Having said that I didnít think it was good to take them because my doctor said he didnít want me on them because they could slow down the bone growth process. I assumed he meant it could slow it down but not cause a failed fusion? But at the time I was in so much pain and discomfort that I decided to take them anyhow. You see I had been on them for a full year prior to my fusion and they really helped me function well. The celebrex took away most of the inflammation and pain in my spine so I got very used to taking them everyday. On the one rare occasion since the fusion that I got to speak to the doctor directly on the phone he said take Tylenol instead of the celebrex. Thatís how I ended up on such a weak painkiller. I did have percocet in the beginning (2 weeks) but that didnít seem to help too much with the spasms. Plus I was getting very dopey from them and constipated. I did take colace pills for the constipation. What Iím surprised at is that he never ordered any muscle relaxants? I did tell him on several occasions about the muscle spasms. His answer on 2 occasions conveyed via his secretary was to go to the ER if your having spasms. That is not even acceptable because they would just tell me to go back to the doctor who did the operation. Thatís when I decided to take matters into my own hands and take the celebrex since I already had it on hand. I really didnít think it was that harmful. Thanks so much for letting me know it can lead to a failed fusion. I have an appt. with the surgeon this Wednesday and I will insist he put me on something stronger and possibly some muscle relaxants. I thought I shouldnít be feeling all these spasms and pain inside my back due to the fact that the back muscles were not cut since he went in threw the stomach. But I suppose the hardware and screws inside could be causing a lot of the spasm/jolting pain Iím experiencing? Iím scared because I actually feel more pain in my lower back now than before the surgery. Iím praying that itís just due to my spine adjusting to its new alignment.
Sounds as if you made a good choice to wait and see your physician and not his assistant. I hope this clears up for you very soon and that you get some answers next week.
Perhaps in my case your correct in that the nerves are reacting to being moved around. I didn't think that was the supposed to happen with my surgery since he went threw the stomach to get to the back, which left all the back muscles intact. But I suppose there were plenty of internal disturbances?
Yes, we have both been through the wringer. Be well.