I had a fusion of L5/S1 in June of last year. Ever since, I have been having problems with my legs. They constantly ache, and I feel like I have to constantly stretch them. I stretch them to the point where they are actually sore the next day. If I am sitting down, they are constantly moving and stretching. I see a Rheumatologist for Fibromyalgia. He seems to think there is nerve damage from the surgery causing this. Has anyone else had this problem? He doesn't think it's Restless Leg Symdrome, because it is mainly in the daytime, not nighttime. I don't know whether to go back to my back doctor or to a neurologist, which is what my rheumatologist suggested. I did mention it to my back doctor right after surgery, and he didn't seem to think it was anything, but it is continually getting worse, to the point where I can't even sit still. I don't know the symptoms of nerve damage in the legs. Any comments would be greatly appreciated!!!
I have pain in my legs. Most is in my right leg. When I went to pain management they first did and EMG on my leg and back. It showed some nerve damage. But I probably had it before surgery since the nerve was compressed for so long. They think I have scar tissue pressing on the nerve from the fusion surgery. You could have something like that. It doesn't show up on any tests.
I respectfully disagree with Apocalypto22. Not everyone develops problems after fusion at all. Many are great and out there pain free living a perfectly normal life.
Sundee. I obviously have nerve damage post op as I have dullness sensation on my left leg to foot. The nerve damage is minimal but yet exists.
If you want to know the extent of nerve damage if any, see the Neurologist, as the surgeon would more likely refer you to one for the test anyway. Then you will at least know what's what and can then decide on a course of treatment to help you better manage that.
"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!
just an FYI for ya here but depending upon your surgeons ego,he may or may not be the right person to actually see about this. it would appear tho that your rhemy doc is much more on the ball here. i would actually ask your rheumy or your primary for a referral for an MRI just to really "see' if something did indeed occur during your surgery.
believe me,i was actually out right lied to by my neurosurgeons nurse after my NS placed the hardware when my c spine fusion didn't take? i had already been obtaining all my own copies of my MRI results prior to this little event just because of info i had not been told about BEFORE. so she tells me everything was just 'fine' and they couldn't find the reason for my right neck to be locking up and the horrid pain that had set in very shortly after the plate and screws had been placed. well the copy of MY report actually stated i had an impinged nerve root at c 7. she was NOT going to actually tell me about that since 'her boss' had done it during my hardware surgery. i was really shocked and she was even more shocked when i simply asked her,well what about that impinged c 7 nerve root it states in the report at the bottom of page one? you could have heard a pin drop. caught her wayy off guard there,the witch.
i of course didn't bother to even go there and went up to the U of MN here in MN only becasue i also was dealing with a cavernous hemangioma that was actually IN my spinal cord right about that same level as my fusion. when i had my spinal cord surgery to try and remove that cavernoma that involved removing the backs of my c6 thru t1, my NS actually discovered that not only did the idiot NS i had had before actually impinge that c 7 nerve root but he actually somehow managed to actually loop it around the ped screw and it was pulled really tightly. lucky for me,this was the area he had to go into and when he saw that nerve root he 'unlooped' it for me or it would have required another hellish surgery thru the back again. once was bad enough.
i am only telling you this because this kind of really crappy stuff goes on all the time with some surgeons. it made me sick that this woman sat there on that phone and lied to me,just lied. sooo, obtaining that MRI and also obtaining all your own test results is something i would very highly recommend for you to do. some surgeons really have no actual ego issues(my ortho is wonderful)and actually want to know why their patient is continuing to suffer and others could give a crap espescially if that damage occured during their surgery. it all depends. but sometimes you justhave to be proactive here and start demanding certain things be done,espescially when you end up with even MORE pain after a surgery that was not there before. something has to be causing your symptoms.
what you described really does sound like some level of actual nerve involvement(possibly even impingment?),you just really DO need that MRI to possibly show where. do not settle for just a CT,only an MRI would really show the areas you need to see the best at this point. finding any doc who is willing to help advocate for you is really a huge deal. i would have youre rheumy doc help you along with this if there are any problems with that surgeon. there is always that inherent risk of causing other damage with any surgery,a spinal surgery is just very high stake for the patient. but i would be pretty much demanding an MRI at this point.
there could also be the possibility of non fusion too. believe me,that does NOT always show itself well on any type of scan. i had a CT that said for certain i was fused(the MRI i had just had done was inconclusive and recommended the stupid CT) when i knew i was not,just based upon the intermittant symptoms and the bone grinding and popping i heard inside my neck(it sounded like rice krispies in there). took me 9 months of bugging the heck out of that wonderful lying nurse to finally get them to give me what would have revealed this non fusion long before if they had just listened to me,a simple flex and ext x ray. showed it really well.
just some suggestions for ya there. you may or may not be able to truely trust any surgeon after any surgery to be totally truthful with you,like i said,it all depends on that particular surgeon. so you DO have to take some matters into your own hands and just start advocating for yourself. i would speak with your rheumy about that MRI tho. i do wish you luck with this,please keep us posted,marcia
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.
nobody is perfect after having any kind of surgery sorry to say.Body gets old and worn out like everything else.And hardware in body will give out eventually.I know quite a few people who are not aware of these boards,who had failed fusion.Should contact them and get them on here.took me long enough to find them myself.
I am 2 years post-L5/S1 fusion and also have some nerve damage, but this was not news to me because some of my reflexes never came back or were very weak post-surgery. I had an MRI which showed an inflammed nerve and some other problems, a CT to check the fusion (I did fuse), and am in pain management now. About a year post-surgery I started having more leg pain and my doc tells me it's scar tissue as well. I guess it takes a while for scar tissue to develop, and there's not much you can do about that.
I would suggest seeing a neurologist for a work-up so you can decide your treatment options. I personally did not choose this route as a combination of PT and meds has been helping me.
Here's wishing you much luck finding out what's up with your legs and I hope you get some answers soon!
Even though we all different and develop different symptoms, I can share with you how do I feel since my 2 fusion surgeries.
I have nerve damages in my legs and feet.
First and the most devastating symptom is PAIN. Shooting, stubbing, burning and so on PAIN. Pain is so deep, feels like it comes from inside of your guts.
Also feels like bags move under the skin, very weired feelings. Sometimes feels like a water running down your legs and it scares me all the time, because i feel like accident happened
Severe weakness in a legs, when i walk i feel like i have to drag my legs, they can't move, especially after walking for some time. I also got dropped foot on my right leg.
Neurologist usually performs EMG test and they can confirm if you got any nerve damages. So this wouldn't be a bad idea to go and see him/her.
Please, take care of yourself and best wishes to you!
This could be your iron level is low , my nerve damage burns and aches.. I had low iron level once and it felt like I had to stretch and move my legs all the time like you . I took iron supplements and felt fine . This was before my surgeries. See a blood specialist .
Wow!! Thank you all so much for sharing your experiences and advice! I think first I will try the iron supplements, as I think I have those in the cabinet. Then I will definitely call a neurologist to see if they can tell if there's any nerve damage. It's driving me crazy!!
Sundee , take your iron supplements for a couple days , and if your legs isn't any better check with your Dr. I used to donate blood every 3 months and after everytime I donated I would feel weak and sick for a few days , and then my leg problem kicked in.. Went to the doc and had blood work and found out my iron level was low.. Good Luck and hope this helps ya.