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Old 10-20-2008, 11:49 AM   #1
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Almost 6 months after Lumbar Laminectomy , Leg , and Back Pain Continue

I had a lumbar laminectomy with hardware and fusion April 7 , 2008 with hopes of relieving my pain . After surgery I was fine, and then started physical therapy . I was in a brace for 3 mos. so only 1 month of therapy , 2 weeks after surgery , and waited for brace to come off to complete my therapy. During each physical therapy session I would ask my therapist why does my lower back on the right side , and right leg hurt? I was under the impression that my surgery was to stop this discomfort. She told me that she thought I had nerve damage. I went to my next Neurosurgeons visit and told him about my pain. He ordered a new MRI , and he was happy with the findings of that, but this did not stop my pain , and discomfort. Had an EMG , and that showed EMG/NCV of the right lower extremity and lombosacral paraspinal area is abnormal because of changes consistent with denervation in the lower and mid lumbosacral paraspinal to a marked degree , suggestive of persistent nerve root irrtitation at those levels. ( whatever all of this means ) My laminectomy was L2-L3 , but L4-L5 was with hardware and fusion with screws , and clamps . My problem now is my lower back ( right side only )
pain radiates from their down to my butt, and then all along my leg to my toes. There is a burning stabbing pain on my shin area , and my right foot across the instep throbs , and feels like it is real tight almost like a sprain , but without it being sprained. Now my Neurosurgeon has ordered a Myelogram to see if perhaps there is a problem that had not shown on the MRI ? I was prescribed a generic Neurotin , but that did nothing for my to stop my pain. After the Myelogram he wants me to call him , and if there is a problem his office will schedule an appointment , but if not back to the pain management doc.
My leg pain is excruciating at times, and wakes me out of a sleep . I am a strong person mentally , but this is starting to wear me down.
I feel that my Neurosurgeon is a great doc , but I am running out of patience also . I understand that he is just a surgeon , but I have learned to depend on him for help , and guidance in the past since he did my Anterior Cervical Discectomy with hardware , and fusion there as well as my back.
I need some help please, someone tell me that I am not CRAZY ??
My pain is not in my head , BUT MY BACK , AND RIGHT LEG. I am not a complainer , and have always looked for the positive out of a neg . situation , but lately I feel that there is not a positive outlook here . Can someone please tell me what is going on?
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Old 10-20-2008, 04:01 PM   #2
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grandma1963 HB User
Re: Almost 6 months after Lumbar Laminectomy , Leg , and Back Pain Continue

I am not a doctor, but I suffered from severe nerve damage due to a surgery gone bad and it affected my legs as well as other parts. That was back when I was 21 and I am now 45 and still have dumbness with pain. It is not as bad as it was. I can surely live with it now. When it first happened I wound up in a chronic pain clinic for weeks and was on crutches now I do what I want and very seldom take pain medications. I was told that not all nerves that are damaged regenerate themselves, but it can happen. Just keep praying and good luck.

 
Old 10-22-2008, 08:19 AM   #3
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Re: Almost 6 months after Lumbar Laminectomy , Leg , and Back Pain Continue

Thank you for your note , it was very much appreciated . I hope that the mylogram scheduled for Oct. 30 , 2008 will show something definitive , and something can be done to put a halt to this pain .
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Old 10-22-2008, 08:23 PM   #4
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ms_west HB User
Re: Almost 6 months after Lumbar Laminectomy , Leg , and Back Pain Continue

Hi Brody, I have been thru several spinal surgeries and have been suffering from sciatica pain since 2004.

Does your EMG report say anything about chronic nerve problems/denervation? If not, that is a good sign and I highly recommend that you see a neurologist. In my non-medical opinion, just a spiney who has been thru this, it sounds like they may have not decompressed the nerve adequately/sufficiently. I strongly recommend going thru with the mylogram and getting another opinion.

Have they tried oral steroids or a epidural since your surgery?

Good luck. My heart goes out to you. Sciatica can be difficult sometimes and I pray that you find some relief soon.

 
Old 10-23-2008, 09:12 AM   #5
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Re: Almost 6 months after Lumbar Laminectomy , Leg , and Back Pain Continue

I have had the epidural injections previous to surgery , and unfortunately for me they do not work on me. I have had the Steroid injections , but again they for some reason do not work for me . I am hoping that they see something on this myelogram , and something can be done to help with my situation . All I can read in the EMG report is Nerve Root Irritation ?
I am experiencing difficulties in walking , standing , just the everyday functions of movement . Trying to sleep can be somewhat difficult , only because of when I turn on my side the pain definitely wakes you up !

I have asked my Neurosurgeon for something for my pain. He prescribed the generic Neurotin 300 mgm . 3 X's daily , but after one month that did not work . I asked him should we increase the dosage , but he said that if the medication was not comforting me somewhat than no need to continue . I am at a loss here , and feel abandoned as to my pain , and suffering .
Thank you for your note , and I hope to hear from you again . I will post again after the Myelogram .
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Old 11-14-2008, 03:52 AM   #6
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2Bbackontop HB User
Re: Almost 6 months after Lumbar Laminectomy , Leg , and Back Pain Continue

I am sorry to hear about your pain. I have been lurking on and off since I posted regularly around my surgery back in Feb 2008. I had L5S1 fusion w/ 2 rods 4 screws and a laminectomy. I reached a peak in improvement at about 2 months and now I am steadily sliding backwards. I have all of the symptoms you describe and have finally been diagnosed with post laminectomy syndrome AKA failed back syndrome. Now it is just a matter of treating my pain. My surgeon was basically useless when it came to information. He was like a mechanic and he looked at the xrays and if they looked okay he thought I was okay. I have a good primary care doc who prescribes adequate pain medicine. I dont abuse it and he and I have a mutual trust. Next, I have been told by 2 docs that an mri is useless now with all the work back there.

I have started PT again and I have been given a TENS unit. I am also scheduled for a EMG on Monday and also a sleep study. Thankfully, I have disability and dont work. I am a stay at home dad to a 1 and 3 year old, with a lot of help from a nanny. I cannot stand in 1 spot for more than a few minutes. The pain ramps up in my low back til I have to hunch over and than I must sit down. I use a sturdy cane because of this and also I have weakness and pain in my lower thighs just above the kneees. This makes it difficult to get out of the squat position, lower myself onto the toilet with out rails, etc. I get very sharp pains at all sorts of unpredictable times in my shins, too. I yelp and scrunch my face. The people who know me just go about their business and dont bother to ask if I am ok. It is embarrassing sometimes. That is all for now.
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Peace and Prayers,
Brett

L5S1 microdiskectomy 10/2004
L5S1 Fusion with Laminectomy/Decompression 2/2008

 
Old 11-14-2008, 10:39 AM   #7
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Re: Almost 6 months after Lumbar Laminectomy , Leg , and Back Pain Continue

Brett ,
Thank you for your reply . I am sorry to hear that you as well have the same unfortunate experiences that I ( and probably hundreds of others share our problem ) I understand what you said about the surgeon only going by test results , but he does not feel my pain ! This is not in my head . I have an appointment with my Neurosurgeon today at 2:30 , and hopefully he has something positive to say . His nurse told me that the Myelogram showed nothing compressing , and causing my pain, but should I be happy ?? I look to him for guidance , and help , but I guess I join that club called Laminectomy Surgery Failed Back Surgery !

I will let you know what comes out of todays appointment .
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Old 11-17-2008, 09:49 AM   #8
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Re: Almost 6 months after Lumbar Laminectomy , Leg , and Back Pain Continue

Had My Neurosurgeon appointment , and he showed my my myelogram pictures , and was satisfied with the surgical procedure , but not pleased that I am still in such pain . He put me back on 300 mgm.three times a day for 30 days of Gabapaten ? Neurotin generic . Feels that I have Scar tissue causing my problem . Emg showed nerve root irritation , but all pictures showed nothing . I have to go back in 30 days , and if medication is at least easing the nerve problems in my lower right lumbar area , and lower right leg , foot , then will increase dosage . He did mention that Perhaps he will send me back to the Pain Management Doc . I mentioned that the injections did not work previously , and he mentioned that they could do other things than injections .
I am at a loss here , and I feel that I have come to a dead end street . I am curious if anyone else is in the same situation that I am living in ?
My wife has stated that I walk funny now , but I told her that I do not realize this , and that I have numbness to my right leg , and foot , and cannot always feel my foot during walking.
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Last edited by brodyg47; 11-17-2008 at 09:50 AM.

 
Old 12-04-2008, 09:23 AM   #9
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Re: Almost 6 months after Lumbar Laminectomy , Leg , and Back Pain Continue

A few days ago I started having excruciating pain on my left lower back , and radiating down to my leg , and then my foot . I am now extremely concerned that the pain is on my left side as well as the right . What is going on here ? All of this time only my right lower back , leg , and foot , were hurting . I told my wife last night that I am starting to have trouble walking because the pain is so severe. Can anyone help out with advice here please ?
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Last edited by brodyg47; 12-04-2008 at 09:37 AM. Reason: to similar to above post .

 
Old 12-04-2008, 09:25 PM   #10
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Re: Almost 6 months after Lumbar Laminectomy , Leg , and Back Pain Continue

Brody -

I can relate to what you are going through. I have gone through it for 3 years since I had L4/L5, L5/S1 fused. All I heard for a while was nerve root irritation and "nerve flare ups". My first year after my fusion was frankly a nightmare.

When they finally did an MRI, I had quite a bit of scar tissue and bone spurring which surprised my neurosurgeon because it had only been 6 months since my surgery. I take 400 mg of Neurontin 3 times a day and 2 at night. I am surprised your doc isn't upping your dosage to see if a higher dosage would help. Just because a lower dosage isn't helping, doesn't mean a higher dosage won't help. If I run out of Neurontin before my pain doc appt that gets rescheduled, I am doing good to walk so they must be doing SOMETHING right. I did try Lyrica but gained 12 pounds in a month so that was out for me. Another thing I do which may sound weird is, I take 4 advil (800 mg is prescription strength). Ibuprofen helps with inflammation and just might help give SOME kind of relief. This doesn't always work but once in a while it does seem to help a little. Has your doc given you a steroid pack to take? I have to take them when my nerve flare ups get really bad. I also take Soma which is a muscle relaxer. This helps the flare ups as well.

I am prone to scar tissue. I had to have a cervical fusion of c4/c5, c5/c6, and c6/c7 just 8 months after my lumbar fusion. I had problems and 4 months after my surgery, had an MRI done. I already had scar tissue developing. There is surgery that can be done to remove scar tissue. Unfortunately, my surgeon doesn't feel I am a candidate. He said if I am this prone to scar tissue, I have a very high chance that I will just develop scar tissue again after surgery. Scar tissue will irritate nerves and even compress the opening the nerves travel through.

I do know that I will have to have more surgery. I am prolonging it as long as I can. When they do my next surgery, they will attempt to clean up some of the scar tissue.

None of this may be of any help to you but just know, I understand your pain!!! It is NOT in your head and that part sucks lol I really hope you can find something that will ease your pain!!!

Last edited by hugg724; 12-04-2008 at 09:27 PM.

 
Old 12-05-2008, 10:25 AM   #11
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Re: Almost 6 months after Lumbar Laminectomy , Leg , and Back Pain Continue

Thank you so very much for your note . I also have HUGE problems with scar tissue forming . I had a total knee replacement surgery , and I had severe scar tissue problems that did not allow me to bend as quickly as Ortho. wanted , but finally it did bend . I had the same scar tissue problem with my Anterior Cervical Discectomy with hardware and fusion as well .
I cannot take certain medication whether it is over the counter , or prescription because I am allergic to so many of them . I have a weird chemistry , and I am allergic to so many medications that all of my Doctors have difficulties prescribing medication that I can take .
I am even willing to go back to my pain management doctor ( who was really a great person ) , but I do not want any more needles in my back. I feel like General Custer here - I have had so many sticks in the back .

I was so glad to read that I am not losing my mind here , and that I have actually chatted with someone that has similar symptoms as I . I think the world of my Neurosurgeon , and understand that he is just the surgeon .
I guess it is back to see my pain management doctor again , and hope that he can help without needles !!??!!
Will keep you informed as to where we go from here ( next Friday ).
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Last edited by brodyg47; 12-05-2008 at 10:26 AM. Reason: wording correction

 
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Old 12-05-2008, 02:01 PM   #12
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Re: Almost 6 months after Lumbar Laminectomy , Leg , and Back Pain Continue

Just wanted to chime in here to remind you that you are not alone...!

I know the pain you're feeling and the frustration of not being listened to. I really think its worth trying to get a second/third opinion on your scans and test results. Even if they all agree that scar tissue is the culprit, at least you will be able to reassure yourself that something else isn't going on. Other surgeons may also offer different opinions/suggestions for treatment. Someone outside the local area is always good for a totally independent opinion. I had to go through this and much more for people to finally listen that something still wasn't right after two previous operations (both w/out hardware though) - (my story is on my most recent threads).

I too suffer from the nightly bouts of severe pain. They sometimes get me out of bed and awake for an hour until they pass (with much teeth-clenching and often crying) and leave me very tired in general from lack of sleep. With recent treatment (doing no activities, anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxants - my problem is now instability) my pain levels are in general better than before, but still the nightly awakenings. For me, I can now only sleep on my left-hand side. As a consequence, when it happens, I usually end up sleeping on the sofa, where the back of the sofa prevents me from turning over. I guess a bolster would have a similar effect. Just what works for me, but I'm sure there are plenty of others with suggestions (I've heard of remedies as mad as tennis balls in a pocket of a back-to-front t-shirt, and sleeping with a small backpack on!...). Whatever you can find that even lessens it a little, or makes it less frequent is worth it.

Well, I'm really praying you manage to get some relief soon (both from the pain and the frustration).

best wishes
Jinks

 
Old 02-23-2009, 08:39 PM   #13
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Re: Almost 6 months after Lumbar Laminectomy , Leg , and Back Pain Continue

[QUOTE=2Bbackontop;3793278]I am sorry to hear about your pain. I have been lurking on and off since I posted regularly around my surgery back in Feb 2008. I had L5S1 fusion w/ 2 rods 4 screws and a laminectomy. I reached a peak in improvement at about 2 months and now I am steadily sliding backwards. I have all of the symptoms you describe and have finally been diagnosed with post laminectomy syndrome AKA failed back syndrome. Now it is just a matter of treating my pain. My surgeon was basically useless when it came to information. He was like a mechanic and he looked at the xrays and if they looked okay he thought I was okay. I have a good primary care doc who prescribes adequate pain medicine. I dont abuse it and he and I have a mutual trust. Next, I have been told by 2 docs that an mri is useless now with all the work back there.

I have started PT again and I have been given a TENS unit. I am also scheduled for a EMG on Monday and also a sleep study. Thankfully, I have disability and dont work. I am a stay at home dad to a 1 and 3 year old, with a lot of help from a nanny. I cannot stand in 1 spot for more than a few minutes. The pain ramps up in my low back til I have to hunch over and than I must sit down. I use a sturdy cane because of this and also I have weakness and pain in my lower thighs just above the kneees. This makes it difficult to get out of the squat position, lower myself onto the toilet with out rails, etc. I get very sharp pains at all sorts of unpredictable times in my shins, too. I yelp and scrunch my face. The people who know me just go about their business and dont bother to ask if I am ok. It is embarrassing sometimes. That is all for now.[/QUOTE]

 
Old 06-30-2010, 06:51 AM   #14
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Re: Almost 6 months after Lumbar Laminectomy , Leg , and Back Pain Continue

Hi my name is Kim. I had a Lumbar Laminectomy/Laminotomy and Disectomy 2 weeks ago. Beside some back pain, I felt ok after 3 awful days of back pain. NOW Here I am 2 weeks post op and am in worse pain then ever. I have lower back pain and I feel a nerve being pinched. I have pain going across my lower back around my hips in bellow my buttocks.Yesterday i had the pain going down my right leg. That seems to come and go. I am calling the DR. today to see what they can do. If anything. I have been out of work since Dec. 09. I want me life back and i know what you must be going through too.IT really sucks. I will let you know what my out come is...

Kim

 
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Old 07-19-2010, 04:19 AM   #15
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Jamie97 HB User
Re: Almost 6 months after Lumbar Laminectomy , Leg , and Back Pain Continue

Hi, I feel your pain I was born with kyphosis, had surgery in 1999, anterior release fusion from T9-L2, along with titanuium rods and screws, After my surgery felt good, till 2003 when develpd herniated disc, now since then I havn't been able to work for two years, I have severe right side middle back pain, also severe sacroliliac joint, and hip pain, did hydro therapy, chiro, injections, pain med, everything dr suggested, went to back surgeon said surgery not option, feels might make worse and wont improve qual of life, Said post laminecomy syndrome, which is failed back surgery, degenrative disc disease, osteoarthritis, Now only options might be to be studied for a nerve simulator due to nerve damage, The pain is not in your head, I have same problem, somtimes cant even get out of bed, I am 31 had to apply for social security and am waiting for decision, Good luck finally nice to find someone with same pain,

 
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