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Old 01-29-2012, 05:32 PM   #1
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Unhappy L5-S1 Fusion on January 3rd 2012

For my 5th back surgery I chose Dr Wohns in the Tacoma, WA area. It was pretty horrific pain management. I let them know many times I was a long term pain management patient at 30mg a day of oxycodone. They took no consideration at all and I left with a prescription 19 hours later with 20mg for 5 days. The Tylenol. He also could not get cages in so he used bone. Avoid this doctor please. I do go back to my pain management doctor this week, thank god.

My pain level has been 6-7 constantly since the surgery. Spiking at times. I am going to see another surgeon to look at what he did this week, as I really do not know what he did, not using cages. I never had right leg pain, I do now to the point of it waking me several times at night.

Has anyone experienced a constant 'Popping" of bone? If I move at all my back pops even 1" my feet will cause it to pop if I move slightly forward or back it will pop. Sometimes it resembles a deck of cards being shuffled, very rapid pops in succesion. I have never had this happen in my previous 4 surgeries. It is a very sickening feeling. Popping and grinding constantly.

I hope it is not a significant thing. They claim it may be an infection since I was very swelled and did a run of antibiotics. The swelling has gone down, the popping has gotten worse.

Last edited by rainiermec; 01-29-2012 at 05:47 PM. Reason: Spelling

 
Old 01-29-2012, 08:16 PM   #2
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Re: L5-S1 Fusion on January 3rd 2012

After fusion, the risk of infection goes up with each subsequent surgery. I urge you to keep on top of this and be sure you are not carrying around a bone infection.

I looked up your surgeon. He has a stellar academic CV and a very interesting background. Unfortunately, sometimes these docs with the big reputations are not the best when it comes to doctor-patient relationships, and in dealing with the average patient's case.

Many spine surgeons do not like to operate on other doctors' patients, particularly if they are not familiar with that particular surgeon's work. Apparently, it can result in unpleasant "surprises."

Anyway, I've had two lumbar fusions, and have read hundreds of other patients experiences and I cannot say that I know what you are talking about when you say "popping." To me, popping would indicate some sort of instability.

Do you have rods and screws supporting the vertebrae?

Popping is often a case of a ligament catching with movement and making a popping snap when it releases again. Or, in the case of fusion, if something is out of place, it could be a bone on bone situation if something has slipped. If you are experiencing instability at the L5-S1 segment, a nerve may be getting trapped in such a way that it is now affecting your other leg. Sometimes when radiculopathy switches from one leg to the other it is a sign that there is spinal instability.

Sounds like you need a new MRI or CT scan to see what is going on.

What other back surgeries have you had?

 
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Old 01-29-2012, 08:57 PM   #3
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Re: L5-S1 Fusion on January 3rd 2012

[QUOTE=tetonteri66;4919364]After fusion, the risk of infection goes up with each subsequent surgery. I urge you to keep on top of this and be sure you are not carrying around a bone infection.

I looked up your surgeon. He has a stellar academic CV and a very interesting background. Unfortunately, sometimes these docs with the big reputations are not the best when it comes to doctor-patient relationships, and in dealing with the average patient's case.

Many spine surgeons do not like to operate on other doctors' patients, particularly if they are not familiar with that particular surgeon's work. Apparently, it can result in unpleasant "surprises."

Anyway, I've had two lumbar fusions, and have read hundreds of other patients experiences and I cannot say that I know what you are talking about when you say "popping." To me, popping would indicate some sort of instability.

Do you have rods and screws supporting the vertebrae?

Popping is often a case of a ligament catching with movement and making a popping snap when it releases again. Or, in the case of fusion, if something is out of place, it could be a bone on bone situation if something has slipped. If you are experiencing instability at the L5-S1 segment, a nerve may be getting trapped in such a way that it is now affecting your other leg. Sometimes when radiculopathy switches from one leg to the other it is a sign that there is spinal instability.

Sounds like you need a new MRI or CT scan to see what is going on.

What other back surgeries have you had?[/QUOTE]

I have had 4 revisions of L4-L5, 2 Hardware Failures, A failed fusion, and a broken pedical. Dr. Wohs has many, many online complaints. His pain management is absurd. He just passed the Bar Exam so he is now a lawyer at 62. I may have had 5 minutes of eye contact with him in two appointments and the surgery. I am in the process of getting my surgical records to see exactly what was done, I know he could not loosen the L4 screws, therefore could not use cages. I know there was a problem with different brands of hardware, so I am confused on how he did the rods. He says he used a "lot" of bone instead.

He pain management protocol is (5) Days of Dilaudid, (5) days of Vicodin, (5) Days of Tylenol with codeine. As I asked the CEO of South Sound Neuro,, why does he treat a timeline, rather than a patient. That is simply what he does. I did not get an answer other than they are hiring a PR firm to address the issues with their premier doc. The on call nurses cannot change his protocol, they can only listen and let you know they can do nothing.

I was in the Hospital a total of 19 hours. In all of my other surgeries I have not left the hospital in less that 4 days. It was a nightmare. My wife looked like a nurse coverered with bloodied hands trying to stem the flow when changing bandages. I believe he had a great career, which attracted me to him, I believe now he is more interest in his JD, I have never seen a man with a larger ego.

This slipping and "Popping" in and out is non-stop. I cannot make any movement without it. A moment ago I was typing lying on my back on my torso dropped what seemed like an inch. With a loud pop, simply from lying here. I have another ortho that is will to look at me and hopefully if it can be proven to file a malpractice suit. I am quite angry on how I have been treated by his entire staff. Many people have been as I read some internet comments.

Thank you for the comment, I am also worried about bone infections. If his PA would have simply done any physical testing I would have been happy, I was sent out with a script for antibiotics. They did not even arrange for a plain x-ray film for my first visit! That was an absolute farce.

 
Old 01-29-2012, 10:00 PM   #4
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Re: L5-S1 Fusion on January 3rd 2012

I'm really a bit surprised that another surgeon is even willing to get involved with you.

Maybe the surgeon needed to go to law school so he can defend himself in pending lawsuits. If I may ask, why did you choose to let him operate on you in the first place?

I would be concerned that there is no longer any place (any solid bone) left to anchor any sort of hardware into your spine at this level.

I'm sorry you are having so many problems, and hope you will have a better experience with this new surgeon.

Please keep in touch and let us know how it goes. It sounds like you may have some loose parts in there that are slipping around with little left to hold them in place.

Has any surgeon gone in from the front to shore up what he/she wants to fuse?

When do you see the new surgeon and have you thoroughly checked him/her out?

 
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