Hi I need help and advice, please...
My dad had Aortic valve replacement surgery in Oct 2011 since then he complained of leg pain especially in the left leg but it was not very bad. He started in home PT in about 3 weeks after his surgery. Some of those exercises really aggravate his leg pain to the point that they had to be stopped. In January he started cardiac rehab therapy and it was then that he started feeling numbness and weakness especially in the left leg with tremendous pain in his lower back. He has difficulty sitting, sleeping, walking etc... He fell yesterday when stepping off the curve and now is using a walker. Now right after surgery he was recovering very well, he has never used a walker or cane, everyone including the doctors were surprised by how well he was doing, by the way he's 84 years old. The doctor believes it's a pinched nerve or back stenosis. He's having an MRI in the morning but I am wondering if that's a good idea since he's got wires from the heart surgery and he also has surgical clips from gallbladder surgery about 50 years ago. I am very worried, if you have any advice, I would really be grateful.
Do they strip some veins out of the leg and use it for the type of heart surgery your father had? I know they do for bypass surgery, and I remember a friend of mine complaining of leg pain for many, many months afterward.
But the symptoms you describe sound like he has some nerve compression going on -- this could be from stenosis or a problem with a disc. Stenosis is likely the culprit as it is very common in the elderly population.
The MRI is the best test to determine the condition of the spine. Be sure to mention his "hardware" to the MRI technician. I'm not exactly sure how they handle a situation with clips, etc. The technician will know whether it is possible for him to have a MRI...but be sure to mention it. Do not assume that the technician has seen it in your father's medical records. Leave nothing to chance!!
Thank you so much for responding so quickly. For the valve replacement they opened up his chest and went in that way, they replaced his valve with a cow valve. But they positioned him with his legs open so the surgeon is up close to chest area to do the cutting of the sternum. Yes, I will mention the hardware to the technician so that he is aware and hopefully he will know what to do. Thank you for the good advice, you seem to be very knowledgeable, I appreciate all your help.
Good luck today. I hope they can find what is causing your father's pain.
He wouldn't be the first person who ends up with some new issues after being parked on an operating table for many hours. Also, during his recovery, it may be that hours spent in bed, or perhaps walking with the recovery pain has changed his gait somewhat and all these small things combined were enough to expose an issue that he had in his spine...and aggravated it.
Hi and thank you. Unfortunately it did not go well at all, they said it showed a large tumor on his L3 and said we have to act immediately. I can't tell you how shocking this is. Do you know if wearing a pain patch could of alter the results, he was wearing one. Do you know if it's possible to get a second opinion? I just can't believe it. They had him do a blood test for his prostate yesterday and a urine sample, I think they believe it's cancer. The doctor also said that if dad had symptoms of fever chills etc. it could just be an infection but dad doesn't have really any symptoms other than leg weakness and numbing in both legs, severe low back pain and severe pain running down his left leg all the way to inside his calf, the pain is so severe that pain pills help only minimally. He was fine after his open heart surgery docs couldn't believe how well he was doing. Oh we also found out that they put him on a blood pressure med a little over a month ago and we just found out that it's affecting his kidneys he's at a stage3 when we contacted the cardiologist he said to immediately stop the medication. So you see it seems to be a combination of some very bad things and my father is 84 years old.