Re: Also having nerve pain return after fusion at L5-S1, anyone else?
Nice to see you on the board, but sorry for the reason you find yourself returning.
When the lower lumbar segments are operated on, and with a fusion, surgically altered, there are often issues that pop up with the sacroiliac joints and/or the piriformis muscle. Both of these cause symptoms that mimic the pain caused by the original symptoms for which you were operated.
Also I would suggest that some people are not fully healed at a year post surgery. And, again with the L5-S1 segment, it is so easy to cause a flare by increased activity, bending one time too many, etc. I am almost 2 years out from my fusion and I still have to monitor my activities constantly or I pay for it. In my case it usually happens when I sit too much. This causes the piriformis to tighten up which then puts pressure on the sciatic nerve, and can cause all those painful feelings associated with sciatica.
Another thing that can happen around this time is that the patient starts to become aware that they aren't making any "healing progress" any longer, and maybe are going in the other direction. Sometimes it is because the body has not completely fused and the hardware is no longer holding the joint together as completely as it was earlier. This can result in a small amount of movement between the bones which results in symptoms similar to what the patient felt prior to surgery.
Do you have a one year check-up where they will x-ray to see if things are still in place?