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Old 12-22-2012, 09:06 PM   #1
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what are my options

I am almost 12weeks post op, l5-s1 fusion. And increase getting back to exactly how I was feeling before I went in. What is my next option, if I don't progress. Thank you.

 
Old 12-23-2012, 02:08 PM   #2
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Lightbulb Re: what are my options

Have you had an MRI? talk to your doc. if you havent . Then if that fails try to go to a dirrerent one you do have that choice. I hope you get better but it seems to me that the percentage is high on failing suergerys. and lets hope you do well. Good Luck to you and Have A Merry Christmas.

 
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Old 12-23-2012, 07:31 PM   #3
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Re: what are my options

You are way too early in the process to be thinking negatively about the outcome of your surgery. It can take up to a year to work through the pain and other issues. However, if you haven't done so I would suggest you contact your surgeon to let him know what is going on. You should probably have some imaging to insure that hardware is in the proper place. It doesn't happen very often, but sometimes a screw breaks or turns out to be in the wrong place.

You would have a very difficult time finding another surgeon to take you on at this point. Better to try to work with the surgeon who operated on you to determine why you are not improving, or why all the symptoms from before the surgery are returning. You will want to see if some scar tissue has developed and is impinging on a nerve. This is the most common reason why at twelve weeks a person has previous symptoms return.

Everyone grows scar tissue after surgery. Sometimes as it is filling in, it attaches to a nerve or can press upon a nerve. The main time for this growth is from about 21 days to three months.

After six months, a new surgeon might look at your surgery and be willing to take you on, but hopefully you'll be making progress by then and working with your surgeon who did the fusion.

In general, it can be quite awhile (like about a year) before someone determines a procedure has not worked.

Have you recently started a new exercise program or are you walking farther or taken up a new activity? Often people start being more active around 12 weeks and this new amount of activity results in inflammation. There can be a flare of nerve pain that in some cases can really set a person back. If that might be the case, I would urge you to back off on activity and take it easy...to give the nerve a chance to quiet down. Otherwise, the nerve will just keep sending out signals of pain -- and it can become chronic.

 
Old 12-23-2012, 09:28 PM   #4
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Re: what are my options

Thank you Teri. Just doing the normal stuff around the house. Any activity sets it off like before. The more activity the worst it is. I know its still early in recovery. It's just seems to be the same. Well ill hold on to early. Thanks for your comments. It always helps me. Merry Christmas.

 
Old 12-24-2012, 07:07 AM   #5
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Re: what are my options

out one room and one hall at any given time. If I do, I start feeling the early twinges of sciatic pain. And holidays are difficult in that it is almost impossible to avoid doing "too much." Plus everything seems to involve dozens of trips up and down stairs, bending over, etc. (don't know what happened to the beginning of this paragraph...sorry)

Despite everything I said in my previous post, I pretty much sensed by about four months that my first fusion was not going to resolve my issues. By the time I knew I was "healed" from the surgery, I felt just exactly like I did prior to my surgery. I will tell you that before I had my surgery I got opinions from eight different spine surgeons. Six said they would do a one level fusion. The other two said they would do a three level fusion...and one of those told me he reserved the right to do another level or two if what he found once he got in there was worse than showed on MRI. I figured they could always go back in and do more if the one level didn't work out...so I went with the one level. And as it turned out, the two surgeons who wanted to do 3 levels turned out to be right.

Last edited by teteri66; 12-26-2012 at 05:31 PM.

 
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Old 12-26-2012, 12:41 PM   #6
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Re: what are my options

[QUOTE=teteri66;5108347]out one room and one hall at any given time. If I do, I start feeling the early twinges of sciatic pain. And holidays are difficult in that it is almost impossible to avoid doing "too much." Plus everything seems to involve dozens of trips up and down stairs, bending over, etc.

Despite everything I said in my previous post, I pretty much sensed by about four months that my first fusion was not going to resolve my issues. By the time I knew I was "healed" from the surgery, I felt just exactly like I did prior to my surgery. I will tell you that before I had my surgery I got opinions from eight different spine surgeons. Six said they would do a one level fusion. The other two said they would do a three level fusion...and one of those told me he reserved the right to do another level or two if what he found once he got in there was worse than showed on MRI. I figured they could always go back in and do more if the one level didn't work out...so I went with the one level. And as it turned out, the two surgeons who wanted to do 3 levels turned out to be right.[/QUOTE]
Thank you Teri. I know I need to be patient, it just seems to be getting worse. Now yesterday I had like my knee and foot had tingling, asleep feeling. Never had that before, just pain. I'm frustrated, and in Alot of pain. I thought this would work. I see my doc on the 3rd of Jan, I guess ill tell him and see what he suggests.

 
Old 12-26-2012, 05:34 PM   #7
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Re: what are my options

Sorry...the beginning of my paragraph seems to have become misplaced! I can't remember what I was saying other than even though my fusion was in June of 2010, I can still only vacuum a couple rooms before I have learned to stop and put the rest off, or I will be paying for it.

It may be that your surgery was not enough to resolve your issues...or that it was done at the wrong segment.

Maybe you are doing too much and are getting some inflammation going on that is beginning to pinch a nerve.

Last edited by teteri66; 12-26-2012 at 05:37 PM.

 
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Old 12-28-2012, 08:22 PM   #8
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Re: what are my options

I was going through some old threads and ran across something you'd written in the first thread you made on this board. You talked about having bulging discs at three levels. That really made me wonder if your surgery was done on the level that was causing most of your issues...or whether you may still have some remaining problems that are causing just as much pain.

Sometimes what happens is that a person has something that hurts so much that it masks any other pain. When that main issue is taken care of, suddenly something the person wasn't aware of before begins to hurt and feels like it hurts every bit as much.

I still think it is early in your recovery...but I would discuss your pain with the surgeon and when aphs to see if they are causing pain.

As I told you earlier, my first fusion at L4-L5 was for spondylolisthesis and severe stenosis...the fusion was uneventful. I healed fast and well and everything was considered a great success. But I was still in pain, every bit as much as prior to surgery. Subsequent MRIs "looked good." Two surgeons told me they couldn't imagine why I was still in pain...that there was nothing they good see that would be causing pain, etc. It took me two years to track down what was causing the pain...and it involved going to a variety of specialists, alternative medicine guys, acupuncture, bodywork and Oriental medicine and spine surgeons in three states, two universities, etc. to finally figure out what "might" be causing pain....

So my best advice to you is to not get discouraged at this point. Do everything to help your recovery. Go to physical therapy when given the go ahead by your surgeon...and chances are, you will slowly get better. However, keep asking questions of your surgeon and other doctors you see (if any) and be aware that there is a possibility, slight though it may be, that there is something else that needs to be addressed!

 
Old 02-01-2013, 05:56 AM   #9
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Re: what are my options

[QUOTE=luck25;5109038]Thank you Teri. I know I need to be patient, it just seems to be getting worse. Now yesterday I had like my knee and foot had tingling, asleep feeling. Never had that before, just pain. I'm frustrated, and in Alot of pain. I thought this would work. I see my doc on the 3rd of Jan, I guess ill tell him and see what he suggests.[/QUOTE]

Dear luck, I just saw that you were still having post op nerve pain & wondered if it finally subsided & when were you able to finally start PT?

 
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