Many thanks to back problems members
I've been reading this forum for at least 11 months and have finally decided it is time to register so I could thank all those who are members and whose posts have blessed me.
I had a microdiscetomy at the L5-S1 level in October 2010 followed by an ALIF at the same level in July 2012. I did very well after the microdiscetomy and all my radiculopathy was relieved immediately post-op and remained that way until December 2011. My 14 ft. Christmas tree fell over, and I jumped up and stood it back up. Yep, pretty much the wrong thing to do, as I had immediate back pain followed by spasms, followed by radiculopathy down both legs.
It took months to be seen by neurologists, physiatrists, and a neurosurgeon; during the waiting I became unable to work due to the pain and disabling leg and foot pain. After a lumbar MRI, a cervical MRI, and an EMG-NCV, a diagnosis of lumbar radiculopathy at the L5-S1 level was finally confirmed.
In July 2012 I had an ALIF at the L5-S1 level with a PEEK cage and donor bone. I had severe right leg pain post-op which eventually subsided and I was discharged within 4 days. I took prescribed narcotics for the post-op pain and started recovering with daily walks.
3 days after my first post-op appt in August 2012, I started experiencing painful, horrible pains and weird sensations in my right ankle, right heel, right calf, and posterior right thigh. I was told it was the typical "healing nerves" and started neurotin and increased dosage of cymbalta.
I've participated in aqua PT and showed no improvement after 2 months, so it was discontinued. I've been on a medrol dose pack, a higher level steroid taper, a switch from neurontin to lyrica. I continue to have right leg pain in my posterior thigh, calf, ankle, and heel. Sometimes it feels like a spike is being driven up my heel; other sensations: as if my skin is being ripped off my inner ankle, or razor blades slicing my heel.
My neurosurgeon ordered a follow-up lumbar MRI after my last appt in early Dec. It shows:
L3-L4: minimal disc dessication and minimal annular disc bulge with probable small left foraminal disc protrusion resulting in displacement of the L3 nerve root in the lateral aspect of the neural foramen. Minimal effacement of the lateral recesses as the L4 nerve roots exit the thecal sac. Minimal left subarticular thecal sac flattening.
L5-S1: post surgical change with bar-like disc osteophyte complex which extends across the posterior aspect of the intervertebral disc space effacing the thecal sac slightly and narrowing both exiting neural foramina slightly. The expected post surgical enhancement present at the level of the intervertebral disc without evidence of vertebral endplate enhancement or destruction.
The CD of this MRI was delivered to my neurosurgeon last Friday and I have not heard from his office yet. I also have a phone call waiting to be returned from the neurologist who signed my EMG-NCV as I want to better understand the values; in the NCV my H-reflex values are 27.5 left and 31.2 right.(the normal is less than 2mS)
I'm seeing a rheumatologist tomorrow due to aches and pains in areas not related to my spine; I've been on cymbalta for years related to a diagnosis of fibromyalgia.
Any thoughts or suggestions are eagerly accepted! You've all helped so much in the past, before I joined. Thanks again to all who post regularly!