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  • Pain After Lumbar Fusion

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    Old 04-01-2017, 09:36 PM   #1
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    Pain After Lumbar Fusion

    Hello all,

    I had a lumbar fusion done at L4-L5 on February 6th, 2017. I am now almost two months post-op and in more pain than I have ever been in. I hurt my back playing rugby, and three back surgeries later, in a lot of pain. The pain I am feeling is not post-operative pain, but similar and more severe pain that I had before surgeries, and after them when I kept reherniating because I have failed back surgery syndrome. I am also having a lot of pain in the middle of my back. I received an MRI and this is the report:

    T7-T8- Minor central bulging

    T12-L1- Right paracentral protrustion at T12-L1 with possible small extruded fragment behind T12

    L4-L5- The level is fused. There is a residual central protrusion at that level, similar to previous study (Previous study: There is moderate right neural foraminal stenosis due to the presence of a right foraminal disc protrusion. There is mild left neural foraminal stenosis. There is a broad central disc protrusion as well. There is no significant central canal stenosis. There is mild left lateral recess stenosis) the previous study was done the day after my fusion surgery in the hospital

    L5-S1- There is a small central protrusion

    Could there still be issues at L4-L5 causing me this much pain? Could it be another disc or a combination of all of them? I go back to the doctor in a few days and was thinking of getting a neurosurgeons opinion. I know there are no medical professionals on here, but has any one else experienced this? Maybe the doctor will want to go back in and take the whole disc out since it wasn't an interbody fusion? I dont know but im freaking out!!!

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    Old 04-02-2017, 10:04 AM   #2
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    Re: Pain After Lumbar Fusion

    I am sorry you are still in pain post fusion surgery. For others reading this thread who do not know what "failed back surgery syndrome" is, it is not a real syndrome but is a term used to describe a situation where a patient remains in pain or continues to have the same symptoms she had prior to surgery. It is a term used only for back surgery. There is no similar term like this for failed knee or failed hip surgery, for example.

    Before I comment further on your situation, it would be helpful to have some additional information. Were the other surgeries discectomies or micro discectomies? What symptoms do you have now? Do you have radiating pain or sciatic pain?

    Why was the MRI done the day after surgery? This is almost unheard of. First there would be swelling. This combined with the artifact put off by the hardware would make the results difficult to read. I had a MRI after my first fusion which was also at L4-5, and the technicians made it very clear that this was hardly ever done so soon after surgery.

    Do you have hardware?

    I look forward to more information and will then respond in more detail. I know where you are coming from as I went through similar...but, in my case, it took me a year to convince anyone that I felt exactly as I had prior to surgery...and then another two years to find someone who a.) believed me (b) was willing to try to figure what else could be causing symptoms (c) agreed to attempt to "fix" it.

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    Old 04-02-2017, 02:47 PM   #3
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    Re: Pain After Lumbar Fusion

    Thank you for responding!
    My first surgery was a laminectomy/discectomy in August of 2016, second surgery was a revision laminectomy/discectomy, and third was a revision laminectomy/discectomy fusion done in February of 2017, with pedicle screws put in place on both sides of the L4 and L5 vertebrae, and some kind of bone growth power put around the area. yes with instrumentation. I know he left the disc in there. I also know there was a synovial cyst. The disc was/is extremely calcified and hard. My pain is NOT normal, I just know. You probably understand what I mean when I say that I know my body and I know this isn't right. I have pain in both legs, including both hips, buttocks, thighs (back and front) knees, calves, shins, feet, toes, groin, I don't think there's been a spot in my legs that hasn't had pain! And for the MRI in the hospital the day after, I wasn't sure why they did that either! Thanks again for responding to my post. I look forward to hearing from you. You're welcome to personally message me too if you'd like (I'm not familiar with this board but I think you can do that).

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    back pain, fusion, lumbar, mri, thoracic

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