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  • PLIF Post Operative Leg Pain

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    Old 11-07-2003, 11:20 AM   #1
    Brooke79
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    PLIF Post Operative Leg Pain

    Hi All,

    I was wanting to hear from those of you who experienced leg pain after fusion surgeries. I am at 11 days post op and when lying down the pain in my legs (nerve pain) is nasty.
    Does it go away? Is it temporary?

    Thanks Everyone
    Brooke

     
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    Old 11-07-2003, 12:41 PM   #2
    MarianJ
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    [B][COLOR=Magenta][CENTER]Hello Brooke,[/CENTER]

    [CENTER] Welcome Home. [/CENTER]
    [INDENT]I sure did miss you, and you have been in my thought's. I didn't even realize you were back on the boards. I am so sorry that you are going through this nerve pain. I know how horrible it is, and I am praying for you. Remember that you are only 11 days post op, so don't expect any miracles yet. My nerve pain right after my fusion was the worst while lying down. I thought that it had something to do with the position I was in. Has you doctor giving you any nerve pain medication, such as neurontin or topamax? I was taking neurontin prior to my surgery and stopped right before, and then after surgery needed it again. But it did not work for me. I started Topamax about a month ago. If your doctor has not prescribed nerve meds for you, then you might need them. Your body has been through a trauma with this surgery and you are going to need a great deal of time to heal. We are all different, so some of us heal faster than others. I still suffer with nerve pain, but it is not as bad as it was. I am praying that your nerve pain is only temporary and will indeed go away. In the beginning I thought so much of my pain was nerve pain but, my neuro had explained to me that it was also muscle pain. I was having horrible spasms and he still is worried about a problem with a muscle. I also have to take muscle relaxants to help control them. But this recovery is a long one and the healing takes time.

    I do hope that your nerve pain does get better and you have more comfortable nights. You will be in my continued prayers for a successful recovery.[/INDENT]
    [CENTER] Take Care [/COLOR] [/B][/CENTER]

    Last edited by MarianJ; 11-07-2003 at 12:41 PM.

     
    Old 11-07-2003, 12:42 PM   #3
    lrryh
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    Wink

    [QUOTE=Brooke79]Hi All,

    I was wanting to hear from those of you who experienced leg pain after fusion surgeries. I am at 11 days post op and when lying down the pain in my legs (nerve pain) is nasty.
    Does it go away? Is it temporary?

    Thanks Everyone
    Brooke[/QUOTE]

    Hi Brooke,

    I had a anterior, posterior spinal fusion at L4-5, L5S1, with decompression and bone grafts with instrumentation performed in Feb. of 2002. My diagnosis was DDD with radiculapathy particularly in my right leg. The two discs were removed and replaced with donor grafts or femoral rings as they are called. My surgery took 10 hrs and i was hospitalized for 10 days because i felt AWFUL and lost 6 units of blood. My leg pain seemed to have gone away after the surgery but came back gradually and i still have it all these months later. I should mention that my doctor delayed the surgery until conservative measures proved futile. I think during those 7 months that nerve damage became permanent and i am currently getting some relief from LESI's and PT with lots of stretching excersises but primarily through the use of the Duragesic patch and Norco and some muscle relaxants. I have not been able to return to work but i think in about 2 mo.s i will be well enough to get back out there. I hope you get better soon and i want you to badger your doctor about getting relief now for your pain.

    Best Wishes, Larry

     
    Old 11-07-2003, 01:12 PM   #4
    Brooke79
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    Hi Tommorrow,

    Hello, the procedure is over and all i can say is thank Christ for that. It was the most painful experience i've been through and needles are no longer an issue for me hehe.

    I can totally sympathise with the spasms. Over the last week the spasms have been the cause of most of my pain. They are horrible and violently jerk me around. I too have been prescribed muscle relaxants to help ease this - Valium. It seems to work too.
    I have never received nerve medication before and am seeing the doctor again on monday to have the staples taken out, i will ask her about it then. At the moment i could live with the pain of the incision site but the nerve pain is ridiculous. It is at its worst when im laying down and standing and sitting relieves it (not totally but greatly) but there in is a problem because at 11 days post op i dont think i should be up and about for as long as i seem to need to be to get any relief from the nerve pain.
    Fingers crossed it is not permanent. Ps: does it hurt when the staples come out?

    Hope you are well
    Love
    Brooke

     
    Old 11-07-2003, 01:16 PM   #5
    Brooke79
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    Dear Larry,
    Wow, i sometimes wonder why i complain when i read stories such as yours. I will ask the doctor on monday about the nerve pain because i can not sleep at night with it.
    I had to have a transfusion whilst in hospital because all my statistics were falling below and acceptable range. When i went to the doctors yesterday she said she was concerned about the way i looked. I have grey lips, skin and dull eyes. So a blood count will hopefully sort that out.
    I will let you know how I go with the nerves

    Love
    Brooke

     
    Old 11-07-2003, 02:09 PM   #6
    socalster
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    Watch out for TOPAMAX!!

    Watch out using TOPAMAX!! I was using Neurontin for nerve pain but it gave me insomnia and then the Dr. prescribed Topamax, WOW!! I felt as if I was run over by a train, it was very strong!!! I was lethargic and sedated all day with tingling on my face and hands. The morning after the first day I tried Topamax I went to work in a total daze! I came home that evening and discovered that I had left ALL the lights in my house on, my a/c and radio on. The entire day felt like night, it was the worst side effect I have ever experienced and my nerve pain did NOT go away.

     
    Old 11-07-2003, 02:24 PM   #7
    lrryh
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    [QUOTE=Brooke79]Dear Larry,
    Wow, i sometimes wonder why i complain when i read stories such as yours. I will ask the doctor on monday about the nerve pain because i can not sleep at night with it.
    I had to have a transfusion whilst in hospital because all my statistics were falling below and acceptable range. When i went to the doctors yesterday she said she was concerned about the way i looked. I have grey lips, skin and dull eyes. So a blood count will hopefully sort that out.
    I will let you know how I go with the nerves

    Love
    Brooke[/QUOTE]

    Hi Again Brooke,

    I was scared to death about how it would feel when the staples came out and i asked the doctor and he came up to me and took his index finger and thumb and very gently squeezed my forearm and said that's how much pain there is. I laughed and was relieved. The nurse showed me the little metal staple remover before she took them out and sure enough it didn't hurt at ALL. Hope that helps

    Hope you get better very soon, Larry

     
    Old 11-07-2003, 06:46 PM   #8
    MarianJ
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    [COLOR=Blue][B][CENTER]Hello Brooke,[/CENTER][/B]
    [INDENT]OMG, I am sorry that your muscle spasms are so severe. I did suffer horribly with them but they did not jerk me around. Are you positive that you are having muscle spasms? Have you discussed this with your doctor? I just never heard of them being so severe. I don't mean to worry you.

    I do wish you well with your blood work-up. As for the gray lips and skin, I hope that you to don't develop anemia as I did after my fusion. But I still have further testing before I can truly say what caused mine.

    As for the staples coming out, they didn't hurt me at all. I had a total of 22 and I barely felt a pinch. They use these little staple removers, and they even look like the ones I use at home for my paperwork. The doctor was so nice and talked to me the whole time while taking them out, I thought he was trying to distract me, for what reason, I don't know.[/INDENT]
    [B][CENTER] I Pray you have a better night. [/CENTER][/B][/COLOR]

     
    Old 11-07-2003, 07:01 PM   #9
    MarianJ
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    [COLOR=DarkSlateBlue][B][CENTER]Hello Socalster,[/CENTER][/B]
    [INDENT]Welcome to the Healthboards for Back Problems. I am sorry that you had such a horrible experience with the Topamax. Some of these meds do have side effects and your doctor should have discussed them with you prior to taking them. I know that most doctor's just don't take the time. I did take neurontin for several months before I took Topamax. The neurontin just did not give me any nerve pain relief, but I was starting to get a little bit of a weight gain and yes, that is a side effect of neurontin. I just can't figure why they would give that to a patient after fusion surgery but they do. Anyway, before I took Topamax I had researched many things about it. One of the side effects was weight loss, and that one I liked...lol But another side effect is memory issue's. Some people even call it stupidmax... But these side effects usually happen while your body adjusts to the meds such as, first week or so, then increases of doses. In order for these type of medication to work, you need to be on them for several weeks. I started using herbal supplements with this med to help with the side effects. I know that it seems that it is not worth it to take such a medication, but it was a decision that I had to make and I had a hard time suffering with this nerve pain. Also the starting dose should only be 25mg of topamax. I have been taking it a month and my pm dr. just raised me to 75mg. [/INDENT]
    [B][CENTER] I do wish you the best. [/CENTER][/B][/COLOR]

     
    Old 11-07-2003, 10:15 PM   #10
    Brooke79
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    Hi Everyone,

    Well thanks, i surely do feel better now. At the hospital they gave me an instrument to take to the doctor to remove the staples. The staples are small and the instrument looks much like an odd pair of sizzors. Glad its not going to hurt. I was planning on taking Valium beforehand. However, considering what i have been through thus far, staple removal should not really be an issue.

    As for the large spasms, they are eased with the Valium. If i am not moving when they occur it is very hard to predict them coming but yes they force me into a small curled up ball in a second. I couldnt move that fast at this stage even if i wanted to. It's over within 2 seconds but it makes me cry. It feels like...well i dont know what it feels like. It hurts. The doctor re assured me that my muscles are just trying too hard and when they come to fatigue that is when the spasms set in. Apart from that the incision site is hurting as much as one could expect and my nerves are playing havoc with me, hopefully willbe sorted soon.

    I am curious to know. It is day 11 now and today i was up and about (slowly and at home for 4 hours and then slept for 3 hours and now im back up again. Is this good? Am I on track? Also did anyone find coughing quite painful? I fell over this morning because i got like a spasm when i coughed? And one more quessie: at 11 das I am supposed to be slowly waddling like a sleep walking penguine arn't I?

    Thanks for your assistance

    love to all
    Brooke

     
    Old 11-08-2003, 05:33 AM   #11
    MarianJ
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    [COLOR=Purple][B][CENTER]Good Morning Brooke,[/CENTER][/B]
    [INDENT]I am glad that your mind is at ease with the staple removal. I am at 4 months post op and right now I have bronchitis. The coughing feels as if it is ripping my back apart. My primary doctor gave me a total of five scripts to keep my coughing under control. After my surgery my home therapist had explained to me about coughing. He had told me when I felt a cough or sneeze coming on, to try and brace my stomach and back beforehand with pressure, as that will help with some of the pain. I am not sure if you are wearing a brace or not, if so that may help a little with the coughing. Just remember to take care of yourself and don't get a chill or anything of that nature because you sure don't wanna be were I am at this point. I think the change of weather here is how I got sick.

    You basically have to listen to your own body during your recovery as we are all different. If you need to sleep for three hours, their sure is no harm in that. You have been through so much. The first couple of weeks I sure did so much sleeping, but I also was taking oxycontin & norco. The combination of those two medications made me tired and dizzy. But my body did need the rest.

    When you posted that you fell over, I pray that you didn't actually fall on the floor.....
    Brooke, please repost and let me know if that is what you meant.

    As for walking take it very slow. Please do not push yourself. Walking is very good for you. Just start off slow and increase your distances as you see fit. Our body's do tell us when we are over doing it. [/INDENT]
    [B][CENTER] Take Care [/CENTER][/B][/COLOR]

     
    Old 11-08-2003, 05:50 AM   #12
    Brooke79
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    Hi Tommorrow

    I do believe we are both online at the same time... this is very exciting. You are constantly a source of encouragment for me and re-assurance.

    Unfortunately yes i fell to the floor bit by bit i grabbed what ever i could on the way and landed on the side of my bottom. Does any damage occur when coughing, i mean its really something that is hard to avoid. I have a brace and when i cough my dad gives me a big bear hug to help keep everything still.
    My mum wasn't far when i fell but from then my muscles were not far from spasm so my parents helped me drag myself to bed. I was so impressed with my efforts today.....until.... well lets just say it is 12 am here middle of the night 3 hrs ago i took 2 valium and 2 pain killers to get me through the night. I woke up 30 minutes ago in agony from sciatica.
    I am in the much pain i feel like im going to throw up and i have goose bumps all over... this is pain is the worst sciatica i've dealt with. The only was to fractionally reduce it is to shake my lower leg as much as i can (as if you were nervous) so that all i can feel is the friction of the muscles and the fat which create heat. Geez i pray it goes away, really i do. I havent slept properly in 11 days..i used to get a solid 12 hours sleep each night.

    Can they medicate against sciatica? I see my doctor on monday for staple removal party , i hope she can help with the sciatica. Everything else is going as would be expected. I hope this isnt because i am out of bed so long. It's the only way i can escape the agony of this sciatica. Laying down is the worst.

    Thank you in advance for your wonderful guidance

    Love to you
    Brooke

     
    Old 11-08-2003, 06:59 AM   #13
    MarianJ
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    [COLOR=Magenta][B][CENTER]Hello Brooke,[/CENTER][/B]

    [B][INDENT]Yes, we both are on the boards at the same time. I was really praying that you did not fall to the floor. Please make sure that you do tell your doctor this on Monday when you go for your staple removal. If your spasms and sciatica are so severe at this point I would suggest using a walker at this point if you have one. I know that you do not want to hear this, but a fall can cause damage and you do not want to go back into surgery. I never asked my dr. if damage occurred while coughing, I sure hope not.... What a great Dad to give you that bear hug while you cough.... I am so happy that your parents are their to help you through this difficult recovery. Have you been using ice on your back? This will help with the inflammation, and maybe if you can keep the swelling down some of the muscle and nerve pain will diminish a little. Also remember to eat with all these medications you have to take with the pain. I understand how hard it is to sleep for you right know. Are you able to sleep in your bed? I still can't sleep in my bed, as I have been sleeping on my couch till this day with a piece of wood under the cushion. A couple of weeks ago I finally was able to start sleeping on my side. I have heard that may people were able to do this right after their surgery, however I could not. If you can manage to sleep on your side, make sure that you put a pillow or two between your legs. You can even use one of those body pillows as that is what I am using.

    Unfortunately, they can't medicate against sciatica. What the doctor's can do is try and make you more comfortable. They do this by prescribing pain medications, muscles relaxants, and nerve medications. However, when you start with nerve medications they do not work immediately. They can take some time to build up in your system before you start to experience some pain relief. Your doctor's will discuss this with you. You have to make sure that you tell them everything and especially about your fall.....[/B]

    [B]Remember I am here for you anytime you need to chat.[/INDENT][/B]

    [B][CENTER] Hugs to you. [/CENTER][/B][/COLOR]

    Last edited by MarianJ; 11-08-2003 at 07:00 AM.

     
    Old 11-08-2003, 09:51 AM   #14
    Brooke79
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    Hi Tommorrow,

    Thank you so much. I will notify the doctor of everything. I was able to sleep a lot more comfortably in hospital than now. My nerve pain was not this bad in hospital. It was definately there from day one but only in that annoying way. I have a really good bed and at first i could sleep in it but the time spent in it is fast reducing to spurts of 2 hours and thats when ive heavily medicated myself. After my last post I tried to sleep again. I took 2 valium.. it worked for 2 hours and here i am again. This time when i woke up it was worse. My relief so far is to sit on a chair with my ankles raised off the floor (balls of feet on the floor) and shake both my lower legs very fast. This makes the pain reduce to a tolerable level.

    I dont want to sleep. I man i do - i am exhausted but i cant bear that pain. If i didnt have this nerve damage i would be doing so well - at least it has taken my mind off my back i guess.

    So, swelling can cause this kind of pain? Is it because everything swells around the operative site and therefore pinches the nerves?
    I really hope this is temporary. I thought id try putting some magnets on my legs and see what happens. I'm a little scared to put it on my back because of the instrumentation. I'm about to head down to the couch now to see if a movie and my puppy cant help ease the pain.

    Once again thank you for your indepth responces which i eagerly look to as guidance through these times.

    Love to you Tommorrow,
    Brooke

     
    Old 11-08-2003, 01:01 PM   #15
    MarianJ
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    [COLOR=DarkOrchid][B][CENTER]Hello Brooke,[/CENTER][/B]

    [B][INDENT]Thinking back when I first came home from the hospital I was sleeping in my bed for about a week. I did purchase a very expensive mattress last year and it is a very thick one. I did go through so much pain at night and it just kept increasing. One night I tried the couch and my son had found a piece of plywood and put in under my cushion and it just worked for me. My husband has tried everything he could think of with our bed. He has even taking it off our frame and put it directly on the floor. He tried putting plywood under out mattress, but it didn't help because of the thickness of the mattress. He even went as far as cutting a piece of wood and bringing up our cot mattress and putting that whole set up together on top of our bed without the frame, but it still did not work for me. We sure do miss sleeping together as it has been four months for me.

    I am not saying that the swelling is causing all of your pain but is can cause some pain. The surgery itself is what is causing your pain. And it is very easy to get nerve and muscle pain confused especially when you suffer with both as I do. But even my CT Scan showed my edema on my spine. My husband says he can actually see at times that one side is more swollen than the other. I remember some of the other members on these boards posting about using a bag of frozen peas. I have this long bag from the hospital when I had my cervical epidural that I use. I also use my heating pad but the doctor's say that heat is not good. I usually use my heating pad these days just to keep me warm...lol

    I had forgotten all about your puppy. Looks like you have the perfect companion for your recovery...[/INDENT]
    [CENTER] My prayers are with you. [/B][/CENTER][/COLOR]

     
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