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  • After Back Fusion Pains & New Symptoms

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    Old 06-08-2007, 12:33 AM   #1
    fused007
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    After Back Fusion Pains & New Symptoms

    I had 3 previous spinal surgeries all laminectomy (1980 L3-L4, 1990 L3-L5, and 2004 L3-L5). During late July 2006, I missed a single STEP on stairways at work, WELCOME to my back/leg my problems again… Just from missing a single step…

    MRIs did not look good, alternative treatment plans, injections and PT did not help much; it started permanently disabling me on or around Thanksgiving…. I was afraid of the surgery at this time, I am well over 50, over weight, smoker, diabetic, high cholesterol, just name the few old age medical conditions… 2nd, 3rd and 4th opinions all pointed out to fusion…

    I took 3 months off time from work (I had 7 years of vacation time and sick time accumulated) to get my self in SHAPE, with a help of semi-private physical trainer, I lost 40+ lbs, quit smoking (hypnosis just one treatment), these lowered my blood pressure, my cholesterol, as well as my sugar level… I went through nuke cardiac test, I received clean bill of health, I donated my own blood for surgery…

    I had my surgery on April 23rd, L3-S1 Fusion (with my own pelvic bone), stayed at hospital 4 night, discharged to rehab center, I was there 16 days, now, I am confined to home for right now, I have a physical therapist coming home 3 times a week, there has been major improvement since my rehab days… But, not enough to sit down or drive a car. I am wearing Orthofix (External Bone Growth Stimulator) for 2 hours a day… But it is a slow process.

    Couple days ago my pain got so bad, I took 8 mg Hydromorphone to just to take a couple hours of shut-eye... These newly discovered pains are mostly on my lower back it is like pressure, it can be best described as if there is a big magnet plate over my surgery area... My right leg (calf and going down) is numb, painful, it hurts for no reason, my big toe and bottom of my front foot (under my toes) is really in pain, I guess whole right foot feels like a piece of meat... I felt much better on my 2nd week office visit than I do now... It feels like one or more screws are ready to go back to lumber yard… I never felt this bad after my previous surgeries….

    Did anyone had/have similar symptoms after the surgery? How long numbness on my foot will last? How long before I can drive? (I can’t move right foot up/down yet) What is the out-look down the road?

     
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    Old 06-08-2007, 02:26 AM   #2
    Chris54
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    Re: After Back Fusion Pains & New Symptoms

    I also lost weight for my surgery. I am in my early 50's. Didn't stop smoking. Bad me. I had a back/front double fusion in 2005. Doner bone graft. After the surgery I had saddle anesthesia, Urinary retention, and Bowel Retention. No leg pain and no back pain except the surgery pain. About 3 months post op I started having back and leg pains. The pain has continued to increase since then. I was told to give it time. That there is a lot of swelling after the surgery. My surgeon wants to go back in remove more bone along the root canals and in the spinal canal to let the nerves try to heal. They are entrapped in scar tissue and appears at one level there is now bone spurs going into the thesac. Also, he plans to remove the hardware. The pain in the legs has now traveled down the back of the legs to the ankle and just recently is going to the bottom of the feet. Have you had any further x-rays or MRI's with dye? They have checked my hardware twice to make sure the screws are still intact and the rods are still straight. The screws can come loose or come out which creates a real serious situation. My back pain is deep and just aches real bad. The legs go from numbness to pain then back to numbness. I hope your doctor can find the cause of this pain and find a resolution for it real soon. good luck

     
    Old 06-08-2007, 07:23 AM   #3
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    Re: After Back Fusion Pains & New Symptoms

    Sorry if my message upsets you - i don't mean to do so, just want to give you my honest answers.
    I am 15 month after bi-fusion with a lot of other work done. I am still taking my pain meds (even though i try to do it only when i can't stand the pain anymore; i am afraid not to get addicted to them). After surgery had nerve damage leg/foot/toes and it was confirmed 8 month later that the damage if permanent.
    Now i started to get in my left foot symptoms of nerve damage: the only good thing is not a permanent symptoms yet, come and go.
    In your case i would not worry yet - you have a long time to recover still. This recovery is not an easy one - some days you feel OK, some days you in bed not be able to move. Give yourself time and don't get discouraged from reading all the posts here - everybody's case is different, everybody recovers in their own time (a lot to do what kind surgery we have, age, etc.)
    Good luck to you on your recovery!

     
    Old 06-12-2007, 04:32 AM   #4
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    Re: After Back Fusion Pains & New Symptoms

    Chris and Moldova thanks for your replies,

    I have been suffering these real sharp, and sometimes dull, sometimes radiating pains almost a week now, called my doctor's office, they increased the dosage of my medication and scheduled me for office visit today (June 12th) at 4pm... Honestly, I think, I should get my leg amputated. It is just a piece of flesh, no nerve, no feeling, I can't control its movements, I have to have someone help me to get in/out of the car, I can't drive, I have to depend on others for almost everything. My back, right leg and foot are sore and and hyper - sensative, can't touch it. I am so frustrated, first time since the surgery, Iam regreting the fusion....

    Last edited by fused007; 06-12-2007 at 04:34 AM.

     
    Old 06-12-2007, 05:24 AM   #5
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    Re: After Back Fusion Pains & New Symptoms

    Fused, I just want you to know that I am praying that you receive some answers today at your appt. Just remember those nerves are probably really angry from the surgery and can take a very loooooooonnnng time to heal. Have they put you on neurotin, lyrica, elvail, or topomax?

     
    Old 06-12-2007, 06:32 AM   #6
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    Re: After Back Fusion Pains & New Symptoms

    Thanks for your reply and for your prayers DrPepper,

    I am currently on Hydromorphone 2 mg... I will ask my doctor about these (neurotin, lyrica, elvail, topomax) medications this afternoon. Other suggestions always welcome.

    Thanks

     
    Old 06-12-2007, 06:53 AM   #7
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    Re: After Back Fusion Pains & New Symptoms

    They are supposed to help with the nerves. Good luck and keep us posted.

     
    Old 06-12-2007, 12:02 PM   #8
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    Re: After Back Fusion Pains & New Symptoms

    fused, what did your Doctor tell you about your complains?
    Neurontin helps with neuropathy pains (does not cure it, just helps with pain). I know the symptoms you experience, but you still have hope - your surgery was only 2 month ago. I was told by many Doctors it can take up to a year and more for your nerves to recover after fusion surgery.
    You compared your last surgery with your previous once - no comparasing (sp) sorry. Even though you had only one level done - it takes much longer to recover after fusion surgery than from laminoctomy.
    Good luck to you and hope that time is your Doctor...

     
    Old 06-12-2007, 08:03 PM   #9
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    Re: After Back Fusion Pains & New Symptoms

    My doctor visit was very informative, my doctor took his time examining and explaining things where I could understand, he ordered CT SCAN (no contrast) and put me on LYRICA (75 MG TWICE A DAY FOR A WEEK) after initial week 150 mg twice a day.... He told me that symptoms were L5 level nerve damage (too early to call perm), so far L3, L4 and S1 levels are doing really good. X-rays showed NO hardware misplacement. He indicated as most of you did, IT WILL TAKE TIME... His advice was to "take your medication and relax... Let time and nature take its course..."

    Again, thanks to all of you (HealthBoard members), you guys were there for me when I needed a shoulder to cry and let my frustration out... I will try to be more active on this board....

    Last edited by fused007; 06-12-2007 at 08:08 PM.

     
    Old 06-13-2007, 08:22 AM   #10
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    Re: After Back Fusion Pains & New Symptoms

    I am glad to hear that everything looks good so far.
    The only thing: i was told that it needs about 3 weeks for Lurica and Neurontin to show any affect on your pain... i am not sure if you see any results in one week.
    Good luck!!

     
    Old 06-14-2007, 04:56 AM   #11
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    Re: After Back Fusion Pains & New Symptoms

    I have been sleeping last 48 hours, I guess my body needed this.... I believe that LYRICA is already working... But it is too early to make that call.... I will be posting the results at this thread... Again thanks again to everyone....

     
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