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Problems after Lumbar Surgery

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Old 12-10-2012, 10:43 AM   #1
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Location: Fort Pierce, Florida
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Question Problems after Lumbar Surgery

Hi everyone. I am new to the forum. I have had back problems for over 10 years. It started out as ruptured discs in my cervical area. I have had two cervical fusions. My pain in that area never stopped. The doctors give me injections and pain pills but those do not help. I noticed almost a year ago that my lower back was also hurting. Many times I almost fell down because I could be walking and a sudden sharp pain would hit me in my left mid-thigh with no warning. After a cervical and lumbar MRI, a neurologist said I needed a discectomy on my lumbar more than another cervical fusion. I had a hemilaminectomy, discectomy, foraminotomy performed on my left L3 on Friday, November 16th and came home from the hospital the next day. On November 19th, I fell while trying to walk to the bathroom. It's been three weeks but my whole left thigh feels severely bruised, my left ankle and leg is grotesquely swollen, and I'm still having severe pain in my upper and lower back. I cannot walk without the support of a walker because any strength I may temporarily have in my left leg gives out without warning. I was wondering if any of you experienced excessive swelling or weakness in the legs or ankles after your back surgeries? And if so, how long did it take before you became somewhat normal again?

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Old 12-10-2012, 04:10 PM   #2
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Re: Problems after Lumbar Surgery

What is your surgeon suggesting is the cause of the swelling? Have you seen him/her since the surgery? Is it the same surgeon that did your cervical surgeries?

It may be that the L3 nerve was severely constricted and the surgeon had to work hard to free it. This leads to the nerve suffering trauma that will take time to recover from. Nerves heal very slowly so don't be shocked to find it can take months and longer to recover. This is assuming that there is no permanent nerve damage from the compression...but this you won't know for quite awhile.

It may be that the surgeon will want to put you on a course of prednisone to settle any inflammation that may be occurring that is keeping the nerve irritated. Sometimes they suggest an ESI for the same purpose.

In the meantime, you will need to be extremely careful to avoid any further falls. It may be that the disc reherniated when you fell post surgery....if you haven't seen the surgeon you may want to book a visit to rule out any new problems.

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