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  • Continued leg pain

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    Old 12-29-2014, 08:29 AM   #1
    Jeff G.
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    Continued leg pain

    Join Date: Jul 2005
    Posts: 1
    Jeff G. Continued leg pain

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    I had a hemi-laminectomy approx. 4 years ago that didn't fix the problem that I had of severe achiness in front of both legs. Diagnosed as spinal stenosis. I developed from this surgery 15 degree scoliosis so I saw a doctor at Cedar Sinai 18 months ago and had L2-L-5 fusion. While recovering the first 2 months leg pain disappeared. Then it came back and have had it ever since.
    Mt doctor ordered MRI's of neck, upper back, lumbar and pelvis to try and find out where the nerves were being compressed. All tests came back normal. My doctor suggested I see his neurologist to get her opinion. Had nerve conduction test done which showed peripheral neuropathy which I knew I had already from previous tests. Her suggestion was fro me not to have any more surgeries because she believed that existing scar tissue was causing the problem. I've tried tens units, had 4 epidurals done but the only thing that helps with the pain is Vicodin. I've been on it for 4 years now and take 2 tablets a day. Has anyone ever experienced this problem and if so is there a solution. All this time I've never had back pain just leg pain.

     
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    Old 12-31-2014, 06:27 AM   #2
    teteri66
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    Re: Continued leg pain

    Welcome to the board. First, let me preface my post by reminding everyone that we are not physicians, just fellow spineys sharing information and what we have learned through our individual experiences.

    I wonder if you have had a new, recent MRI to determine if you are still in the fusing process, whether hardware is in place, whether all nerves are freed up, and whether there is inflammation? It might also reveal whether there is scar tissue that has attached to a nerve. We all develop scar tissue as we heal. It is a normal part of healing. The only harmful aspect of scar tissue is when it attaches to a nerve or another organ.

    Scar tissue or "epidural fibrosis" is becoming one of those catch words that is used too often when the patient continues to have pain post surgery that the surgeon and pain management doctors can not explain.

    Having gone through a similar experience, I know how frustrating this can be.

    There is also the possibility that you do not have a solid fusion, that there is a bit of play in a joint that is allowing for nerve irritation. Inside of thigh pain usually comes from the L2 and/or L3 spinal nerves. Another cause is damage to the femoral nerve, but I would think this would have shown up on the EMG, assuming it was included in the study.

    Another possibility would be the development of adjacent disc disease at L1-L2 that is compressing the L2 spinal nerve.

    If I were in your position, I would consult with another spine surgeon from a different clinic or practice, and a different background from original surgeon. If a neurosurgeon did this surgery, I would go to a fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon for a consultation.

    There must have been additional reasons for doing the fusion as a 15 degree curve is not so much that surgery would automatically be recommended.

    I would encourage you to not give up and conclude this is as good as it is going to get. It took me almost two years to find someone who could help me...and countless visits to various specialists...and what was finally discovered did not show up on any MRI.

    You might be interested in the work of Dr. Aaron Filler who does a aspecific type of nerve imaging. perhaps a neuro graph would reveal the cause of the nerve pain.

    Finally if there does not appear to be nerve compression, it could just be that the nerve itself has become scarred, and is sending out faulty signals.

    Good luck to you. I hope you can find the cause of your continuing pain. If all else fails, you can think about having a neuro stimulator implanted, but this would be a last resort.

     
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