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  • leg pain after lumbar fusion??

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    Old 07-20-2012, 10:05 PM   #1
    purplegirl1
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    leg pain after lumbar fusion??

    Had 1 level lumbar fusion july 11. Having very bad left leg pain since that wasn't there before. ???

     
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    Old 07-20-2012, 11:52 PM   #2
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    Re: leg pain after lumbar fusion??

    I understand that nerves can get stretched and irritated during the fusion procedure. Since the pain is different than before surgery, it can't hurt to call your surgeon's office.

    I had a one-level ALIF and ended up with CRPS in my left leg, which is almost in remission -- fingers crossed. If you had an ALIF and/or have temperature differences or skin changes, then definitely consult your surgeon or a second opinion. During the ALIF, they use an off-center approach, usually slightly on the left side of the spine. Pain management diagnosed my case of CRPS.

     
    Old 07-21-2012, 01:59 AM   #3
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    Re: leg pain after lumbar fusion??

    [QUOTE=SweetPeainSF;5024132]I understand that nerves can get stretched and irritated during the fusion procedure. Since the pain is different than before surgery, it can't hurt to call your surgeon's office.

    I had a one-level ALIF and ended up with CRPS in my left leg, which is almost in remission -- fingers crossed. If you had an ALIF and/or have temperature differences or skin changes, then definitely consult your surgeon or a second opinion. During the ALIF, they use an off-center approach, usually slightly on the left side of the spine. Pain management diagnosed my case of CRPS.[/QUOTE]

    Thank u!! Yes my surgeon knows and I will be going for ct scan to see why the leg hurts.

     
    Old 07-21-2012, 03:51 PM   #4
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    Re: leg pain after lumbar fusion??

    What type of fusion did you have? Sometimes a person comes away from surgery with a temporary "injury" that is actually caused by the way the person has been placed on the operating table. If you had a posterior incision, sometimes the femoral artery can be damaged and the result is leg pain.

    Where on the leg is your pain located?

     
    Old 07-21-2012, 04:17 PM   #5
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    Re: leg pain after lumbar fusion??

    [QUOTE=teteri66;5024434]What type of fusion did you have? Sometimes a person comes away from surgery with a temporary "injury" that is actually caused by the way the person has been placed on the operating table. If you had a posterior incision, sometimes the femoral artery can be damaged and the result is leg pain.

    Where on the leg is your pain located?[/QUOTE]

    I did have posterior spinal lumbar fusion at level L4-5 and same level laminectomy. Pain is above knee on left thigh and on left side of thigh then below knee on top and under calf and sometimes foot

     
    Old 07-21-2012, 05:11 PM   #6
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    Re: leg pain after lumbar fusion??

    I am by no means saying this is what happened to you...but with the type of surgery you had (I had the same PLIF at L4-L5 in 2008) the patient is usually placed on a type of table that breaks away...the bottom third or so of the table falls away so the patient's legs are sort of at a lower level. This opens up the disc space in the spine and makes it easier for the surgeon, but if the patient is not adequately padded, something happens that is similar to when you wake up with an arm or foot that has "fallen asleep." It can cause some injury to the femoral nerve or artery that is almost always temporary, but it can take a long time to completely clear up.

    They initially thought that had happened to me after my fusion in 2008. It turned out to be something different, but I did some research on it at the time.

    When you have the scan, if they don't find anything, you might ask them about this possibility. It's not something doctors like to admit...that a patient could suffer from poorly placed or inadequate padding, but it does happen.

     
    Old 07-21-2012, 06:26 PM   #7
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    Re: leg pain after lumbar fusion??

    [QUOTE=teteri66;5024477]I am by no means saying this is what happened to you...but with the type of surgery you had (I had the same PLIF at L4-L5 in 2008) the patient is usually placed on a type of table that breaks away...the bottom third or so of the table falls away so the patient's legs are sort of at a lower level. This opens up the disc space in the spine and makes it easier for the surgeon, but if the patient is not adequately padded, something happens that is similar to when you wake up with an arm or foot that has "fallen asleep." It can cause some injury to the femoral nerve or artery that is almost always temporary, but it can take a long time to completely clear up.

    They initially thought that had happened to me after my fusion in 2008. It turned out to be something different, but I did some research on it at the time.

    When you have the scan, if they don't find anything, you might ask them about this possibility. It's not something doctors like to admit...that a patient could suffer from poorly placed or inadequate padding, but it does happen.[/QUOTE]
    Thx soooo much. Makes sense to me!!!

     
    Old 07-21-2012, 08:41 PM   #8
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    Re: leg pain after lumbar fusion??

    Be sure to keep walking even if your leg hurts. Distance isn't important. But you should walk short distances, even around your house or apt., as often as you can, without tiring yourself, of course. You want to keep those spinal nerves stretched out so that the scar tissue will not attach to those nerves as it grows and fills in, from about now through around the 12th week post surgery.

    You can always use ice if the pain gets bad. I had pain on the top side of my thigh post surgery and the only thing that helped me tolerate it was using ice. In the hospital they had these big bags filled with ice cubes that they would strap to my thigh...and the minute most of it was melted, I rang for more. I think my leg was probably numb from the ice for hours at a time....

     
    Old 07-22-2012, 06:31 AM   #9
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    Re: leg pain after lumbar fusion??

    Thanks. I have alot of pain today.

     
    Old 07-22-2012, 10:52 AM   #10
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    Re: leg pain after lumbar fusion??

    Does it hurt all the time or does the pain get worse when in certain positions and gets better or even goes away in a different position? Are you ever free of this pain?

     
    Old 07-22-2012, 11:01 AM   #11
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    Re: leg pain after lumbar fusion??

    [QUOTE=teteri66;5024891]Does it hurt all the time or does the pain get worse when in certain positions and gets better or even goes away in a different position? Are you ever free of this pain?[/QUOTE]

    The pain is there all the time. My gut it feels like the nerve pain i had in the other leg before surgery. It is worse when i sit. Right now its in my upper thigh (on top) , below knee on top and left side and in foot and especially toes. Walking was very hard bc i dont feel my whole leg right. This morning i had tingling n numbness in my right foot (used to have that prior to surgery)

     
    Old 07-22-2012, 11:07 AM   #12
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    Re: leg pain after lumbar fusion??

    When is your scan?

     
    Old 07-22-2012, 11:11 AM   #13
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    Re: leg pain after lumbar fusion??

    I am waiting for authorization from insurance but i am hoping this week. Thx so much for ur responses. This is so depressing.

     
    Old 07-22-2012, 09:09 PM   #14
    teteri66
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    Re: leg pain after lumbar fusion??

    I know...but try to maintain a positive attitude. Just have confidence that things will work out ultimately, and just take it day by day. I hope you were told that most people still have "some" pain after lumbar fusion. I can't think of anyone I know who is 100% pain-free almost all the time. I am, except when I do certain things...I still can't vacuum more than one room. And most physical activities like housework or gardening, I'm good for about 2 hours and then it is downhill after that. The difference now (two years post surgery) is that I bounce back after a night's rest. That never happened previously...so that's a big improvement.

    Do you have some aqua therapy available to you?

     
    Old 07-23-2012, 01:13 AM   #15
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    Re: leg pain after lumbar fusion??

    [QUOTE=teteri66;5025250]I know...but try to maintain a positive attitude. Just have confidence that things will work out ultimately, and just take it day by day. I hope you were told that most people still have "some" pain after lumbar fusion. I can't think of anyone I know who is 100% pain-free almost all the time. I am, except when I do certain things...I still can't vacuum more than one room. And most physical activities like housework or gardening, I'm good for about 2 hours and then it is downhill after that. The difference now (two years post surgery) is that I bounce back after a night's rest. That never happened previously...so that's a big improvement.

    Do you have some aqua therapy available to you?[/QUOTE]

    Thanks. Yes i was told that i would never be 100% pain free but probably like 85%. I am not sure about the aqua therapy. Last night I called dr oncall becausr the leg pain was sooooo bad. I am up now and have pain and will call my dr when he opens. If i have to go to er i will i just want my dr there and last night he wasnt. My pain really feels like nerve pain. Is nerve pain normal to have after fusion in the leg that wasn't bothersome before?

     
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