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    Old 07-30-2012, 07:13 PM   #31
    teteri66
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    Re: leg pain after lumbar fusion??

    Let's see how you feel tomorrow, and especially, the next day.

     
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    Old 07-30-2012, 07:42 PM   #32
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    Re: leg pain after lumbar fusion??

    [QUOTE=JustSayMo;5030327]Hi Mercy - thanks for your input and words of encouragement. I'm 3.5 weeks post surgery, and I am encouraged that after several days of intense pain, the left leg pain does seem to be slowly diminishing. It started out with the entire leg, from button, hamstring, all the way down to ankle. The upper leg is feeling better, with the pain mostly in my calf and ankle.

    I am continuing to walk daily, although haven't been stretching as I'm concerned about putting strain on my lower back. I'll stay the course, and let everyone know how it progresses.[/QUOTE]

    I am so glad to read ur feeling better!!!!!

     
    Old 07-31-2012, 08:44 AM   #33
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    Re: leg pain after lumbar fusion??

    I started experiencing left leg pain about 10 days after l5-s1 fusion. It was overwhelming at first (entire leg), now is limited to lower leg. Had CT Scan at surgeon's request last week, but he hasn't reviewed it yet. Pain is worst at night when I try to sleep, but Vicodin (spelling?) helps me sleep through it. I feel the pain during the day, but it is manageable. Will let you know when I get the report on the CT Scan.

     
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    Old 07-31-2012, 01:58 PM   #34
    teteri66
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    Re: leg pain after lumbar fusion??

    Remember that you can get a copy of the scan and a copy of the radiology report. It is a good idea to get into the habit of requesting copies at the time of the appointment and start keeping a back file. If you ever need it for insurance purposes or if you want to go somewhere for a second opinion, you will have all the information at your finger tips and won't have to wait weeks to assemble it.

     
    Old 08-01-2012, 08:50 AM   #35
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    Re: leg pain after lumbar fusion??

    Just read my post back, did sound like I had surgery soon after hurting back but actually damaged the disc in December 2009 when coughing, then hurt it again in August 2010 when putting down a telephone in the office, so waited quite a while before surgery.

    Although it was only a couple of days ago I first posted, I am now seeing a few new sysmptoms of pain appearing, almost like, what we call in the UK, growing pains, in the left leg from thigh to ankle and a return of the sharp trapped nerve type pain in the right thigh.

    Prescribed a variety of drugs, which may or may not be available in US, but given paracetamol, Tramadol and Gabapentin, for the pain, none of which work, but like others I find it easier to manage during the day, mainly because I think my pain tolerance has risen over the last 3 months.

     
    Old 08-01-2012, 10:48 AM   #36
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    Re: leg pain after lumbar fusion??

    Tramadol and gabapentin are used in the US with those names...and the other is what we call acetaminophen. Gabapentin is given for nerve pain and if it isn't working, ask for an increase in dosage. Some people don't get results until they are taking near the maximum dosage per day.

    Everyone finds pain easier to manage during the day because there are distractions. It is only when we are quiet at night, often when trying to go to sleep, that we realize how much pain we are in...and then it is hard to think of anything else.

    Also with some issues, as we are on our feet and the weight of gravity is pushing down on the discs, the disc spaces narrow...and nerves can become more compressed.

    Arthritic issues usually feel worse after a good night's sleep and improve somewhat as the day progresses.

    I need to go back to read your post. I don't remember your issues.

     
    Old 08-01-2012, 04:31 PM   #37
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    Re: leg pain after lumbar fusion??

    Teteri. You said "let's see how you feel tomorrow. Especially the next day"
    Well,I am in big time pain.Starts at site goes to butt and down leg. Kills me to cough! When I straighten my left leg feel like I M pulling on the nerve. When I stand up from sitting mt heel fires! (on IPad so excuse typing)
    I have been talking ti OS nurse. She called today and said OS wants an MRI and a nerve block. --that's an epidural right? I have had 4 This year! Not sure pain guy will give me another.
    Anyway, I am sorry I had the surgery. My pain is worse than before surgery.
    Wondering what is wrong? Been reading--too early to be scar tissue. Maybe a bone spur? Maybe OS did wrong procedure!
    I have had so many things lately including rotator cuff,colon. Re section,heart ablation, ischemic colitis and now bladder cancer that needs chemo. Want some semblance of a life back. At 70 I am not ready to sat "it's over."
    I have gotten thru all these things with strong attitude but the back is wearing me out. I feel like I can say things here that I would not tell family and friends.

     
    Old 08-01-2012, 08:15 PM   #38
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    Re: leg pain after lumbar fusion??

    Sorry to be prophetic! But I still think at least part of your problem is doing too much. From early on in the healing process, I think you got some inflammation going --the sciatic nerve is very inflamed and is causing you all this pain in your leg. Once it becomes inflamed and you are still doing things that irritate it, it is very difficult to get the pain to settle down. I think I told you I ruined one surgery due to a family issue that required me to drive 45 minutes to the hospital and hang out in the emergency room all day...and I had to do this for about 5 days. This was five days after surgery when I wasn't even supposed to be riding in a car.

    After the second day, I could just feel that I was becoming inflamed. I called my surgeon. He gave me a Medrol pack and we both kind of figured it wasn't going to be enough.

    It wasn't. That nerve never calmed down....What I learned was that even a nerve can develop scar tissue from being repeatedly irritated...and when that happens, not too much can be done about it. It causes the nerve to malfunction. My surgeon drew me a complicated diagram of the whole process...but these very fine little strands of nerve tissue that are trying to make a connection, aren't connecting properly so they just keep mis-firing and the result is a signal the brain interprets as pain.

    I don't know if something similar is going on with you...but one thing I have learned is that this type of sciatic pain is not something you work your way through by trying to stretch it out, work it out, and certainly not that old adage, "no pain, no gain." The best way to deal with sciatic issues is to not have a nerve flare to begin with -- so that's why I've been saying not to push, do too much, walk too far, go to the gym, etc.

    I would imagine your surgeon wants a diagnostic nerve block which can be done without any steroid. I imagine he is trying to find out which nerve is causing the pain...in hopes that it can help him figure out what is going on.

    Keep icing and try to restrict your activities to very moderate walking a couple times a day. Maybe you can get the pain to settle down a little bit.

     
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    Old 08-02-2012, 07:51 AM   #39
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    Re: leg pain after lumbar fusion??

    I got up this am feeling pretty good. You know how it is. You get out of bed and can usually tell withing a few steps how your day is going to be! I was thinking things settled down until I bent over at my desk to pick up a pen I had dropped. Thats all it took!! Pain shot thru back of leg all the way to foot. Butt of fire. This should be a clue??
    Like there is something that pinchs the nerve when I bend?? You explanation might fit into this? I just took a couple Neurontins and am not far from a Norco. Have first PT
    this afternoon. Probably not many things I can do that will not irritate the nerve? Will keep you posted and thanks for taking the time to respond in so much detail.

     
    Old 08-02-2012, 11:39 AM   #40
    teteri66
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    Re: leg pain after lumbar fusion??

    That sounds like sciatic pain to me! Don't work too hard in PT. Let them know you are in pain.

     
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