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  • 6 weeks lumbar fusion post op - HELP!

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    Old 10-04-2004, 07:32 AM   #1
    tanamodessi
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    Exclamation 6 weeks lumbar fusion post op - HELP!

    I am 6 weeks post op l5-s1 lumbar fusion with bmp/ bak cages. Still in extreme pain when i move. Before my surgery the dr told me i could probably be back to work in 4-6 weeks. Now he's says it could be 3 months or more and the nurse says give this extreme pain a few more weeks & double up on pain meds and then call back. Is this really normal too hurt so bad? Sitting and bedtime are the worst. When i try to get out of bed in the morning I have to holler out loud, my family is used to it now, but at first they thought i was dying! i have been taking a lortab so i can go to see my daughters cheer at the football games but i have to pace along the fence line. I just want to be able to sit in the easy chair and be able to get comfy. I have forgotten what COMFY is !!! PLEASE TELL ME ABOUT YOUR POST OP PERIOD!!!

    Last edited by tanamodessi; 10-04-2004 at 07:34 AM.

     
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    Old 10-04-2004, 07:43 AM   #2
    Josephine66
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    Re: 6 weeks lumbar fusion post op - HELP!

    I don't think this is unsual. Hang in there! It took me a full year to feel better after fusion in my lower back. I remember well how slow time goes when you are waiting for healing to take place. I think six months is a more reasonable time frame for healing from this surgery. I was pretty slow! Sitting is always a problem after this surgery. A straight hard chair may help some. To this day I can't sit on a squishy couch without pain or lean back or forward when I sit. I would rather sit on the floor than a soft couch!

     
    Old 10-04-2004, 01:42 PM   #3
    flyonthewall
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    Re: 6 weeks lumbar fusion post op - HELP!

    Someone on another board had a problem with a L5-S1 fusion with BMP leaking. She had to be redone. Ask for an x-ray.
    fly

    Last edited by flyonthewall; 10-04-2004 at 01:43 PM.

     
    Old 10-05-2004, 08:10 AM   #4
    tanamodessi
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    Re: 6 weeks lumbar fusion post op - HELP!

    Thanks to you both, for your reply. Fly, what was her symptoms, with the BMP leak?
    I went to the dr at 4 weeks post op and told him i was hurting, he just looked at me like i was crazy and said keep wearing your brace and i'll see you in 8 weeks. So i ended up calling the nurse and she told me to give the pain 3 more weeks and then call back. I've seen people post messages saying they felt better right after the fusion but then I hear people say it took a year. A YEAR !!!! I'll go NUTS! I've already suffered a year. But anyways, Thanks again, debbie

     
    Old 10-05-2004, 09:58 AM   #5
    flyonthewall
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    Re: 6 weeks lumbar fusion post op - HELP!

    It was a while ago. All I remember she was in a lot of pain. Something about a smooth disk and it was breaking down and the BMP was leaking out and going places it wasn't supposed to. BMP was just recently approved and I'm not clear what applications are included. It worked for me from L3-S1. She is in the Chicago area. If the pain continues insist on an x-ray.
    fly

    Last edited by flyonthewall; 10-08-2004 at 06:39 AM.

     
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    Old 10-07-2004, 09:15 AM   #6
    franjo
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    Smile Re: 6 weeks lumbar fusion post op - HELP!

    Hi Tanamodessi...

    Six weeks is still pretty early in the game. When they say one year to recover from a fusion, much of that is about the fusion itself and the time it takes, not so much meaning how long you'll have the pain. But yes, I agree with Josephine's comment that 6 months should be long enough to expect to not be in severe pain.

    I'm wondering if you aren't twisting your body while asleep, since your worst pain is in the mornings. I know that I had to use a firm bolster pillow, or body pillow (same thing) while sleeping, in order to keep my hips aligned with my shoulders. If I didn't have the bolster pillow, my shoulders tended to fall forward as I slept on my side, and would give me terrible rebound pain upon getting up.

    Your body has taken in a huge trauma...we do tend to minimize what is really involved in surgeries like these...continue to be very good to yourself and make sure you aren't over-doing. I think that's our biggest fault...we start to feel a little better, so we try and do more, then BAM! It'll smack us back down again.

    Also, assess the areas where you do most of your sitting. The frames of some recliners are such that there is a board running horizontally in the back, and after prolonged sitting, or reclining, that frame can place stresses on the spine....another invitation for rebound pain...it doesn't hurt until you relieve that pressure by getting up, then look out.

    I hope you'll soon be able to notice improvement in the reduction of your pain, once your body has had the chance to do its thing...damage control. It is a slow healing process, but you should be feeling much better by the 3 month mark.

    I hope some of this helps....just remember to pamper yourself....you deserve it and your spine will thank you for it.

    ~Teri
    __________________
    Spina-bifida occulta; Congenital Scoliosis (dextrorotatory and 'S' curve, 42 thorasic and 57 degrees lumbar); Meningomyelocele (split cord @ L1); Diastematomyelia (re-sectioned at L2-3); tethered cord @ S-3; cysts on cord; various developmental abnormalities of the spine: narrowing of all disk spaces, defects in posterior arches, ectasia of the spinal canal and dura, segmental disease, sclerosis in L. iliac bone and adjacent sacroiliac joint, unilateral osteitis condensans ilium, hypertrophic facet disease L4-5 and L5-S1.

    Surgeries include, but not limited to:
    Lumbar fusion-1968
    Fusion with Herrington Rod instrumentation-1970
    Femoral osteotomy-1971
    Tethered cord release-1987
    Rod removal-1987
    Chiari-type pelvic osteotomy-1988
    Trochanteric osteotomy-1989
    Tethered cord release-2003
    Fusion with instrumentation with lots and lots of screws-2003

    Last edited by franjo; 10-07-2004 at 09:16 AM.

     
    Old 10-08-2004, 07:04 AM   #7
    tanamodessi
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    Re: 6 weeks lumbar fusion post op - HELP!

    THANKS YA'LL!!! (can you tell I'm from the south?)

    Teri you and Josephine have really helped me. I think my family is getting a little tired of it, so I am making them read your posts. I'm going to hang in there and hope for the best.

    My doctor is almost 2 hours away so I'm going to hold out for another week and if no better then I'm going to see him.

    And Fly, I will be getting an x-ray.

    Debbie

     
    Old 10-09-2004, 08:32 AM   #8
    teadkin
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    Re: 6 weeks lumbar fusion post op - HELP!

    Hi, Fly emailed me directly from the other message board that we has been so helpful. I know that somewhere on this board, I wrote in detail my story when I was right in the middle of having the very worst symptoms, please look for it and definitely go to the other very popular medical message boards and go to the "back pain" section, I wrote many other detailed posts regarding BMP there. (I don't think that I am allowed to actually say the name of the exact board here) I had what seems identical problems to yours, it turns out there is a defect with the BMP, but since it has only been put to use since ?May 2004? (and I am referring to the use of BMP in the space between the vertebrae), not many physicians are aware of the problems it is having. My physician was stunned when I came to his office and after the first x-ray he did post-op he missed seeing that it has migrated out of the interbody space (between the vertebrae), but at the 6 wk post-op x-ray and my very unusual complaints, he really couldn't believe his eyes. I was his first patient this had happened to and when he called a few other spine specialists, they all had a patient this had just recently happened to. Needless to say, they all immediately stopped any further use of the BMP. I was back in surgery to remove it within 3 three days and the recovery was remarkably different this time, however, I have been left with some Neurological symptoms directly related to this product pressing against the spinal nerve for 6 weeks. Please print this page and bring to your physician, I too couldn't get out of the bed or adjust in the bed without a "yelp", my husband was terrified at the pain I was in, I can now only guess it was because it was pressing on the nerve and was extremely painful when I moved in that area. After the spinal fusion 6 weeks later, I felt a good 75%+ better a week and a half after surgery. That is a huge difference in recovery and I don't think that you or your doctor should ignore that. Please search for my posts. It will give you more idea as to specifically what my symptoms were. sincerely, teadkin (P.S. I had difficulty with my user name on the other message board, please search under peadkin006, tata5411 or simply just search BMP and you should pull up 10 or so posts with my usernames attached to it.)

     
    Old 10-09-2004, 12:49 PM   #9
    tanamodessi
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    Re: 6 weeks lumbar fusion post op - HELP!

    Teadkin, Thank you so much I cried when I read your post.

     
    Old 10-09-2004, 01:18 PM   #10
    teadkin
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    Re: 6 weeks lumbar fusion post op - HELP!

    I can't even describe how it is such a "mission" of mine now to get this information out to others. To see that you saw my post and now have this information to hopefully answer some questions for you, is a great feeling for me. Please do the homework and make sure that if you are in a similiar situation as I was, have the BMP removed as soon as you can. I know the thought of another surgery is terrifying. I cried thinking that I was going back to square one, I cried when I had to order the hospital bed to come back to our house, I cried when my husband told me that this 6 wks of him being at home to help me was going unpaid and yes...putting us in the very worst of financial problems. It IS awful, but I can tell you, that a week and a half after surgery I could never have imagined the difference in my recovery. It IS like night and day, you will be amazed at how much better you feel and there will finally be a light at the end of the tunnel for you. The very best thing that can come out of this I have realized and hopefully you will too soon, is that becoming an advocate for people whose Spinal Fusion has failed with the BMP is the best experience of all. I am so sorry if you end up back in surgery, but I will be elated to know that I have helped get you back on the road to recovery and given you knowledge (which we know is "power") to help yourself and educate others. This is a very new application for BMP and it was considered the "Holy Grail" of products to use in the L5/S1 fusion, so there are many, many spine specialist across the country using this and probably many patients in severe pain afterwards because it failed. It won't take long before the medical journals start publishing articles on this products failure and a friend of mine who is a spine specialist in N.C. said it should be pulled from the market very soon, but in the meantime, there are the unfortunate who have unknowing physicians putting in this product as we speak. Good Luck...teadkin

     
    Old 10-09-2004, 05:11 PM   #11
    tanamodessi
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    Re: 6 weeks lumbar fusion post op - HELP!

    FLY thanks for getting in touch with teadkin that was so thoughtful of you.
    I cried when I read the post from teadkin, I had to call my mom and my husband and read it to them and I cried again. Its so hard when you see people and they say "are you about over your surgery or how are you." You get tired of complaining and you just say I'm ok or I'm still recovering, and you just put that fake smile on your face. I keep thinking to myself something has to be wrong

    I have been so busy I have 3 daughters. It was homecoming week this week and between 2 of my girls cheering and needing outfits for every day of spirit week I guess I'm just so wore out from all that and the pain ,I just want to be a crybaby. Not to mention one of my daughters was on the homecoming court. My 14 yr old daughter has been having headaches and blackout spells and throwing up, so we have to go see a neurologist, I'm sure its just migraines,but I'm scared. My 16yr old had a best friend that died of brain cancer a couple of years ago.

    But I will call the drs office first thing Monday AM. even if the BMP is not the problem I hope to be able to keep in touch and let all of you know. I just feel like there is so many people out there that think I'm riding this back problem for disability benefits. I'M 36 years old for crying out loud!

    Oh and TEADKIN I hope you have thought about some kind of litigation against the manufacturer of the BMP. We may be in this fight together.
    Debbie

    Last edited by tanamodessi; 10-09-2004 at 08:15 PM.

     
    Old 10-09-2004, 09:00 PM   #12
    teadkin
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    Re: 6 weeks lumbar fusion post op - HELP!

    Hi, glad to see that you are honestly going to take a stance with your physician and family/friends to make sure that nothing this serioius has happened in your case (though your symptoms sound frighteningly familiar.) I have gotten in touch with a very large group of attorneys right in the city of Chicago, a VERY prestigious group. A friend of mine, she and her husband both graduated from Law School at Notre Dame at best friends with some other attorneys that they knew during school and they now work for this firm. My husband and I will make the trip to the city to meet with a "round-table" of attorneys (not intimadating at all, ha,ha) to discuss my case. This friend said that he already discussed it with the "product liability" attorneys in this firm and they said they would like to see me. Once the ball gets rolling there, I am sure that they would like to have your name and physicians name, maker of the BMP product that was used in your spine for additional information. I don't know if they would ask for you to join on in the law suite or just request the additional information?? I no nothing when it comes to the law, except to sit back and let them do whatever it is they need to do. Please do keep in touch, I normally wouldn't have checked this board very often, but fly got me directed over here to evaluate your situation. Thank him often, I had no one looking out for me, I would sit and dig and dig through the computer with tears rolling down my face, not out of frustration from not finding much on the subject, but because it hurt to terribly back to sit down for more than 10 minutes, going to be wasn't an option because I couldn't sit in it or roll from side to side without a "yelp" and when my husband so kindly would always ask how he could, I was always faced with telling him "really, I'm just fine", but like you, at 35 years old with four sons ages 7,8,8,and 9 years old, I really feel uncomfortable with them seeing me in pain. I don't think that it's right. Anyhow, please keep in touch, my attorneys are probably going to be wondering what is the status of your recovery. Take care, have someone give you a hug for me...teadkin

     
    Old 10-10-2004, 02:42 AM   #13
    flyonthewall
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    Re: 6 weeks lumbar fusion post op - HELP!

    Hey you guys, I'm a she fly!

     
    Old 10-10-2004, 03:11 AM   #14
    teadkin
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    Re: 6 weeks lumbar fusion post op - HELP!

    Hey fly!!!! When did you make the transformation????? You know when you talk to someone on line and you picture what they look like???? Well.....I kind of pictured you a little Scott Bao-ish!!!!! Yikes!! Sorry, I don't know where I got thas image from!! I am a 35 year old "soccer mom", not too hard to imagine..also, my mug is posted on backiepix *** com. Take care...teadkin

     
    Old 10-11-2004, 05:34 AM   #15
    tanamodessi
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    Re: 6 weeks lumbar fusion post op - HELP!

    Teadkin, When you had to go back into surgery what did they use for a fusion then?
    Can you lay in bed without extreme pain now? Debbie

    Oh and Fly I thought you were a man too. Sorry

    Last edited by tanamodessi; 10-11-2004 at 05:35 AM.

     
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