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3 weeks post fusion & intense BONE PAIN (Hardware maybe??)

TatiyanaTTatiyana Posts: 194
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:26 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Does anyone else feel they are having pain from the hardware?? If I am late getting my pain meds I have the most intense concentrated pain in what feels like my tailbone area. It is definately bone pain & it throbs.

I had an L4/L5 ALIF.

Please let me know if you had anything similair, I am starting to get worried...


  • I thought the exact same thing so I went and got an x ray tonight but it looks like the first one, so it seems everything is ok. I'm 4 weeks out from a cervical fusion and I have more pain now than I did two weeks ago. Maybe it's the healing process, I don't know but I'm going to see my Doctor on Monday. Hope I get some answers. I wouldn't worry that's the reason. It might be spasms.
    Sure hope you feel better.....
  • Your tailbone could be hurting. After fusion surgery, you carry yourself differently sometimes and your SI joints could be affected. Also remember that you are using muscles you may not have used in a while. You also could have ovedone things a bit, maybe too much sitting? It is too soon to do NSAIDS after fusion(unless your doc has stated otherwise) but I wonder if things are just irritated in there.

    Let your doctor know. You might also request physical therapy to evaluate, treat, and provide relief. PT's can be awesome at helping figure things out and they also can do therapeutic massage along with many other things. I think PT is essential(just my opinion) to help you strengthen your core muscles. Your body has just undergone a major insult(surgery.)

    Anyway, if you have been sitting a lot and loading all of your weight on your spine/tailbone area, that could explain some of it. You might try experimenting with different positions of comfort to see if any make you feel better. Please keep telling your doctor about it that way he is aware. Don't assume that because you told him during one visit he will remember at the next visit.

    Good luck to you, I hope things improve.
  • I seem to have sharp bone pain as well and am afraid not to stay ahead of it ... Today is 4 weeks from my two level combined anterior posterior l4-s1 instrumented fusion. My pain is better in the AM (never non-existent). In the afternoon, the pain increases and is very sharp in my lower back. When is lie down on my side, I wake up in 90 mins with sharp pain in what feels like my lower back / hip joint area. If somehow I roll over on to my back for some period (note: I am propping with pillows to stay on my side), I wake up in horrible pain with sharpness in low back and spasms in my buttocks almost in tears and can barely stand up.

    I keep thinking that I should be taking less medecine now and I am ... but not down as much as I feel like I should. The doctor has now given me muscle relaxer. That did help me sleep a bit more last night but again ... I woke up in pain at 1 am and practically in tears at 4 am. (|:

    Thanks for listening.
  • don't think it is actually my tailbone, but what I perceive to be my tailbone (doesn't make sene does it?)

    The pain is such an intense bone pain, I think it has to be the hardware, which I can accept as long as it goes away eventually and I don't have residual pain from it.

    When I say bone pain, it is more like the pain I have had when I have had other bones operated on...that throbbing/fullness in the actual bone.

    I guess what I am looking for is if anyone else has experienced this and then it went away after a few weeks or whatever..I can handle anything if I know it has a shelf life :)

    Thanks for all your responses..it is so nice to have somewhere to go, where people can relate to your situation & pain ;)
  • Keep bugging your doc about it, but odds are that it's just getting used to what your limitations are at this point and these new sensations. Sometimes hardware that is too big(especially if screw too big at S1, tho it doesn't look like you had that), it can cause tailbone area pain/pain right at top of your butt crack(sorry, can't think of a more politically correct way to say it right now!)

    Make sure you write down before you next appointment what exact positions aggravate or relieve the pain so that way you can remember all when you see your doctor.
  • I keep calling it tailbone but it is right at the top of my badonkadonk....but into the bone.

    I have a very small frame..(5'0)and that is what worries me, that maybe the hardware is too large. I had L4/L5 done with 3 screws.

    There is no-way I could handle another surgery to remove hardware- this one about did me in..does the bone adjust further into recovery and the pain diminish?

    I will definately be bringing this up to my Dr but I don't see him until February.
  • Same here.

    Mine hurt big time and it was suggested that it could be referred from s1 or just from the fact the joints have been fused and the extra movement has traveled to lower down, SI and coccyx.
    Don't sit for too long.

    It is way early days. Sadly I would say expect this and a few more grumbles but as you hopefully will see, each new day brings a new ache but the previous ones change.
    If you are really worried, call your doctor.

    You just been thro a majo trauma.
    Good Luck on your recovery.
  • in your tailbone? Or does this subside with time?

    I just want to know what to expect...I know I am still early out but it doesn't seem that very many are relating to this type of pain..that worries me more. :SS

    When I go in to see my OS, I will let him know this is my major pain source :''( - I just hope it isn't going to require more surgery ~X(
  • Hi Tatayana! I had a PLIF in Nov. of 08', & I truly understand the pain. A very sharp pain. I started doing less, resting more, & it got better. I just think I was overdoing it a bit. I told my doctor that I was trying to wean down on my pain meds, & he told me most people are on them for 6 months to a year. Not something I wanted to hear, so I am taking my Vicoden ES 3x day, & Methadone 2x day. The pain will last quite some time, as I am in my 9th week, it still throbs quite a bit. Exercise really makes it throb, but also sitting does. Seems you can't win sometimes. Doc's nurses are telling me all this is normal, the leg squeezing is still very painfull. I hope that goes away soon also. Seems it would, I had X-rays yesterday & couldn't believe what I saw! It is no wonder we hurt like we do!!! ~X( I haven't started physical therapy yet, I see my neurosurgeon on the 19th. I too, hope everything is ok. Good luck, just let your body tell you what you can & can't do. Linda
  • You are so early out in the process. You are going to find pain in places that you didn't even know existed on your body! In just my opinion, I think it's way too early to judge what's going to last. I get worried about nerve pain more than back or butt crack pain when it's early. I would just keep reporting it to your doctor at this point and figure out ways to sit better.

    My screws were too big at S1 and my doc believed that was one of the reasons I have so much trouble sitting. It felt like the screw was going to come out of my crack-couldn't feel it with fingers, it was just the best description I could give. I just had the rest of my hardware removed 2 days ago and let me assure you, having that stuff taken out is NOTHING compared to the surgery to put it in. It is much easier. By your sig line, I can tell you are a strong person from everything you've been through, you'll get through this too.

    Your body may adjust to this or when you really get into PT and get muscles straightened and body alignment/posture improves this symptom may go away on it's own. Especially when you are further out from surgery and can take NSAIDS.

    I'm glad you're going to keep your doctor informed, and really I think the odds are that you will get better. When you fuse if you are still having problems, then you can wonder(not worry) about surgery.

    The biggest life lesson I've learned through this journey(my 1st surgery was June 2007) has been patience. It takes time to heal and surgery is a big insult to your whole body-just try as much as possible to find ways to be comfortable. I know it sucks to hurt, but I am sure that you will feel better at some point. Educate yourself yourself but don't obsess about it, continue walking or PT or whatever rebuilding exercises your doctor wants you to do. Use ice or heating pad and figure out the best way to sit/lay/stand. I prefer to just change positions often.

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