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I think I have a problem!

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:27 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
OK my fellow spineys, I need your thoughts please.

I am nearly 4 months out from a revision of PLIF (see signiture line) where my screws were replaced, I had a decomprssion and cage(s) removed from spinal canal and in between my vertebra. Had dural tear - inevitable due to cage position. Spacer was loose. Nerve badly inflammed.

Immediately post surgery - no huge change. (Except I was glad to be alive!) - my health care team all said "You must feel better!" - so for about 6 weeks I did not pop my meds like previously but slowly I am in increasing pain. Back to same level of pain meds now as before the spacer was removed. Not good at all.

Last 2 days my back nearly gave out - you know when it pain / spasms so quick/hard you can't move. Takes your breath away pain. I was leaning forward.
I have lots of cramps in my back, deep ache, drawing deep ache in my thighs, numbness etc in leg, increasing wobbly - ness (weird).

It is my back pain taht gets me down.
I have been pondering on going back to see my surgeon but I am scared and worried something has gone wrong. Or he will think I am completely nuts. Or both.

But, I wondered if perhaps, this may be the nerve coming back to life?? Do you think??

Do any of your nerve issues cause your back to do this?
In a recovering nerve, does the pain actually get worse?

I am a bit stuck. Please help. Thank you.


  • I feel that know one here can tell you if it is normal. I think for your own piece of mind, you should call your surgeon. If it is nothing, great. If it is something, it is better to catch it early on. I hope it is nothing, and I am not trying to scare you,.But better safe, than sorry. Good Luck to you and let me know how you come out,.
  • my guess would be that spasms are muscle related.... not nerve related. nerves healing can definitely cause all kinds of new feelings, but they usually stay in the area of the extremities affected, or have a distinct pain.... the sharp type... or tingly, or burning, etc... i would check with your doctor... let us know how it goes. i hope you feel better ): *hugzz*
  • and have decided I need to go back.

    Like you say, better safe than sorry.

  • >:D<

    Oh what to say?

    Ii haven't been checked for scar tissue but do have a CT sceduled for March. My partner says go now!

    I am scared, never mind scarred! lol! :))(

    I awoke this morning, rudely with severe pains both sides in my spine. The immobilising locking spasms came x2 yesterday. We all know the ones. Take your breath away.
    Numbness in leg is spreading. Is this possible?

    It all feels too much for me to understand.
  • Go to your doctor. Many times the deep aches and spasms in legs can be neuroclaudication or pseudoclaudication, which is lack of blood supply to nerves in spine that then causes leg symptoms like that. It can be a chronic condition or acute. But, something is wrong. You know something is wrong or you would not have posted. See your doc. You need a ct sooner or something, maybe hardware has slipped, maybe I don't know what, but I do know you need to see your doc!
  • Just ot be sure it is worth it for your peace of mind.
    It is also so hard when things like this start happening as we then become focused on it, whihc is natural. So put your mind at ease.
    Blessings Sara O:)
  • I hate to say this, but I kinda went through the same thing about 2 months post-op. My pain started increasing and I'd have these episodes where I literally couldn't walk. If someone wasn't there to catch me, I would fall. As it turned out, I had developed an infection deep in my spine and that was the cause of the increasing pain. The infection had spread up to L4 and all the way down to my coccyx and was eating away at the bone.

    Any time there is an increase in pain post-operatively, you need to see your doctor because it's not normal for the pain to suddenly get worse.
  • hope you're getting to the bottom of your new pain...take care
  • Get to your Dr and see whats going on. Dont assume the worse until you know. I know its hard not to,but I haave done that and it helps to have a positive attitude. I will be thinking of you and hoping that its ok. Hugs and best wishes.
  • I agree that it's not nerve regeneration at all. Anytime you have acute pain like that you must bring it to your surgeon's attention. I understand how you feel about hating to call the doctor about pain; I did. It's better to be safe than sorry. He may send you in for a ct/myelogram to see if anything new is going on. I had one too because the pain flared up so badly and I was put on steroids and NSAIDs. I hope you get to feeling better soon. Take care
  • I don't know how you got to see your surgeon, but in my situation, my first port of call would be my pain specialist. The surgeon can do the mechanics, but the pain specialist is the one who tells him what the diagnostics are and wht needs to be addressed.
  • I am in a terrible state of denial.
    Normal huh?!

    This icon explains nicely how I feel.... :''(

    I decided to wait the weekend and see what happened.
    Well, its getting worse :SS so finally made an appoitment.

    My logical brain doesn't understand this recent symptom flare. My pain is up there like post op pain.

    I am so upset/scared....i wish i could say I had done something really stupid!

  • When you see your doc, ask if it is possible that BMP is growing bone on your nerve roots.

    Hopefully he will do CT to check out hardware placement and such.

    Most importantly, if you are not satisfied, GO GET ANOTHER OPINION FROM SOMEONE IN A DIFFERENT SPINE GROUP!!!!!

    Post an update, we want to know how you are.
  • Ask your doctor to draw some labs to check your sed rate and CRP. If those are elevated, it could signify an infection. It sometimes takes a few months for an infection to set in and a sudden increase in pain is the primary symptom.

    The information provided by members of Spine-Health should never be considered as formal medical advice. It is recommendations based on member's personal experiences only. This can vary from person to person, so do not take comments as medical rules. Edited by moderator Paulgla
  • >:D< Have you seen Dr yet? Hoping you have gotten some answers and will share with us.
  • I am such a chicken...

    It has taken me until today to finally secure the appointment. I know my earlier post said I had done it....

    I am so scared of where this is going. Anyway, feel mentally better now. See doc mid Feb - was the earliest I could be seen. I do have a CT scheduled for end of March, my guess is this will be brought forward.

    I am watching and monitoring the changes. Felt s bad earlier I nearly pitched up at ER. The pain is almost back to a post -PLIF day 3 or 4 level. I think thats bad?

    I just know in my heart, there is a reason for it and I am scared of what it means. I am not sure I can cope if any more surgery were advised. The whole expectation roller-coaster.

    Here is hoping that, it may be nerve "regeneration" bloomin sore but all good stuff.

    I also have a pattern of worse at night. I feel rather flushed at night but not what I would have immediately thought as a fever. It was oy the suggestion that made me realise, more like when you had too much wine (but I haven't!!)

    Can you please tell me what bladder and bowel changes I need to be looking for...

    If I nose dive again I may well head to ER anyway.
  • I know that it is easier said than done. When you called for appt did you talk to your Drs nurse? Did you explain your pain severity and how you are feeling? If not, I suggest you call and talk to nurse so they know what is going on. If they still keep you appt till mid feb than you probably dont have as much to worry about as they would have seen you much sooner if it was a problem. I will keep you in my prayers..
  • in my prayers. I really hope you communicated the severity of your pain to the nurse and not just to someone who books the appointments. I think mid-Feb. is really pushing it too far out!
  • See you doc sooner. Show up at his office on day you know he is not in surgery and just say, "Can I talk to his nurse?" When you see the nurse, explain and ask if you could speak with him or his PA or NP for just a moment. Maybe they will bump up your CT at least even if you do not see or speak to your doc. It's harder to deny someone in person than it is on the telephone. Tell the nurse that if you could get your CT scheduled sooner it would at least ease your mind.
  • I haven't had surgery so I wouldn't know those pains. Maybe you need a muscle relaxant or maybe you have a UTI? I think next time you have pain go to the Urgent care or walk in Hospital where you had your surgery! I work in an ER and to me it's not a problem someone comes in with severe pain to get checked up. Even see your PCP ASAP. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I have pain constant, 24/7 which can and has waned during the day with the help of meds.

    I take
    acetaminophen 6 hourly
    ibuprofen 8 hourly
    oxycodone 3-6 hourly ( i know it is supposed to be 6 hourly but this regime is agreed with my doc as needed)

    But at the moment I am not covered. I may as well not take them!!

    So you brace yourself mentally each day and get through the hours.
    My pain wakes me up 3 hourly at night, it is awful, just like post op pain when you are due the next doses of meds. If the post op pain is this bad then I know somthing is afoot. Hopefully nothing too serious.

    Charry, I wish it was a UTI! =))
    I am waiting a call back from my local doctor. I have decided I will go to ER if it cotinues to escalate.
    These things either get better or not.
    I know the Red Flags. Problem is I have had some of them for many months! =))

    Still, at least I have my smile!
    Take care all. I will post progress reports and hope tomorrow I can say "I am feeling 100x better! and cancelled the appt!"

  • I think you also should show up at the surgeon when he isnt in surgery and talk in person. Do not wiat for Mid Feb. Too long. If there is something wrong, prolonging it will only make it worse...I care and want you to feel better soon. Dont wait out of fear. You can get answers faster than that.
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