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2nd surgery- new development

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:27 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi everyone!

I am not NEW NEW to these pages- just NEW this year. I had PLIF in 12/07 and sought help through these pages then

Well, long story short, my fusion did not take,we think due to the occulta Doc discovered during surgery. Even though they used my own bone graft.

In the meantime..more pain developed. So we decided to try and Re-fuse the fusion. But, doc does discogram first and finds my L4/5 disc has disintegrated. SO- lets do ALIF and use cage and BMP at both levels- plate over 5/1 - then flip me over and do PLIF do put in longer rods and more screws----
well that was on 1/15/09. so, tomorrow is my first post op- and in the last 3 days i have developed this pain in my calf- no reddness, no swelling- only when i walk and it is like the most severe cramp ever- but doesnt bulge out like a cramp. Also a pain in my back of thigh same leg when i sit-
do we think this is sciatica? or leg cramps? i placed call to his assitant today- but never heard back- i will be there tomorrow but am worried about walking just the bit into his office from waiting room it hurts that bad- and as soon as i lay down, pain stops!! weird right???

any thoughts? and thanks so much for still being here

oh- i had spondlylolesthesis-pars fractures, weakness, cold, tingling,dissolved disc and all that fun!


  • Good luck with your surgery and welcome back to this site. Sounds like sciatic from what you described but that's just my opinion and I have not medical professional background. Only personal experience and that's where my pain is and they think it's sciatic. I wish you the best of luck and be sure to express all your concerns at preop appt. Please keep us updated.
  • hi- thanks for your reply

    thing is - I already had my second surgery on 1/15- just 2 weeks ago,, and this pain is new since the surgery.

    I should mention i still am wearing my surgical stockings and move my legs and feet around while in bed to stretch some. I walk up and down my hallway a couple times a day- but cant do much of that anymore due to this new pain-- walking is bad....i am only on vicodin and that doesnt keep this pain away when it happens. Only when I lay down does it stop

    anyone else ever had this happen post op?
  • I had ALIF fusion L5/S1 7/1/08 and a couple of months after my surgery I started having what I think is nerve pain. Similar to what you are describing and it is now in my left leg as well as right. I never had any problems on my left side until after the fusion. I am going to a neuro on Friday to see if there is permanent nerve damage or just part of the healing process from surgery. I've read many posts on here from people who've had fusions in same area as you and I. They've also had reoccurring or new nerve pain or sensations that they didn't have before. You really should talk to your surgeon about any concerns you have and they may have an answer for the symptoms you are describing. When is your follow up appt?
  • Hi
    My Follow up is tomorrow morning... i cant wait for him to tell me what this is all about. I did not have this sensation after my last fusion. It just feels like the biggest spasm ever! I also just have random "twitches" when i lay down- all the sudden my torso just jumps, or a leg twitches..bizzarro world.

    Maybe its the post surgical swelling around the nerves or something..but on the good side, all weakness, tingling etc is gone. My feet are actually warm..that is a strange sensation for me!

    thanks for your input- i really appreciate it!
  • I too had those random twitches. The doc said it was from my nerves healing and they were manipulated during surgery and moved around so much. It was weird, it would be a finger then a toe, then a foot then another finger and on and on. Never the same side of my body. No rhyme or reason to it. I still have that on occasion when I relax my body completely and am laying down. Not as much though. Keep me posted as to what the doc said the other issues you are having are from.

    Good luck with your appt. It may be a good idea to take a pen and notebook with a list of questions and concerns and write down his responses. Sometimes it's overwhelming to remember what you wanted to ask and remember what he said too as well as everything else. Plus it gives you something to do while you are waiting for them to call you name lol.
  • First I would measure both calves with a tape measure to make sure that they are equal. Sometimes with a blood clot one will be swollen. Do keep in mind that being inactive can make a muscle smaller, so don't panic, just a way to compare for you.

    Glad you are seeing your doc tomorrow. Maybe you have overdone it. Ask him if he thinks it is a possiblity that the BMP has caused bone to grow on your nerve root and causign nerve pain.
  • Hi
    Thanks for your input- they seem equal. Would BMP already be growing, 2 weeks post op? I sure hope it does grow after my last one failed... that was so disappointing. i am visualizing the BMP as a "CHIA Pet" with it growing all out and fusing...

    I dont know how i am going to make it into docs office with this leg feeling this way. I can hardly take 10 steps before the mystery pain hits and its agonizing.

    I appreciate all the input and am so grateful this site is still here-- it has changed since last year appearance wise, so that shows you how long its been since i posted!

  • just wanted to update- went to surgeon today and as i feared, by the time i walked into the exam room, I was in agony and crying due to pain in calf. Dr came right in and listened to my husband and me and was very concerned.

    he feels its either: extreme spasms/clot/or a screw pierced through bone and it hitting nerve.

    but if its the latter, he thinks it would of been hurting right from day one post op and it wasn't

    so i had an ultrasound/doppler, and the tech feels there is no clot- but vascular dr has to check it.

    Then had CT to look at screws- dont know results yet.

    He gave me muscle relaxer to take in meantime.

    The hospital will call him with prelimanary results tonight and then his office will call me.

    hopefully, this pain stops and i have an answer.

    Thanks for listening
  • dr.office just called me. The CT looked beautiful. No screws loose(but,mentally......) and the canal looks open and perfect.

    So, no clots, no hardware trouble, too soon to see bone growth. Working diagnosis is severe muscle spasms/cramps. Stay off my feet a few days and have hubby work on the muscle and stretch it. Keep up the relaxers and vicodin and see how it goes.

    I hope this works. I cannot describe the pain upon walking it is scary. My family says my face goes white when it happens. Pain is so arbitrary and nasty isnt it?

    Keep fingers crossed that it goes away soon!
  • Hi Tippie
    OMG I finally found someone who is having the same problem. I had PLIF on 01/08/09 I am having calf pains and leg pain. Doc did a CT and no clots.The hardware is inplace.He wants to wait and see. SOhe has meon Flexiril. It is helping a little. I started my walking 2 days ago. It hurts after I walk. My appt with the docisin 3 weeks. I am praying thatthe pain will just go away.I dont want another surgery.

    Please please keepin touch. I really want to know your doctors opinion. I will give you my phone number if you like. Waiting to heaR from you.

    take care
  • hi gowri! sorry i havent replied earlier. Been spending a lot of my time sleeping all of a sudden!

    its a relief, isn't it, to know there are no clots and hardware is ok, but then you wonder,, could this really be just bad spasms/cramps? they are bad enough to make me scream and cry.only it hurts me while walking and as soon as i lay down it diminishes. Dr. is perplexed by this and seems he hasnt seen the spasms in the way i have them. and is glad there is no "evidence" of serious conditions. so i guess i am a wait and see too!

    my dr put me on flexiril also- well, valium first but i got a migraine after i took it, so he switched me over.

    I am glad to say it seems the cramps are lessening- but i have been keeping off my feet per his orders for a couple of days.

    I am hoping this is not BMP overgrowth, as ernurse has posted about. Did you have BMP used?
    dr used BMP on me since my first fusion using my own bone failed.

    i dont blame you for not wanting more surgery- this being my 2nd, i dont not want to do this again for any reason.

    keep your spirits up, hopefully the cramps will lessen for you soon. keep me posted ......

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