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2 month apt. Gone bad

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:38 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I'm 2 month post op l4-l5 plif and they removed hardware at l5-s1 from previous plif. I'm having moderate hip groin and left leg pain that started a month ago. Doctor says x rays look fine but I should not be having this much pain. He sending me for an MRI to see what's going on and he said possibly I herniated my l3-l4 from when I fell in the shower 5weeks ago. Could you herniate a disk above just 2 months from having a fusion? I can't have another surgery. If they don't find anything on my MRI I'll be diagnosed with failed back surgery syndrome and will be sent to pain management. I'm suppose to go back to work in a month and his pa said I shouldn't and the dr. Said it's not his problem but if I do go back it will make things worse. I asked the dr. If things could get better he said likely not. He said thart some people just don't do well with these surgerys and maybe that is what your case is. I'm only 28 years old, what do I do now. My husband wants me to file for disability due to this and because I also have autoimmune disease. If you have a l3-l4 herniated disk would this cause hip and groin pain? This wasn't suppose to happen. I was supppose to feel better not worse.


  • Wow! I can hear the anxiety in your post and don't blame you for being upset. What I don't understand is why your surgeon is ready to declare you a case of FBSS and ship you off to pain management two months after surgery I know so many people from this site who have experience pain exactly that you describe following lumbar fusion surgery. The way my surgeon explained it to me, the nerve is really "pi**ed off". I am not a medical person, of course, but during these surgeries, your anatomy gets jostled and jarred and the large nerves of you spine can really take a beating. The location of the pain you are describing would be consistent with a "pi**ed off" L4/L5 nerve. My doc told me it can take up to a year or more for that nerve to settle down. He gave me some steroids to reduce the inflammation around the nerve. From what I have read here on S-H that seems pretty much standard procedure. Its good that your doctor is sending you for an MRI. If nothing unusual is found, I would ask him about the possibility of a spinal nerve being aggravated during surgery. Two months out is w-a-a-ay too soon to give up on this surgery. Way too soon. Susan
  • Thank you for your post and like you I think it's early to declare me fbss. In a way I hope they do find something in my MRI so I'm not declared fbss and shipped off to pain management. My dr just doesn't understand why I would feel better the first month after surgery and start having problems the second month. I just told him I don't know that is why I'm here. I almost felt like I should of lied at the apt and told him what he wanted to hear that everything is fine and dandy and you cured me but then where would that get me. His bedside manners are not the greatest and you hear that from everybody but everyone says if they had to have surgery he would be the one surgeon they would pick. I keep praying your right that it is just nerve irritation and it will go away but every morning I wake up for the last month the pain is still there.

  • I agree, in my opinion, it seems to early to be calling this FBSS. I've heard it can take 6months up to 2yrs to fully recover from a fusion especially the nerves. I am 1 1/2 yrs post of l5/S1 fusion and have been referred to pain mgmt for FBSS but I refuse to accept that so I am pushing to seek additional opinions from other spine specialists.

    I agree with your husband. Since it takes awhile to get a decision for disability or SSDI you should apply as early as you possibly can even if you may get better. I waited it out hoping I would get better so I didn't file SSDI until it was over 1yr that I was disabled but I could've filed sooner. I just didn't want to accept that fact that I was going to be disabled and not go back to work right away. It's very hard to accept, especially when you are so young. I am 31 (will be 32 next month) so I can completely understand your frustration. You have a lot of life left to live and you don't want to spend it being disabled. However, you have to play with the cards you are dealt with and try to make the best of what you have.

    I wish you the best and hopefully there is something that they can do for you. Have they offered any injections yet? Keep us posted on your progress.
  • I'm shocked at how your doctor is handling this, and how he's talking to you. Is it possible for you to take your MRI to a different surgeon, to get another opinion? It is wayyyy too early for him to consider this FBSS, and your leg pain totally sounds like the nerve pain I'm experiencing right now. Is it kind of a burning pain? Runs from your hip to down your leg?
  • I agree with the others that it is way too early to consider your surgery a failure. It is, however, quite possible for you to have damaged one of your other discs when you fell in the shower. Heck, it's possible to damage a disc in any fall, and if you just had a fusion holding part of your spine rigid, it would be all the more likely. I would go ahead and file for disability. Should you regain function and the pain diminishes, you could drop the claim later on. If you have a very physical job, it probably would be best for you not to go back to it anyway.


    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • Your doctor is not calling you failed back syndrome unless an MRI is negative for L3-L4 findings- he is calling you an adjacent disc disease, and I did read some paper about the highest risk of Adjacent disk disease is in the first post-op year (about 20%) and 3% per year there after. However, it is way to soon to know if you are failed back.
  • Well I had my MRI two days ago and let you know the results but right now my back is the least of my problems. I'm in the hospital for a lupus flair. All my joints are swollen from my fingers down to my toes. I'm on a high dose of steroids which I hope will not effect the bone growth. When it rains it pours.
  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    If you are talking about employer based Short Term Disability (STD) or Long Term Disability (LTD) and you are out of work but still an employee - then yes you should file.

    If you are talking about SS disability, for SSDI you have to be out of work for 5 consecutive months before benefits begin (and it can take a long time to get benefits so a disability attorney is a good idea). To qualify for SSDI you have significant recent work history. Otherwise there is SSI which doesn't require work history but is based on financial need and being disabled.

    Each year, about 2 months before your birthday, you should get a mailing from SS that details your earning history, what you'll qualify for at retirement, and what you would qualify for if you became disabled currently. I think you can request a new copy of this if you perhaps can't locate your copy or didn't retain it.

    I went out of work in May and had STD through my employer and when I reached the 26 week maximum on that I was transitioned to LTD. If I am still unable to work in May of 2010 I will have to apply for SS ( the LTD insurance company will require me to at that time ).
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
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